Sunday, May 03, 2009

Very Sleazy Functionality from LinkedIn

I just went through LinkedIn's process where is scans and harvests your webmail (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, YahooMail, etc) to create a list of potential invitiess. I only invite existing LinkedIn members--I don't spam spam people who either aren't on LinkedIn, or (more likely) are on, but using a different email address. Of course, LinkedIn insists on compiling a list of everybody, encouraging you to spam all those email addresses.

I can live with that, it is self-serving, borderline sleazy, but totally expected, and it doesn't interfere with my process. What you have to do is Un-Select All, then scroll through the list, only checking off people with icons denoting that that email addresses matches a LinkedIn member. No big deal. When you are done, you click SEND INVITATION. Simple enough.

But what came next totally took my by surprise. Almost instaneously, and clearly chained to the prior SEND INVITATIONS action, the UI automatically populated the remainder of the list--that is, the very email addresses I deliberately un-checked!!!--into the Send Invitations box.

It happened so fast, it was hard to notice. In fact, if you weren't paying close attention, you might think the first SEND INVITATIONS did not work, so you would re-click. And in doing so, instantly, irreversibly (I assume irreversibly, I'm not going to try it and find out!), you would have spammed who knows how many email addresses with that invitation!

Very unacceptable, deceptive, downright sleazy corporate behavior. This is the same mentality that re-checks the "opt-in" checkboxes, every time you make a change to your account profile.

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