Well, whaddya know. Facebook thinks LinkedIn has a whole lot of “fake profiles.”
This might be a case of the pot calling the kettle black, we think.
Nonetheless, in a post at Facebook’s advertising blog, Andy Foote makes a bold claim.
“Don’t you just hate it when people are fake? When they turn out to be someone different than you initially thought, someone you thought you knew? Wasting your time, making you feel like you’ve been duped? LinkedIn is fake Profile heaven,” opines Foote.
How does this happen? You’d have to be living under a rock not to realize how easy it is, notes Foote.
“It’s child’s play to build a fake Profile (takes 10 minutes, tops), and it’s really easy to fool the unsuspecting,” explains Foote. “You only need an email to set up a LinkedIn account. If LinkedIn intervenes at all, by the time they do, it’s too late.”
Why do it? It’s all about data — and finding information the unseemly types can use to do their own monetization scheme.
“Why do fakers do it? What’s the con?” asks Foote. “Mainly it’s mining for data that they can use or sell; your email is prized, but crooks love LinkedIn because the data is plentiful, contextual, correct, current, and easily nabbed. “
Foote does a takedown of a fake profile and elucidates how the game works, with fake images and all — including a rundown on a certain “Hazel Fisher” — whose idyllic good looks and all-American persona seem to be gracing profiles, ads, and other venues all across the web.
Any other telltale hints you’ve stumbled upon a fake?
“They’re almost never premium members, they rarely have recommendations, they lack experience and education, they don’t follow companies, and they have few connections and fewer endorsements,” says Foote.
In a world of proliferating profiles, LinkedIn probably has some professionals who aren’t all they seem to be.
But a word to the wise. Facebook probably has the same problem. Whether you “like it” or not.