Inviting People To LinkedIn And Getting Your Hand Slapped

IDK You!There is an issue with LinkedIn that gets some people all bent out of shape. It hasn’t affected me yet because (a) I don’t invite that many people to connect, and (b) if I invite them, I first ask them outside of LinkedIn (phone, e-mail, or in person) if they want to connect, get their approval, and then do it through LinkedIn.

But I know some of you invite people fast and furious… not that it’s bad to do it, but the current design of LinkedIn disciplines you if you appear to be a spammer. The issue is that it’s too easy to appear to be a spammer, even if you aren’t.

On my I’m on LinkedIn — Now What??? blog I address the issue in two posts:

I Don’t Know You (OUCH!) talks about the issue and explains things you need to know, and

How To Know When You Get A LinkedIn IDK shows you screenshots to help you know if/when you get IDK’d.

This is an issue that all social networks face… what to do with those who “spam.” It’s ugly, though, because they will usually discipline you with no warning and with little recourse. Last year one of my favorite bloggers, Harry Joiner of, got his entire account disabled on Facebook because he simply used their tool to invite people to be his Facebook friend.

So there you go, just a simple warning to keep your account intact 🙂

3 thoughts on “Inviting People To LinkedIn And Getting Your Hand Slapped”

  1. I think a lot of these SN sites are making up stuff as they go along . . . what happened to letting the community make the rules? I’m all for decency and standards, but . . . we are just renters in a huge development that has a boatload of private security guards that aren’t willing (or maybe not able) to share the rules with us.

    I got my Facebook account diabled, as well. The “trick” is to grovel when asking for re-instatement. Check out

  2. The best advice is DON’T SEND INVITATIONS. Let other people invite you, or email them and ask for an invitation.

    I recently forgot to follow my own advice after having a wonderful lunch with someone and invited them (which I’d discussed with them over lunch) only to find they’d IDK’d me over the holidays. Linkedin is far more useful as a research tool than anything else, right now, and the risk of further IDK’s just isn’t worth it.

    When Linkedin realizes that normal people are forgetful, and changes their childish policies it will make sense to invite people again but for now it’s just to risky for anyone with a sizeable network.

  3. I agree with Steve. I sent a message to someone who has their profile marked “open” to Career Opportunities, however, when I sent him a personal Inmail with a detailed career opportunity, he marked my message to him “inappropriate”. Recently, Linkedin started rating “Inmail” responses in addition to Invites, and I’m not sure what impact this “inappropriate” label will have on my profile in the future. So, I have decided that I will no longer send invites to anyone nor will I send any more Inmails. I will just use Linkedin for what it is good for, finding names and companies and then searching elsewhere for additional information on potential candidates.

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