Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon I received a disturbing, but real, email inquiry from someone I know. R.B. wrote me, asking: “I got a ‘people you might want to link to’ from Linked In. It was a man I know is dead. His name. His address. Should I do anything about this? How?”
I responded, before investigating:
- Either contact the family so they may log in to LinkedIn and remove his account, or
- Contact LinkedIn Help (hover over your image top right) and send them notice. You should probably include a link to a death notice.
I then decided to investigate the matter more thoroughly. I found this actual LinkedIn procedure entitled:
“Deceased LinkedIn Member – Removing Profile” which went into details about “How do I close the account of a LinkedIn member who passed away?”
I think LinkedIn addresses the issue in a dignified manner when it states: “Unfortunately, there may be a time when you come across the profile of a colleague, classmate, or loved one who has passed away. If this happens, we can close that person’s account and remove their profile on your behalf.”
The process is quite long. Firstly, you have to go to DocuSign (a link is provided) and go through several steps. Above left is the first form you need to complete so LinkedIn can email you validation code. You need the validation code to open the next window when you agree to terms of service so you can open the form and supply the information requestd.
On the form they ask for:
- the member’s name
- a link to the profile,
- the deceased member’s email address
- where he/she worked
- the date he/she passed away
- a link to the obituary or newspaper article
- your relationship
- and other information you wish to supply
After you complete the form, LinkedIn says it will be automatically notified for review and promises to get back in touch.
I can understand the process so LinkedIn protects itself in this matter. They would not want to remove someone’s profile who is actually still alive.
I’ve had this happen to me in different circumstances. Next time I will follow the above procedure to avoid someone else feeling uncomfortable about the situation.