For many women, LinkedIn feels like the professional equivalent of Facebook minus the baby photos and political commentary. It’s a space for working professionals looking to build connections and move up the ladder in their career. But it seems that LinkedIn has also become the place to flirt for some people – even if the platform was not originally intended for this purpose.
This was brought to the forefront when 27-year-old human rights lawyer Charlotte Proudman received a message from married, 57-year-old lawyer Alexander Carter-Silk on LinkedIn congratulating her on a recent success and telling her that she is “absolutely stunning.” The exchange went viral and caused a national debate about workplace etiquette. Many women came forward with similar stories.
A number of men have since come out with statements arguing that the platform’s professional nature should not stop them from approaching women for romantic or sexual purposes. However, women have spoken out against these claims. In the #MeToo era, inappropriate advances are never acceptable whether they’re online or in person and LinkedIn should take action to make its site a safe space for its users.
Luckily, there are some simple ways to protect your LinkedIn profile from being used as a dating app. The easiest way is to log in with a private account which will hide your activity from others. You can do this by going to your account settings and selecting the option “How Others See Your Activity on LinkedIn”. This will ensure that your activities are hidden from all other members of the network.