Linkedin has long been a stalkers paradise, and unlike other social networks victims have very little recourse to protect themselves. They’re also faced with a potential limitation of their career possibilities if they take the only course of action available to them and delete their accounts.
It’s a difficult situation to be in and Linkedin has turned a blind eye until today.
Paul Rockwell, the head of Trust and Safety at Linkedin has announced that you can now block another linkedin member from viewing your profile:
I come to you today to assure you that your concerns were heard loud and clear. We built this feature not only because it was a feature our members requested, but because we also knew it was the right thing to do. I’m pleased to share that we are rolling out a new Member Blocking feature today to all LinkedIn members – Paul Rockwell.
The new feature also allows more granular control of what other members can see eg: your photo or activity as well as what can be indexed by search engines.
These are all positive steps although arriving in 2014 puts them years behind other major social networks.
There is one significant fly in the ointment however.
In order to block someone you need to visit their profile. Since Linkedin enabled anonymous viewing of other users profiles it’s possible to continue to stalk someone and they have no way of identifying you or consequently any way to block you from visiting your profile. It’s a serious issue that significantly undermines the real but overdue progress Linkedin has made in regards to online privacy.
The simple solution is to give users who feel threatened the option to turn off anonymous viewing of their individual profile. It won’t affect the majority of users or employers but it will allow victims of harassment to control and know who is viewing their profile and grant them the option to block stalkers if necessary.
Please use the share buttons below (particularly Linkedin) to let Linkedin know they’ve made some great progress but their job is not finished yet.