Social Networks Get Uglier and Uglier and Spammier


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I get a little bit of flack for pointing out what I seem to find is obvious, but others seem to either not see, or chose not to see, when it comes to the decaying of social media content down to its lowest common denominator: Spam, and selfish posts that are not motivated by helping others.

Case in point. There’s a training and development group on LinkedIn, and like several other professional groups I watch, there’s been an issue with spam. The moderator (again like others I know) posted a warning not to ruin the group by spamming. Now, you’d think that THE professional oriented LinkedIn would have mostly members who value their time, and don’t want to be sold to without there consent, and there are many good people. But also many not so good ones. Want to see their rational? Err, rationalizations, rather for shoving their junk in your face?

Phil Guercio • I hate to be the fly in the ointment, however we cannot believe that Linked In networking is totally for sharing best practice. Look at the discussions in any group and sales is the game and most often covertly.

Robert Jackson • Linkedin is a business networking tool. Therefore why is it such an afront that people would be talking about their businesses here? We can go to Facebook if we wish to post pictures of our kids and grandkids…we’re doing business here.

(Those of you who have been on the net for a while will understand that “doing business” is not the same as “talking about, and helping people do business”. It’s a rather old distinction that the selfish social marketers don’t get. R.B)

Amber Webber • Hi all!

I have to agree that the content of this discussion is turning into spam.

However, as it doesn’t look like it will shut down any time soon, if you’d like it to quit filling up your inbox with the daily updates, go to the top left-hand corner of the discussion, and click “Stop Following.” The daily updates will cease. You’ll still get the group updates, if you have your profile set up to recieve them, but thankfully, you won’t see this discussion every day.

(This is another old gambit from listserv days, and no criticism of Amber here. Rather than criticizing the spammers, people complain about the discussion of the spam taking place in the attempt to get rid of it. So, hey, if you see spam, well keep yer trap shut, because I don’t care about this as a community! R.B.)

Anup Soans • I’m posting because this futile thread is in my mailbox everyday like a spam — adding no value at all. I agree with Uday, Helen and Robert.

Reminds me of the quote — “Beware, when you fight the monster; lest you become the monster yourself”. This anti-spam warning is a hoax played on unwitting members and must have got the perpetrator (unwitting or deliberate?) the maximum eyeballs and Sales too?

and, the most telling, funny and semi-tragic…

Adam Coleman • Scott we have a product that will allow organisations to avoid this but I want to make your members aware of the service so people can plan their career move it is a validated service call

I would like to make the members aware of this and some of the other products that we have that will assist their training development and succession planning efforts such as product called the ATMS which is a training management product that is unique as it captures individuals CPD, training needs and also companies can avail of bulk purchasing on training, leadership development and succession planning.
As Integrity is one of the Pillars of our business as is Customer Centricity, I do not want to upset anyone how or can I get these messages to the group without upsetting people please let me know or call me on

Kind regards


…the next time you want to tell everyone how wonderful social media is, and how it connects people, here’s a suggestion. Gather all these wonderful people together and start your own network where everybody can spam each other, and you can “connect” to your selfish little hearts content. Oh yeah. If you aren’t seeing how the content on social networks is getting worse every month, you just aren’t looking very hard.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Robert Bacal
Robert began his career as an educator and trainer at the age of twenty (which is over 30 years ago!), as a teaching assistant at Concordia University. Since then he as trained teachers for the college and high school level, taught at several universities and trained thousands of employees and managers in customer service, conflict management and performance appraisal and performance management skills.


  1. Robert
    I agree with your sentiment that content on some social networks is getting worse.

    I am a big fan of LinkedIn and recommend it to my customers and other executives whom I come into contact with. I remain of the opinion that LinkedIn is our business card of the future. BUT, I’m also very upfront about some of the issues with social networks and I use LinkedIn (specifically the Groups function) as the most obvious case-in-point.

    Having watched closely how LinkedIn has matured over the past few years I’ve adapted how I use the tool and the effective use model that I recommend to customers.

    In summary, this means I:
    [*]Review the stream of connection updates on a monthly basis. If one of my connections is pushing out content that I consider borderline spam I turn off their updates
    [*]With respect to groups I review the groups I’m a member of and if I find a group that has a high proportion of spam or useless content then I leave the group.

    I’ve made some great connections via LinkedIn, but I’ve also made some that I’ve later regretted. It really is a case of making sure you invest the right amount of time and effort in order to get value back.

    Mark Parker
    Smart Selling


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