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What's Your Take on LinkedIn SWAM?
Posted on February 20th 2014
Unable to post comments in groups immediately? All your discussions and comments go under review in Each & Every group? Have you been affected by LinkedIn SWAM too? Welcome to the group :) (I know you’d rather not!)
The entire story began about a year back when LinkedIn introduced (very discreetly) a 'security feature' into their groups. This feature, called Site Wide Auto Moderation, or SWAM by the LinkedIn police says, “Any time a group member’s recent contribution to a group is marked as spam or flagged for not being relevant, that member’s posts to all their other groups are automatically subject to approval by group management.”
A lot has been written by “LinkedIn loyal” users about this policy. People were enraged on being SWAM’d. However, LinkedIn did very little to pacify their users. The end objective – to stop spams in groups; was being met after all!
So now that we know, after over a year of introducing SWAM, LinkedIn is not going to take any action, let’s move on to finding a solution to it. After LinkedIn signal ceased to exist, LinkedIn groups are our last ray of hope for lead generation on this platform.
I work on LinkedIn groups day in and day out in my current role, so needless to say it was a real blow when I realized that I had been SWAM’d. I read up almost all the articles that were there, talking about SWAM. Even though I felt a little better after knowing that I wasn’t the only one, it was time to take some action. Here’s what you must do:
- Contact LinkedIn customer service, let them know that you’ve been SWAM’d. They won’t be of much help because the mechanism that changes a member’s posting permission is automated and cannot be reversed by LinkedIn Customer Support. They cannot provide a list of which groups blocked a member either due to privacy restrictions. So much for having a customer support cell :)
- The best way to go about this is message ALL the group owners/managers. That’s what I did. I messaged all the 53 group owners and informed them that all my posts and comments are being moderated instead of being posted immediately. I also told them how valuable being a part of their group is for me and that I would love to participate further without spamming their group (I knew that I actually wasn’t spamming, but when the ball is not in your court, it’s better to give in :) )
- I was very surprised when I received a 90% reply rate the very next day! Most of them said that they had not done anything to put my posts under moderation. You have to then inform them about how to “unSWAM” you in their group, post which you will fall under the normal group policies. Under the “Manage” tab of their group they will see the “Participants” option, under that when they click on “Blocked” your name will be visible. They will have to click on “Approve”, post which you will be removed from the effect of SWAM in that particular group. It is a painful process but it is the ONLY way!
LinkedIn is a very credible platform and it aims to stay so by taking (sometimes) challenging decisions. The positive outcome of SWAM – I do see a drastic drop in spam in all the LinkedIn groups :)
Do let me know your LinkedIn SWAM experience in the comments section below. I would love to know how everyone dealt with it.