Whose property is my Social Graph?

Those who know me may know that I have a very distinct and “digital” answer to this question: in fact, the Social Graph is the third leg of the Digital Self (the others being Identity and UGC) and as such IMHO it firmly belongs to each of us.

Apparently LinkedIn does not think so.

Today I was trying to sort my direct connections by country, and discovered this capability is gone: when I ask LinkedIn to list the first degree contacts I have in, say, Germany, it lists ten names, which are not the same names I get when I choose “Deutschland” nor “Munchen”. Since I know for a fact Munich is in Germany (OK, OK; it’s in Bavaria first, Germany second) and this level of disambiguation is trivial (as my friend Ramin would no doubt say), I suspect this is done on purpose. Also if I export MY data, I only get a few fields, and the Location is not one of them.

Maybe I am doing something wrong (in which case, please correct me as I really need that information), but I think not: I remember well doing this several times before, and it definitely worked as expected. Another possibility is that this feature is now behind the pay wall (thanks for any Premium members who can confirm this).

This sort of unilateral change not so much of the formal T&C’s but of the informal ones (i.e. how really accessible are the data of my Social Graph) is probably legit from a strictly legal standpoint, as we all relinquished control of the data we ourselves inputed by entrusting them to a Social Network: now the practicality of being able to orderly access and manage my data is gone, and I am supposed to browse manually through my 1600+ list to manually note those who live in Germany.

This is insane – again, I may be doing something wrong, in which case a beer to the one who points me to my mistake (including LinkedIn support, of course…)


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