LinkedIn’s Sneaky Invite Practices
I had made a huge mistake.
A few months ago, I accidentally invited my entire Google Contact List to LinkedIn. Yes, that’s right. Ex-girlfriends, old professors, random strangers, all received a request to connect on LinkedIn.
I couldn’t get over it though, something nagged at me, because I was confident that I only selected a small handfull of people to send invites with. Why did LinkedIn send invites to everyone? After a bit of poking around in LinkedIn’s user interface, I realized what had happened— LinkedIn tricked me into doing so.
I’ll show you:
After logging into my LinkedIn account, I am asked to ‘Add Connections’ using their handy-dandy invite tool. Fair enough; I’ll bite.
It seems easy enough, all I have to do is give LinkedIn access to my Gmail email address, and it will invite people I explicitly approve. Load ‘em up!
Boom! Cool, I have eight people I can choose from. Fair enough.
Let me just, manually uncheck all the options except my old boss. Yeah, I haven’t heard from him in a while:
Perfect, right? Woah-ho-ho. Hold on a second.
If I mouse over the eight visible contacts… and scroll down…
Holy balls, I’ve missed a few hundred contacts!
For those playing along at home, some of you may have noticed the small counter on the top right. It counts how many people I’ve selected to add as connections. I missed this counter, and I’m sure hundreds have also made this mistake.
With no visible scrollbar or obvious sign, I’ve just added my entire Gmail address book. This means people I’ve corresponded with almost 10 years ago. People who have shared a cc’ed line with. Previous employers, ex-girlfriends. Possibilities are endless. My suggestion to LinkedIn? Make a scrollbar that remains more constant or a counter that is more obvious.
For LinkedIn users, be careful with LinkedIn’s Connect feature, especially when you’re loading it up with Gmail’s address book. You may have unexpected consequences.