When discussing the need to find a job or connect with professionals, LinkedIn is a popular resource that might pop up in the conversation. LinkedIn through the use of the internet has removed the need to go to an establishment to ask for an application or look in the newspaper for open positions. LinkedIn changed the recruitment and job-seeking industries when Reid Hoffman, the founder, launched the site back in 2002. LinkedIn is now the largest professional network on the internet with over 840 million users on the platform. This tool is accessed by industry professionals and students of every background with about 60% of users between the ages of 25 and 34 years old. The platform can be used to find employers, connect with others who share similar interests, and learn a range of skills through their site.
LinkedIn is a form of social media that brings people closer together and creates communities along the way. However, they use a unique approach to search and find opportunities and individuals. Every user has their own profile, essentially an online resume, and interacts with others based on their own network. LinkedIn users’ networks are made up of their connections and can only view content created within this reach. Other platforms are mainly attracted to consumers of the platform, but LinkedIn is more for businesses and professionals. When connecting with others, the site provides some recommendations to users who have similar interests. However, if you are trying to search for someone’s profile, you can only view accounts that are relative to your connections. Every account that a user looks at can be viewed by the account holder. LinkedIn will not allow you to view others’ accounts outside of your network but offers a premium service with a monthly cost to be able to have this ability and remain anonymous when searching the platform. With this limiting factor of outreach, there is a regulation usage from LinkedIn to encourage others to either buy their premium service or connect and use their platform more.
Regulation is an important component of the circuit of culture as it brings a level of safety, trust, and equality online. LinkedIn houses a user agreement with their procedures and policies on their website for users to view. It breaks down the fundamentals of what they believe in and how the platform itself works. They explain that they regulate the images, updates, comments, posts, decks, and portfolios of their users. LinkedIn explains that its users own their content and provides a wide range of tools to help users regulate their own media that they produce. Not only does LinkedIn regulate content being pushed out by its users, but it also has integrated resources for users to control their own posts and make decisions based on the reactions or data collected by their media.
Figure 1, LinkedIn’s Legal User Agreement (https://www.linkedin.com/legal/user-agreement, 2022)
The site is pretty clear with its policies and explains how they have the right to terminate any account that does not follow its community guidelines. Their guidelines are made up of three main principles: being safe, being trustworthy, and being professional. Compared to other social media platforms, LinkedIn’s content is not as opinionated and disrespectful of other users as everything can be traced back to your account and career. There is much more on the line when it comes to expressing a belief on the site compared to the general internet. Their policies are generally similar to other platforms by discouraging violence, exploitation, harassment, dangerous activities, and inaccurate information while ensuring the authenticity of the site. Authenticity is interesting with LinkedIn because it is where they can uphold their professional standards. LinkedIn does a great deal of enforcement and regulation of its content through its customer support department which ensures a great experience on the platform. On a larger scale, they hire operations insights analysts that use creative approaches to improving the platform’s regulatory compliances.
The platform is a hub for users’ data and information as well. Not only do they protect the experience and visibility of media, but they protect their user’s privacy and information. LinkedIn follows pricing laws, intellectual property laws, anti-spam laws, export control laws, tax laws, and any regulatory requirements. The site offers a range of visibility features for its users. Accounts can be fully private for individuals to still be active and engage with the platform without putting themselves in any uncomfortable situations. This means that a student can create a profile and use the site to get a job, but does have to share with others where they go to school or other pertinent information.
LinkedIn is a viable option to push someone’s career into a more professional setting. Through the use of their regulations and policies, they are able to create an environment and experience that is unique compared to other social platforms.
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