LinkedIn Account Restricted? You May Have Been Too Active on LinkedIn!

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Why has my LinkedIn account been restricted?

No, that is not a question that I personally asked recently, but one asked by someone in my network. This is someone who is not a spammer, not even involved in marketing, and generally keeps a low profile on the social networking site. This person is also not a LinkedIn LION and only has a few hundred connections. Why was their account restricted? For being too active! And if you are not careful, your account may be suspended as well! Here’s how:

The official response given by LinkedIn on why my friend’s account was suddenly suspended was:

We have recently noticed a large number of page searches and profile views through your LinkedIn account. We are aware that you may be using an automated or manual process to systematically view LinkedIn web pages.

The information within LinkedIn is provided by our users for usage on the site only. In order to protect user privacy, our User Agreement prohibits using:

1. Automated or manual means to view an excessively high number of profiles or mini-profiles.

2. Automated means to run searches to collect or store data obtained from our site.”

The funny thing is that my friend was not doing any of the above: They were merely taking advantage of the new LinkedIn feature to tag your connections by looking at the different options that existed and making sure that all connections had the proper tags on them. Sure, it generated a lot of clicks, but it obviously was not even closely related to the activity that this person was accused to have been doing.

Why do I bring this up?

  • Anybody who is too “active” and generated a lot of clicks may have their account suspended with no warning. If you want to do some research on the social networking site, do it over a few day period to spread out the clicks. As you can see from the case study above, the number of clicks you generate are being monitored and not what specific activity you are doing, so anyone could be considered guilty of this.
  • You also want to avoid a suspension of your account for another important reason: it took customer service nearly two weeks to get back to my friend with their initial response. That’s right, for two weeks my friend was in limbo and couldn’t access their account. Can you live without access to your account for two weeks? I’d go crazy! And the potential opportunity loss for business is an issue that your company may have to face if you are getting business leads from LinkedIn.
  • This is a case where LinkedIn was being paranoid and automatically slapping the wrist of an innocent user. Who knows what could happen to you? Make sure you get into the habit of backing up your LinkedIn connections for these types of worst case scenarios.

This blog post is an example of an amazing Catch 22: LinkedIn wants us to be active on their site by introducing a lot of new features to us, but when we are too active we get penalized and have to deal with slow response times. I hope you’ll agree in hoping that LinkedIn can:

  1. Create a better way of monitoring usage on their site so as not to penalize innocent people
  2. Give a warning before suspending someone’s account
  3. Be a little nicer in their communication instead of accusing someone that they are guilty and forcing you to prove your innocence (LinkedIn is an American company, right?)
  4. Be a little bit quicker in their response when an account has been suspended. Two weeks is absurd. Understanding that it requires money to hire customer support professionals and that priority is placed on paid accounts, at least trying to respond to suspended accounts within 72 hours would be ideal.

And there are apparently other reasons why your account may be suspended. As I was writing this blog post, one of my blog readers sent me this message:

Neal, I am not sure how you were able to reach customer service at Linkedin. I have sent no less than 3 emails to customer service from my primary email address in the last 72 hours because they have restricted my account based on the number of people who have viewed my profile in the last week. This all occurred because I created a new group that has generated alot of interest and is adding members everyday at a high rate. The one phone number found…for customer service just leads to voice mail. So to my group members it appears that I have just abandoned the group and to others who have sent me email it looks as though I am not responding.

What is going on here?

Is LinkedIn becoming the New Big Brother? Let’s hope not!

Do you have other personal experiences of being suspended on LinkedIn or know of others who have had their accounts restricted? Please share your information for all of us to learn by. Thank you.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for posting this wonderful article.

    Oh it sounds crazy. It is frustrating to know that they monitor only “clicks” but not “specific activity”.

    One of my First degree connections have some 19000 connections and I can view them all. But to view them all, I have to click “next” “next” a lot of times at the connection listing page’s lower part. Are such “next” clicks to view connection a reason for restricted account?

    Would be great to know this because we are marketing guys are need to make such “next”clicks a lot of time.

    thanks again.

    Raj

  2. Also from my side – thank you for posting this.

    My experience with that:

    About 2 weeks ago I joined an open network group as I wanted to expand my network (am not a spammer, marketer, etc.). In this group I was offered a list of group members who apparently are interested to connect.

    So, I just did that. I sent invitations. Now today, I was restricted as some on this list did hit the do not know button. Ok, so far so good. I was able to lift the restriction.

    Next step – I ‘ran’ to recall all pending invitations one by one. In the middle of doing so – PANG – linkedin blocked my account because of too many clicks.

    A catch 22 – I cant access my account and recall invitations. So, this might lead to another restriction….Well, this is if I get my account back.

    The timing is also not good as I am in the middle of a job search, and I urgently would need to update my account. So if this does not get solved anytime soon I might miss out on some offers (the livelihood of my family depends on this).

    I sent an e mail to the linkedin customer service today……………let’s see.

    Any comments and/or advise from you are highly welcome.

    Arno

  3. OMG! I am having the same problem now I created a new group and Linkedin suggested that I inivite friends, now my account is restricted. What is the purpose of offering me a chance to first create the group, and 2nd inivite people to join if their are going to restrict my account. It has been two days with no response and my ticket said they will respond in 24 hours. This is ridiculous

  4. The same has happened to me.I only viewed a few profiles,did not even contact anyone,but wanted to see how it all worked after I created my account and my account got restricted. What is the point of Linkedin if people cannot contact each other on a site for making new contacts (you already know your old ones,you don’t need Linkedin to get to know them again) and so many are paranoid about being contacted,the same as on FB? Why go on a social networking site to start with,stay isolated in your paranoid little world!

  5. I have the same issues. The customer support of Linked also not efficient enough to understand the issue and resolve. I have 4000 connections and they have put a restriction …Have been asking whats the reason and let me fix the issue but they wont reply or move . Wondering why the “invitation” option is there and why its a big crime ? The job needs to expand the network. But I am sure LinkedIn monopoly will be end by FacbookProfessional or some other professional site . looks like “I hate LinkedIn ” increasing very fast .

  6. In my case, I was out on vacation for 10 days and built up a large volume of messages & inbound invites. So naturally I processed all of them, plus I manage or own 3 groups and those had plenty of discussions waiting to be approved and requests to join. Up to this point this has all been items coming to me, nothing I instigated. When I got through processing those then I wanted to post a 9/11 message (post) to the 3 groups. As I would copy & paste the URL in to the discussion it would not let the link bring up the thumbnail, which at the time, I just thought the system/server/internet was slow & it was timing out. I took breaks & would try again later in the day. I probably tried 6-7 X’s in a 10 hr duration. Then I started wondering if I had some hijack software. I spent 7 hrs running every virus & ad killer software to no avail & still get:
    https://www.linkedin.com/uas/captcha-submit

    “LinkedIn is Momentarily Unavailable

    LinkedIn is momentarily unavailable but should return in a few moments.

    We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Please wait a moment, then follow this link to return to the home page.
    You may need to sign in again.”

    In my mind that was at most 10 attempts to post just the same msg each time to no avail. How can that be too active? The irony is you can’t sign in to the help desk to ask for help. How can you get a message to them? Please let me know how to contact them if I can’t get into the Help Center, nor login, nor to their Home Page?

  7. They run me crazy! I opened many pages and they restrict my account permanently.
    Now I don’t know what I should do with my connections? How I can recover my posts, recommendations, projects definitions, work history, certificate of courses I passed via Linkedin ….
    In the email that they have sent me, there is no answer to this questions and also no way to connect!!!

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