LinkedIn finally starts fighting stalkers with member blocking feature

linkedin launches blocking feature

Announced on the LinkedIn Help Center earlier this week, the social network for business users rolled out a new feature that’s been sought after by the community for quite some time. Bringing LinkedIn in line with social networks like Facebook and Twitter, users can now block specific member profiles on the site. To access the new feature, users simply visit the profile of the person they want to block and click the down arrow to the right of ‘Send InMail’ button and select the ‘Block or report’ option. According to the detail page, users can block up to 50 profiles, ideal for ditching stalkers, exes or even annoying recruiters. 

A public conversation about the lack of a permanent blocking function on LinkedIn kicked off last year when a woman known as Anna R. from Columbus, Ohio launched an online petition calling for the feature. Anna had experienced a sexual assault in the workplace forcing her to abandon the job. While she could escape her assailant on other social networks, he became a constant stalker on LinkedIn. Due to LinkedIn’s ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ feature, Anna was constantly alerted on the site and over email each time her assailant visited her profile. In addition, her stalker would research all of her LinkedIn connections in an attempt to discover her location.

Updating the petition page yesterday, Anna wrote “I am so grateful for everyone’s help and support throughout this entire process. It has taken a lot of patience and a lot of work but: WE DID IT! We should all be proud of ourselves for this fantastic feat. I would also like to thank LinkedIn for making this possible; for caring for your users and listening to what they need. You have been attentive and helpful. Thank you for helping to better the LinkedIn community — and users’ privacy — around the world!

LinkedIn Logo

When you block someone on LinkedIn, there’s a number of actions that will occur. First, both parties won’t be able to access each other’s profile and messages over LinkedIn cannot be exchanged. If you were connected to the blocked profile previous, those connections won’t appear on the site anymore. In addition, endorsements and recommendations received from the blocked member will disappear. Finally, the ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ feature will no longer show the blocked member and LinkedIn will stop suggesting the blocked user in the ‘People You May Know’ and ‘People also Viewed’ sections.

Of course, blocking a specific person doesn’t mean they can’t simply browse a profile anonymously. However, LinkedIn Head of Trust & Safety Paul Rockwell offers a number of suggestions to protect a profile. These include limiting the amount of data that’s seen by search engines, limiting activity broadcasts and adjusting privacy settings on the user profile as well as the photo displayed with the profile. Speaking about the launch of the blocking feature, Rockwell said “We built this feature not only because it was a feature our members requested, but because we also knew it was the right thing to do.

Product Review

It's not a spy, but you still won't want to friend Facebook's Portal+

Facebook has jumped into the smart home game with the Portal+, a video-calling device featuring an Amazon Alexa speaker and a screen. While it has lots of cool calling features, we’re weary of Facebook taking up counter space in our home.
Movies & TV

Fresh footage and Willem Dafoe make the final 'Aquaman' trailer special

Jason Momoa will bring Aquaman back to the big screen for a solo feature in December 2018. Here's everything we know so far about the aquatic superhero's live-action adventure in the DC Extended Universe.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for November 2018

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.
News

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.
Social Media

Facebook is rolling out a Messenger ‘unsend’ feature, and here’s how to use it

Facebook is starting to roll out a "remove message" feature for its Messenger app. It lets you delete a message in a thread within 10 minutes of sending it, and replaces it with a note telling recipients that it's been removed.
Social Media

Going incognito: Here's how to appear offline on Facebook

How do you make sure your friends and family can't see if you're on Facebook, even if you are? Here, we'll show you how to turn off your active status on three different platforms, so you can browse Facebook without anyone knowing.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.
Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Social Media

Why an American named John Lewis gets lots of Twitter hassle from Brits

Spare a thought for Twitter user John Lewis. When he signed up as @johnlewis soon after the app launched in 2006, little did he know what he was letting himself in for. Clue: There's a U.K. department store called John Lewis.