PROBLEM: Whenever I write a hub on a controversial subject, a number of people create new, fake hub accounts solely for the purpose of posting negative comments and feedback on my hubs and/or threatening me anonymously. These new hubbers have 0 (zero) hubs and no other activity, and they are never likely to write a hub or contribute to hubpages in a meaningful way, simply because they created a fake account to be bullies and cowards in the first place!
SOLUTION: Hubpages should set up levels of access so that hubbers who have at least one "Featured Hub" are allowed to write to other hubbers directly, to post fan mail, to comment and vote on hubs, and to participate in all discussions and forums. IIN CONTRAST, hubbers who have NEVER had any "Featured Hubs" should be prevented from the social aspects of Hubpages... from contacting other hubbers, from commenting or voting on any other hubs, and they should be limited to the Hubpages help and support forums ONLY!
WHY THIS WILL WORK: This will seriously protect all of us seasoned, dedicated hubbers from excess nonsense, bullying and harassment that we are all forced to endure! It will prevent us from wasting our time sifting through negative comment spam from faked hubber accounts. Our hubs will no longer be voted down by bullies. It will also force all new hubbers to contribute more hubs into the system until they get a "Featured Hub" status, it will give them incentive to contribute, to add value and content, and to improve their writing styles in order to EARN the right to comment and vote on OTHER people's hubs!
HUBPAGES MUST ACT: After all, why should a totally new hubber be allowed to negatively comment or vote on hubs when they haven't even proved their own level of writing skills to the rest of the hard-working hubber community? The mere fact that Hubpages allows such things to take place is a travesty to all of us hubbers who have a long-term vested interest in writing for this site! Serious writers should not be subjected to the level of comment spam, bullying, and idle threats from faked hubber accounts, from spineless phantoms who aren't even real hubbers at all. It's about time that Hubapges addresses this issue in order to reduce the hideous level of comment spam, flaming and bullying that takes place here! After all, this is not Facebook... Hubpages is supposed to be a place for serious, dedicated writers and therefore they should raise the bar and make this site a notch above Facebook and create some exclusivity!
WHAT SAY YOU?!?!?!?
I say don't let it make you feel victimized and simply moderate your comments. If you write on controversial topics, expect to draw controversy and dissenting opinions. Controversial subjects can bring out the best and the worst in people. If someone is truly harassing you or violating the HP terms of service, then report that person. If they are just down voting or whatever - so what? Has it harmed your readership? I'm going to guess no.
People have down voted my hubs before because they don't like me or don't agree with some things I say. I still earn here and enjoy the good parts. Then there are the other silly people who vote hubs "Funny" simply because they disagree and I promise you seasoned hubbers do that too lol. Oh well! Doesn't stop me at the end of the day .
We shouldn't silence all people who are new here and assume they are up to no good automatically. While that may be true of some; it certainly isn't the case the majority of the time. We all started off as newbies - and 16 months ago, you were a newbie too. That being said, when someone signs up new, follows a hundred people all at once, etc. and doesn't publish anything, and they have profiles that aren't filled out or are "sales pitchy". those you can be sure are scraping content or gearing up to start spamming most likely. When you see that report them and draw it to HP staff attention.
This is a social website as much as it is an article writing one and the forums and answers, commenting etc. are all part of how new hubbers learn and grow in their writing etc. Why deny everyone due to a few bad apples? Seems sort of like cutting off one's arm to remove a splinter in your thumb to me.
Raising the comment level ability might be inconvenient for some, but it would surely eliminate 90% of the spammers and threatening commenters who constantly infiltrate HubPages on a daily basis. You are looking at the wrong side of the coin... if people had to put a bit of effort in here before being able to post frivolous or threatening comments then they would go away... and after all, spammers would never stick around under such conditions because they would never work that hard to write a few good hubs just so they could comment spam.
As a side note, have you ever had commenters threaten your business, your livelihood, or your life? And if they did what would Hubpages do about it... ban them? Big deal! Some of the scumbag companies that I have revealed to the public via Hubpages have ripped off my customers (and in some cases myself) have gone as far as leaving threatening phone calls in my voicemail, sending me threats through my web site contact forms, etc.... all supposedly "untraceable" but I was able to trace many of them my own way and still have gotten no help from the Feds or local authorities despite my numerous contacts to them.
I had to remove part of my name and links to my other sites and such to reduce the level of threats I was getting. Are my hubs controversial? Some are, yes... but the scummy, scammy companies that I am writing hubs about are like cockroaches hiding from a flashlight, and I am hurting their business with my honest reporting... in retaliation for the money that my customers have lost and never gotten back. Through Hubpages dozens and dozens of readers a day have learned a lot about the scumbags I've reported on, and in turn they have saved their wallets and themselves from headaches by avoiding these companies.
If people are threatening your life, it's time to publish under a totally anonymous pseudonym and take whatever steps necessary to ensure to mask your real identity and ensure your own safety. That responsibility doesn't fall on HP though.
Yes, I've been cyberstalked, not due to something I wrote, but by a crazy ex of my former husband, so I do understand the law enforcement woes that haven't caught up with the times. She'd impersonate other people, she took photographs of my son from other people's accounts and posted them, a lot of crazy stuff and so long as she didn't threaten me directly - there was nothing they could do. It went on for months. It's a pain I get that. What I don't understand is the mindset that everyone else should change to acommodate what you choose to publish. I'm sympathetic, but I just don't agree that such stringent rules for newbies should be enacted.
My side of it, is that kind of strictness makes HP even more unwelcoming and intimidating to new talent. We all do well when HP does well - and to continue to do that, they need to be able to draw in new folks and help them get established without making them feel like outsiders etc.
As for spammers, they will always happen no matter what is put in place. I think the current "bootcamp" does quite a lot to deter it within hubs though. As for comments you can always turn off the ability to leave comments completely in those hubs.
I would like to implement this in the world at large... No more bullies *anywhere. No negativity while we're at it. No sucky customers, no overbearing mother-in-laws... no jerks who eye you up and down, then check out your 11 y/o daughter. I am fully supportive of any steps we can take to make this world a better and more comfortable place to live. Instead of No Boundaries, we'll be called No Obstacles. We'll never again have any issues of discomfort. I'm looking forward to this.
That would be nice for about a week, and then it would fast become awfully boring I think. We need a lot of voices, and differences to make life interesting and worthwhile - even if the cost of that is sometimes people who are overbearing and obnoxious
It's like... if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound?
I was being funny, but if I was the only one who laughed, was it actually funny? lol
I guess not.
It was, and I get your intention I think my comment was actually me sending a reminder to myself - I've had a couple of clients and a family member this week that are certainly colorful and keep life interesting... sigh. .
"We'll never again have any issues of discomfort. I'm looking forward to this."
When you have people sending you comment threats I'm sure you'll change your mind. You'll be sure to upset some people with your amplified sarcasm, so be prepared.
I'm not sure if you are directing that at me or not but I welcome all kinds of comments.. even the crazies. I've been in business too long to let people scare me--both in brick and mortar and online. I have fun with it. But, if somebody threatened my life, I'd certainly make a report and arm myself adequately.
i.e. Everyone should be nice to each other.......and pigs will fly.
There are solutions to the problem, but limiting commenting and such to only members with at least one featured hub is punishing a large number of people for someone else's rudeness. I've met quite a few new members who have been working hard to get a hub featured, but that doesn't always happen with the first few attempts. What if those people can only work on hubs once a week for a hour or so? What if it takes them a month or more to learn how to create the type of hub it takes to be featured? These hard working newbies shouldn't be banned from leaving comments or participating in ALL areas of HP.
There are also a lot of people who sign up so they can participate in the forums and other areas and never intend to write a hub and these same people are some of the nicest, most polite people here at HP (or anywhere else on the internet for that matter).
Then there's also the matter of comments being left by guests. You don't need an HP account in order to leave comments on a hub. There have been times I've clicked on the link in an email, gone to the hub, read it, and left a comment without signing in. Nasty hub comments won't be eliminated just by requiring new members to have a featured hub before they can leave comments.
I hate the negative and nasty comments as much as the next person, but the other people who responded have the right idea. Any time you put your thoughts and opinions in a publicly accessed site such as here at HP, you're going to get that because rude people are a fact of life. You have to develop a thick skin.
"WHAT SAY YOU???"
That's crazy. Send that controversy to my Hubs. You sound like a democrat. JUST KIDDING!!!!!
I am agree with you to an extent. However, Hubpages allow posting comments to non hubbers too.
I don't know if you've seen this or not, but sometimes ppl will copy and paste any old article they find on the internet, make a hub out of it and bingo, they look semi-legitimate.
Maybe you aren't being serious enough.
Or maybe it's because you have tons of your personal contact info out on the web along with an established history of being confrontational.
I get a lot of hate mail from ppl who don't like eggplant.
How did they get your phone number from Hubpages? I know people can get it from the place that hosts a personal blog, but I don't think anyone ever got my personal info from HP. I want to go on the record as liking eggplant.
You could write a hub about this lol it's too long If I'm ever gonna have some effort writing much words I'd prefer to spend it on a hub lol
And btw just ignore the bullies... They're here for a reason and if they try to bully you it only means you're successful and they're dying of jealousy
I think limiting the ability to vote or comment is unnecessary. For one thing, the voting thumbs are virtually meaningless so no matter how many people vote you down, it really won't hurt you. Secondly, if you set your comments so you have to moderate them before they appear - and then delete the offensive ones - people will soon give up trying to post them.
The same goes for email - if they send you an email, they can't see your email address unless you respond. So if you simply delete their email they'll get no feedback and therefore no satisfaction.
As for calling you - that has nothing to do with HubPages, so making changes to voting and commenting won't make any difference.
Edit: reading your subsequent comments, it seems that you already use moderation so the general public never see the hostile comments, and I'm assuming you're smart enough not to respond to the emails.
So do I take it that your problem is purely that you don't want to even see the emails and comments? That seems a bit unreasonable - if you can't stand the heat, don't enter the kitchen in the first place.
These aren't new hubbers with 0 hubs, I call them mysterious hubbers. At least, new hubbers have hubs; these mysterious hubbers have no hubs and some have been around for as many as six years.
It goes with the territory, the mysterious hubbers are oftentimes the ones who stalk the hubs, leaving less than positive comments! If it gets too much, one can always report them, I have done this and IT WORKS!
This comes up for discussion every once in a while.
When you own the site you make your own rules.
Dellea, the only thing that needs to happen here is from you, not HubPages. And mostly what you need to do is recognize you are responsible for your writing.
If you are going to exercise your freedom of speech in a public venue, other people are free to do the same. If you are unhappy with a public venue, then you need to create or move to a private one.
There are tools here which can modulate and moderate commenting. There are rules and procedures for dealing with actual harassment. Your post here seems to demonstrate you are unaware of either.
My best advice, as someone who's been here for almost eight years, would be for you to dedicate a half hour to learning how comment moderation works, and what guidelines admin has set for reporting genuine harassment.
Controversial hubs do generate a lot of comments, so you have to expect that. You really need to just moderate as relache says, and also, it's your traffic outside of HP that matters, and makes you money. You aren't making anything from other hubbers, so to block outsiders would be shooting yourself in the foot. You'll figure it out. Good luck.
The rules and mechanisms that you refer to are not only limited, but are essentially worthless. The site lacks way too many features where comment moderation is concerned, I am using all of them and the only thing they do is prevent a comment from being viewed by the public before approval, big deal. if your hubs were on the front lines of flaming comments, I'm sure you would feel differently.
If you write a hub on something controversial, you have three choices: 1) option to leave off the comments section 2) keep comments section on, but not actually respond to comments 3) leave comments section on, and choose to respond to comments.
It's hard not to respond when you have strong feelings about the topic, it probably never occurred to me . But I guess if I feel that strongly, I'd be doing something active about whatever the issue was, and not getting worked up on forums. The religion and political ones can be brutal, and many have been kicked off.
You can also leave the comments section on but moderate the comments so unreasonable posts are never shown and any troll commenters are deprived of the attention they want and eventually leave.
I don't think your basic request to have a little more control over hubbers who aren't serious hubbers is so bad, dellea. I also don't think it will completely eliminate the problem. Even hubbers with many hubs will still leave comments on hubs they vehemently disagree with or find controversial. Since there will always be spammy hubbers in our midst, controlling spammy activity probably isn't HP's sole responsibility to fix. But tightening up criteria for membership and interaction in the community would certainly be a good start to addressing it. Not a bad idea at all, IMO.
When someone isn't even using any of the available tools, that's their problem, not HubPages. If Dellea was using the options available, she would have the greater control she's seeking.
So Jan, does this mean you're going to go back and edit your Hub from about 18 months ago, and take out the parts where you tell new members to follow experienced members to learn or go to the forums for help?
Oh, okay, I see your point. No, will not change the message. But I will change the wording of that so others hubbers, new or old, won't take the the use of the word "follow" literally. I see now, 18 months after being here and writing, that "follow" is a word with big buzz.
Done! Thanks for reading that hub, relache.
BTW... DELLEA IS A MAN, relache... thank you very much... not sure what gave you the assumption that I am a woman considering my profile description, but okay... men can get threatening phone calls just as well as women can, and apparently the Feds aren't willing to help ANYBODY who receives said calls, or at least not me.
Thank you janshares... I'm glad someone does see my point of view without jumping all over me. People here keep mentioning here that I shouldn't be worried about negative comments. I'm not worried, but I am concerned about creeps who have called me from untraceable voip phones in foreign countries who have somehow discovered my home phone number and left me threatening messages... but apparently people like relache and Christin S aren't writing direct enough hubs to get phone threats.
I skimmed over your hub titles and I didn't see anything controversial, but perhaps I looked too quickly.
Like others have said, controversial topics have a way of bringing comments to your page. I see plenty of hubbers come here and ask how to get comments, so perhaps you should consider yourself a successful hubber.
I say don't let internet personalities bully you. They don't know who you are or where you live. They are just typing words onto a screen. Delete their words and they are no longer bullies. Spammers, yes, but bullies, no.
I know of at least a handful of hubbers who have been contacted by publishing houses, magazine editors, blog owners and even TV shows to offer them business opportunities. I'm sure these people were glad that unregistered users were able to contact them.
This too! I have had a couple of clients who found a hub of mine, commented and then contacted me about helping them with their projects. That's another very good point.
I understand what you are saying, but a few of my hubs are apparently VERY controversial. I wrote about scam artists who are ripping off my clients and they came at me full force... comment spam, phone calls and email threats, bad mouthing my business across the web... I've gotten tired of it and have identified some of them, so if the authorities don't do anything I guess I'll have to myself.
I agree with ChristinS... we are professional writers here on the Hub, or at least desirous of becoming professional. And, even if you just hub for fun, one of the first things that you have to settle with yourself is this.... Am I ready for the backlash that may come from those who don't like what I write?
If you are not ready, then you should write about bunnies hopping happily through the meadow... and let that be all you write about.
But, if you choose to write on controversial subjects, please do not try and limit the precious right to free speech because you "can't take the heat".
As they say in the "hood"..... "If you are bad enough to say it, then you should be bad enough to take it".... Or, "if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen".... Happy Hubbing....
I meant say, desirous of becoming... not desirous to becoming.....
How did they get your phone number? Blocking newbies from commenting or emailing wouldn't stop them from finding out your name and phone number if they have some way of doing that.
I'm sorry you're getting threatened, but I'm glad you're exposing scammers and warning consumers. That is close to my heart.
SmartAndFun thank you for catching on to what I was trying to get across to everyone here. My hubs on Techvedic and Viridian have gotten me the most flack, threats like you wouldn't believe from Viridian supporters (you wouldn't think that green supporters would be so utterly violent would you).
The problem is, for example, in that one Viridian hub I wrote I tore their whole pyramid system apart and their die-hard supporters had threatened me numerous times... they are like vipers, because exposing the truth about their system loses them money and friends at the same time (read it to believe it, they mostly recruit their friends, happened to me).
The Techvedic hub is about a specific group of Indian telephone scammers who have been constantly ripping off computer owners throughout my service area... I have made more on-site calls to clean up their damage than you can imagine, and those scammers even stole the identities of some of my key clients! Needless to say that seriously pissed me off so I went after them online with articles, and in their retribution they started posting negative consumer reports about me around the globe that I was the one ripping off people with remote computer scams and services that I don't even offer!
All in all, I simply ended up killing all of the comment cells on my 50 or so hubs, and totally disabling all comment abilities on my hubs. And when I use Hubpages templates for new hubs I will instantly nuke the comment cell if it is pre-inserted. I hated to do it, because as I said I have gotten numerous constructive and supportive coimments from good, experienced fellow hubbers here, and I decided to simply remove them all from the hubs so no comments appear anywhere. I felt that was my last resort... and it is frustrating to me, but there is nothing else left for me to do. I also, in turn, had stripped down my profile before so stalkers can't look me up by real name and call my home or business numbers, etc... I got real tired of all that and pissed because I filed a complaint with the Feds (full evidence included) and they said they would look into my case number and I never saw hide nor hair of it again. I know that I have very good writing skills, and would love to fully identify myself on Hubpages again, but since I have changed and removed contact info to protect myself and family I am afraid that probably won't happen for a long while. Until then I will try to write hubs when I have more time under my semi-pseudo name, and hopefully one day I can re-attribute all of my writings back to my real identity so I may receive full credit for them and establish a part-time writing career as myself, not a pseudonym.
OK, but I still don't get how blocking unregistered users or newbies from posting would help you. As others have already stated, you can set your account so that comments people post do not appear on the page unless you approve them first. You have removed your name and personal details from your profile. So what are you asking for and why?
Ok reading what you've said and filed a report with the FBI, but did you file a report with the Attorney General Office? Their office does investigate but you need to send copies of the threats. Shame that your writing under a different name. Myself I write under my husband last name now that he passed away. Sounds like they clean their tracks when making threats, and there is software that does cleans a person tracks. Best of luck with them.
I say NAY! Just this evening, I got a comment on an article from someone who didn't even have an account, which led me to PM her on Kickstarter to talk about her campaign. It was a good, positive connection. I wouldn't want to lose that kind of interaction.
Also, what happens to the people trying like heck to post their first hubs, who can't ask questions when they get into a jam?
I believe new users, like me, should be given the same privileges as you! You mention the fake hub accounts and that is fair, but what about me? I'm not fake. Why should I have to suffer?
Being able to participate is the best way for new members to get exposure from the offset and there is only a handful of fake accounts to the rising number of real accounts as HubPages itself gets more exposed (even in Britain where I'm from, we knew about Squidoo but not much!)
I believe some things can be annoying about us, like posting our own links such as:
But that's for the purposes of helping exposure, we are proud of our work. We will probably grow out of it once we are satisfied we are successfully lodged within the community. So far, doing this has only received a positive reaction from the other hub users.
I don't think and hope your suggestion doesn't become a reality, not unless the amount of fake accounts begins to risk superseding the amount of real accounts which I don't think will be for a long time yet.
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