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Anonymous browsing. Some of us have probably done it. There are lots of reasons for doing it. But when it happens to us, we generally don’t like it. Some LinkedIn users equate it with stalking and who are we to say otherwise? LinkedIn aren’t sure what to do about it… and it shows.


In February LinkedIn introduced “Member Blocking”

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“Member Blocking” really isn’t much of a solution to stalking. Though you can block any other LinkedIn user (up to a maximum of 50), you won’t be able to block your Anonymous stalker because….they’re Anonymous. So if you think you know who your stalker is, go ahead and block them but if they’re determined enough, they’ll probably just find another way – perhaps by setting up another, or a fake, LinkedIn account. You’ll note that Paul Rockwell recommends that before you go on your Member Block mission, it should be covert; you should “enable anonymous profile viewing” ! Oh the irony of it….


How LinkedIn have implemented Member Blocking is less than ideal. You actually need to visit the person’s (or alleged offender’s) Profile and then click on a drop-down menu to “Block or report”.


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We should be able to block a member by simply adding their name, separated by a comma, in a box, in our Settings. Changing our status to Anonymous, visiting  someone’s Profile, blocking them and then changing our status back to non-Anonymous, is kind of ridiculous.


The option most people who care about this issue want is to be able to prevent Anonymous browsing on their Profile, period. I think it’s important to provide that choice. I also think the main reason that we are not currently able to block Anonymous browsers is because LinkedIn wants to keep their big customers happy. Many of those Anonymous browsers are Recruiters. Recruiters are looking for a needle in a haystack, the last thing they want is for everyone in the haystack to start jumping up and down, shouting “Hey, why are you looking at me?” or “I can be your needle!” Why do Recruiters have to land on our Profile at all? Surely there’s another, less intrusive way for them to get or see our data?


LinkedIn should fix the Anonymous browsing issue for another reason – Anonymous browsing data renders a potentially useful part of the LinkedIn site, pointless. I’m referring to the stats making up your Profile Views in the “Who’s viewed your profile” section.

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I’m sorry, but telling me that 636 of my 769 Viewers are “Other” (452) or “Unknown” (184) is wasting 83% of my time!


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By Andy Foote