An (Un)ethical Lesson Startups Can Learn From LinkedIn

Geeky entrepreneurs think of users first and money later. But likes of Facebook(beacons) of the world have demonstrated that it’s alright to be evil and take the evil route (as long as nobody notices the evil feature).

The latest to join the rank is LinkedIn, one of the most admired (and ethical) company in recent times.

LinkedIn has launched (or maybe its an earlier feature) Social Advertising that will use your name and photo in their ads.

linkedin_social_advertising

What’s Unethical?

Feature is definitely useful (will work wonders for advertisers). Just that by default you are ‘checked-into’ the system – i.e. this isn’t an opt-in system, but you are automatically made part of LinkedIn’s social advertising system.

How cool is to see you promoting a brand without you being aware of the promotion?

Well, that’s unethical and if LinkedIn can resort to this, do take a stock of what’s ethical for your startup (i.e. manage business vs. ethics line?).

And those who crib about Indian startups selling user’s email ID/mobile numbers to advertisers, do understand that it’s a global phenomena and by the virtue of being online, you have taken a hit on your privacy.

Welcome to Social 2.0?

Aside, in order to opt-out, do visit account settings and click ‘Manage Social Advertising’.

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