printing company talks about linkedin issuesIf anyone is wondering why your posts or comments have suddenly gone into moderation and hang up in pending when before you were able to do so in real time, blame LinkedIn Corporate and not your moderator.

This problem is caused by LinkedIn’s heavy hand, while trying to deal with spam from the top down and as usual nothing works well top down when you are not in the trenches dealing with the issues of a given group as the moderator or owner.


What LinkedIn did was to override all of the group settings of the owners of the discussions, as if they were not capable of dealing with their own groups. LinkedIn’s new “so called spam tool” did not do what was intended as it was not tweaked in the correct way, but caused havoc in many groups.


The problem with spam or steak is “where’s the beef”? Pardon the pun, but one persons spam is another’s beef so I can see how it can be tough for group owners to deal with this. The further problem, as I see it, with group members who’s posts I sometimes read, some are simply offended by seeing a post that is made by someone else that they do not think is relevant to them personally and rather than pass it by they start a pitched battle in the discussion group. Crazy yes, but it happens.


There is also the occasional moderator who feels that one does not have the right to promote their books or businesses but that the group is purely for information only and totally free of any commercial intent. I try and stay away from those as much as possible, as most of us are here to promote something, whether an artistic endeavor or a commercial one.


Some group owners became overwhelmed with this new policy so that it virtually put a halt to all posts, including the good, the bad and the ugly, no matter which. One owner was so overwhelmed that his “pending” file was backlogged by weeks of posts awaiting moderation and was close to 400 submissions before he asked for my help and I gladly offered it, clearing the deck. Was I accurate? Who knows, but at least I erred on the side of caution and compassion for the poster unlike LinkedIn who simply erred.


All it takes is being dropped from a group by an owner and without warning.  Quite a while back I was dropped by an owner, which is what got me in trouble with the LinkedIn geniuses. As much time had passed with me forgetting I was there once before, I went recently to join the group again and was unable to. When I contacted the owner as to why this was so, her reply was she “had no idea why I was dropped”.  This points to how easy it is for one member to whine about “discussion purity” re another’s post and for a group to ban one without warning or further discussion.  What more than likely happened was that a writer felt that once his/her book was written any conversation about how to produce or market it was irrelevant. This of course flies in the face reality as well as of the many discussions caused by some of my posts and the kind comments I receive for providing useful and helpful information regularly from design through promotion.


Then there was the case of another LinkedIn member, who in fact blogged about this experience elsewhere, who contacted the group owner on several occasions about pure spam resulting with the owner simply getting annoyed by being contacted and dropped the member.  I can recall one case where recently I left a group when the owner clearly told me how overwhelmed he was with his large multitude of members to bother hearing from me at all re my issues.


The bottom line is that LinkedIn did not think this through to the end and therefore members are suffering the unintended consequences of LinkedIn’s actions. Their “so called algorithm” was the simple dictum, if for whatever reason, justified or not, a group owner drops a member one is banned to “moderation”, dumping the work load onto the group owner to undue LinkedIn’s broad swath of the brush. When someone is dropped from a group it may have been done because a member or two whined about “purity” of content.  Further compounding this is the sometimes failure of the owner to converse with the member in question prior to dropping them.


What could linked in have done in order not to be faced with this heavy handed result? They could have automatically sent out emails to anyone being dropped prior to any action. They could also have used a more intelligent “algorithm” than the idiot one they used, such as after first an auto response type email to anyone posting a simple link without any intent on discussion, like one I am sure many of you have seen emanating out of China, Japan or India such as “buy cheap handbags” and then a shortened link address to click on. Now links such as these are clearly “missing the beef”! Hopefully LinkedIn will rescind or amend their policy here and undue the havoc created for some who are valued contributors and discussion owners.


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