LinkedIn: Protect your users from stalkers and help keep victims safe
Every day, LinkedIn members are being stalked and threatened. Without a blocking feature, like ones available on other social media sites, these stalkers are able to see where their "prey" works, in which city they work, when they change jobs, when they move, etc. When being stalked and living in fear, it is easy to see how scary this situation can be. Adding a blocking feature is important for the millions of LinkedIn users around the world who are being stalked yet have no control to stop it.
Having written to LinkedIn customer service about blocking a user, I was told I was only able to block a member if that member is prohibited from having a LinkedIn account by virtue of a court order. This is ludicrous and to the extreme. We know from other social media outlets how easy it is to enable this feature. Why LinkedIn is so against keeping their users safe, I don't know. Users on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other sites can easily block other users. LinkedIn appears to be an outlier among other top social media sites.
One may argue we can delete our profile or slightly change our name. I argue why should we have to sacrifice our networking opportunities for something that is neither our fault or something we are powerless against?
Although I care about this issue for the good of all LinkedIn users, this issue is a personal one as well. I once was a victim of a sexual assult in the workplace. Being young, it was quite a traumatizing experience for me. Because of this incident, I was forced to leave my position and I never looked back, hoping to leave it behind me for good. Unfortunately, the story was only just beginning. It was the start of a stalking -- something I could have never prepared myself for. E-mails, voicemails; some threatening, some flirty, day after day. I quickly found I could ignore emails, delete voicemails, block Facebook, use privacy settings on Twitter -- yet EVERYDAY I was being looked at on LinkedIn. It really started hitting close to home when he started researching my new connections to see where they where located; if they were in a different area in which I worked for him, he would e-mail me to see if I moved and what I was doing. Little things like that started getting me really scared.
LinkedIn, please listen. I know I'm not the only one. There are millions of stories out there; I'm sure many worse than mine -- victims of domestic violence, for example. If it's happening to me, it could happen to anybody. You could be losing many potential users because you don't have this feature. I've read users' comments saying when another social network similiar to LinkedIn becomes available, they would switch simply because of this blocking feature issue. Listen to your users. Listen to what they are saying. Listen to their stories. Take action.
This feature can save lives. This feature will ease millions of fears. This feature will allow users to freely display information free of worry.