Why I’ve decided to close my LinkedIn account

I’ve been thinking of doing it for some time but yesterday’s announcement that Microsoft is buying LinkedIn has finally prompted me to delete my LinkedIn account. I can now proudly boast that I am not a member of any internet-based ‘social network’.

A friend persuaded me to join in 2012 since when I have seen no benefit and a number of minor annoyances including:

  1. A constant stream of crap in my email inbox asking me to congratulate people for work anniversaries and endorse them for made-up skills that they don’t really have.

  2. A niggling worry that it might email people similar stuff about me.

  3. The site is excessively complex making it difficult to work out how to make it to do what you want. For example, a while ago I responded to a comment someone had posted, which itself was responding to one by someone else. Then they responded to mine, and I thought ‘before continuing this discussion I’d like to see a listing of the entire conversation so I know the context’. But, despite exhaustive searching and clicking, I could’t find it anywhere. Only the last comment in the conversation was visible. A whole ecosystem has grown up of people explaining how to do things on LinkedIn, which clearly wouldn’t be necessary if it was at all easy to use.

Now that LinkedIn is part of Microsoft, its users will be further commodified. Linkedin accounts will become Microsoft accounts. Any private data about yourself that was on the site will now be owned, data-mined and monetized by Microsoft. Worryingly, the email entitled ‘We’re sorry to see you go’ says: ‘Although you no longer have access to it, it’ll take a few weeks for your public profile to disappear from search engines’. This wording suggests that they haven’t actually deleted my data from their server, only made it invisible to the outside world. I would have been happier if it had said ‘Although your account no longer exists, it’ll take a few weeks …’. Maybe I’m still going to be commodified by Microsoft after all.

© Copyright 2016 Howard J. Rudd all rights reserved.

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