How to deal with a misbehaving LinkedIn member

First let me share some good articles to read from some academic and other friends of mine:

The logo of the modern Flat Earth Society
The logo of the modern Flat Earth Society (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to deal with a misbehaving LinkedIn member

If you manage any groups, there are always members who like to break the rules.

Let me give an example.  In one writing group I manage, somebody kept posting writing jobs.  The jobs appeared to be bogus, as other members mentioned.  I finally had to flag this member’s permissions, so I could check their postings before approval.  They kept posting this same bogus job listing – day after day.

Now I like to keep away from discussions and let everyone post freely.  Recently, I was contacted by a couple of members in a copywriting group.  This one member kept making an absurd statement and others tried to prove him wrong.  Some member wrote about it in his blog:

  • Isn’t it obvious what a copywriter does? –  obvious

In this blog, the person summed up the problem here:

“One member (let’s call him Craig; names have been changed to protect the ignorant) was the first to reply to a thread about job finding tips with, ‘I’m a copywriter, do you know what a copywriter does? They work for ad agencies. Do you work for an ad agency?’ You may think that the answer has nothing to do with the topic. You’d be right.”

Craig, mesmerized
Craig, mesmerized (Photo credit: The Sharpteam)

Let me add to this:

It also means that whoever composed the Wiki entry at Wiki on copywriting  got everything wrong. They say “Most copywriters are employees within organizations such as advertising agencies, public relations firms, company advertising departments, large stores, marketing firms, broadcasters and cable providers, newspapers, book publishers and magazines. Copywriters can also be independent contractors who freelance for a variety of clients, at the clients’ offices or working from their own, or partners or employees in a specialized copywriting agency.”

Nor do I feel his  is an opinion the American Association of Adverting Agencies (agency membership body) would endorse nor agree with.

Three theories

Let me follow the protocol of the other blogger and call this person Craig.

Craig made a statement that sounded completely absurd. There were three hypotheses going on:

  • Craig was serious with this statement and everyone tried to disprove him.
  • Craig had some ulterior motive in his statement.
  • Craig was having some fun with us. Perhaps others were in on this joke and helping things along.

I took the second hypothesis. Craig was too intelligent, well-educated and experienced to truly believe what he was saying. And the fact that no other agency member stepped forth, gave credence to this theory.

In the end, Craig said he was just having some fun.  But he exhibits behavior that lends credence to the second hypothesis.

The person’s complaint

The person complained they have the right of free speech.

The Hatfield Clan of the Hatfield-McCoy-feud.
The Hatfield Clan of the Hatfield-McCoy-feud. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We do have first amendment rights of free speech. That’s why there is a Flat Earth Society (see Flat Earth ) and folks who are members can believe in a flat earth. And there is an also a fairy tale about the boy who cried wolf (see Boy who cried wolf ).

I am trained in the field of psychology and have a good amateur understanding of philosophy and theology.  Before coming to LinkedIn, I used to hang out on theology and philosophy forums. But there is one difference there. All participants try to prove their case. No participant ever states something as “self-evident” and then waits for others to disprove it (see Self-evidence ).


Craig’s stated position is not rocket science.  He said he’s stating a fact and I say the fact is not “self-evident”.  But the conflict over his positions with other members is an exercise in group moderation.  For this reason I permit it.  It means I have to wear a psychologist’s hat.

Once in an undergraduate physics class, the genius chemistry major said this about the test: “It’s like beating a dead horse (see Wiki at Dead horse beating ).”  That saying would sum up my feeling about adding any more input to the discussion.

And if you want to watch something good, catch the History channel’s Hatfield and McCoy feud online video replay at Video replays.



3 thoughts on “How to deal with a misbehaving LinkedIn member

  1. Even if Craig the Proofreader was simply a troll or just an unrelenting fool, it was fun to watch from a distance. There are other dead horses to beat, so we should be moving on.

    Is it ZIP Code, zip code or Zip Code?

    1. I did a second blog post on this topic entitled “The aftermath of the misbehaving LinkedIn group member” at

      I was afraid that one member would get the medieval riddle wrong: “how many angels could dance on the head of a pin?” The correct riddle is ” how many can do it on the point of a needle,” according to the Straight Dope column at

      Now as to Zip Code? I did call the local public library, adult reference librarian. ZIP Code is trademarked either by the Post Office or some related government body. She did try to find it in the AP style book – but to no avail. But databases like Reference USA prefer the Post Office trade mark version – ZIP Code.

      So another dead horse has beaten the dust?

      1. But the Wiki entry at says, “ZIP code was originally registered as a servicemark (a type of trademark) by the U.S. Postal Service, but its registration has since expired.”. So we have a bit of a mystery here. The reference librarian says the postal website uses “ZIP Code” with the trademark symbol after it. But both the US Postal Website and Reference USA capitalize the C in Code, while the Wiki article uses a small c in code.

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