Graphically Speaking

Beware! The government is lurking on LinkedIn

Not just Twitter, you may have to be careful of what you post on the job-search platform as well

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Published 2 months ago on Jun 04, 2020 Read

Did you know? Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the biggest LinkedIn influencer in India. In the ‘About’ section of his profile, he describes himself as ‘dynamic, dedicated and determined’. And, if you want to hire him, you should know that his skills are ‘leadership, administration and organisational leadership’. With over 3.5 million followers, his photo ops and frequent posts on yoga and the economy gain a lot of traction on the site. In fact, in 2017, he was the most viewed LinkedIn influencer in India, with Priyanka Chopra taking the second spot.

Along with him, his officials, too, are proactive on the social media platform. This is evident because LinkedIn received ten requests from the Indian government for user data in 2019. Those ten requests were for data on 21 users, but LinkedIn did not provide information for any of those requests, according to the company’s transparency report.

But, on government’s request, it did take down content. In the second half of 2019, the Indian government had sent one such request and the company complied as the post was in “violation of our terms of service or violations of local law”. In 2018, the company had received three takedown requests from India, and had complied with two.

However, India’s figures are nothing when compared to those of the US. From the land of the free, LinkedIn, in 2019, received 663 government requests for data on 2,658 users. Of this, the company provided data for 1,458 accounts.

Aside from government requests, LinkedIn has also published information on the community action it took last year. The site for professionals thwarted nearly 33 million fake accounts, most of which were stopped at registration stage using automatic defenses. It also detected and blocked 143 million instances of spams and scams, and took down 406,272 copyright infringements. Coming to content violations, the company removed thousands of instances of adult content, hate speech and child exploitation. In a blog post, LinkedIn shared that it has “a lot more work going on behind the scenes to build a safe, professional community”.

But, with governments constantly snooping on all activity, can users ever feel safe?