Last summer, LinkedIn rolled out a new feature, called “Mentioned in the News,” designed to increase engagement on the platform. While this feature may appear innocuous at first, it’s a deceptive practice that can actually damage the reputations of LinkedIn users. Below are more details about the new feature and instructions on how to disable it, if you choose.
[Caveat: I’m typically a big fan of the LinkedIn platform and its potential, but this is one feature that should be reconsidered.]
LinkedIn periodically sends emails to users containing links to news articles that mention the name of one or more of your connections. The email’s subject line is typically “News about John Smith, Jenny Jones, Mike Peters.”
The body of the email has the header “Connections in the News” and contains headlines and 1–2 sentence snippets from traditional media articles. The profile picture and name of your connection appear above each article, which could wrongly lead you to believe that your connection willingly shared this article.
There are two ways in which this new feature can damage your reputation:
1 The articles that are shared might be negative.
Multiple LinkedIn users have pointed out this issue. Just this morning, LinkedIn emailed me a negative article about one of my connections. The article was publicly available, but it’s something the user would have never emailed to more than 1,000 friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Last week, one of our clients discovered that LinkedIn had sent a negative, partisan blog post that mentioned him and his company out to his LinkedIn network. Even if the article in question isn’t necessarily negative, it might simply be news that you’d rather not share with a broader network. You should have the ability to control what news articles about you are shared with your connections.
2 LinkedIn might erroneously connect you to an article that isn’t you.
Imagine that you share a name with a sex offender, and LinkedIn finds an article about “your” crime and shares it with your entire network. LinkedIn admits that it can and will make mistakes in this disclaimer, which appears in the footer of all “Mentioned in the News” emails:
“LinkedIn does not guarantee that news articles are accurate or about the correct person.”
At this point, it’s clear the risks of allowing LinkedIn to do this on your behalf outweigh the benefits.
All LinkedIn users are automatically opted in to “Mentioned in the News,” so here’s how to opt out:
- Log into LinkedIn
- Hover over your profile picture in the header on the right side and click “Privacy & Settings”
- Click “Privacy”
- Select “Notifying connections when you’re in the news”
- Click “No”
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how you can manage your reputation online and in the public, please contact Matt Ferraguto at 919-858-6914.