LinkedIn — the social networking tool for professionals — introduced a feature in 2015, called Mentioned in the News. LinkedIn’s tool searches for online articles and matches names found with names of people with LinkedIn profiles. If your name is found in an online article, LinkedIn sends a note to your connections, with a brief summary and a link if you want to read the full article online.
In a recent Mentioned in the News email, I also received a link to an article that mentioned the wife of one of my connections. That same email included a link to an article with an unfavorable mention of another of my connections.
If someone who has the same name as you commits a crime, or is in the news for doing something ridiculous, your connections may not realize that person is not you.
On its information page about the feature, LinkedIn admits “While this algorithm is good, it’s not perfect. It’s a good idea to check that the person or organization in an article is the same person or organization you’re following. If you see any news item associated with the wrong person or organization (or any offensive or inappropriate content in a news item), please report it by clicking the Wrong Person or Wrong Organization flag.”
If you don’t want LinkedIn to look for your name in online news stories, you can opt out in your privacy settings. Go to Settings & Privacy, click on the Privacy tab, and click on “Notifying connections when you’re in the news.”
That will open a section in which you can click the toggle to stop your connections from seeing news about you. This will not affect your ability to share updates that you originate.
LinkedIn has been a great tool for many folks who want a professional place to network. However, a feature like this has the potential to set you back if not monitored.