Today, the unthinkable happened. I was going about my day as usual, doing some admin, getting involved in some discussions on social media… last thing I remember is reading a post on LinkedIn from someone in my network. Then I refreshed my feed and… I was asked to log back in. I thought “that’s weird” but I did it. At which point I discovered…
…my account has been blocked.
If you try and look for me on the platform, you won’t find me there. I basically don’t exist on LinkedIn anymore.
As I am writing this down, I am still trying to process what happened. I thought perhaps the best way to process it would be to write down what I’m feeling… I vaguely remember from a psychology class that this has a more therapeutic efect than simply talking things out. If this ever happened (or happens) to you, I hope this makess you feel less alone. If you haven’t… just remember, none of us are safe. You might have to go through this too one day – although I wish you never will.
I realised I needed to better understand my feelings, so I decided to look for some resources. I found an article about The 7 Stages of Grieving a Breakup from Psychology Today. Here’s what I found.
“You fought to hold on to the relationship to the point of being all-consumed. You don’t want to believe it’s actually ending. You can’t believe it. Even if the relationship was awful, even unbearable at times, the idea of living without it is unacceptable. “
Oh wow, I thought. How do they know?! This is EXACTLY what happened! It wasn’t even an exclusive relationship, I think that was clear on both sides. I had a relationship with Facebook and Twitter and GoldenLine and… so many other platforms all at the same time. I kept telling myself things are not that serious, and yet finding out it’s over felt like the world as I know it has ended…
Clearly the lady who wrote the article understands exactly what I’m going through, I thought, so I should find out more about these 7 stages. Here we go:
(quick warning: this isn’t an entirely serious post, but my pain is real, just in case LinkedIn actually have a look – I DO want to get back together!)
Spot on! The very first thing that came to my mind was “why oh why did this happen to me?! what could I have possibly done to deserve this?!” and I went through a checklist in my head. There were some rules in our relationship, you see. I mean LinkedIn had their rules… they made it clear I was one of many and if I didn’t follow them, they would simply continue their relationship with the other 500 million users but not me.
Chrome plugins and extentions? No I’m not using any… none that have any impact on LinkedIn anyway! That one can’t be it…
Reviewing too many profiles? No I don’t even bother ever since I’m not sourcing anymore… I encourage others to do it instead, in training. Of course they are all safe as their relationship with LinkedIn is different. You see they pay to be together… anyway I’m sure that can’t be it either…
Sending out too many connection requests? I can honestly say no, I haven’t really needed to in a while as I’ve been inundated with incoming requests recently. Not it…
Could I be blocked for accepting too many invitations to connect? Logging into my account from both my laptop and my phone? Maybe I moved my laptop and connected to a different wifi by accident, that would mean I connected from a different IP address wouldn’t it?! Maybe I said something about them they didn’t like?!
Wait, this must be a mistake, this can’t be really happening, not to me! Yes, checked, felt that too. I’ll just refresh the page and everything will be ok… no? Ok maybe I need to try to log in again… no? Ok you know what, I’ll just disconnect from wifi and then try again… turn the computer off and on again?! Nothing seems to be working but this simply CAN’T be true!
What can I do to change this?! I need to do something. Anything… well ok not anything. It just so happens that the only thing I wouldn’t do is the one thing they want me to do: send over my passport or ID. Which doesn’t seem fair – I have to verify it’s really me even though I can’t verify the people on the other side actually work for LinkedIn, or that they are who they say they are, or in fact that I have done anything to deserve this. The wording of the message I got was that my behaviour MAY violate their TOS. So if they’re ok with blocking my account without knowing for sure that I did anything wrong, why aren’t they ok accepting this is really me without asking for something as ridiculous as my passport to do so?
Yeah ok that one didn’t happen. But that’s not because I wasn’t trying to, oh no. I spent a good couple of hours trying to figure out how I could win LinkedIn back. I actually went to Facebook to find the answers, imagine the irony… but not even the amazing people of Recruiters Online could help me figure out a way to get LinkedIn back. They did however help me go through steps 1 again in way more detail. I discovered the hidden depths of how I could have potentially been out of line. This actually helped, I didn’t feel so alone anymore. But LinkedIn remained completely unaware of how badly I wanted to get back…
That’s exactly when I started getting angry. How dare they do this to me?! I thought. I don’t deserve this. They’re being unfair. I can’t even call them up or email them to let them know exactly how much this hurt me. I am not sending them anything! I’m not asking them fr anything! I’ll survive without them! It must be possible to live without LinkedIn, even source without it! People do it on the phone. They do it on other platforms. I can be one of those people. In fact, I’ll just give up on sourcing altogether. I’ll go be a waitress somewhere but I’m NOT talking to them again.
I have to be honest, I’m still getting there. Sometimes it feels like I’m already there, but then I go back through all the previous steps of the process… it seems though like everything is going according to plan. The blog post that guides me through the steps says this:
This is the kind of acceptance that, when it happens early in the process, can feel more like surrender. You are holding up your end of the breakup because you have to, not because you want to.
Yes I’m afraid that’s right. I don’t really want to break up but… it takes two to tango. I can’t even talk to LinkedIn how am I going to remind them of what first brought us together? Of how good things were before they got bad? Well… I guess since I can’t do any of that, I will in time accept this new situation…
I guess over time I’m supposed to be able to imagine life without LinkedIn. I’ll be able to see the value of other potential relationships… Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blog… All I can do for now is hope that’s true…
…either that or go back to step number 3, break and send through my passport. But I guess that very demand proves it was an abusive relationship and I should try to stay strong.
In the back of my mind I can’t stop hoping I’ll wake up tomorrow and discover none of this actually happened and it was all a bad dream…
Hi Kasia, I am so sorry to hear that.Have you tried to approach the technical support department? Its bad that it can happen to anyone most likely.
I have only been able tto find an email address for the customer support. It’s been several hours, no response. Yesterday, the LinkedIn Help twitter account contacted me, but they have been silent since. It’s the not knowing that’s tough! I’m still mostly at stage 1 of the process – desperate for answers!
Hey Kasia, nice to get in touch!
I had the exact same issue on Friday 29th, last working day of the year!
At first I thought it had something to do with my birthday a few days before, when a flood of congrats emails came in, but no.
My account was blocked until January 3rd, when I got a reply back from a Linkedin safe operations assistance technician.
I did send my ID scan and then wrote to their help center at https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/solve/contact
Their reply´s in spanish so I will not paste it here, but basically what they said is my account had showed excessive activity and they had lifted the restrain as a courtesy. This activity overdrive could have been caused by 3rd party applications or browser extensions that interact with Linkedin affecting contractual use conditions: https://www.linkedin.com/legal/user-agreement
They recommended I removed all such applications and specified they would definitely block my account if this happened again.
I asked them to please specify which applications had caused this problem (since I´m not using anything like this).
They did reply back, telling me they could not disclose on their safety procedures but the use of any automation application could cause this problem.
Pretty scary, since I need to continue sourcing actively, making contacts, and working daily with my account. Still in the blue about why this happened.
Feel free to get back to me anytime if I can be of any help to you: email@example.com
This is exactly wha gets me. We are happy o follow the rules but LinkedIn just won’t share what those rules are! Why would they not disclose what got you in trouble? I don’t use any plugins and would be happy to stop doing whatever they saw as an issue. But no one seems to want to talk to me… Thanks for your comment and help, I’ll update you on the situation 🙂
I am facing the same issue, did you eventually get an answer about how to fix this or which application could be causing the problem.
I believe Karen Azulai (I recommend following her on LinkedIn when you’re back on) managed to get an answer from LinkedIn saying Discoverly can cause issues. For a lot of others it remain a mystery!
Hey SG! They just said they couldn´t specify which apps or extensions could have caused this. I´ll translate their reply for you here:
“Please keep in mind that Linkedin does not approve access to their site through automation tools or unofficial applications.
We take security very seriously, and act immediately to keep our members´information safe when identifying abusive or fraudulent activity.
However, we can not disclose detalis about our prevention and detection systems. Thank you for your cooperation.”
I´m still baffled, since all I did was receive and sent Linkedin invitations like I usually do.
I did wonder what happened, we were in the middle of a conversation and all of a sudden you disappeared. I’m tempted to set up a Bring Back Kasia campaign!
I might just come to that Paul! Sorry for dropping the conversation like that I swear I wouldn’t if I had any choice in the matter 🙂
I Actually sent them out my extensions’ list
* Intelligence Search )
They advised me to delete all. But you may have seen Karen’s list, some are overlapping and she wasn’t told to delete those, so my guess is there is no exact list (։
Ha! See there’s no consistency in what they say – and little sense, I mean why would you have to delete Intelligence Search when I bet no one actually uses it to source on LinkedIn but just Facebook? It sounds like they’re not even sure what caused so many people to get blocked really.
I wondered where you disappeared, poor Kasia 🙁 Really impacted the quality of my LinkedIn feed. Hoping you get back. <3
That’s so nice of you to say! I miss getting into amazing discussions with all kinds of people on LinkedIn! I”m still fighting so hopefully see you there soon!
Finding you today was a gift. Hoping all works out for you on LI, but regardless, will be following you. 🙂
This is really nice to hear! I should probably encourage people to follow the blog just in case – I’ll still be sharing useful content for sourcers and recruiters (that’s the plan at least) 🙂
Excuse me Kasia,
What was the kind of content you were sharing or posting on LINKEDIN ?
It’s mostly content regarding recruitment in general, discussions about recruitment, events, and so on 🙂
hi Kasia, 1 day further in the process. still no answers?
I’ll be writing an update soon! I am back on LinkedIn but that’s a big no when it comes to the answers! All I got was a generic email blaming me for reviewing too many profiles, suggesting I remove the tools I use. But I don’t use any and I don’t see how 20 profiles a day on average is excessive. I will continue my attempts to get some answers and I’ll accept any help from anyone happy to get involved 🙂
I was blocked Yesterday, too. I wonder, approximately how many ppl are blocked, do you have any number?
I don’t really have a number, but it seems to be growing very rapidly! I keep getting messages from people who just got restricted and while I can’t prove it, I believe it is happening much more now than at any point before.
hmm, yes, I have the same feeling but no data here as well. Actually, I have never heard of such cases before.
Maybe this has something to do with GDPR regulations coming into action later this year.
I believe under GDPR this will no longer be permitted – so that’s likely, you’re right!
Unfortunately, I also have such situation. I don’t know what to do. They also asked me to upload document, but when I did this in a high quality, they wrote that document not convenient for Linkedin. I don’t understand why passport is not ok for Linkedin
Hi to all,
Unfortunately, I also have the same situation( but I also as other people, don’t use any extensions or something else. What can we do with this….? 🙁
Hi Elena, try emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and explaining what happened. It takes them a while but is currently the only way I know you can get in touch with them. Good luck!
Kasia, thank you)
How long did it take to get an answer from email@example.com? Cause I’m still waiting for it
I waited for a couple of days only. I’m not sure I know what else you could do but maybe write another email?