Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft LinkedIn “Experimented” on Over 20 Million People Over Five Years and May Have Stopped Some of Them From Getting a Job

Reprinted with permission from Ryan

Microsoft LinkedIn “experimented” on over 20 million people over five years and may have stopped some of them from getting a job. -New York Times (archived from NewsWaffle)



[Microsoft] LinkedIn ran experiments on more than 20 million users over five years that, while intended to improve how the platform worked for members, could have affected some people’s livelihoods, according to a new study. […]



LinkedIn’s algorithmic experiments may come as a surprise to millions of people because the company did not inform users that the tests were underway. […]



LinkedIn[…]routinely run[s] large-scale experiments in which they try out different versions of app features, web designs and algorithms on different people. The longstanding practice, called A/B testing, is intended to […] keep them engaged, which helps the [company] make money through premium membership fees or advertising. Users often have no idea that companies are running the tests on them.



But the changes made by LinkedIn are indicative of how such tweaks to widely used algorithms can become social engineering experiments with potentially life-altering consequences for many people.[…]



“The findings suggest that some users had better access to job opportunities or a meaningful difference in access to job opportunities,” said Michael Zimmer, an associate professor of computer science and the director of the Center for Data, Ethics and Society at Marquette University.[…]



LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, did not directly answer a question about how the company had considered the potential long-term consequences of its experiments on users’ employment and economic status.



Basically, LinkedIn is there to make Microsoft money (duh) by running skeevy tests on people, who probably didn’t even read the EULA, which might have caused them to miss employment opportunities.



When Microsoft was reached for comment, they had none.



What are you going to say when you’ve been outed as ruining someone’s hopes and dreams for career advancement (or even finding a job at all in a bad economy), in the pursuit of a better algorithm to bring in ad money from people who haven’t stopped to consider why this is all “free”?



As a separate issue, LinkedIn is not doing as well as the obsequious Gates-Funded New York Times would suggest.



The New York Times runs hundreds of Gates propaganda articles and even softens what they do when their LinkedIn division screws people who have accounts there.



LinkedIn itself, like the rest of Microsoft, laid of thousands already in staggered layoffs and is on a hiring freeze. (Scroll through the results and you can see that LinkedIn itself has fired thousands and is turning into a ghost town.)



LinkedIn also gets used like “another Facebook” by people who shouldn’t be anywhere near it.



People such as my sister-in-law, who we joke about in #Techrights because she’s such a materialistic megalomaniac, make “LinkedIn” accounts as a temple to themselves, not thinking about how they’re being manipulated and experimented upon by Microsoft.



Another person I know who is on LinkedIn is an ex of mine who got blacklisted from government employment in Wisconsin after he faked a back injury to file a fraudulent worker’s comp case. He has an arrest warrant in Illinois, and his profile currently says he works as a DoorDash driver.



Like many “social” (control) media sites, many LinkedIn profiles I’ve seen accidentally reveal some things the “used” (of Microsoft) probably doesn’t want a job interviewer (or stalker) to know, such as they fact that they’ve had a string of jobs they weren’t at for very long, which signals that they’ll probably bring problems to your company if you hire them.



Most people should look for jobs some other way than resorting to LinkedIn.



Most companies still accept paper job applications or at least applications submitted directly to their hiring people. Most people don’t need to be on a “social network” to find a job.



Maybe that’s why Microsoft is firing so many LinkedIn employees?



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