Wow. Shocking.

As it turns out, Linkedin has sneakily changed it’s members account settings, so that their name and face can be used in advertsing messages on the Linkedin platform.

Ehrm… What?!

That right. You are automatically opt-ed IN for social advertising. Unasked. Unwanted. Unpaid.

How to turn off Linkedin social advertising

I am not 100% surprised though, because Linkedin has a habbit of deploying socially unethical marketing techniques.

Anyway, let’s not rant too much and just help you out with telling you how to shut it off:

How to opt-out of Linkedin social advertising program

  1. Login to Linkedin
  2. Move your mouse over your name, fold-out menu appears: choose ‘Settings’
  3. Choose ‘Account’ (bottom left)
  4. Under ‘Privacy controls’, select ‘Manage Social Advertising’
  5. Uncheck box ‘LinkedIn may use my name, photo in social advertising’
  6. Click ‘Save’
  7. You now receive a notification ‘You have successfully updated your social advertising settings’.


Dear Linkedin, it is soooo not worth screwing over your own clients over this. All the major Dutch press outlets have picked up on this story (e.g. here, here and here). Not so good for your online reputation.

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  • Bruce Hamilton

    More details needed, e.g., you need to pull down a menu from your name at the top of the page to see the “Settings”.

    • MichielGaas

      Thanks for your comment Bruce.
      I’ve added some clarifications.

  • Magnus Still

    Hi Michiel, I wonder if LinkedIn gracefully stopped this abuse. Anyway, I can’t find how to opt out.

    • MichielGaas

      Hey Magnus!

      Hope all’s good with you!

      A week after my blog post above, Linkedin published an update on their ‘Social Ads’ program.

      In the post they are explaining that they have changed the format of the social ads in such a way that they are not using your face anymore in advertising. Unfortunately, the images in that post – that illustrate this change – are not working anymore. But I think I found them on Google. Here they are:

      In the blog post Linkedin says: “Most importantly, we made it easy for our members to opt-out of inclusion from all social ads with one click.”. But as it appears, Linkedin has quietly removed the ‘Manage social advertising’ option on Jan 30th of 2012.

      Since your name and face are now not used in advertising anymore, Linkedin probably feels that the function is now redundant.

      Which of your data exactly IS used by Linkedin and for what, is not clearly articulated in their Privacy Policy. Which is a shame. And quietly removing the option to manage social advertising is also a bit secretive and suspicious. Makes you question it.

      I personally don’t mind much what they do with my data. I signed up for Linkedin, nearly everything on my profile is public, so I know the data is out there and it can be used. But I do object to using my name and face in a different
      context, especially in advertising. And that seems to have been resolved.

      So, I rest my case.

      All the best,

  • Buck

    Well I for one try as I might could not do this simple thing, because I had deleted my account although my name and password were there. so it was a case of going through all this again plus that damned captcha.
    A friend who sends all on this earth to others ( me included ) was quite annoyed when it happened to her, which mollified me somewhat.
    All these sites try and do this but I never thought LinkedIn would stoop so low.
    All LinkedIn mail now go’s to spam, I’ll do a blog on a few sites I have warning people of this unsavoury practice