When is an endorsement not an endorsement

‘Cash for copy’ site,?The Spinoff?has produced a disingenuous little piece about LinkedIn endorsements, obviously to try to make a mockery of the fact that Pauline Kingi had to resign after endorsing Wally Haumaha. Quote:

Every now and again there are moments in time which make you wonder just what kind of hell-scape episode of Charlie Brooker?s?Black Mirror?we?re now living in. end quote.

I feel like that most of the time, mainly because publications like the Spinoff have no regard for the rule of law or due process. Quote:

The week?s?headlines?about Dr Pauline Kingi and her subsequent resignation because of nefarious LinkedIn endorsement activity is one of those moments. I doubt there?s a reporter alive that has ever written a headline containing the words ?LinkedIn endorsement? before this week.

The tens of headlines now produced have probably generated the most press coverage LinkedIn endorsements have ever had in their short but apparently lethal lifetime. LinkedIn?s Endorsement publicist will wake up to an inbox full of Google alerts and will be wondering when the sleepy hobbits in Middle Earth got the internet. End quote.

Smart satire has a brilliant edge. This is just sarcasm, also known as the lowest form of wit. Quote:

I have yet to read all the coverage today as I?ve been busy checking my LinkedIn endorsements to see if there?s anything that could get me fired and wondering why I got endorsed for ?team work? but it was something of a shock to wake up to hear?Morning Report?presenters reading listener feedback on the subject of LinkedIn. My immediate thought was to look out the window to check that the gates of hell hadn?t opened and my second was a very sudden realisation that today was my day to shine. Finally, a national debate I could contribute to, nay, be a leading voice in. End quote.

I think you have made your point. You think this is all about nothing. Except, it isn’t. Quote:

[…]makes me the perfect person to explain this complex and deadly web of activity that ultimately led to a highly qualified person resigning as head of the inquiry into Wally Haumaha?s appointment as deputy police commissioner.

Apparently, Kingi had endorsed Haumaha for 23 different things on LinkedIn, including ?security? and ?firearms?. We have online forensic detective MP Chris Bishop to thank for bringing this to our attention and introducing ?LinkedIn endorsement? to the national conversation. Thank you, Chris, thank you. end quote.

The sarcasm is getting a little tedious now. Chris Bishop was quite right to point this out. And David Farrar. quote:

Over on Kiwiblog, David Farrar has?suggested?that ?If you know someone well enough to publicly endorse them on Linked In [sic], you know them too well to head up an inquiry into their appointment.? end quote.

David is completely correct. The person heading the inquiry into Haumata’s appointment needs to have ‘never heard of him’, more or less. quote:

This is total rubbish. I?ve been endorsed by people on LinkedIn I?ve never met for things I have never done, like being good at team work. If I haven?t met you, it?s highly unlikely you were ever in a team with me and if you were, you wouldn?t be endorsing me for it. end quote.

Just because some people endorse others on LinkedIn that they have never heard of (and to be honest, I would be surprised if that were true) does not mean that everyone does it. I only ever endorse people on LinkedIn who I know have particular skills. It is supposed to be a recommendation that others can rely on. Quote:

So at some point, Haumaha likely received one of these emails suggesting he was good at ?firearms? and ?security? based on what the robots at LinkedIn knew about him and probably just went ?yes, OK, fine? and added to his profile.

Kingi possibly then either logged into LinkedIn one day and was served a message saying, ?Would you like to endorse Wally for firearms, leadership, getting up each day plus 23 other things?? The way that is served to you means you literally don?t read what the other skills are before hitting, ?yes, OK, fine? because you?ve lost the will to live.? end quote.

So she is saying that LinkedIn just harasses its members to death until they endorse thousands of people they have never heard of. As LinkedIn sees itself as a forum for professionals to network and promote one another, that cannot be right. Encouraging members to give endorsements is one thing, but telling them to just make it up is quite another. But, of course, there is an ulterior motive here. quote:

These endorsements are utterly meaningless and everyone should stop doing them. Not just because it could be career damaging but because it is really stupid. end quote.

It is only ‘really stupid’ because Pauline Kingi has now been caught out. It wasn’t ‘really stupid’ yesterday. quote:

If it turns out Kingi?s LinkedIn endorsements of Haumaha are truly the only factor at play here, we have set a shitty precedent for what people can be held to account for and I?ll be holding out on endorsing a bunch of people for ?understanding how the internet works? for some time yet while happily endorsing them ?spurious motives? and ?exploitation for political gain?. end quote.

Funny. It is always okay if the left do it.

Most people do not endorse people on LinkedIn that they do not know. Doing that completely debases the process, and most of us know that some people do rely on those endorsements. It is like giving a mini reference. So to claim that Pauline Kingi probably endorsed Wally Haumaha without knowing him from a bar of soap is downright dishonest. Plus, she endorsed Haumaha 23 times. That is a lot of button pressing on someone you’ve ‘never heard of’.? But there seems to be a lot of that going on these days, so maybe I am wrong.

Pauline Kingi needed to be completely independent if she was to head the team looking at the Wally Haumaha’s appointment. Clearly, she is not completely independent. For that reason, she needed to step down. If this article is saying it is okay for such enquiries to be led by people who are biased, then that is shameful. One more brick out of the wall of our reputation for low levels of corruption.

The writer of this poorly argued and over hyperbolic article, Anna Connell, needs to get out more. I’d say – “Don’t give up your day job”, but this probably is her day job. What a pity she cannot do a better job of it.