Hacker News Re-Imagined

Tell HN: Banned from LinkedIn for Reporting Wickr Drug Spam

It made the news recently that Wickr (Amazon owned E2EE chat app) is full of illegal imagery.

I read about this on my LinkedIn feed then decided to search for "Wickr" there to see who else was talking about this. The search returned dozens of spam messages offering drugs in Asia and the US with information to contact on Wickr for price.

I reported these drug spam posts to LinkedIn - which is supposedly an anonymous report.

Next day I got a flood of reports on my own comments (nothing to do with that topic), so many I didn't bother to appeal as I had other things to do. Few hours later my account was down.

Seems that for retaliation the drug network decided to find me out and use their accounts to subvert LinkedIn's policy and ensure I can't stop their spam. They have new spam up now while my account is gone.

No good deed goes unpunished I guess.

  • 667 points
  • 20 days ago

  • @silent_speech
  • Created a post

Tell HN: Banned from LinkedIn for Reporting Wickr Drug Spam


@thestepafter 20 days

Replying to @silent_speech 🎙

So you are saying that on LinkedIn if you report something the owner can see the name of who reported it?

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@ospzfmbbzr 20 days

As a former longtime LI pro user and LI user at launch... I'm not surprised. LI loves spam and they have no intention of really doing anything about it. I refused to keep paying for such a low quality service. This has not negatively affected my consulting networking or revenues at all. Good riddance. It can go in the trash with FB.

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@LewisVerstappen 20 days

Of all the social networks, I never would've guessed that LinkedIn is the one people turn to when they want to sell drugs.

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@peter_retief 20 days

I found LinkedIn a waste of time and full of bad actors, so not really surprised about this experience.

I keep a presence there to appease a friend but put as little information about myself as possible on the platform and strongly recommend other developers do the same.

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@feet 20 days

Not sure what illegal imagery has to do with drugs? AFAIK pictures of drugs is not illegal, the only pictures that I'm aware of that might be considered illegal would contain child abuse stuff, personal info, classified info?

I understand that selling drugs is illegal, but in that case the selling of drugs is what is illegal and not an image

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@johnklos 20 days

Seriously: How do we know that these spammers who're using Wickr aren't directly paying LinkedIn and are being protected by LinkedIn?

People used to say I was nuts when I said LinkedIn outright make things up, that they try to track much more than they rightly ever should, and that they were doing nefarious things with the data they collect, but of course now we all know that was true. We don't even know the true extent of their fabrications.

Could LinkedIn be doing whatever it takes to make some extra money? It would neither be surprising nor unexpected in the least.

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@rpigab 19 days

Because of your post, I went there, did the same search and reported a bunch of them. Now let's see what happens!

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@closedloop129 20 days

Do social networks stand a chance against infiltration? With the high turnover of moderators, it's easy to get somebody on the inside to get to know the inner workings of the moderation process.

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@moneywoes 20 days

What did you search?

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@moneywoes 20 days

Any screenshots?

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@999900000999 20 days

LinkedIn, like every other social media/ dating app , makes money off spam.

I reported someone for spamming me with an insurance sells scam, within a few hours I'm informed this spam is just fine.

However, given your warning I'll refrain from reporting spam in the future.

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@fredgrott 20 days

Related to this how does one report Crypto draining scam scripts being posted on Github now that Microsoft owns GitHUb?

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@ThinkBeat 20 days

Social media is so dominated by just a few companies and most of them in America and most of them close together geographically.

I think after a social media network reaches X or XX number of million users, all users should have the right to appeal getting blocked / deleted / removed arbitration by an independent third party

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@peterburkimsher 20 days

I had LinkedIn until October 2021.

A colleague was leaving, and I'd been asked to go around the team of 200 people, gathering farewell greetings. Another work project at the same time was the software language translations for our product.

I manually trimmed the list of 200 colleagues down to 70 "international" names. Then I manually searched for each colleague on Google, and clicked the first link. Usually that was Facebook or LinkedIn.

I manually viewed 55 LinkedIn profiles over the course of 2 hours, and copy-pasted out only their "spoken language" field.

LinkedIn proceeded to block my account. "Your account has violated the LinkedIn User Agreement and Professional Community Policies. Due to the number and/or the severity of these violations, this account has been permanently restricted."

Politely explaining the situation to several customer service agents [Case: 211020-004202] didn't help. Had I been warned about viewing too many profiles too quickly, I'd certainly have slowed down! My actions weren't automated. I'd rather return to their online community and make this a learning experience, if possible.

Being unable to use LinkedIn may affect my future career prospects, but I feel powerless to change it at this stage.

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@1024core 20 days

I open LI just to read a bunch of patting-myself-on-the-back and virtue signalling posts.

Also: whenever I read about LinkedIn, I can't help but think of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-g7e31nAb8

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@freiherr 20 days

Just on Wickr itself. I wonder how secure it really is. Amazon only makes me suspicious. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out later that the algorithms implementation wasn't perfect. Or just straight out backdoor.

PGP is the gold standard but the ease of use wins again.

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@dhzhzjsbevs 20 days

Nobody really needs linked in. I wouldn't worry about it.

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@zelphirkalt 20 days

Good to know, makes me consider closing my account myself. Linkedin always had a bit of a scammy feeling to it. Especially when it comes to recruiters' spam messages.

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@eVeechu7 20 days

Using LinkedIn is never a good deed.

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@thereare5lights 20 days

It's not surprising. LinkedIn has been shady from the start.

People shouldn't forget that they used to scrape your contacts from your email account through some sneaky user flow that got you to give them your email password.

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@EVa5I7bHFq9mnYK 20 days

Happened to me with telegram. Reported a scammer in relevant tg channels, next thing I know , several users reported me, and telegram blocked me for spam.

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@ungamedplayer 20 days

Are you concerned now that illegal enterprise now knows your details and can possibly retaliate?

Are you easily doxable ?

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@civilized 20 days

I guess our instincts were right when we found LinkedIn features like "view who viewed your page" super weird and creepy.

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@Krisjohn 20 days

A placement agent called me recently about a job. At one point during the call she was obviously struggling to multitask and had to pause to say "I'm having trouble finding you on LinkedIn".

My response was "I'm not on LinkedIn."

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@labster 20 days

I don’t understand why people are surprised to lose social media accounts like this. Companies decide to stop selling products all the time. We don’t see posts like this every time Wal-Mart decides to stop selling some brand of cookies, and it’s essentially the same relationship we have as their products.

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@izhak 20 days

If that's true then:

1. Either LinkedIn is hacked by drug mafia 2. Or drug mafia has people inside LinkedIn

But first thing - you should share you full report that you've sent to LinkedIn. You don't risk outing yourself - since mafia already knows your account.

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@gwnywg 20 days

This is one of the reasons I maintain offline list of all my LinkedIn contacts and also why I ban LinkedIn feed through AdBlock with custom rule. I currently use LinkedIn solely as medium enabling recruiters to cold call me, and as such it is good place to have an account because quite a few recruiters are there.

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@honestduane 20 days

The problem with LinkedIn is that everything you do on that website is tracked and sold; there is no such thing as a private job application, for example.

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@edcastano 20 days

I am a PM with LinkedIn. DM me and I can try to funnel this to the right channels. I'll be the first to say that there are a lot of problems with LinkedIn, but the company's "heart" is generally in the right place.

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@RektBoy 20 days

Never happened this to you? Report bot spam?

People did it for years in CSGO. Reporting players for cheating through SteamAPI and Valve didn't even validate these reports, if the account who is reporting someone, was actually in the game together. Nope. Just reaching a certain number of reports was an automatic ban. 2 years or something without fix, funny times.

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@peanut_worm 20 days

Why would they choose Linkedin of all places...

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@greatartiste 20 days

I never thought I would say this but LinkedIn seems to have gone even further downhill than it was a few years ago. You know things are bad when even the low end recruiters seem to have left the platform. These days 90% of the contacts/connect requests I receive are from dodgy pension "advisors" trying to get their hands on my pension pot cash.

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@dontbenebby 20 days

Probably because "view as" isn't anonymous, even if you adjust your privacy settings. (It'll say things like someone from X uni or with Y title viewed... easy to intuit who looked)

On my end, I had issues after I "looked up" someone convicted of a serious crime[1] who lived in my area code.

(I was looking into a different set of bad people. Apparently there's a lot of evil people on the internet. Not just the "dark web". They are everywhere, and abuse their access if they sense you're gunning for them in any sense of the word. The kids call reacting like some of did in real life "telling on yourself")

[1] https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdpa/pr/suburban-pittsburgh-man...

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@mise_en_place 20 days

Glad to see that spam is still well and alive in 2022, first we had enlarge your d*ck pills in email spam, now it's moved to all the social media platforms.

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@0daystock 20 days

I don't understand the problem. You wanted to remain on a Microsoft social network being used for spam posts? Why?

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@trhway 20 days

Similar situation when one tries to argue with Russian "patriots".

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@Quequau 20 days

I moderate a few subreddits over on Reddit and spam purporting to be offers for black market drugs of abuse which use messaging services like Wickr & Telegram have been a problem for years.

Worse, it's shockingly difficult to convince the site admins of Reddit to decisively act on this sort of content, even though it's explicitly against their site-wide policies. I suppose this is probably the case for every site which hosts user submitted content and an upper management focused on easily produced metrics like "number of posts & comments per time unit".

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@dapids 20 days

Did you really need LinkedIn to begin with? Possibly the worst service I have ever used.

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@aspectmin 20 days

I recommend filing a report with the Microsoft Security Response Center, especially in light that a malicious party may now have information on you, and as people below pointed out there may be (1) risk of Doxing, and/or (2) there are some suggestions that Microsoft (LinkedIn) employees may be compromised.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/msrc (Report an Issue)

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@na4ma4 20 days

I wonder if more those accounts have pro and can see you viewed them recently, probably multiple accounts are owned by the same groups so when they get a report on a bunch of posts they simple map "who looked at both profiles".

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