LinkedIn can be a useful tool for building your network and staying in contact with colleagues, referral sources, clients and others. But not everyone on LinkedIn has good intentions or follows business etiquette. Sometimes these breaches become annoying, or worse. When you encounter these kinds of users, you have options.
Last year, I did a post for Law Technology Today about blocking unwanted messages on LinkedIn, and many of the strategies outlined in that post are still valid. But at the time, LinkedIn didn’t permit users to block other users entirely. Now, that has changed. LinkedIn now supports the ability to block individual members of LinkedIn. Here’s how:
To block a member from viewing your profile:
Navigate to the profile of the person you want to block and go to the down arrow toward the top of the Profile, near their Profile photo. In the image below, the button name is “Send a Message,” but the name of button may vary. Scroll down and choose “block or report” and then “Continue.”
You’ll be taken to another screen to confirm that you want to block this person. Once you have completed the blocking process, that LinkedIn user will appear on your blocked list, which you can find under the Profile tab of your Settings, under Privacy Controls; you’ll see a link entitled, “Manage who you’re blocking.” You can unblock them later if you choose to do so, but you’ll have to send a new invitation to connect if you’d like to be connected, and you won’t be able to re-block that person for 48 hours.
The person you have blocked will no longer see you in their Who’s Viewed Your Profile section, and they will not be notified that you have blocked them. That member will no longer have access to your Profile and will not be able to message you through LinkedIn. They won’t see your Updates, and any Recommendations or Endorsements you received from them will disappear from your Profile.
Similarly, when you’ve blocked someone, you will no longer be able to view their Profile or their Updates or send them messages through LinkedIn. However, both you and the blocked user will still have access to information each of you has shared publicly (such as your Public Profile, content posted in Group discussions).
If you’re the manager of a Group and you want to block someone who is a Group member, you’ll need to remove them from the Group before you can block them, and if the person you want to block is the manager of a Group that you are a member of, you will need to leave the Group before you can block the Group’s manager.
If completely blocking someone on LinkedIn seems like overkill, you could consider the other options discussed in the post mentioned above, including disconnecting from the person (again, they won’t be notified that you are no longer connected); marking comments and discussions as spam, restricting who can send you invitations on LinkedIn, and reporting abuses to Group managers.
If you’re receiving invitations to connect on LinkedIn that are clearly spam, for example an invitation with an advertisement, you can report it as spam by clicking “Ignore” and then “Report as Spam,” which notifies LinkedIn that the message is a problem.
Don’t let LinkedIn users who are abusing the platform ruin your LinkedIn experience. Manage your contacts and connections, and remember to use caution when accepting invitations to connect.