Sexual harassment has gradually clawed its way in, on professional platforms like LinkedIn. Below instances have rampantly been observed –
- Every alternate day there is a post on LinkedIn from a woman (with screen prints) about an indecent proposal she received, mostly from a man from her LinkedIn network.
- ‘Representation’ is trolled with extremely misogynistic and patriarchal comments, mostly from men.
- Stalking on other social media platforms triggered from LinkedIn.
- Sleazy DMs in LinkedIn inbox.
There are corrective measures in place already such as ‘reporting/blocking’ the profile however the need of the hour is having preventive measures in place to ensure that the sanctity of such platforms isn’t lost and the users feel safe and protected.
Possible preventive measures
- Change in the mindset through sensitization and reinforcement of policies against sexual harassment, for existing users and strongly during any new registration.
- ‘Referral’ is the way forward. One person invites another to Linkedin and a third person is a sponsor. Any ‘abuse’ will not only incur de-meriting the points for the person but also to the invitee and the sponsor.
- The display pics can be hidden or blurred out and will be made visible only if a connect request is accepted as 95% stalkers would send a DM or connection request only by seeing the picture and not the profile or credentials.
- Face/fingerprint registration and recognition for every post or new user registration at least.
- Phone numbers can be made mandatory during registration and OTP needs to implemented. Entered phone number shouldn’t be visible on the profile without consent.
- Use of AI to block commonly used abusive/sexual words, phrases. Such messages should be blocked from being sent with the help of key words. Also, users inboxes need to be analysed periodically to feed into the decision making engine to filter offenders, warn them three times and block permanently after fourth offence.
- Tagging should send notifications to the user (who is tagged in) before it appears on the tagged user’s feeds.
- Reported profile should be blacklisted, barred and flagged on the platform as ‘Stalker’ or ‘Unprofessional Candidate’.
- Inboxes need to be analysed to feed into the decision making engine to warn the offenders initially and block permanently after three offences.
- A periodic public notification comprising of the list of the offenders to the users.