Screenshot of a viral linkedin post about cooking raw chicken in the hotel coffee pot to save the writer's company money on travel expenses. Background is a repeated pattern of the face from the "U Mad Bro" meme
Collage by Cathryn Virginia | Screenshot courtesy of Alexander C.

People Are Shitposting on LinkedIn Now

That viral photo of someone cooking raw chicken in a coffee machine? It's fake – and it's not the only post poking fun at the platform.

Ah, LinkedIn: a humourless dystopia populated with millionaire influencers, advice no one asked for and inspirational quotes like "feed your brain discipline, dreams and positivity". Understandably, a lot of people hate the recruitment site – the subreddit r/LinkedInLunatics has 205,000 members making fun of earnest LinkedIn posts – but people are now bringing their mockery to the app itself, adding a satirical and highly meta dimension to what has long been the most overly serious social media platform around. 


They’re shitposting, basically.

Take that picture that did the rounds at the end of 2022, appearing to show raw chicken breast cooking in a hotel coffee machine. “I’m traveling for work and instead of eating a fancy dinner out, I’ve decided to cook a cheaper meal in the hotel room,” a LinkedIn user named Alexander C. wrote. “It’s the little things that get you promoted.” 

Alex Cohen, 29, who works for a US startup, tells VICE he didn’t actually cook raw meat in a hotel amenity. But as “Alexander C.”, his shitpost got almost 1,600 likes and went viral on Twitter, attracting comments like: “People have to worry about bedbugs, MRSA, monkeypox, etc… and now salmonella, cause your crazy ass is cooking chicken in a coffee pot. You think this kind of behavior will get you promoted?”

“It’s actually pretty incredible how many people believe that post is real,” Cohen says. “I had journalists messaging me asking if I really had managed to get a promotion by not spending money on my dinner.” Why post something like this at all? “LinkedIn just happens to be a prime opportunity for shitposting – no one suspects you’re lying.” 


There are many types of LinkedIn shitposts: Some make up fake daily routines from CEOs that list more hours in the day than there actually are. Others recount ignoring their girlfriend in a burning building because they were too busy being a committed Amazon employee. LinkedIn shitposters even have a nickname for everyone else on the app who posts seriously. “They’re called NPCs,” says Cohen, referring to video game terminology for non-player characters who are controlled by the computer, rather than the user.

Not everyone is wise to a LinkedIn shitpost yet, but that might change once these jokes become more prolific. In many ways, the platform should have seen it coming. In an era where Gen Z are less likely to put up with long hours and workplace bullshit, the hyper-sincere aspiration and rigid formality of LinkedIn was always going to grate. It makes sense that when young people migrated onto the app – out of sheer job-seeking necessity, if nothing else – they were horrified by what they found. 


“You can see how much Gen Z absolutely hates LinkedIn – it’s stuffy and fake, everyone’s really self-congratulatory,” says Will Ye, a 24-year-old software engineer from New York. Ye is a fellow shitposter who believes the platform is in desperate need of change: “It’s just so unwelcoming. That’s a shame, because LinkedIn is the best place to find a job but a lot of people are put off by the atmosphere.”  

He’s not surprised to see the younger generation – plus those who are just very online – rebelling against the conventions of the site. According to an Adobe/Harris survey, Gen Z consider themselves more creative than the generations above them. And, Ye adds, “for some reason, Gen Z just love making up shit. They’re so unashamed of admitting that they made everything up. There’s not much of a deep reason to it.” 

LinkedIn, on its part, doesn’t seem too bothered about the posts so far. Cohen’s only had one post – about going to space with Jeff Bezos – moderated, and says he’s been posting whatever he wants otherwise. (VICE reached out for comment but LinkedIn did not respond.)

According to shitposter Chris Bakke, one of the main criticisms everyone who hates LinkedIn raises is that it feels fake, which is partly why he decided to up the ante. “I’ll read someone else’s post that has gone viral on LinkedIn and think there is no way this is actually real, I don’t believe the 17th six-year-old [in a row] has inspired their mum to be kinder at work because of a school project,” Bakke, who also happens to be the CEO of a recruitment company, says. “I thought, ‘Well, if they’re making that up, I can write something that’s just over the top ridiculous’.” 

A LinkedIn shitpost from a CEO about his daily routine.

Screenshot courtesy of Chris Bakke

And while posting made-up hustle culture nonsense on the site might seem like anti-LinkedIn behaviour – after all, two of its community policies are “be professional” and “be trustworthy” – it might paradoxically be exactly what the app needs to attract more users.   

“Marketers say there’s no activity happening on LinkedIn,” says Bakke. “It’s a content-poor platform.” But he’s noticed LinkedIn readers seem to love his posts much more than they do on Twitter. “You could take a tweet that would get 500 likes on Twitter, and on LinkedIn it would get 10,000 likes.”

In fact, shitposting even seems to be helping people find places they want to work for. Cohen says that his posts have attracted like minded employees to his startup. “They realise we have a sense of humour, we don’t take ourselves as seriously,” he says. “Whereas you have a lot of companies that are stuck up and really strict on communication – you can tell a lot of those companies aren’t as fun to work for.” 

Some have described shitposting – whether that’s about music or politics – as the product of cynicism or even political powerlessness. But if working with people who appreciate the same jokes is one of the most important parts of a job, shitposting might be the best way of advertising your company to potential hires. Bakke goes as far as describing the posts as “part of [his company’s] strategy to find candidates and employers who have a sense of humour”. 

In that case, maybe shitposting really is the most authentic thing you can do on LinkedIn.