If you use LinkedIn discussion lists – like the “Java Developers” one that I frequently participate in – you might have seen posts about “Fast Loans” and other annoying commercial messages that are unsolicited, way off-topic and commonly referred to as spam.
A first step is to point out to the poster, typically by simply commenting on their posting, that each LinkedIn group has a “Promotions” section and kindly ask them to delete the spam and to select the “Promotions” category accordingly in the future. Sometimes this friendly approach actually works.
LinkedIn has an official guideline for “Flagging an Inappropriate Discussion or Comment in a Group“, but often the recommended flagging of individual posts leads to no visible change and quickly gets tiresome, since it will only temporarily hide the flagged content and – in my experience -leads to no repercussions for the spammer themselves.
If you are lucky, your LinkedIn group has active owners who you can contact and they might block the spammer and/or even lock down the group to “members only”. But unfortunately, group owners often do not have the time or motivation to do this kind of policing.
So if a spammer ignores your friendly requests and continues to fill your favorite discussion group with garbage and you have run out of other options, consider reporting their LinkedIn profile like this:
- Go to the LinkedIn profile of the spammer (by clicking on their name)
- Use the dropdown arrow of the blue "Send [Firstname] InMail" button
- Select "Block or report"
- Click the option "Report [Firstname Lastname] so that"
- For "Flag profile as" select "other"
- In "Details" put this, replace LINKEDIN_GROUP_NAME accordingly:
This profile has been repeatedly used to post unsolicited, completely off-topic, commercial messages on LinkedIn groups like ‘[LINKEDIN_GROUP_NAME]’. The owner of the profile has so far ignored all requests to stop the spamming. Please take appropriate actions.
- Then click "Continue" button on the bottom
- Agree to the prompt "Are you sure you want to report [Firstname Lastname]?"
Finally you should see a notification:
“Thank you. The profile has been flagged for review by LinkedIn Customer Service.”
Optionally, copy that notification text and paste it into a comment / reply to the spam posting that caused you to report the person. That way the spammer will notice that (and how many) people reported them.