Following the past year's events, LinkedIn decided to toughen its policy towards fake profiles and content that does not comply with the rules of its community – more so than any other platform. For this reason, it is investing in developing advanced artificial intelligence. While this is a long-term investment, there will also be short-term consequences.
Throughout this year, the news that made the most buzz about LinkedIn was negative. It began with the announcement that LinkedIn was the social network with the most phishing attacks and continued with crypto scams, spam, a hack into LinkedIn's data system, the publication about the experiments that LinkedIn ran on its users, antisemitic posts that LinkedIn did not remove, and even LinkedIn's loss in court to an Israeli company. At the same time, there were good things in the background: new features, improvements and additions at a pace that we have not seen from any other social network in history. The problem for LinkedIn is when the bad news outweighs the good.
While there are issues common to other social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, they present a different set of problems for users who intend to use LinkedIn for professional purposes. Between January 1 and June 30, more than 21 million fake accounts were identified and removed from LinkedIn, according to the company's Community Report. Most of those fake accounts – 95.3% – were thwarted during registration by automated defenses and cyber security experts.
LinkedIn has taken matters a step further and asked users to report any content that appears to be fake, especially profiles with unusual profile pictures or those with partial work history and other indicators, such as partial profile picture inconsistencies and educational information. But this is not enough.
Why is it more significant than ever?
We need to understand how LinkedIn views these issues to realize their significance. LinkedIn has always done everything to avoid being portrayed as a spam social network. Over the years, it has placed restrictions on users, such as the number of consecutive friend requests that can be sent and how many messages can be sent per day, the number of follow-up invitations that can be issued, and the number of posts and shares that can be sent. With this in mind, it can definitely be said that LinkedIn is fighting spam and everything that goes against its policy regulations.
LinkedIn's announcement about its investment and integration of AI is unprecedented in terms of the power in the never-ending war on spam and the phishing phenomenon. Beyond the fact that the world – and social networks – are gradually integrating tools based on artificial intelligence, LinkedIn is the first to invest and will also be the first to implement these tools.
The LinkedIn Dilemma
As it stands now, such a move is not ideal in terms of LinkedIn's timing. LinkedIn has made many improvements to the platform in the last year, but there is one thing that has not improved – and that is the interface. There is a feeling as if LinkedIn is stuck in this respect, and it seems illogical that, on the one hand, there will be advanced tools that support artificial intelligence, and on the other hand, technologically, its interface will be behind the times.
Finally, two things always seem to occur at LinkedIn. The first is improvements and new additions, and the second is a signup rate and usage data that only increases over time. Implementing AI-based tools is better done on a static system when there is not a lot of usage data to ensure it works smoothly and takes a minimum amount of time. Regardless, this presents a significant challenge.
What can we expect from LinkedIn?
If we zoom out and look at LinkedIn over the past five years, there is one thing that we always see: the company's dynamism and ability to make adjustments. LinkedIn is the platform that makes the most changes, and this is something we can expect to continue. Even if it announces a thousand new changes, it can stand behind them. This may be part of the company's strategy, or it may be a coincidence. The only certainty is that LinkedIn will continue to succeed and will continue to fascinate.