This article describes Linkedin #ERROR case # 170904-007166. Autonomous generated Linkedin Invites

As reported to Linkedin the 4. September 2017 a very spooky Error has appeared on the Linkedin platform. Follow the use case below to understand the full implications and imagine the worst case scenario where a platform error affect 500 million members.

Reception of an Invite to connect from an unknown member.

Everything looks normal, but when the receiver hit the ‘Accept‘ button nothing happens. The page seems non-responsive. Normally a screen would pop-up to inform that the member is now connected with e.g. George. No such thing happens.

PENDING Invitation

The really spooky part was initiated by hitting the ‘Accept’ button (only an observant user would ever notice though). What in reality happens is that the button trigger the Linkedin Platform to send out an Invite to e.g. George

Connected or not connected?

So, are the two members connected now? Nope!

The user could think so because if the user search for e.g. George, it is indicated that George is a first level connection.

George gets an Invite

What happens now is completely dependent on what action George decide to make upon reception of his invite (please remember that George is not aware that an Invite was sent by the Linkedin platform on his behalf).

  • If George just accepts the invite, the two members are connected, and nobody realizes what actually happened behind the scene.
  • If George wonders why he received the invite from a stranger without any kind of note, he will probably message a request for the reason to connect. Now the funny part and confusion start! Both Members will argue about who sent the invite. Will they realize that it was a platform error and report it to Linkedin – probably not?
  • George could also report the member for sending a spam invite, “I do not know this person”, etc. If the Member has Accepted a sufficient number of “Invites” of this kind, he would eventually be banned from the platform or restricted in sending Invites.

What next?

11.09.2017: I have just messaged George to see if he wants to contribute to this article with the experience from his point of view. “Unfortunately” George accepted the invite before reading my message, so no possibility to capture the user experience with screenshots. George did not receive a mail about the Invite to connect.

#ERROR case # 170904-007166. ‘Autonomous generated Linkedin Invites’, was updated 11 September 2017 with above screenshots (1 week after the first incidence report).

I find it rather disturbing that the Linkedin first level support is not sufficiently experienced to escalate this kind of error cases asap. It could be way too late in case the error was affecting all 500 million members at once.

Shoutout to Linkedin Management


Linkedin Responses


Great to see the responsiveness of the Linkedin Management team

Update 12/9: This error is escalating on all levels

First of all, thanks to Jeff Weiner for taking the time surveying what is happening in the “machine room” – appreciated.

The next part of my 12/9 update is, unfortunately, less pleasant:

Please see the previous support log at the end of the article


Linkedin #ERROR case # 170904-007166

This incidence was first sent as a warning to the Linkedin community as an update:

This Article was published on the Linkedin platform via this update: