5 Tips To Understand and Get Out of LinkedIn Group Posting Jail

LinkedIn Top ContributorFortunately I was visiting with family and focused on enjoying our time together when I got this surprise about my LinkedIn “group posting status” appearing across any and all my pages.

The message in a blue box, on the right side of every page read, “Your posts are now being moderated group wide.” Group Wide Auto Moderation or GWAM.

What?! The groups where I contribute actively, that contribution scale on the right of the window will show “Top Contributor.”

The message of posts being moderated brought on feelings of surprise, frustration and even anger. This last feeling after I tracked down the LinkedIn explanation which is specifically vague. After all, if you don’t know what caused the problem how can you fully correct it and recover.

It almost felt I was given a jail sentence.

Another blogger, Jen Dewar, used the term SWAM, “site wide auto moderation” in a post on her blog, “Help! I’ve been SWAM’d on LinkedIn! Actually many people refer to that term.

I believe more appropriately it’s GWAM because you are still able to post LinkedIn status updates. But whether it’s SWAM or GWAM it is certainly something to track down, act on and correct. Here are 5 tips to understand and be able to get out of LinkedIn group posting jail.

It can be because of one contribution to just one group that LinkedIn does not identify for the accused, which marked as spam or flagged irrelevant.

For me it was hard to say how recent the post was. It could have been years ago since people often jump on posts that go back as far as I’ve seen to 5 years ago.

You know the kind of perpetual posts I mean: highly popular and evergreen content posts or a post that is the moderators invitation to promote yourself in some way.

Only two possibilities in the LinkedIn help explain why a “group wide auto moderation” status message would appear everywhere once you log in:

Spam – I don’t tolerate it, I even report it, but I do not do it.

Irrelevant – that made me smile. Seriously? An introvert say something irrelevant? Not in my estimation.

 1. Know each LinkedIn group’s rules.

I’m usually pretty careful to read a group’s profile to see what the moderator finds to fall in unacceptable post. Sometimes I’ll miss something like – no links to your own blog posts. Yikes. I’m sorry for that.

One moderator also pointed out that groups can be fully moderated normally meaning, and all member’s posts are moderated. Those group owners or moderators simply have a preference to look at each post before making it active. That also might be in the group’s profile.

2. Ask for help.

Being one who values learning first hand, I thought I would test the GWAM. I selected five to ten of the groups I am most active in and labeled a new discussion: Has this ever happened to you: all group posts are moderated?

LinkedIn_Comment_in_Moderation

Up pops a message I don’t get in those active groups. This was another shock. After all, it was a group it’s a group my contributions are regular but now, my posts are going into moderation?

Some people having experienced this had helpful information. Most people did not understand what would cause such an action by LinkedIn.

It was also consoling that many people commented that they knew me from my discussion shares and supported my disbelief. Someone commented “You are the last person I would expect to have this happened.” So I was not going crazy by the question I kept asking myself – how did this happen?

3. Understand how GWAM can happen.

Under every post in a group discussion is a phrase “flag as inappropriate.” This is a multi-purpose notification of either irrelevant, inappropriate or spam content. It’s the group moderator who decides what action to take.

If someone’s take on your post gives them any of these ideas, think about how you can control this in the future with a possible rewording.

If someone accidentally selects this, there is no reversing it. A couple of people mentioned that this was something they did and of course, were so sorry for it.

4. Be patient.

If you are in GWAM you can still post a discussion but your post must go to the group management team before it appears. Understand that some moderators work full time and do not get to posts immediately.

5. Go direct.

LinkedIn suggests you can contact the moderator directly and request to have the block removed and your name removed from moderation. The group moderator will not know which post was the problem but they can get you active again.

You’ll never know which LinkedIn post or group was the problem to put you in moderation status.

Nor do you know which group the post was in. For me going direct to each moderator seemed daunting in being in about 50 groups. However it did seem the right time to prune things down and now, there are just 40 for me.

Maybe choosing the groups I was most active in first helped with “Get out of LinkedIn Jail” card quickly. Within four days, I was posting.

Have you had this happen to you?

What were some of your findings?

 

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Comments

  1. Pat – a very timely post because I just received the same notification this week. I’m very careful about posting to groups so I’m a little mystified that one of my posts was considered spam. As you say, you never know which group it was. I only post to the relevant groups depending on the topic. Frustrating, but I’m not going to go to every group asking for a report card. Eventually, if you’re a “good girl” you get out of the dog house.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Problem Solving With the “Five Whys”My Profile

  2. Shish… you’ve certainly had a bunch of crap happen to you of late. You an Spammer… never, never, never. I haven’t had it happen to me, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t. I hope you get it all figured out. Good luck with this and keep us posted. :-)
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Bend In The Road: #Story – #MusingMy Profile

  3. It seems to me you are being penalized for being active. A lot of time newbies don’t understand the magnitude of marking content they may not like or agree with as spam. Please send a link to your post to the folks at LinkedIn. This may be something they can work on improving for the benefit of everyone.
    Theresa Wagar recently posted…Accessing Gravity Forms Responses or Entries in WordPressMy Profile

  4. I have not had this experience. It seems that you have had your fair share of things like this to deal with of late. Sheepers….
    Cheryl Therrien recently posted…United Plant Savers: ConferenceMy Profile

  5. Happened to me as well, as Pat knows. It was a Linkedin group that belongs to a Swedish headhunter/events organiser. Suddenly they had removed and blocked me from the group. Not sure why? Most likely because I neither applied to the positions they were filling nor participated in events they organised? But once someone clicks block you are blocked in all groups on Linkedin.

    Anyway, in groups where I know the manager I was swiftly taken out of moderation. And I have since this happened also started a group on Linkedin.

    Seriously, Linkedin is making a mistake when they allow group managers to block someone in all groups. A manager in a bad mood can take their frustration out on members of the group. Even someone who has never posted anything in the group.

    It has happened to hundreds of thousands of Linkedin members so it’s not worth wasting time and energy on it. Just make managers take you out of moderation and leave it at that. Quite a few managers have taken me out of moderation without me even asking.
    Catarina recently posted…Entrepreneurship – do genes play a part?My Profile

    • Catarina now that is a most disturbing consideration: that a group manager could be in a bad mood and take this action. I really hope not!
      Patricia Weber recently posted…Introverts unique power tools in sellingMy Profile

      • Have you ever come across a bully on Linkedin? Or worse, someone who thrives on insulting others? I have and that kind of people would get a kick out of causing problems for other members. They don’t even have to be group managers to put other members in jail:-)

        Linkedin really should change their rule. To block someone in one group is one thing but in all the millions of Linkedin groups with one click?
        Catarina recently posted…Entrepreneurship – do genes play a part?My Profile

    • Wow! That’s shocking, Catarina! I had no idea LI gave that power to group moderators! As you say, it gives the right for one individual to ‘blacklist’ for something that was likely an innocent mistake, as in the case of Pat. Yikes! I had no idea there were “spam” police on LI moderating our every word! Thx so much for this post, Pat. I sure hope you don’t encounter any more difficulties, as I’ve always found your comments to be most relevant.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…a profile of Executive Chef Hubert Des Marais IVMy Profile

  6. hi patricia; the one thing I thought about while reading this post is as a blind computer user would I easily notice the announcement that I had been put in this status to start with. I also recently reduced my number of group memberships mainly just to cut down on emails from groups that I wasn’t finding reasons to be active in. I do use the selector for promotions instead of general whenever my post is business related. I hope this helps keep me off the moderated list. thanks for sharing how you got out of jail. as more people learn about the power of linked in, we are bound to see more things like this site wide moderation cropping up in the future. take care max
    maxwell ivey recently posted…Think I’m ready to be an inspirationMy Profile

  7. Wow, never heard of sweeping moderation and I thought I knew a lot about LinkedIn. Sounds very random to me since you do follow the rules. Makes me feel like LinkedIn is not as cool as I thought it was. I am so sorry this happened. I hope you are removed from moderation soon. Not fair at all for someone who is involved and taking the opportunity to online network seriously!
    Laurie Hurley recently posted…A Small Act Of KindnessMy Profile

  8. I feel for you. LinkedIn put the Group Posting suspension on me once. Talk about frustrating. Not only because I could not think of what I had done wrong but also because I could not find out what I had done wrong. Like you, it got lifted relatively quickly but made me very cautious moving forward. I ultimately figured someone had accidentally click the inappropriate flag. It’s a little to easy to mess with people. Tim
    Tim recently posted…Bollywood SoundtrackMy Profile

  9. OK this is a new one to me. Maybe Linkedin sees it as spam because that same thing is being repeated. Don’t know if this will work, but try changing your wording for each group. Google doesn’t like repeat content who knows if Linkedin jump on the bandwagon
    Arleen recently posted…Shark Tank Judge Daymond John’s Success Through BrandingMy Profile

    • Arleen, in one way you are correct as I just learned in a LinkedIn Challenge of 21 days: before you post content in a group, make sure some other member has not posted it. I didn’t ever do that but I figure going forward, for the 30 to 60 seconds that might take, times the group I MIGHT share it with, it will be worth it.
      Patricia Weber recently posted…Introverts unique power tools in sellingMy Profile

  10. Hi Patricia, good info and good attitude. I have not yet experienced the problem but just the fact of knowing that it would apply to all groups is a great starting point. I agree it never helps to get righteous in these situations, just pointing out the facts and ones track record to each party makes perfect sense and I’m glad you got it sorted out
    Paul Graham recently posted…Lost for Words ?My Profile

  11. Thank you for the tips on how to get out of LinkedIn jail. I think being active in 40 groups would be a full-time job in and of itself.
    Michele Harvey recently posted…Traveling Solo Through Chile For Personal Growth – Part 2My Profile

  12. That’s awful :( But thank you for posting about your experience so if I ever find myself GWAM list, I know what to do.

  13. The group that brought me to BHB had all my posts on moderation and I contacted one of the admin ladies who said all posts were moderated, however I did note that some people had complained and been sorted out. It seemed a discretion issue and I just left it like that. I however did not have it as a Group wide thingy and so I guess it did not bug me that much. Will tread with caution going forward.

    • Yes Welli, I had no idea about group moderators purposefully making the moderation group wide until this happened. I’ve wondered why that happened and it took this situation to understand why I occasionally saw that message about my post going into moderation for review. But finding out that ONE group has a domino affect is the broader lesson, yes.
      Patricia Weber recently posted…Introverts unique power tools in sellingMy Profile

  14. Hi Patricia,
    I have not had the GWAM experience, nor do I care to. I think being thrown in LinkedIn group posting jail is unfair if it happens simply because someone clicked ‘flag as inappropriate’ by accident without recourse. I think LinkedIn should at least have an ‘Undo this action’ option.
    William Butler recently posted…Life Lessons From A PuzzleMy Profile

  15. Great idea William. Wonder if LinkedIn would listen to such a suggestion? In particular as it is my understanding, you can FLAG a post as inappropriate or spam accidentally, without an UNFLAG action. Thanks.
    Patricia Weber recently posted…Introverts unique power tools in sellingMy Profile

  16. It is funny how many of these sites which are supposed to help us, networking, promoting etc., end up being a pain. We need more informative articles like this to help us.

  17. I only had it happen to me once…and it was a case of bullying with me as the intended target. I did email the moderator who was so harried (she has a full time real job) that she said she’d take a look at it in a week or two. Frankly, after going back through some of my posts I decided that the group really wasn’t for me, so I dropped it. I can see where it could be daunting to “run the rabbit” and it would be nice if they could find a way to let the offender know some more details on the infraction so that one might go about correcting things!
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Flirt… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  18. It neve happened to me. So, it is new information. Thanks for giving tips to overcome such a situation.
    Bindu recently posted…DIY texture making for Mixed Media Back groundsMy Profile

  19. I feel your pain, Patricia. I was a SWAM victim about four months ago. Your experience tells me LinkedIn hasn’t changed a thing about their policies since then. It happened to me just as I was becoming more active in LinkedIn groups. And the result is that I reduced my group participation and membership. LinkedIn might want me to be more social and active in its groups, but SWAM has had the opposite effect. I’m not going to waste too much time on a platform that has such a punitive policy. If they change the policy, I’ll reconsider my group participation. The BHB group is one of the few that I stick with, and it’s because we comment on each other’s blogs – which are outside of LinkedIn’s (or some angry member’s or moderator’s) control.

  20. Patricia Weber
    Twitter:
    says:

    Less group participation – the unintended consequence of LInkedIn’s handling of this.
    Patricia Weber recently posted…Introverts unique power tools in sellingMy Profile

  21. This is new to me so thanks for sharing the information. I think it’s time for me to reduce the no of Groups I have joined.
    Mina Joshi recently posted…Silent Sunday: Ondhwo/Handvo with quinea, bulgur and chickpea dallMy Profile

  22. I am new to LinkedIn so I haven’t had this happen to me (yet). It is good to know that this can happen and what to do about it. I find it extremely unhelpful that LinkedIn doesn’t let you know what post or group was the culprit. Thanks for sharing!
    Heidi Lane recently posted…It’s OK to Say NoMy Profile

    • Nice to meet you Heidi. Looking forward to learning about your posts. Yes; I don’t believe there is any noted time line to LinkedIn membership that makes one of us more vulnerable than another. It’s either someone not in agreement of your post, a moderator who might (as a couple of people indicated) not like what you shared that day or someone accidentally flagging your comment.
      Patricia Weber recently posted…Introverts unique power tools in sellingMy Profile

  23. Hi Patricia – I was put in LinkedIn jail on BHB probably because I made a spam comment – at the time I didn’t know I was spamming (I thought spam was aggressive selling or promoting something). I also appealed to LinkedIn who couldn’t help but fortunately BHB has the best manager possible, Susan Cooper, and she got me out of the blue box.
    I think there must be a better way – it would be nice if you were told why. Since I’m probably one of the newer members I really don’t have any solutions, but it is frustrating. I’m glad things worked out for you – I know how I felt and it wasn’t nice.
    Lenie
    Lenie recently posted…20 Tips for Healthier Eating, Some Savings.My Profile

  24. That’s a bad run of luck you’ve been having lately. I’m sure in my early LinkedIn days, I deserved to be banned when I spammed a handful of groups with links to blog posts. Now I’m only active in a couple of groups, but it’s good to know something like sweeping moderation can happen.
    Jeri recently posted…#WriteTip: How to Compile an Ebook in Scrivener (PC Version)My Profile

  25. Thankfully I’ve never had it happen to me but 40 groups? Wow my hat comes off to you. I have even had chance to visit the few I have signed up for! lol

  26. I’ve never had this happen to me but am very scared at the prospect of it. I’m still in the stages of building my brand and hope that I don’t come off as a spammer. This post was highly enlightening. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Carl recently posted…A Day at the Korean DMVMy Profile

  27. That happened to me a few months ago. I was pissed. I was able to post within a couple of days. I still don’t have the slightest idea who could have marked my posts as spam though.
    Jason B recently posted…10 Things Every College Freshman Should Have In Their Dorm RoomMy Profile

  28. I find that LinkedIn is one of these great tools that can be very useful but hard to handle. It’s a challenge to keep up with all their changes. It’s possible that this is one of those “improvements” that backfired on them. Thanks for outlining the ways to avoid falling into this situation – it hasn’t happened to me, but if it does, I’ll know what to do!
    Krystyna Lagowski recently posted…Frolicking with the 2015 VW Golf/GTIMy Profile

  29. This hasn’t happened to me yet, but thanks for the helpful information. I will be more mindful now of following group rules so that I can hopefully avoid being GWAM’d.

  30. Patricia,
    As you know, I responded to your post on our Bloggers Helping Bloggers group. I still remember the day when LinkedIn implemented this change (being blocked from one group affects all groups). I don’t know of any group manager that condones this but LinkedIn never asked us.

    From the perspective of a group manager, I can attest that LinkedIn is not the easiest group to navigate. I believe the infrastructure is outdated. I don’t know if you remember but a couple of years ago, I ran into an issue where I could not accept new members into our group. The problem is that our group is a sub-group of another group. (I am not the original manager and did not set it up this way.)

    What happened was that the manager of the parent group passed away. His wife assumed the managerial position but understandably, she was grieving and was not approving new members to her group which was required for them to join our group. I’m telling everyone this because I tried several times to work with LinkedIn and their answer was basically “that’s the way it is”. Many frustrated people called me and there was nothing I could do to help them.

    LinkedIn is an old quirky system that (I believe) should be revamped. Just last week, I accidentally declined the membership request of the wrong person. That was it. There was no way to undo it. There was no way to find out who it was. Game over. I vaguely remembered the person’s name and tried searching for her but I had no way of knowing who it was. LinkedIn can be frustrating. On the other hand, it’s my number one network for relationship building.

    Hang in there. Between your Google webspam action and now this, the Internet seems to be really testing you!
    Sherryl Perry recently posted…Ready To Take Your Blog to the Next Level? #FridayFindsMy Profile

  31. Hi Patricia. It happened to me last year and I know the Group Manager who did it. It was a Group for Bloggers and I asked for an opinion from the Group about a particular topic that I was researching for a presentation. Harmless enough. I got a warning, I apologized privately even though I was falsely accused of self-promotion. :)

    Interestingly, there were few discussions in that Group and plenty of self-promotion.

    The strange part was that I never got a notification of being under moderation and LinkedIn’s generic reply did not help. So I wrote to 50 Group Managers and some were kind enough to respond and lift the ban while others did not bother.

    There was a silver lining to this dark cloud – I finally had a good look at all my Groups, decided which ones were redundant and left the Group to find more relevant Groups where my participation was welcome.
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…Keeping problems simpleMy Profile

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