LinkedIn for Journalists

LinkedIn for Journalists

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Do you quote people as they "discuss" on LinkedIn? Is that fair game?

What's the official position? Can a journalist quote people who discuss on LinkedIn and publish their comments in the newspaper?

People can say some pretty inflammatory things when they are not expecting to be quoted.

  • Comment (9)
  • May 8, 2012
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  • Julia C. M.

    Julia C.

    Julia C. M.

    Independent Science Journalist

    Was the comment posted on a discussion board that is open to all LI members? Less expectation of privacy. Or in a members-only group? More expectation of privacy.

    Either way, am I correct in thinking that Linked In discussions, even the most open ones, are viewable only by registered Linked In members? So it's not like saying something in public, right? It's more like saying something in a members-only club.

    No matter the degree of expectation the writer might presume (correctly or not), I'd think the most ethical move would be to contact the writer and ask whether you could quote the comment.

    How else would you know the person is who they claim to be? It's not like Linked In asks for ID before allowing someone to create a profile.

  • Krista C.


    Krista C.

    Passionate storyteller. Journalist wrangler. Message weaver. I’m in permanent beta constantly iterating and improving.

    @Aleem I'll second Julia's comment that it's worth at least pinging the writer of the comment to see if they mind you quoting them.

    There is a difference between private and public forums on LinkedIn. Here are some examples of forums on LinkedIn where you might see comments and how viewable they are to other members:

    ~LinkedIn Answers (

    ~A member's LinkedIn Activity Feed which would include their status updates on LinkedIn ( AND

    ~Keep in mind that LinkedIn members can also sync their status updates with Twitter if they want to (

    ~LinkedIn Groups can be either "Members-Only" or "Open Groups." It depends on the way that the group manager set up the group. (

    ~InMails are are messages you can send directly to another LinkedIn member you're not connected to. (

    Hopefully that helps, but I agree with Julia that the best course of action is to reach out to the member that posted the comment in the first place. That should be done as a courtesy to the member and will also give you an opportunity to get more information/context from them. Just as you would vet a source that called your desk line or emailed you, you should also verify the identity of the person who posted the comment which is also another excellent point that Julia makes above.

    You can research more forums on LinkedIn by visiting our Help Center here:

  • Abdullah M.


    Abdullah M.

    Senior Staff Reporter

    I never quote from a gossip or FB or any other social media platform...but when you talk about political leaders, than I will think twice...

  • Vickie E.


    Vickie E.

    Bringing together business data and quirky creativity

    It's clear that LinkedIn is a semi-public place, since the profiles and some of the groups are open for viewing. Yet I agree it would be better and more professional to contact the person and say you want to use their comments or ideas in your article. (If you ask permission, though, that seems to give them the right to decline, so I'd discuss that with my editor ahead of time.)

    If the individual or topic suddenly makes headlines, I would think it likely that their comments could be picked up by wire services or others, with a clear reference that they were made in a LinkedIn group.

    More and more, journalists are using various social media as sources of information, tips, ideas, whether it be Twitter or LinkedIn or Quora.

  • W. Scott M.

    W. Scott

    W. Scott M.

    Founder, Facilitor and Editor--Moderator at BlackNET Intelligence Channel

    Here's a suggestion: Do a Test...Some of the LinkedIN Intelligence Discussion Groups are now considered "open," but may be not so much.

    Personally, I never quote anyone without a second, semi-formal VETTING even if the quotee is to be anonymous. For operational security accuracy purposes ONLY, though occasionally for proper context.

    I have just posted on a number of these groups the following item:
    Cy-WAR with IRAN • 1 hour ago

    (AFIO)Association for Intelligence Officers (AFIO)1 hour ago
    W. Scott Malone started a discussion: Cy-WAR with IRAN

    Black Hat - W. Scott Malone
    Cy-WAR with IRAN • 1 hour ago
    Cy-WAR with IRAN • 1 hour ago

    Cy-WAR with IRAN

    Competitive Intelligence, Corporate Intelligence and Investigation - W. Scott Malone
    Cy-WAR with IRAN

    MEMBERS OF LinkedIN For Journalists HEREBY Have my EXPLICIT PERMISSION to quote me and my above POSTS from any of the LinkedIN intel. sites that allow you to.

    A LinkedIN learning experience for us ALL, no doubt.

    W. Scott Malone
    516-965-9910 Mobile

  • Eli L.


    Eli L.

    Social Media Producer at CNBC

    I'll third what Julia said.

  • Steven (Ari) M.

    Steven (Ari)

    Steven (Ari) M.

    Director of Business Development & Patient Care Management at Preferred Care Consultants, Inc.

    Fourth me in with Julia. That would be the best bet.

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