Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Darth Vader, Jesus Christ on LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the social networking website for professionals, needs to clean up its act.
The online service is littered with accounts set up as jokes.
Search LinkedIn and you’ll find multiple accounts for “Star Wars” characters like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Admiral Ackbar, Darth Maul and Boba Fett.
I spent a couple of minutes today searching LinkedIn for fictional names from pop culture as well as historical figures and came up with dozens of fake accounts.
On LinkedIn, you’ll find accounts for characters from “The Simpsons” like Homer Simpson and Montgomery Burns. There also are accounts for other cartoon characters like Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble, Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Tweety Bird and Porky Pig.
Type in movie and TV character names like Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Jack Bauer and you’ll find them on LinkedIn.
Same thing for historical figures. Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson, Elvis Presley and Jesus Christ are on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn claims to have over 53 million members in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. I wonder now if that figure is inflated.
If the Mountain View, Calif.-based company wants to be taken seriously and present a truthful image to potential investors, it needs to clear out the many bogus and empty accounts on its service.
That’s especially true if the company wants to do an initial public offering.
I’ve noticed a lot of abandoned accounts for presumably real people that have zero connections. LinkedIn needs to weed those out too. Same thing for users with multiple accounts.
LinkedIn needs a way for users to flag bogus, duplicate or abandoned accounts. Twitter has such a tool for flagging spam accounts. So come on, LinkedIn, get on the ball.

Screenshots of fake LinkedIn accounts.

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