To accept or not to accept?
December 30, 2010 3:55 PM   Subscribe

I've received a linkedin invitation from someone I have never met and have a dubious connection with. I'm relatively new to linkedin myself, so I'm not sure of the etiquette in this situation.

This past summer I completed a three-month design internship at a large organization. I worked online with individuals from many different areas inside the company, and it is possible that I have forgotten some of their names.

However, I just received an invitation to join the network of someone who I am certain I've never met. The invitation was worded in a way that made it sound as though we'd worked together, but he's located across the country and there really is no conceivable way we worked together. His linkedin profile is a little odd-- no work experience, graduated from University of Nigeria in the '70s, says he's a general surgeon and scientist-- and so on.

Since I'm new to the professional world and linkedin, what is the best response? I don't have that many linkedin connections myself, so is it best to just accept the invitation and bulk up my connections list? Or is it best to be cautious about accepting invitations on linkedin?
posted by lockstitch to Work & Money (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ignore it! Accept invitations from people whom you know. And a lot of people limit them to only people in their field.
posted by jgirl at 3:59 PM on December 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Just ignore it.
posted by tel3path at 3:59 PM on December 30, 2010

People have different strategies. Some people accept everyone and reach out to everyone. (They put LION - Linked In Open Network or something) in their description.

Me, I only accept from people who I know and have worked with. When I get similar requests, I've said, "I'm embarrassed, but I don't recall our time working together." With a request to jog my memory, etc. The people I have worked with have chimed in with their name change or a memory including how fleeting or how long ago our experience was. People I haven't have usually apologized or explained why they wanted to connect.

Do whatever you're comfortable with. A big network that isn't very relevant isn't useful, imho.
posted by Gucky at 4:00 PM on December 30, 2010

Do not feel you are socially snubbing this shady connection by ignoring the request. This story is hitting the news today. Next thing you know your new 'friend' is telling you you've won the International Lottery!!!11!1!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 4:04 PM on December 30, 2010

If you want to accept the invite, accept it. If you don't want to, don't.

There's not much more to it than that.

Different people have different expectations and strategies with social media. You need to figure out what you're comfortable with here.
posted by dfriedman at 4:08 PM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I work in the media, so I get a lot of LinkedIn requests from people who advertise with my publication or are in some other way only vaguely connected with my workplace, much less me. I don't normally accept invitations to connect with most of these people, unless I've actually interviewed them or done business with them in some other capacity.
posted by limeonaire at 4:25 PM on December 30, 2010

My rule of thumb for me is that I accept requests from people I know [whether or not I've worked with them] and with people who take the time to put something personal/custom in the invite email that reminds me how I might know them or why they're adding/linking to me. The etiquette is pretty all over the map, but it's pretty rare to have someone have a freakout because you didn't link to them on linked in [I have dozens of people I never linke4d to and no one ever mentioned it to me and I've never heard another person complaining about this sort of thing] so if you don't want to accept the request, I think it's totally okay not to.
posted by jessamyn at 4:35 PM on December 30, 2010

There's very little risk to connecting with a "strange" person on LinkedIn, certainly much less risk than there is on Facebook.

Besides there being little to no good reason to connect, the biggest downside is these lesser-known acquaintances will be allowed to "direct message" you, or their LinkedIn status updates will be displayed on your LinkedIn home page. They may also be able to view your contacts.

Each of these scenarios is easily managed.

In short, there's no reason *not* to connect with someone if they pass a basic sniff test.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:38 PM on December 30, 2010

Ignore. I once got a LinkedIn request from an eBay vendor who'd punitively negative-feedback'ed me after I gave them a neutral review. That was surprising to say the least, and easy to refuse.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 4:42 PM on December 30, 2010

The only LinkedIn requests I ignore are the obvious scammers, which this sounds like. I'll connect with any legitimate person, which would include pretty much anybody on Ask MeFi. I have low standards :)
posted by COD at 4:43 PM on December 30, 2010

People who have paid for a membership are able to e-mail the contacts of their friends. You would not want this (obvious) scammer being able to use your profile as a way to spam your legitimate contacts. Reject.
posted by stoneweaver at 5:27 PM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thank you! It sounds as though it'll be best to just ignore this guy. :)
posted by lockstitch at 8:13 PM on December 30, 2010

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