For months I have been in the throes of an ethical dilemma on LinkedIn as one of my best mates repeatedly endorses me for skills I would never dare put on my own resume – “Press releases, word processing, PowerPoint.” Problem being, I am reluctant to endorse him in return for the fact that he is a dubiously underqualified personal trainer, sporting a suspicious-looking beer gut. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great bloke and a killer opening batsman but I just don’t feel comfortable endorsing him for skills I’m not sure he possesses. Nevertheless, as he digs me in the ribs, jokingly chastising me about never endorsing him in return my only response is “Oh that old thing, nobody uses LinkedIn anymore”, when I know for a fact that is blatantly untrue.
Such is my problem with LinkedIn – it is so easy to lie and users in certain circumstances even feel obligated to to lie out of loyalty to their friends. These untruths are becoming more prevalent and are in fact inhibiting the success and integrity of the platform in the business world (Hanson, 2014). It is through this practice that LinkedIn is being devalued as a platform – so much so as to raise the question of whether ethical guidelines are being broken in the process of frivolously endorsing people for skills they don’t have (Ambrogi, 2014). I have decided to monitor my LinkedIn less often now so I have an excuse for my mate when next he asks me why I am not reciprocating his endorsements – in essence a lose – lose situation when it comes to networking on the platform that hit 200 million users early last year (Pozin, 2013).
Ambrogi, R. (2014). Do LinkedIn’ Endorsements Violate Legal Ethics? Retrieved from http://www.lawsitesblog.com/2013/05/do-linkedin-endorsements-violate-legal-ethics.html
Hanson, A. (2014). The lie of the LinkedIn endorsement and recommendation. Retrieved fromhttp://www.arikhanson.com/2013/07/17/the-lie-of-the-linkedin-endorsement-and-recommendation/
Pozin, I. (2013). 200 Million Users? LinkedIn is Just Getting Started. Retrieved fromhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2013/04/18/200-million-users-linkedin-is-just-getting-started/?&_suid=140478288972607242027928587049