The Trial is one of Franz Kafka’s best-known works, “… it tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed to neither him nor the reader.’

Recently (in mid-2015) I received this notification from LinkedIn

“Your posts in this group are being moderated temporarily because members of your Groups communities have marked your recent contributions as spam or not relevant.”

As a result, I was unable to participate actively in any of my professional Groups.

First we enter “The Trial” period

The LinkedIn announcement itself reeks of petty schoolyard gossip, claiming multiple complaints by unnamed people in unidentified locations for non-specific infractions.  Punishment is immediate and unilateral.  I instantly contacted LinkedIn customer support in an attempt to reconcile the situation. 

The response from LinkedIn’s Customer Experience Advocate (who un-ironically identified herself as “Faith“) was:

In practical terms:  I am a member of 40+ Groups (more than 30 of them are in my professional arena of UX). As we all know, the volunteer moderators are already overworked – so the particular “stab-in-the-dark solution” suggested by LinkedIn was laborious, inefficient, and highly unlikely.

Let’s just say that I found Faith’s nominal job title of “LinkedIn Customer Experience Advocate” to be  … uhhhh …. ‘misleading’.


… and then Purgatory

For the next several days I was unable to participate in my Groups.  My effort in attempting to work with LinkedIn’s Customer Experience Advocates was frustrating and a waste of time.  My previously vigorous and positive participation in LinkedIn was compromised:  My posting output, profile of activity, and viewership plummeted by 50+%.

Yesterday, LinkedIn apparently lifted the censorship of my posting contributions.  I say “apparently” because it appears that my posting contributions are not being censored now.  Then again, LinkedIn has – as per usual – provided no confirmation whatsoever of their unilateral actions.

Am I still on “double secret probation”?

Franz Kafka would be amused.


Solutions: Let’s try to Transcend the BS

I am an active advocate for crowdsourcing behavior – especially on social media venues.  I practice it, as well. I’ve identified numerous egregious violations of recruiterSpam in my Groups.  But I also feel that responsibility applies to all parties. Specifically, LinkedIn.

LinkedIn needs some Crowdsourcing Process

Here are a few basics that LinkedIn needs to address in order to have a self-sustaining professional networking and collaboration environment that can deal with “behavioral” issues effectively.:



This is accomplished with a relatively simple, basic automated process (i.e. ‘5 lines of code’). Linked In already has much of the technical mechanism in place.  It’s mainly a matter of commitment.  We could get into the tall weeds of implementation issues … but I prefer to be paid for providing that service.

I’m a UX-er, so wordsmithing is important.  I like to believe that I respect the brand.  LinkedIn, if you’re going to label your employee as a Customer Experience Advocate, then please make ‘customer experience advocacy‘ part of their job description.


© The Communication Studio LLC

Published in LinkedIn on June 19, 2015