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LinkedIn Outlines New Process to Detect and Hide Inappropriate InMail Messages



Unsolicited advances are a problem on all social platforms, but they seem especially out of place on LinkedIn, due to the platform’s professional and career focus.

And yet, many people – many women in particular – do indeed experience harassment on LinkedIn.

Last year, former LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner addressed the problem publicly, and said that they were looking to take more action to stamp InMail harassment out, yet Weiner also declined to provide numbers on how often such harassment was occurring. But there are various accounts online of serious issues with LinkedIn harassment. And now, LinkedIn has a new system to detect and reduce the impact of such for its users.

In a new post on the LinkedIn Engineering Blog, LinkedIn outlines its new detection system which has been trained on examples of past reports of harassment via LinkedIn messages. 

LinkedIn has found that the most common harassing messages it sees are:

  • Romance Scams – Members who carry out financial scams through fake or hacked accounts using romantic messaging to defraud a member. 
  • Inappropriate Advances  LinkedIn is not a dating website, but some members choose to inappropriately solicit other members for romantic purposes. These members send multiple messages soliciting relationships to members they often don’t know. 
  • Targeted Harassment  This includes bringing an off-platform conversation or dispute onto LinkedIn, such as stalking or trolling. These violations are less common and may originate from fake accounts or real members.

Taking these examples into account, LinkedIn has built an algorithm that can now detect harassing messages based on a three-step process:

  1. First, sender behavior (e.g., site usage, invitations sent) is scored by a behavior model. This model is trained using members that were confirmed to have conducted harassment (surfaced via member reports).
  2. Second, content from the message is scored by a message model. This model is trained using messages that have been reported as and confirmed to be harassment. 
  3. Finally, the interaction between the two members in the conversation (e.g., how often do they respond to one another, are most of the messages predicted to be harassment by the message model) is scored by an interaction model. This model is trained using signals from the conversations resulting in harassment. 
LinkedIn harassment

When a potential problem is detected, based on these parameters, LinkedIn will now hide the incoming message, and provide an option for the recipient to either read it or not – or submit a harassment report.

The process will reduce instances of harassing behavior on the platform, and should help to make all LinkedIn members feel safer on the platform. 

Again, any type of harassment is not welcome, but on LinkedIn, where people are working to build professional connections, it seems overly inappropriate. If you’re thinking of sending a romantic proposal via InMail, don’t. Just don’t do it. That’s not what people are on LinkedIn for.

You can read more about LinkedIn’s new harassment detection process here


WhatsApp’s Adding a New Option to Send a Message to Yourself



WhatsApp’s Adding a New Option to Send a Message to Yourself

This could be handy – WhatsApp’s rolling out a new option that enables you to send a message to yourself, which could be good for keeping notes, sending links that you want to get back to, keeping track of appointments, etc.

As you can see in this example, you’ll now see yourself as a contact in your WhatsApp recipients list, with WhatsApp highlighting examples like shopping lists, travel inspiration, voice notes, etc.

The feature has been in testing for the last few weeks, with beta testers getting access in late October. WhatsApp has now confirmed that it’s being rolled out to all users, on both Android and iOS.

As noted, to send yourself a message in WhatsApp, you’ll be able to choose your contact info from the top of your contacts list. Tapping on that will open up a chat window, where you can send yourself a quick note.

Which could be: ‘Hey, you look good today’, just to give yourself a little pep, or maybe text yourself a joke that always makes you laugh, no matter how many times you see it.

There’s a range of ways this could be used – I regularly send myself notes (via email) of story ideas and prompts that I’ve logged on my notepad, usually while waiting to pick up my kids.

It’s a small, but potentially helpful addition. The new ‘note to self’ option is rolling out to all users from this week.

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