LinkedIn has many rules contained in its User Agreement. Some rules I agree with and some I don’t.
There are two rules contained in Section 10. LinkedIn User “Do’s” and “Don’ts”
of LinkedIn’s User Agreement that I don’t agree with and they are interrelated. See the text highlighted in Turquoise below:
LINKEDIN USER “DOS” and “DON’TS.”
As a condition to access LinkedIn, you agree to this User Agreement and to strictly observe the following DOs and DON’Ts:
1. Don’t undertake the following:
2. Publish inaccurate information in the designated fields on the profile form (e.g., do not include a link or an email address in the name field).
8. Upload, post, email, InMail, transmit or otherwise make available or initiate any content that:
c. Adds to a content field content that is not intended for such field (i.e. submitting a telephone number in the “title” or any other field, or including telephone numbers, email addresses, street addresses or any personally identifiable information for which there is not a field provided by LinkedIn);
In summary, don’t put your:
- E-mail address,
- Phone number, or
- Street address
in your Name Field, Headline (Tagline), Summary Section, or any other field in your LinkedIn Profile.
I wouldn’t worry too much about these rules, but I do know one person who had their LinkedIn account revoked because they had their phone number in their Name field. I think there was more to it than that, but based on this information, I did remove my E-mail address and phone number from my Name field and Headlines.
Now, it’s important to note that many LinkedIn employees and officials themselves violate the rules in the User Agreement, and in this case, I only had to scroll through 30 LinkedIn employees to find one who had their e-mail address in their Name field. So this rule is either unknown to its employees, or it doesn’t make sense to them so they are breaking it.
I agree with these rules not making sense. They seem completely at cross purposes with the mission of the LinkedIn itself:
“Connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
Does this mean, connecting the world’s professionals “only through LinkedIn — We discourage the world’s professionals from calling or e-mailing each other directly”????
Yes, most people include their e-mail address or phone number in their Contact information, but it’s not easy to get to and if you’re not connected to the person, you may not be able to get to it at all.
I believe that if a professional on LinkedIn wants to make it as easy for anyone on LinkedIn to contact them directly, they should be able to do that.
I know my goal is to make it as easy as possible for my potential Coaching clients to contact me, and LinkedIn, with this policy, is really in the end, making it harder for them to do so.
So what’s my recommendation for you? I think it’s very unlikely that LinkedIn will pull your account down for having your phone number and/or e-mail in your Name Field or Headline. And if they did, you could plead innocence (I didn’t know that was in the policy) and it would be easy to present examples of where their own employees are violating this policy. So I’m pretty sure they would reinstate you. So depending on your purpose for being on LinkedIn, it may be worth taking the risk.
And I hope that in the future, LinkedIn will review its policies to make sure that they support its stated mission.
LinkedIn, are you listening?