LinkedIn Combats InMail Harassment Through New Detection System

Women face a lot of harassment in the world, and the rise of social media has in some ways lead to harassment becoming a lot more common than it was before. Even a social media platform like LinkedIn which is more or less meant for the building of professional networks and finding new professional opportunities has a serious harassment problem. This becomes even more concerning when you realize that if LinkedIn is unable to provide a professional and harassment free environment for women it will no longer be considered a viable place for people to network an end up finding job opportunities.

In order to help prevent this from being as much of an issue and potentially even stopping it from happening entirely, LinkedIn has put a new system in place. The first step to this was ascertaining the three most common forms of harassment on the platform. The first involved unsolicited inappropriate messages such as romantic advances. LinkedIn is not meant for this kind of usage, rather it is meant solely for professional purposes and romantic advances from people they don’t even know can be anywhere from annoying to downright scary for the women receiving these messages. The second involves romance scams which is when the recipient of a romantic advance consents to it only to have it involve some kind of fraud or scam. The third type is the least common but it is still relevant, and it involves targeted harassment where off platform disputes result in trolling and stalking on the platform itself.

The data surrounding these three types of harassment are fed into an algorithm which gives a user a score before relaying their message to the recipient. First, their behavior is scored based on their past usage of the platform. Cases of harassment messages are then used to identify whether or not the content of the message constitutes harassment. Thirdly, the interaction during the conversation is also gauged based on the length of replies and how often replies are coming.

Photo: Shutterstock / wichayada suwanachun

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