I checked in on LinkedIn today and found it was haunted.
Among the “People You May Know” LinkedIn suggests that I connect with:
- My father, who died six years ago
- My cousin, who died in January
- A neighbor, who four years ago killed his wife and then himself
- Two colleagues who have been dead for at least three years
- A woman I served on a board with who has been dead for five years
- Two women in my community who both died last year
This gives LinkedIn an oddly outdated feeling. Quite the opposite of the real-time professional social network that they want you to create.
If you click on the avatar you will get an X to delete a person from the suggestions, but apparently they come back to haunt you again, other users report:
LinkedIn is suggesting me constantly to add to the network, in the list of “People You may Know” my DEAD girlfriend. I deleted her from the list, but she appears again and again. Is there any way to stop this?
Some of the suggestions are based on mutual connections, but others appear to be based solely on email addresses. I could swear that I’ve never imported my address book to look for LinkedIn contacts – way too much time to go through them all.
In any case, LinkedIn knows that email addresses get out of date, and that people die. So why no options to permanently delete an email address from suggestions?
This is a common issue, according to complaints on the forums. And, as one woman said,
While automation is often a great way of removing friction, in this case I think it’s introducing friction.
If someone who’s dead had a LinkedIn account, you can ask to have them removed. Be prepared, though: You’ll need a link to their obit and the date they died.
But these email suggestions are people who do not have accounts and have never had them.
So, brace yourself for contact with ghosts in the machine.
Today’s penny is a 2002, the year that LinkedIn started.