Beyond George Santos: It’s time for verified company affiliation in LinkedIn!

lena

When representative-elect George Santos falsely claimed to have worked at Citigroup and Goldman, did that harm the companies? Perhaps if he had a LinkedIn profile that placed him as a current employee, it could have. It certainly creates potential confusion relating to this George Santos https://www.linkedin.com/in/jorge-santos-cfa-591a85107/ who apparently still works at Goldman Sachs.

The levels of LinkedIn spam in both InMails and connection requests are significantly harming the value of the platform to Microsoft and to a broad swath of constituents:

  1. LinkedIn members, especially Sales Navigator and Recruiter license holders. We expect our searches to be efficient and many of our outreach requests are metered (InMails are limited and cost cash). Burning InMails to reach fake people has a cash cost and opportunity cost for us (waiting for the next month’s grant).
  2. LinkedIn advertisers: paying for impressions and clicks against a GE C-Suite executive (Fake, therefore invalid IVT high priced ads)
  3. The companies who have the fake profiles associated with them (GE in this case). The potential for additional fraud when mis-representing oneself as an official at a company is high. Lena (see below) could have expected me to pay for lunch as I pitched her for Didit services LOL.

Let me illustrate: Within the last week I’ve been spammed by THREE Lena Robert profiles. Two have already been nuked by LinkedIn but only because the abuse in this case was egregious and easy to spot.

But often the case isn’t as obvious. Three Lena profiles all at GE all targeting me. There may be dozens of others.

lena

The prior chat when I called out the profile as “sus” that profile has been nuked but the chats remain assessable. I knew the profile was fake and decided to play along to see what the end-game was.  Didn’t get that far. LOL

lenabot

Same opening line, was the same pic as the 2nd Lena. (clearly fake).

lena-profile

Twitter has a blue check.

LinkedIn should consider some combination of:

  1. Allow the manager of a company page to validate any employee claiming to be at the company and invalidate any who are NOT.  Sure it adds work to HR, but it beats the current pandemonium.
  2. Only provide a validated check next to current employment if the member has affirmatively clicked on an email sent to a corporate address within the last month.

The legal risk, and the IVT invalid ad traffic to advertisers and is significant and it’s time for LinkedIn to invest.