Are you seeing bullying on LinkedIn?
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Like on any social media platform, you will see trolling and bullying on LinkedIn.
Why is there bullying on LinkedIn? That’s an excellent question! There should not be bullying on LinkedIn or anywhere else.
How is it that adults forget the Golden Rule of treating other people with the same kindness and concern that they expect for themselves?
Not putting people down is especially important when folks are self-employed and rely on themselves as their only source of income for food, shelter, etc.
Politics can undoubtedly create divisiveness. LinkedIn started testing a no politics button on the platform in early 2022. I’ll give that a thumbs-up, as I do not care to see any divisive political content in my LinkedIn feed. I have had a connection who went into LinkedIn Jail and never returned because he was a one-sided politically-charged bully during the 2016 elections.
To check if you have the “allow political content” feature, do the following:
- Click on the round ME on the menu bar
- Click on Settings & Privacy
- Click on Account Preferences
- Click on Feed Preferences
- Click the slider button to turn ON or OFF to “allow political content”
What about LinkedIn groups? There are certain closed groups for paid memberships, which is acceptable if you opt-in to receive the group administrator’s professional services. No one is making anyone provide their services for free, and it could be a private group on any platform, not just LinkedIn.
However, there are open LinkedIn groups, but they may not practice inclusion globally. They may promote specific “preferred and vetted” professionals. Who prefers them? Who vets them? Who is the Kingpin (or Queenpin) that makes the decisions? Does the list of approved professionals ever grow?
Some people’s actions on LinkedIn remind me of middle school and high school cliques. Remember the days when you were waiting to see who got picked last for the team in gym class and hoping it was not you? It was pretty uncomfortable for the “unpopular” or unathletic kids.
I’ve been seeing many people with potentially fake profiles try to join my nonprofit LinkedIn group. If I do not personally know them, I may invite them to follow the LinkedIn company page and participate in some of our events so we can get to know them first, or I may deny them. After all, LinkedIn is about building relationships, so this is an excellent way to allow them to join us on Zoom to verify they are a real person.
Are you being tagged on LinkedIn and don’t want to be for some particular reason? Did you know you can untag yourself if you were mentioned in a post?
Have you witnessed any mean-spirited individuals? They exist on LinkedIn, too, and are writing negative comments on others’ posts or spewing hateful opinions on YouTube, TikTok, and other video platforms.
What’s surprising is that some people personally know each other, and they had every intent to harm another person indirectly by not mentioning their name. They may think folks are not paying attention, but the word can travel.
Other people share their negativity through things they see and/or “ASSume.” The funny thing is that they don’t even know the person and have never spoken to them before.
Has this ever happened to you? It has certainly happened to me on some social media platforms and by email.
As part of my doctoral coursework, I took an ethics class and learned about beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, justice, fidelity, and veracity. In addition, I should mention the 12 Ethical Principles for Business Executives, which include Honesty, Integrity, Promise-Keeping, Loyalty, Fairness, Caring, Respect for Others, Law Abiding, Commitment to Excellence, Leadership, Reputation and Morale, and Accountability.
Nonmaleficence holds that there is an obligation to do no harm to others. Some folks on LinkedIn need to look in the mirror and self-reflect on this concept.
As a nonprofit leader, I choose to help others in a group setting as a volunteer. It’s not respectful if you are bullying me or anyone else by blasting our choice of words on our LinkedIn profile, on our posts, or titles of articles or events. An adjective or noun may be the choice word someone uses for marketing purposes, but some folks seem to blow things out of control.
Have you ever heard that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it? If you add value to a conversation, that’s a different story.
Did you know that the second Wednesday in October is U.S. National Stop Bullying Day?
Did you know that October is National Bullying Prevention Month.
If you are vertical and breathing, practice being a nice person with integrity. Be positive. Be optimistic. Support your colleagues. There is plenty of work out there, and there are only 24 hours a day!
Toot your own horn for yourself, your business, or for social justice for the good of humanity, but don’t show your ugly side and spew negativity at others. You never know their story and what they are going through.
Bottom line … DO NO HARM, AND DON’T BE A BULLY!
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- Register on the events page for these upcoming online events.
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Lynne M. Williams is the Executive Director of the Great Careers Groups, a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career education and networking connections for 1) job seekers in career transition, including veterans, and 2) employed and self-employed for career management. She is also the President of ChemPharma.net and runs a Clubhouse session on Fridays at 11 AM ET in the Thought Leadership Branding Club.
Aside from writing keyword-focused content for ATS resumes and LinkedIn profiles, Lynne is currently writing her doctoral dissertation on LinkedIn for Job Seekers. She is a contributing author on “Applying to Positions” in Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?, and is also a speaker on career topics.