Lesson of the day: LinkedIn is not a dating site.
Marketing consultant Abigail McAlpine publicly shamed an aggressive online admirer who used the business-oriented social network “like Tinder.”
On July 7, McAlpine shared a screenshot of her exchange with a male user named Dermot Conway. She captioned the image: “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.”
McAlpine received her first private message from Conway on July 3. “You are beautiful,” he wrote to her. Her response: “This is a professional website, please act like a professional.”
That’s when things turned ugly. “A simple ‘thank you’ would have sufficed hunni,” he snapped. “Be more nice. This is a nice website for nice people.”
“You’re misinformed, the LinkedIn mission statement is ‘to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful,'” the 26-year-old from Yorkshire, England, explained to Conway. “Not use it to message women the same way you would on Tinder without the need to match them.”
But Conway wasn’t close to being done. “A compliment is still a compliment, no matter which website it is,” he wrote, before adding, “you definitely must be a total lesbian 100%!!!”
McAlpine tells Us Weekly that simply blocking the aggressor wouldn’t have solved the problem. “People who use the website in this way are just going to move on to harassing someone else,” she says.
Making matters worse, this isn’t even the first time McAlpine has faced unwanted advances on LinkedIn. “It’s happened a lot of times over the years throughout many changes in photos and job roles,” she tells Us.
McAlpine’s screen grab post on LinkedIn has been liked more than 25,000 times and has received more than 3,000 comments — not all of them supportive.
“I’ve been told literally thousands of times that I’m ugly. I’ve been told I should say thank you and be respectful as he was being nice. I’ve been told my mouth is to blame for his comments, that I have duck lips and I was pouting,” McAlpine tells Us. “Many people are accusing me of ruining this guy’s life and career.”
But she has no regrets: “I thought I’d break down in very simple terms how advances look to someone who isn’t interested and is on a professional website.”
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