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LinkedIn training tip – Who said “I don’t know this user” to your LinkedIn invitation

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LinkedIn tells you not to invite people you don’t know, but they don’t make the punishment clear, and it’s harsh.  If 5 people say they don’t know you, you get blacklisted, and you can no longer invite people by name.

Others have written about that part, and I will write about it in the future, but in this post, I’m going to address something no one has written about – how do you find out WHO said “I don’t know this user” to your invitation.  Update – LinkedIn removed this feature, so it no longer works.


If you send an invitation to someone on LinkedIn, they have the option to Accept, Archive, or say “I don’t know this user”.  If just 5 people say “I don’t know this user”, you are put on the LinkedIn blacklist, and LinkedIn won’t make that clear to you.  Instead, you would be asked for an email address every time you want to invite someone in the future, which is particularly annoying when you’re trying to get in touch with

  • college friends
  • high school friends
  • childhood friends
  • sales contacts

or anyone else you haven’t seen in a few years.

Here’s how you find out who IDKed you, i.e., who said “I don’t know this user”.  This just changed in mid-March 2009, and became more difficult, but I have a clever, cutting edge solution.

  • This no longer works, but if you see a new solution, let me know
  • Go to your LinkedIn home page
  • Expand the Inbox on the left (if it isn’t expanded) by clicking on the plus sign box
  • Click Sent
  • On the Inbox Sent page, click Status in the upper right to see the Invitations that you’ve sent
  • Now you want to look for the status “Doesn’t Know”, but it will be in alphabetical order in the middle of the following:
  • Accepted
  • Bounced
  • Doesn’t Know
  • Expired
  • In Progress
  • Pending
  • Replaced
  • Sent
  • At the bottom of that page, it will say

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 …60

but it no longer lets you click directly on page 27, and the “Doesn’t Know” section is usually about 40-50% of the way in

  • Here’s the clever trick
  • Click on the number 2 to get to page 2
  • Then instead of clicking numbers constantly until you get to 27
  • Go to the URL in your address box (i.e. where it says
  • At the end it will say split_page=2
  • Change the 2 to a 27, or whatever page you want to guess
  • Go higher or lower if you have to find the “Doesn’t know” invitations
  • Now go find the people and beat them with a stick
  • Then I’ll give you the names of the people that IDKed me, and you can beat them with the same stick
  • Supposedly, if you get them to invite you, it eliminates the IDK, but I’ve seen at least one case where this didn’t happen.

In fairness, it’s not entirely the other person’s fault.  LinkedIn doesn’t tell anyone the severity of an IDK, or the effect that it can have on others.

I will do more on this later, but this answers a question I hear regularly in my LinkedIn seminars.  Now you can at least if somebody IDKs you, you can find the culprit.


  • If you have been put on the IDK list multiple times, and LinkedIn won’t let you out of it, email me at the contact email address at the bottom of the page and I’ll tell you how to get around the problem.  Make sure you put “IDK solution” in the subject line

In a future post

  • What to do if you want to invite people you don’t know
  • My rant on the whole  IDK issue
Be Sociable, Share!


1 Michael { 04.09.09 at 9:33 pm }

Someone recently pressed “IDK” on my invitation. I sent them a message and explained that I was sorry to contact them and if this happens 5 times then it would cause problems on my account. And asked them to invite me and I would archive their invitation. I first tried to Archive the message but it did not seem to change the status. I then connected with them but still does not seem to have changed the previous message so not sure if it worked. I finally disconnected with them and sent them a message to thank them anyway.
If anyone else has experience with this I would be interested to know.

2 patrick_omalley { 04.09.09 at 9:54 pm }

I observed the exact same thing on a client account. There had been rumblings in LinkedIn’s Q&A forum that if the person that IDKed you turned around and invited you, that would cancel the IDK, but it doesn’t appear to do that. If you send an email to, they may be able to do something, but they certainly have some bad policies about this, and they make it much too difficult. Sorry.

3 Jeff Goldman { 04.10.09 at 10:18 pm }

I think it is also important to prevent IDKs. I have found that too many people do not properly introduce themselves in their invitations. Instead they just send it with the default invite text. I find that if you include the reason for your invitation and a little bit about how a connection can be beneficial, they are more likely to connect.

Thank you for this post. I was unaware that IDKs could cause these problems.


4 Using LinkedIn to find your next Job « Michael Korn’s Blog { 04.16.09 at 6:55 pm }

[…] LinkedIn training tip – Who said “I don’t know this user” to your LinkedIn invitation […]

5 Anthony { 06.09.09 at 2:56 pm }

In response to Jeff Goldman’s point about people just sending invites with “the default invite text”. Well Jeff, if LinkedIn in their ridiculous attempt to show us what is and is not kosher as an invitation imbeds text in the invitation layout,,,,than by all means let :
a) people who invite use it, and b) people who are being invited just accept it. I have heard rumors that MANY innocent business people have been black-listed for 5 “I dont know” invites and they are ready for another social networking platform. Let’s face it – LinkedIn is __________.

6 Jennifer { 07.01.09 at 10:49 am }

Do you know if there is any way to reduce the number of IDKs – for example, I invited someone who was a former colleague (she certainly knows me, we trained together and worked together for over a year), and she selected IDK twice – for both her work and personal e-mail. I got another IDK from a former best friend in college who I was trying to reconnect with… I guess she doesn’t think we’re friends anymore, eh? Anyway, I now have 3, and 2 of these are from the same pesron!!

7 patrick_omalley { 07.01.09 at 12:41 pm }

You can’t reduce your IDKs. I’ve read that if someone IDKs you, then reconsiders and invites you, that the IDK is removed, but I tested it and the IDK remained.

After 5 IDKs, you can apologize to LinkedIn and they will give you another 5. After that, I have another solution, but LinkedIn wouldn’t like it, so email me using the “Contact Us’ info on the left, and I’ll send it to you.

8 Geo { 07.13.09 at 1:10 am }

IDK solution

9 LinkedIn on Steroids - Webigration { 08.16.09 at 4:17 pm }
10 Lucas van der Waal { 12.21.09 at 7:38 am }


It seems we got the same problem. I am IDKed 5 times. Is there any solution? Hope to hear from you!

Thanks in advance,


11 Lucas van der Waal { 12.21.09 at 7:43 am }

IDK Solution

12 Dustin { 02.15.10 at 10:26 pm }

# Now go find the people and beat them with a stick
# Then I’ll give you the names of the people that IDKed me, and you can beat them with the same stick

Why? I mean linkedin tells you specifically to not add people you don’t know. If I add someone I don’t know, I should expect that they _might_ just click on that IDK button.

You shouldn’t be angry at someone else.

13 Patrick OMalley { 02.15.10 at 11:05 pm }

Dustin, I only invite people I know.

One guy who IDKed me twice, and I know him well, but he has this belief that he will only be LinkedIn with people he has actually worked with before.

Mostly, though, I just thought it was a funny line.

14 jacob { 03.16.10 at 10:53 am }

I got several IDK (I dont Know) from several people working at one company, who was apparently unaware that I was no longer working for a competitor.

They decided to IDK me. There are legitimate reasons not to accept a competitor a competitor as they can see your network etc.

15 Patrick OMalley { 03.16.10 at 11:27 am }
16 Toon Naus { 03.19.10 at 3:06 pm }

“IDK solution”

17 Rushikesh { 04.28.10 at 3:07 am }

Need ” IDK Solution” , As I am doing market research i need to always need to talk with new people, and have to communicate with them on linkedin, I have got don’t know from several users and now I cannot connect with people due to this problem. Is there any solution to get out of this.

18 Patrick OMalley { 04.28.10 at 7:24 pm }


I just emailed it.

19 Mark A. Griffin { 05.17.10 at 1:03 pm }

LinkedIn is a great tool and I have made many meaningful connections, even connections that have helped in International business development, but like any tool , there can be drawbacks.
I think LinkedIn should have a more explicit explanation as people “click” the IDK category and before they hit submit, something like- “By choosing to identify this person as “I don’t know” you may contribute to the revocation of this users privileges.” I looked up my IDK’s and have more than 5 but over a 2 year period. Several were from people that do know me, why they clicked IDK? is beyond me. A few were people that I knew of through other mutual connections. Perhaps I may have been lucky thus far!

20 Ad van Beek { 05.21.10 at 7:51 am }

Dear Patrick Omalley,

My LinkedIn account is Blacklisted. I have 428 contacts and 5 IDK’s.
I send five weeks ago Customer Service an apology mail, no response!

Please, can you tell me how to get off that IDK list?

Friendly Regards,
Ad van Beek

21 camillo { 06.18.10 at 6:52 am }

“IDK solution”

Would be great if you could help me to get off the IDK list.


22 camillo { 06.18.10 at 6:53 am }

subject : “IDK solution”

Would be great if you could help me to get off the IDK list of Linkedin.



23 Elsbeth { 07.25.10 at 9:02 am }

subject “IDK solution”
I think I have been IDK-ed as I can not see last names of people in a search who I do not have a direct link with (3rd connections). I am not sure if IDK is the problem because I can only tell who has accepted my invitation (not who hasn’t and the reason being IDK). I would really appreciate learning how to deal with this!


24 Martin { 08.24.10 at 2:12 am }

IDK solution

I’m not able to see who IDKed me using the tip/trick above. Have LinkedIn changed their UI to prevent this?


25 Patrick OMalley { 08.25.10 at 12:03 pm }


They changed this completely in the last month or so, and there doesn’t appear to be an easy way to do it. The upside is that in the new layout, people can’t IDK you anymore.

I wrote this up for the people who are subscribed to my newsletter, so you may want to subscribe.

26 Abdul Rehman Zia { 09.08.10 at 12:01 am }

And IDK solution will be much helpful.

Many thanks.

27 Marcus { 09.17.10 at 10:28 pm }

IDK Solution

Thanks for the Help!

28 scott { 10.12.10 at 1:14 pm }

IDK Solution please.

Thanks for the valuable information

29 Barry Graham { 10.17.10 at 10:58 pm }

All of a sudden I am being asked to provide my e-mail address when I say someone is a friend. If this is because someone with amnesia said they didn’t know me (which is the only explanation I can think of since I never connect with people I don’t know), then there should be a way to defend oneself.

Another reason why Facebook will live while Linkedin won’t.

30 Jordan Kern { 10.20.10 at 11:38 am }

IDK Solution Cool article

31 Patrick OMalley { 10.20.10 at 2:53 pm }


Quick answers on possibilities for why LinkedIn wants your email address:

– You’ve invited that person before
– You’ve gotten 5 “I Don’t Know Barry” clicks from people you’ve invited, so you’re on the IDK list

32 Pallavi { 10.21.10 at 3:52 am }

I have started using Linkedin since Aug 2010. and the same has happened to me IDK and i am not able to invite any of my friend. I wrote to Customer service to unrestict myself but still no response. Its frustrating..Kindly help me out…

33 Yash Mittal { 02.03.11 at 2:34 am }

Please provide me IDK solution

34 Jake { 02.25.11 at 11:02 am }

LinkedIn states that it is for people who already know and trust each other. Whether or not you agree with that, the truth remains that taking 5 seconds to send a LinkedIn invite is NOT a substitute for actually getting to know people, building rapport, and true networking. I don’t mind people reaching out to me on LinkedIn to network, ask questions, offer or request expertise. That’s why I’m on LinkedIn. I don’t want 500+ e-friends who are permanently attached to my profile, who spam invitations with the default text. If you want me as a contact, but you can’t be bothered to actually know me with just a few sentences introducing yourself, then I’m afraid it’s not my fault that I don’t know you. (That said, I didn’t realize that there were consequences.)

Here’s a tip. Instead of adding me as your contact without any introduction, send me an In-Mail, or just a regular e-mail. There are no shortcuts in life to actually making the effort.

35 Jake { 02.25.11 at 11:08 am }

By the way, that comment wasn’t directed at anyone in particular on here. It’s just that I’m getting more than 5 invitations a week from strangers who say I’m a “friend.” I don’t have amnesia.

If they want a job from me, need some advice, or even if they want to sell my company something, I’ll probably write back. I’m very friendly and open, but don’t presume I want my profile to endorse strangers sight-unseen.

Again, not directed at anyone specific on this board. Just a rant in general.

36 Amit { 03.14.11 at 2:29 pm }

Can you pl. email me the IDK solution, as I have been blacklisted. Many thanks.

37 Thomas Carpenter { 03.21.11 at 1:37 pm }

IDK Solution

Thanks for the help!

38 A. Schon { 04.11.11 at 2:17 pm }

Please email me the IDK solution thank you!

39 A Garg { 05.05.11 at 6:25 am }

IDK Solution please.

40 Bruce Cao { 05.16.11 at 10:38 pm }

Need help as well since I get 5 IDKs. Now my contact is around 6minllion people

41 Bruce Cao { 05.16.11 at 10:48 pm }

IDK solution, thanks ! Bruce

42 Sudhir { 05.22.11 at 8:37 am }

IDK Solution please !

Thanks in advance.

43 megan { 06.02.11 at 1:48 am }

IDK solution please.


44 “IDK solution” { 06.03.11 at 1:18 pm }



45 Ray { 06.23.11 at 3:40 pm }

IDK solution please


46 Paul { 07.19.11 at 6:28 am }

Hi, I would be interested in the IDK solution please.

47 David { 08.23.11 at 12:17 pm }

Hi I would be interested in your IDK solution assumiong it still applies now they have changed things. Thanks In advance

48 Steven Levine { 09.07.11 at 7:02 pm }


Just looking to connect and interested in the info on the “IDK Solution” I received an email that I am close to the limit.

Best regards,
Mission Mobile

49 Hans { 09.13.11 at 12:47 pm }

Hi Patrick,
I think my account has been IDKed as well. I would really appreciate if you can email me the solution.
Kind Regards

50 Fred { 09.13.11 at 2:14 pm }

IDK solution please,
Thank you!

51 Matt { 09.13.11 at 6:34 pm }

IDK Solution please! Thanks in advance

52 Chris Jones { 09.26.11 at 11:23 am }

Please email me the IDK solution.
Thank you.
Cheers, Chris.

53 Alan { 10.04.11 at 1:54 pm }

Please email me the IDK solution

54 Brad { 10.07.11 at 7:11 pm }

Please email me the IDK solution.

55 Renoult { 10.10.11 at 9:02 am }

Please mail me IDK solution ! Thanks

56 Christy { 10.22.11 at 3:38 am }

Please email the solution. Thank you!!!

57 Richard { 10.22.11 at 4:12 pm }

IDK Solution Please!

58 john { 10.25.11 at 9:42 pm }

idk solution

59 Clare { 11.09.11 at 12:17 pm }

IDK solution please

60 David { 11.15.11 at 4:00 pm }

IDK solution

61 Cameron { 11.22.11 at 9:30 pm }

I’d appreciate the IDK solution as well. Thanks!

62 Kat { 11.26.11 at 5:16 pm }

IDK solution please

63 IDK Solution { 12.13.11 at 5:35 am }

I would like the soultion please. Thanks, Abi

64 Dan { 12.16.11 at 2:59 pm }

Could i also get the ISK solution pease.

65 Daniel Wise { 12.19.11 at 3:40 am }

IDK solution please

66 Simon Mottram { 12.22.11 at 6:32 am }

IDK Solution please

67 Anna { 12.23.11 at 12:10 am }

please help. I need IDK solution..thanks

68 Dylan { 12.28.11 at 12:28 am }

IDK solution please, Thank you!

69 Bob Morris { 01.07.12 at 9:27 pm }

“IDK solution” Please

We are a non-profit working humanitarian projects that include a Global Campaign Against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). When we contact members of Congress, Veterans Groups, and others, they recommend people we should connect to in order to expand our social network of those helping us in these efforts. Recently we ran into the problem that some people don’t understand we were referred to them, or they get the automatic message form Linked In saying the request is coming from a “friend” they hit IDK… we are now close to our limit… this rule does not take into account when people are trying to actually use LinkedIn for benevolent purposes. Please help us understand how to get around this.

70 Brad de Leon { 01.31.12 at 10:50 pm }

IDK solutions, any left?

71 Roman R { 02.05.12 at 12:05 pm }

Hello! I really need a fix with the IDK solutions please? I had some competitors not play nice and I reached my limit. Thanks in advance guys.

72 Bob K { 02.07.12 at 12:41 pm }

IK solution

73 Bob K { 02.07.12 at 12:42 pm }

IDK solution

74 Henri Mabilais { 02.08.12 at 12:14 pm }

IDK solution

75 TT { 02.09.12 at 7:07 am }

IDK solution

76 Tazii { 02.09.12 at 6:34 pm }

IDK solution

77 chris walsh { 02.15.12 at 1:00 pm }

IDK solution would be great – thanks!

78 Terry Donovan { 02.27.12 at 10:46 am }

IDK solution!

79 Peter Bowen { 03.22.12 at 8:08 pm }

IDK solution requested.

80 Ben Croft { 03.28.12 at 12:35 pm }

“IDK solution”

81 Rui Wang { 03.31.12 at 1:58 am }

IDK solution please, thank you so much!!

82 shuvo { 04.05.12 at 4:15 pm }

need idk solution .. plz help me out

83 Anastasia { 04.13.12 at 11:27 am }

IDK sollution requested,

84 Reldep { 04.15.12 at 11:15 am }

IDK solution please. Thx!

85 ChrisJ { 04.20.12 at 3:28 am }

IDK solution would be great.

The laughable bit for me is that I have received 9 IDK from a recent bulk invite I did to UK based memebers of the Opern Networker Group!

86 Sara { 04.25.12 at 12:12 am }

IDK Solution please!!

Damn blacklist!

87 Marc { 05.08.12 at 11:57 am }

IDK Solution, many thanks Patrick

88 MIchael { 05.10.12 at 2:00 pm }

IDK Solution, many thanks Patrick

89 Michael { 05.10.12 at 2:01 pm }

IDK Solution, many thanks Patrick…PLEASEEEE !!

90 Lauren { 05.21.12 at 2:13 am }

IDK Solution, please, Patrick! Thank you

91 D Singer { 05.23.12 at 10:49 am }

“IDK solution” please; it is a bit urgent


92 JR { 06.07.12 at 11:54 am }

IDK Solution please. Thanks!

93 SB { 06.11.12 at 5:42 pm }

IDK solution please!!!

94 allen { 06.22.12 at 1:22 pm }

IDK Solution please!!

Your prompt help will be highly appreciated.

95 joji { 07.04.12 at 9:41 pm }

Please send me the IDK solution. I’ve send apology to linkedin, but they don’t even care. Not sure who idk me too. Thanks

96 Madhav Sethi { 07.05.12 at 2:41 am }

IDK solution

97 Josh Coffin { 07.09.12 at 10:56 am }


98 Josh Coffin { 07.09.12 at 10:56 am }

IDK Solution

99 tia maria { 07.10.12 at 4:00 pm }

idk solution please!

100 Declan Rushe { 07.16.12 at 6:38 am }

Can you help me with removing an IDK blacklist please?


101 Molly { 07.26.12 at 11:02 pm }

Please send IDK solution. Thanks!

102 Twana Bernstrom { 07.30.12 at 8:42 pm }

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103 Mark Berman { 08.15.12 at 12:43 am }

I have been put on the IDK list multiple times (twice), and LinkedIn won’t let you out of it, One time they reset it for me, but I am interested to see how many times they will reset it or what you suggest. Your article listed email me at the contact email address at the bottom of the page and I’ll tell you how to get around the problem. Thank you very much for your time. Have a great day!
Mark .

104 amy { 08.15.12 at 3:49 am }

Please send me the IDK solution. Thanks

105 Monique { 08.22.12 at 2:59 am }

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106 Shahn van Zyl { 08.23.12 at 4:14 am }

IDK solution please

107 kmoore { 09.04.12 at 12:39 pm }

IDK Solution please! Thanks, Kevin

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110 Samir { 10.23.12 at 9:52 pm }

IDK solution please

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114 Aaiz { 01.14.13 at 9:40 am }

Can you please email me the IDK solution?

Thanks a lot in advance.


115 Peer { 02.04.13 at 3:46 pm }


116 IDK solution please { 03.05.13 at 3:25 am }

Can you please provide the IDK solution? Thank you.

117 Justine { 04.18.13 at 3:51 am }

Can you please email me the IDK solution?
Thank you very much for your help.

118 { 05.07.13 at 4:42 am }

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119 RKhurana { 05.15.13 at 11:14 pm }

IDK Solution

120 JohnR { 06.14.13 at 11:08 am }

Id very much appreciate the IDK solution too.

121 infocash review { 06.17.13 at 9:17 am }

Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this
post and also the rest of the website is really good.

122 Fred S { 09.10.13 at 3:58 am }

IDK Solution

Thanks for the help! Much appreciated.

123 Jane { 10.04.13 at 9:11 pm }

“IDK solution” When I tried to send out an invitation to a friend, I got warning that I am going to reach the threshold of “IDK” by sending out this one if this person says “IDK”. Is there a way to solve the problem? Thanks a lot. Jane

124 Jane { 10.04.13 at 9:12 pm }

“IDK solution” When I tried to send out an invitation to a friend, I got warning that I am going to reach the threshold of “IDK” by sending out this one if this person says “IDK”. Is there a way to solve the problem? Thanks a lot. Jane

125 Cami { 10.12.13 at 4:39 pm }

Please send IDK solution. Thanks!

126 Rebecca Wood { 11.20.13 at 5:21 am }

IDK solution Please :)

127 Jan S { 12.05.13 at 7:24 pm }

IDK Solution please

128 Rachel { 01.26.14 at 11:36 am }

Alternatively, you could just stop inviting people you don’t know. Or pay LinkedIn for a premium account, and they’ll let you spam whomever you like. Because really, you know, they don’t care if you do that, provided they’re making money out of it.

129 Patrick O'Malley (@617patrick) { 01.27.14 at 4:26 pm }


True, but some people just forget that they know you. With a premium account, you’re only allowed to send 3 (actually 12-30, depending on how clever you are) InMails a month to people you don’t know.

130 Chao { 02.24.14 at 12:24 am }

May I have your IDK Solution please. Thanks.

131 Chao { 02.24.14 at 12:25 am }

May I have your IDK Solution please. Many thanks.

132 Tim { 02.25.14 at 4:05 pm }

Please send me the IDK solution. Cheers!

133 Garrett { 03.19.14 at 5:46 pm }

Hello Patrick!
I have restricted for the 3rd time for IDK’s, could you please send me any info you may have which could unrestrict me?
Thank you very much, you are the best!

134 Jamie { 07.21.14 at 10:49 am }

Please send me the idk solution thanks!

135 koenos { 07.30.14 at 4:10 pm }

Dear Patrick, could you please send me your IDK solution?
Many thanks in advance

136 Dubya { 07.31.14 at 7:04 am }

Hi Patrick, would appreciate any help you can give on how to get off the IDK list. Thanks

137 Subas { 08.02.14 at 4:28 am }

Hi Patrick,

Please help me too with your IDK solution! Thanks!

138 Gail Klepfisz { 10.08.14 at 5:40 pm }

please help me with my IDK issue with LinkedIn

139 Natasha Barr { 11.12.14 at 8:42 am }

Hi Patrick,
Can you let me know who I co about seeing how many people have IDK me to date?
Many thanks,


140 fredrich { 12.11.14 at 12:10 am }

IDK Solution Please

141 Tushar { 03.16.15 at 12:39 pm }

Greetings Patrick:

I invited bunch of people last couple weeks and I am not sure how many people IDK me. I got restriction by Linked in and I can not invite any more people. Can you please send me solution how do I fix the issue. I really appreciate your help!

Thanks in advance

142 Brother Tony O { 04.21.15 at 7:21 am }

Here is the present solution to finding out the status of your invitation (courtesy of @stacyzapar):
Go to your Inbox | Sent messages; select Invitations from the dropdown arrow that’s above the listed messages; find the invitation you’re concerned about and click it to open it up. You should see two buttons, Resend and Withdraw, if they haven’t responded to your invite. If both are missing, it could mean three things: 1 – they accepted it, 2 – you withdrew it already, 3 – they marked it as spam/IDK. Finally, if only the Resend button is missing, that means they’ve archived your invitation and the only penalty against you is you’ve lost one from your 3000 invite limit.

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