A LinkedIn user has been praised after brilliantly shutting down a man for treating the professional networking site “like Tinder”.
Abigail McAlpine posted a screenshot of a message sent to her by a fellow user, with the caption: “Please do not use this website like Tinder, I don’t invite these comments with my profile or my work. I don’t care if it’s blunt, it’s not what LinkedIn is for. It’s becoming far too common.”
She explained to The Huffington Post UK: “I was really frustrated that it was becoming so common. I don’t think I’m good looking so I can’t imagine what it’s like for others. I already had a pretty strong network on LinkedIn and have gotten a lot of contacts and opportunities from it in the past but this increase in inappropriate messaging and comments have become really devaluing to the platform.”
Her screenshot showed a man named Dermot Conway opened the conversation not with a “hello” or some chit-chat about business - but with “you are beautiful”.
McAlpine, a marketing and business consultant, was having none of it...
She asked him to “please act like a professional” but Conway just didn’t seem to get the message.
“A simple ‘thank you’ would have sufficed hunni. Be more nice. This is a nice website for nice people,” he said.
But McAlpine was quick to set him straight.
She replied: “You’re misinformed, the LinkedIn mission statement is ‘to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful’.
“Not ‘use it to message women the same you would on Tinder without the need to match them, because it’s irrelevant whether they want your attention or not, they should be thankful for your compliments on their looks on a professional website’.
“I’m not grateful for your comment. I find it entirely unprofessional that you’re using this platform to message women, so why would I thank you?”
Her post has received more than 24,000 likes.
She explained to HuffPost UK that this seemed to be wider problem: “I’ve talked to friends who have said they’ve had similar issues and I realised that the report function doesn’t work like it does on Facebook, it has little to no result other that hiding them from your newsfeed (as far as we can see), I’ve not met anyone who is actually happy with the results of reporting someone on LinkedIn.
“Blocking doesn’t fix the issue as they just move on to someone else without learning anything, because let’s face it - it’s not really about the person their approaching, in most cases anything will do, it’s not a compliment.”
Conway later appeared to have deleted his LinkedIn account.
McAlpine went on to post an update in which she explained that, contrary to some comments, this was not a “marketing ploy”.
She added: “The sender became more threatening later - to the point of me reporting him to the police - when I said I would take his comments further he deleted his account. Convenient, I’m aware.
“Yes, I could have ignored or blocked him, it doesn’t fix the issue of him approaching random women on the Internet.
“When I posted the printscreen I was frustrated about the downfall of this website and saw it as a last ditch attempt to raise awareness about the issue. It’s an attitude problem about what is perceived as an OK way to navigate this platform.”
She also responded to comments that her profile picture was “unprofessional”, insinuating she was somehow asking for comments like Conway’s, by posting a previous profile picture.
A number of people praised McAlpine’s actions on LinkedIn.
User Joseph de Lacey said: “This is all about power, this man when giving these “compliments” and they were rejected still had to take control. Well done Abigail, and you are right it is a business network.”
Christy Durbin said: “Love your response!”
Maze Abu-Ali added: “Totally agree. Many clowns use Linked like they use Facebook or match sites. Ignorance is becoming overwhelming.”
McAlpine told the Huffington Post UK that she had received a “mixed response”, both positive and negative, to her post.
She said: “Different people have said various things along the lines of attacking my appearance - which I still don’t care about (my personal opinion is that I’m not good looking but it’s still a professional platform and such comments are irrelevant, blaming my appearance (which I think is quite frankly insulting to the male gender to suggest that they don’t have any self control - there are plenty of respectful men on the website, many have commented in support which I greatly value).
“And also people saying I should be grateful for his comments and say thank you.”
She added: “I’ve also had a lot of support and people saying they’ve had similar issues.”