This Person Doesn’t Work at Mi6

[Originally posted in 2011]

Linkedin is and will continue to be a cornerstone network for me as a Professional Social Networker. I’m a big fan of Linkedin, have met and collaborate with great people within the company in Canada and the United States on a semi-regular basis. It’s a great plaform, has tremendous potential and I’m excited about how I can use it for my clients, Silicon Halton (a grassroots hitech community I cofounded) and Mi6.

However, there are areas that need improvement including discussions organization/sorting in Linkedin Groups. I’ve blogged about this here (unfortunately nothing has changed…yet =) ).

Another area that needs improvement (they are trying) is Company Pages. A Company Page is essentially your Linkedin outpost for your company. Mine is for Mi6 and I employ two people full time at the moment with most of my project teams being freelancers or owners of small businesses themselves. The key nagging issue is having “Phantom Employees”.

What is a Phantom Employee? They are accounts/people that say they work for you when they don’t. I raised this issue here on Macleans.ca prompting a follow up interview by the reporter.

At that time I had numerous spys working at Mi6 which was kind of funny. But, I wanted them removed and had been waiting for months for Linkedin to remove them. They were finally removed and there is now a way for me to administrate my page and remove someone. Or is there?

As of today, if you were to check my company profile you’d notice that “Natural Born Killer” has joined Mi6 as a new employee. I’m not sure how someone would react to seeing that, for me it’s disconcerting. But, there is a fix for that… sort of.

Let’s take a look as I walk you through my experience of trying to remove this phantom employee.

Step 1: I discover this phantom employee

Step 2: Go to persons profile and flag them

Step 3: Identify why they are being flagged

Step 4: Linkedin confirms account has been removed

Step 5: Check to see if they are no longer associated to Mi6 account

It appears the issue has been resolved according to the notice above. Unfortunately, when I went back to check the Mi6 page the account was still associated to my company, my brand. As a test I had my CFO, Teresa, update her profile by adding the Mi6 URL address which would then have her added to the company page as an employee. No problem there.

Summary

I’ve heard that my company name, Mi6, could be a “target” for pranksters and maybe I should somehow tweak my name to prevent it from being one. While I appreciate the advice and Linkedin’s help to date, this is not practical, Mi6, is my company name and my brand. I’m sure there are other companies that people could associate themselves too in order to “pad” their resume (I hope they are few and far between).

I’m not advocating that a company page administrator act as an overlord or big brother and control who can and can’t associate themselves with a company. What I am saying is that blatant scam accounts and bogus accounts should be easily flagged, reviewed and removed. And, that Linkedin should have a proper fix that balances solving this issue without letting the company block legitimate people who have or are working for it.

Chris HerbertChris Herbert is the founder of Mi6. Mi6 is a B2B (Business to Business) marketing and business development agency dedicated to helping companies build their brands and develop commercial relationships. He is the founder of ProductCamp Toronto and the Hi-tech community Silicon Halton. He tweets under the handle @B2Bspecialist.

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