LinkedIn, the professional networking giant with over 900 million users, has a glaring issue: the lack of verification for user-provided information. Users can freely list any company, role, college, or degree without any form of validation. This raises concerns about the authenticity of the information presented on the platform.
LinkedIn seems indifferent, despite the potential harm to its reputation and the trustworthiness of its user profiles. Other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are not directly linked to professional credentials, making LinkedIn’s lack of verification even more conspicuous.
Maintaining authenticity on LinkedIn is crucial, particularly as they promote premium services like LinkedIn Premium and Sales Navigator. Ensuring the accuracy of user-provided information should be a top priority.
So, what can LinkedIn do to tackle this issue, considering its massive user base?
- Implement compulsory OTP verification for current companies and colleges.
- Share user profiles with past companies and colleges (limited to the last 10 years) to verify employment and education history.
- Place the responsibility of verification on the users by limiting their reach and functionality on the platform if their information is not verified. This could include restrictions on content views, likes, comments, direct messages, etc.
LinkedIn does offer an optional verification method for current companies via company email, but past roles and education history remain susceptible to falsification.
Recently, LinkedIn initiated identity verification in India, though it controversially requires users to share their DigiLocker password with a third party. This raises privacy and security concerns.
The question remains: Will or can LinkedIn take a bold stance, akin to an Elon Musk-style intervention, to eliminate bad actors and ensure the authenticity of user profiles on its platform? The integrity of the platform depends on it.