Who determines what is inappropriate?

What is all the buzz regarding inappropriate behavior on LinkedIn these days? Many users are commenting on the updates showing pictures of lingerie, sexy photos, religion, politics, foul language or even intrusive remarks. Users are even complaining about food posts. Opinions are becoming stronger, and the war on what is right and what is wrong content and media on this professional social media site is on.

So you don’t like math problems? A lot of professionals respond to those, and comment “thank you for the break from my boring day at the office.” I worked in corporate finance most of my life, and I enjoyed the break from the monotony.

As I watch the platform’s transformation to what was once a social platform strictly used for “professional” purposes, to what is now a more eclectic social media platform, I am aware that we are in transition. I see well-respected CEO’s re-posting and commenting on sexy photos. No one reports “them”. Lately, I saw one of my own connections tell a model that posted a photo of herself posing in a dress, “this should be on Facebook.” In her update, she explained that she enjoys modeling part-time. Her day job is she is trying to launch a social platform of her own. She is a young entrepreneur and I appreciate the unique young woman that she is. As I thought about it more, modeling is a profession. Cooking is a professional. Being an artist is a profession. So, the more I considered it, I came to a realization that I have to support the professions of “everyone in my network.”

The question is, who determines what is a profession and what is not? There is an easy answer – no one. One of the problems with social media is it seems to foster opinions. Here is why I think that is. When people work in an office, they cannot say what is on their mind. If they did, they could risk being fired. So in real life, it is not so easy to voice your opinion, but you can to some extent on the internet. That’s right, you can go virtual and be yourself.

Personally, I do not want to see inappropriate photos or foul language on LinkedIn, and like many, I am on the site to read stories about business. Or am I? I do love art and fine dining. I also like travel and fashion. I do draw a line, but I understand that I have options.

It seems unclear why other users do not see all of these different professions as professions? If people are working and making money, then they work in an industry and have a profession. So, the bottom line is everybody is looking for what interests them on the platform. With almost 80% of LinkedIn users living outside of the U.S., what we have here are culture differences and diversity. How many times have you seen: “I want the old LinkedIn back..” Why does that remind me of Wendy Whiner? For those unfamiliar with what that means, it means someone who whines a lot.

Is it socially intelligent to think as a user you should only see posts that you want to see? Topics that only interest you? NO. One analogy could be that you would like every clothing store to only stock gray slacks and white shirts. How about radio stations should only play the songs that you like?

Now that users are posting more media and videos, the face of the platform has changed. If a user cannot evolve and change with the rest of the world and social media, then perhaps social media is not for that person. If a person cannot find time to click “I do not want to see this”, or “unfollow”, and prefers bullying someone, they are not socially intelligent (SI).

As someone who has a tendency to “over analyze” things, I try to look at issues from all point of views before judging. Who am I to judge anyway? I also understand that, like in the workplace, there is extreme cultural difference and diversity on social media. Many users from the U.S. have never even left the states, so it is hard for them to fathom the possibility that there are fewer filters, or perhaps even no filters, on platforms in Europe and Russia. Do you have accounts on Xing.com or VK.com? Check out the site page for Xing, it says “XING – the platform for business networking”. Sign up for an account and do compare.

Below is some information on internet speech that I find relative to some extent. I will point out that I tend to challenge source, and Wikipedia does make the following statement:

“This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources…”

Internet speech

In a 9–0 decision, the Supreme Court extended the full protection of the First Amendment to the Internet in Reno v. ACLU, a decision that struck down portions of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, a law that prohibited “indecent” online communication (that is, non-obscene material protected by the First Amendment). The court’s decision extended the same Constitutional protections given to books, magazines, films, and spoken expression to materials published on the Internet. Congress tried a second time to regulate the content of the Internet with the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). The Court again ruled that any limitations on the internet were unconstitutional in American Civil Liberties Union v. Ashcroft (2002).

Below is a great post that I found worth reading:

What are your digital rights? | Why do digital rights matter? | Privacy | Cyberespionage

If you are using social media, understand your rights. LinkedIn Corporation Headquarters is in Mountain View, CA. All users should take the time to read the user policy, and check regularly for updates. But please, if you are bullied and victimized, please do not put yourself in the hands of one help center person. People do make mistakes.

Understanding that we all have cultural and diverse differences, I would love for your to share a story.