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In an effort to combat spammers on its venerable business social networking site, LinkedIn has now implemented a type of probation on members that are blocked and deleted by group managers. Akin to the concept of Double Secret Probation in the movie Animal House, offending members or perceived spammer posts are now automatically flagged for moderation. For example, if a LinkedIn member posts what is construed as spam by a group manager (highly subjective) and he/she is subsequently blocked and deleted, the next time the member attempts to post in any other group his or her post is automatically sent to the group’s submission queue for approval, rather than published immediately. The affect is to systematically stop spammers in their tracks.

Humorously, the concept of "double secret probation" in Animal House was very similar. For instance, not only was a bad student or fraternity overtly put on probation with a verbal  written warning, but they also were put on a second secret probation by the dean, which was unknown by the student or fraternity. The process would essentially speed up their expulsion from the school or university with the next major offense. Likewise, with LinkedIn’s new quality control mechanism or moderator flagging system, the effect is somewhat similar.  First, the group manager blocks and deletes the offending member from the group (the overt warning) and then comes the silent warning whereby LinkedIn essentially flags the member as a potential spammer to all other group managers.

Consequently, spammers are being completely caught off guard and are perplexed as to why all of their posts are no longer automatically approved within any number of the tens of thousands of unmoderated groups on the LinkedIn social network. This new group moderation feature should eventually help cut down on the massive amount of unwanted posts or spam in many LinkedIn groups. Moreover, it is important to point out that as a result of this new spam control feature it has become a potential minefield for nearly any member on LinkedIn that abuses the system. You could also call it a modern day scarlet letter. Thus, be careful as to what, how and where you post on LinkedIn. 

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