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Post a Clear List of What's Not Allowed, Please

  1. Marisa Wright profile image92
    Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago

    Whether I agree with HP's new policies or not, I respect the site's right to set their own rules. 

    However, I think one of the reasons Hubbers are getting upset is

    they're getting warnings based on rules they don't know exist

    Examples:

    1. I have "overly promotional" warnings on several Hubs.  After some trial and error, I discovered the problem:  I had three RSS feeds (one to my related website, one to my related Hubs, one to a project like HubMobs or 60DC).  I cut it down to two, and the warning disappeared.

    I've searched the site and I can't find any prohibition on multiple RSS feeds.

    2.  Similarly, I believe several Hubbers have been hit for having a RSS feed to their own,unrelated Hubs.  Most people seem to be aware of this now - but again, where is it written down, please?

    3.  I've seen a couple of people get picked up for using "nonsense tags".  Many of us have used these as part of projects (where participants are required to include an RSS feed to the project in their Hub) - it's the only way to ensure your tag is unique.  For instance, the original 60DC project used "60DC". 

    To add insult to injury, these are practices which were actively encouraged pre-Panda, so it's understandable that many Hubbers will have done the same - yet nobody has bothered to tell us it's a problem!   

    In particular, I assume the tags are being moderated based on the existing rule about relevant tags - but unless the HP team has been living under a rock, surely they must have known the use of "manufactured" tags was widespread, and was never a problem pre-Panda. So surely an announcement, letting everyone know this had changed, would've been polite? 


    We have post after post of people saying they're getting a warning and can't see why - can you please look carefully at your moderating criteria, make sure you've told us about all of them, and publish a complete list including new and old?

    1. Mutiny92 profile image88
      Mutiny92posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Marisa, I was wondering about RSS feeds too.  I see various comments about them, but I haven't seen any warnings on my hubs, although I have used "my latest hubs" RSS in the past.

      I know folks have used unique tags to create a RSS in order to group their own, similar hubs - as well as the RSS for the 60DC.

      I am hesitant to make changes based on the changes reported by other hubbers in the forums, but I REALLY don't want my hubs to be unpublished either.  I will gladly make whatever changes are needed, but it would help to know which ones have issues per the new policies of RSS.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Mutiny, you get a warning email before your Hubs are unpublished. 

        For Hubbers with a large portfolio,the problem is that there's not enough time to work out what's wrong with every Hub and fix it before the deadline.  Especially if you're working in the dark.

        I've only had one warning so far.  I know I'm going to get more, but I'm going to wait for the email - especially for my aff link Hubs, I figure I may as well get the maximum income from them before I have to let them go!

        1. Cagsil profile image61
          Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Hey Marisa, I've heard other people talking about the "time" frame which hubs that are unpublished can run into.

          I have seen many say that it takes about 4-7 days before Google will actually de-index a hub. If it is republished within that time frame, then you shouldn't have too much of a loss. hmm

          I hope that helps.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image92
            Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            It's not a problem for me with my little portfolio.  That's why I've only acted on the one warning email I've received - I'm not looking at any of my other Hubs yet.  Why bother, when HP's filters will do the work for me?

          2. Marisa Wright profile image92
            Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            I'm repeating this because I think it's great information.  I see a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth because something has been unpublished. I can see it's a big issue for people with large portfolios, who can't possibly get them all cleaned up within 4-7 days - but for those with only a small number of Hubs, it's no cause for panic.

        2. Mutiny92 profile image88
          Mutiny92posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          That is great, then.  I was under the impression that they would be unpublished until they were revised and resubmitted for approval.

          I had two hubs I missed with the "50 words per ad" rule unpublished.  (although, to my defense, the warning went away - so I mistakenly thought they were fixed.)

          1. Marisa Wright profile image92
            Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            So you didn't get an email asking you to revise, before the two Hubs were unpublished?

            1. Mutiny92 profile image88
              Mutiny92posted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I got the email that covered all hubs that would be impacted by the new 50/1 rule. I made the changes but two of them had the warning cleared after my edit. They were then unpublished a few days later. Not a big deal as they did not comply with the rules- I just fixed them and republished.

              I just did not know if these rss issues got a warning or if they were unpublished outright. You cleared it up. Thanks!

    2. Jason Menayan profile image61
      Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Marisa,

      We treat RSS feeds like a group of links, so they're subject to the same rules as any other sort of link: it must be related to the Hub's topic, and you're only allowed 2 links to the same domain from a Hub. Since that means that any RSS feed with more than 2 links in it would automatically be in violation, we have said that you can not have a non-RSS link and an RSS feed go to the same domain, as that would be overly promotional. Was the RSS feed you removed to your related Website, and did you have a link to that same site elsewhere in your Hub?This is not a new rule. Although we're applying it more stringently now, there has always been a rule that all links must be related to the Hub's topic.Are these people absolutely sure that it was the "nonsense tag" that caused the violation? Sometimes people misidentify the sort of violation they've made. Could you provide some examples so I can investigate?

      1. Trish_M profile image88
        Trish_Mposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, but most writers, even in books, will have a list of their other works included, and you must be aware that most members were under the impression that links to their own work was not classified in the same way as links to other items. Many people are ~ or were ~ completely unaware of this rule. That is why we need a comprehensive list.

        Indeed, members did not realise that this was against the rules until, like me, they received some rather brusque messages.

        Personally, I cannot see what is wrong with such links, and, obviously, many other members agree, and are, therefore, receiving apparently incomprehensible 'violation' messages.

        Hub Pages decide on their own rules, of course ~ we have to respect that ~ but they could, and should, make them much clearer to their members, I think. It would probably save time, all round, in the long run.

        By the way, why is it considered wrong to link to one's own work? (Regardless of non-similarity of subject matter.)

        Tricia smile

        1. Jason Menayan profile image61
          Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          It's not wrong at all to link to your own HubPages work. However, within any particular Hub, you should only link to those Hubs that are related to that Hub's topic.

          All of the moderation standards are listed in the FAQ, although they are a bit more vaguely worded there than in the emails we send when there is a violation. I will include that line in the "Overly Promotional" description that all links must be related to the Hub's topic, since that has most certainly been part of the standard for years.

          1. Michael Willis profile image79
            Michael Willisposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            When using the RSS feed, should we then only allow "2" listings to remain in compliance with the link rule? And of course using this, not link to the site in text or a link capsule.

            I see what you are saying about the 1 non-rss link and 1 rss feed.

            1. Jason Menayan profile image61
              Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I think that's safe, but the RSS feed, even to an outside source, should only show links that are directly related to your Hub's topic (as are some topically-focused blogs and sites, for example).

              1. Michael Willis profile image79
                Michael Willisposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Thanks! You are busy today. smile

              2. rebekahELLE profile image90
                rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                How does this relate to HubMob RSS feeds? Sometimes the topic is rather broad, and some of the hubs that show up in the feed don't relate directly to a specific hub's content.

                1. Jason Menayan profile image61
                  Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  HubMob is OK, since our moderation team knows it very well, and the Hubs on each week's theme tend to be closely (enough) related.

                  In the very unlikely event that a HubMob Hub gets moderated due to the HubMob RSS, it might be due to a new moderator who might not yet be familiar with the program. An email to team@ should help clear that up. smile

                  1. rebekahELLE profile image90
                    rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    Thanks Jason! I appreciate it. It's good to know. I'm sure on certain topics, being linked does benefit.

          2. Marisa Wright profile image92
            Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            No it hasn't, Jason, that's the point.  It may have been in your mind, but your moderators were not enforcing it, period.

            Remember I've been here three years.  I've never used the latest Hubs feed but I know many who have.  It's been discussed in the forums many times and although experienced Hubbers have recommended using a related feed instead, no one has ever chimed in to say the "latest" feed wasn't allowed.  You can't tell me Maddie or one of the other staff never saw any of those many threads.

            Please go and check with your moderating staff.  The correct response to Trish,and all the other Hubbers who were so upset by having Hubs unpublished due to this innocent mistake, is a sincere apology for failing to make this new application of the rule clear.

            1. Jason Menayan profile image61
              Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I believe you. And I apologize to anyone who thought it was OK to link to unrelated Hubs via an RSS feed of their own Hubs. This is not one of the type of "algorithimically-detectable" types of violations that we can send an email out for.

              It's true that we didn't as strictly enforce this. That was the era in which we said "Google will decide what sort of content it will send searchers to", when we shared best practices, but Hubbers innovated things of their own, too. Most of our moderation standards were created to make sure Hubs were ad-safe, not search-safe. Links to unrelated Hubs did not seem as critical a thing to canvass HubPages for in order to moderate, especially with a much smaller moderation team at the time.

              Now we have Google telling us that we need to tighten up our content standards, our moderation team has consequentially grown, and we are applying tighter standards, and applying existing standards to a wider swathe of Hubs. It's all in an effort to bring the level of quality up.

              1. Marisa Wright profile image92
                Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Yes I understand all that Jason.  There are many Hubbers who disagree with some of the changes you're making, but I'm not enough of an internet guru to make a judgment on that.   I'm only making a judgment on the way it's being done.

                "It's true that we didn't strictly enforce this" - the point I'm making is, you didn't enforce it at all. The law, even in real life, is partly defined by the written law and partly by how it's interpreted in the courts. 

                You have a huge body of sincere, hard-working Hubbers who truly believed they were doing the right thing, and were gobsmacked to get a brusque email telling them they were "violating rules" and threatening to remove their work.  They looked at their Hubs and, not understanding this new application of the rules, gave up in bewilderment and walked away. 

                Even worse, many of them are now bad-mouthing HubPages in other forums, which is a tragedy for HP.

                All it really needed was to start the email with something like, "As you may know, HubPages has tightened its moderation standards and your Hubs are no longer in compliance with our rules."  And to finish it with something like "if you have a large number of Hubs and need more time to meet our new standards, please contact us to negotiate a revised timeframe".

      2. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        No, I'm well aware of the rule that you can have EITHER 2 links in the text, OR one RSS feed.  That was the first thing I checked. Removing one of the three RSS feeds makes the warning go away - it doesnt seem to matter which one.  If that's unexpected, maybe you need to look into it?



        Changing the way you apply a rule is exactly the same as introducing a new rule, and it needs to be spelled out.  We're not mind-readers!  I can almost bet you won't find a single Hubber who's been moderated for having a "latest Hubs" feed in the last three years.  This is one of the main things that has upset people - being notifed they're suddenly violating a rule they weren't aware of.



        I understand Sunforged and some other Hubbers were notified for using the second 60DC tag.  I do recall another Hubber who got moderated for using their own tags for something, I'll have to check out who it was.

        1. Jason Menayan profile image61
          Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Does the warning reappear when you put that RSS feed back into it? I have to be able to replicate something in order for me to investigate it, so anything specific you could share would be helpful. You can email me if you like.
          It is spelled out in both the notification email, and in the FAQ. If there's something beyond that that we can do, please let me know.

          We do realize that a lot of Hubs are now getting moderated that weren't before. This is all part of the standards-tightening that we hope will eventually get our Google traffic back.It might have been a new moderator. The 60dc tag should get a pass. Inscrutable personal tags shouldn't be used, however.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image92
            Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            I'll check and get back to you.  I don't think it's a big issue as not many people want to use 3 RSS feeds anyway! 



            You can apologise on behalf of HubPages for not spelling out this radical change in the way the rule is applied, before it happened. It was rude and inconsiderate to start applying new standards with no warning, especially when it resulted in some Hubbers' work being unpublished.

            Remember I've been here three years, I'm one of those Hubbers who tries to help and educate newbies, and I had no idea about this rule. Did any of the Elite know?  Ask a few established Hubbers for their opinion.  If we didn't know, how can you expect anyone else to read your mind when you decide to be "more stringent"?

            Someone from HubPages needs to create a thread to apologise.


            D'uh!  I'm not complaining about what you're doing, Jason, I'm complaining about how it's been done.



            OK, there's another new rule you need to publicise.  You'd better make an official announcement quicksmart.  Most experienced Hubbers use their own unique tags to create their own related Hub feeds.  I, for one, will have to edit every single one of my Hubs.

            Once again, you'll find plenty of forum threads and advice in "How to" Hubs about how to use your own unique tags.  It's been an accepted method for years.

      3. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
        mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        So does this mean 'Hubmob' RSS feeds and 'Hubtrail' RSS feeds, (which have been advised to include the maximum amount of links available in the past) are now restricted to 2 links as they are 'to the same domain'???

    3. Cagsil profile image61
      Cagsilposted 5 years ago

      Well said. smile big_smile

      1. Julie2 profile image60
        Julie2posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I feel like a horses a$$ because I don't even know how to use an RSS feed! sad

      2. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
        mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Golly, ditto this smile

    4. Marisa Wright profile image92
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago

      bump

      1. Michael Willis profile image79
        Michael Willisposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I agree with your thread Marisa. There should be a LIST posted to clear up the not allowed content, phrases, etc.

        Seems it is going like:

        The puppy runs into the street.
        The puppy runs into the street and a car is coming.
        The puppy runs into the street in front of the car.
        The puppy runs into the street in front of the car and is hit.

        Finally:

        The puppy is killed by car!

        If there had been a warning, the puppy might not have been killed.

        1. Julie2 profile image60
          Julie2posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          That was brilliant! tongue

    5. Trish_M profile image88
      Trish_Mposted 5 years ago

      I started a thread, on here, requesting a 'Rules' page, a few days ago, but I got no response. I still think that we need one.

    6. EmpressFelicity profile image82
      EmpressFelicityposted 5 years ago

      Yes, we DEFINITELY need a definitive rules page. That blog post by Simone was a start, but there really needs to be something more comprehensive.

      I would suggest a two column "before and after" table to show what was allowed (or not allowed) before the changes, what's (not) allowed now, and why it's changed.  OK, that's three columns, but you get the idea.  Information presented in a tabular form like this is IMO much easier to digest than just a closely-printed page of text.

      You could also try a "Do's and Don'ts" page as well.

    7. Stacie L profile image88
      Stacie Lposted 5 years ago

      well I've received a warning about my big fat belly hub and removed every link and product on it and still the warning remains. yesterday i sent an email asking to review it.I guess they're not in the office yet.
      I have many comments from fellow hubbers so it can't be that bad.

      1. pauldeeds profile image
        59
        pauldeedsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        The warning simply indicates that your Hub is about "abdominal exercise programs", and thus it can not contain affiliate links.  At the end of the warning it says "high-quality, informative Hubs without affiliate links on this topic are welcome!".  As long as your Hub meets that definition, then you have nothing to worry about.   The warning wlll continue to appear, however (unless you change what your Hub is about, of course).

        1. Stacie L profile image88
          Stacie Lposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          http://hubpages.com/hub/Why-You-Should- … -Belly-Fat
          I have taken all the links off and product links as well.The hub is not about abdominal exercise programs. It describes what abdominal fat is, and possible solutions to reduce it. One solution describes some exercise. I am asking someone to read my hub again. I have had this for over two years with many positive comments.

          1. Jason Menayan profile image61
            Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            It looks like your Hub is of exceptional quality, and it has no affiliate links, so like the warning says, it should be fine. You can ignore that warning now. smile

            1. Stacie L profile image88
              Stacie Lposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              thank you;when will the warning come down?

              1. Jason Menayan profile image61
                Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                It won't, but remember, only you can see that (and admins). Other Hubbers and readers can not.

                1. Michael Willis profile image79
                  Michael Willisposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Is this type of warning one that can be seen when you are "writing the hub" before it is published?
                  This would be great to know beforehand when your hub might be getting close to a prohibited topic or area of a topic.
                  If not, it should be. Would save a lot of time later.

                  1. Jason Menayan profile image61
                    Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    Yes, engineering is working on adding that to the HubTool (i.e. so you'll see the warning while you're working on the Hub). smile

                    1. Michael Willis profile image79
                      Michael Willisposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                      Thanks Jason! This will save Hub Staff and Us both time down the road.
                      I have wanted to write a hub in the past I was not sure about and when this is implemented to writing of a hub, I will know quickly whether to continue writing it or not.

    8. Simone Smith profile image91
      Simone Smithposted 5 years ago

      Heya!

      Just as a general update, I added more info on RSS feeds, summaries, tags, and warnings to that big long thread http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/74274 (they're at the end), so if you're still wondering about those details, do check there.

      As for having that comprehensive guide-  We do have our policies listed here: http://hubpages.com/faq/#what_is_allowed and are updating this section right now; if this is not particularly clear, would anyone be willing to let us know how this section might be improved? 

      Obviously we want our publishing standards to be clear, so if this section is flawed, we want to amend it accordingly big_smile

      1. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Simone, the two points that need to be added to the FAQ are exactly what you've added to your blog post. 

        1.  HubPages projects like HubMob or contests may use tags which are deliberately neutral or nonsensical to ensure they are unique. Individuals are not permitted to use such tags and must only use words which may be found in an English dictionary.

        2.  You may include a RSS feeds to your other Hubs but only if they are on the same or similar topic.

        1. darkside profile image80
          darksideposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Whereabouts is this from Marisa? Is it something you're suggesting or is it HP advice posted somewhere?

          1. Marisa Wright profile image92
            Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            See, Jason? If someone like Darkside is surprised by this news, how do you expect the average Hubber to know?

            Darkside, that's why I posted this thread.  Some Hubbers have been unpublished for having "unrelated" tags, including people who were using the 60DC tags.  I wanted to get clarification on what the policy was.

            Jason is saying the 60DC tags should've been allowed, but "inscrutable personal tags" are not acceptable.  Here's the post:

            http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/74304?p … ost1616114

            Jason and Maddie are both saying, basically, that if you and I were using personal tags, we're idiots - they were always prohibited and we should've known. All they have done is tightened up "a bit", so there was no need to make an announcement letting Hubbers know about this policy - and there's still no need to do so.  Though they are going to update their FAQ's and the Learning Center.

            1. darkside profile image80
              darksideposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I'm wondering whereabouts this is from: "Individuals are not permitted to use such tags and must only use words which may be found in an English dictionary."

              1. Simone Smith profile image91
                Simone Smithposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Me too... where is that dictionary note from? 

                But we hear you loud and clear on those two points, Marissa Wright.  I'll see about adding those to the publishing standards FAQ.

                ... though I think it's pretty harsh to say that anyone on the HubPages staff would be calling you an idiot.  We're just trying to discourage certain things that might not be best for the site and community on the whole.

                We're really not trying to antagonize anyone, or make things hard for anyone - heck, we've just rolled out a new feature today to try and make these things more clear and less stressful.

                Just... don't... hate... us... O___O

                We're trying to make things better!! @_________@;;;;;;;;

                1. Marisa Wright profile image92
                  Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Because that seemed like the best way to describe it. Jason is saying you can't use "inscrutable tags". I assume that means you can't use word and letter combos or made-up words. If we can only use real words, the clearest way of defining that is to use the dictionary reference. 



                  Please go back and read what Jason and Maddie have said.  I've tried to point out that even seasoned Hubbers didn't know "inscrutable tags" or "latest Hubs" RSS feeds were illegal under the old rules - in fact even Elite members enthusiastically promoted inscrutable tags. 

                  Instead of saying,

                  "Oops!  Thanks for pointing that out.  We'd better make an official HubPages announcement to clarify that!" 

                  this is what I'm hearing:

                  "but those were always illegal, how could you possibly not know.  If people were too stupid to work it out, why should we make a special effort to inform them otherwise?"

                  ....and then they insult my intelligence by explainingthese changes are in response to Panda yadda yadda...do they think I don't know that already??

                2. Marisa Wright profile image92
                  Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't hate you, Simone.  But I'm shocked at the number of Hubbers who do - and many of them were among HubPages' strongest supporters.  There's no point in trying to win them back here, because they're not here any more -  they're all in other forums, bad-mouthing HP.   There's a conspiracy theory going around, that anyone who complains on the HP forum will be the subject of a "witch hunt" and lose their account. 

                  Part of the reason is that people have had Hubs unpublished for reasons which are mysterious to them.  So I think it's vital we don't alienate any more Hubbers with mysterious reasons - let's make sure they're ALL documented AND clearly defined in one place.

                3. darkside profile image80
                  darksideposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  The problem is that people feel as if they are being treated like idiots. Nobody has to come out and call a person that, they just need to do things which treats a person as such.

                  These rolling changes are affecting people. Affecting their social life, their sleep, even their livelihood. And I am not exaggerating here.

                  I know there are people who have gone through hundreds of hubs, and by hundreds I mean well into the thousands. They make changes to be compliant. And then ANOTHER rolling change comes along. And they have to do it AGAIN.

                  Once isn't fun, but understandable. Twice and the joke is wearing thin. More than that, and they've not just been treated like an idiot but they've been pissed and shat on.

                  My fingers have been crossed that the effects of the Panda update will have been just a pot hole on the long road of continuing passive income. But the way things have played out it's not going to be that easy to recover. Because of the alienation that these once loyal and active contributors have felt, they're moving their content. That comes with a consequence, the traffic that those once great hubs had will dry up. It will not surprise me if or when we see another traffic dip and people are going to think it's another Panda update, but no, it's going to the terrible side effect as a direct result of the knee jerk reactions.

                  1. lakeerieartists profile image79
                    lakeerieartistsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    To add to this discussion is just this; it doesn't matter how you think you are saying something or representing something.  It only matters how you are PERCEIVED to be saying it.  If people perceive that they are being treated like idiots, then they are.

                    The amount of time it takes to go through, change, and republish a hub, when multiplied by 100's is days worth of work, when a person can be better focused on income generation to replace the income lost from those exact hubs that they are being asked to change numerous times.  It is far easier to take the offending hub, and move it once somewhere else, where they can republish it without the fear of it being unpublished, and with the layout that has worked for it for months or years.

                    I have to echo Marissa's point that it is the way things have been done so far that is the biggest point in contention.

                    1. Marisa Wright profile image92
                      Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                      This is a very important point and part of what I'm trying to say.

                      Jason and Maddie keep saying these particular rules (and others, for all I know), haven't changed - it's just the way they're enforced that has changed.

                      And that's irrelevant, because it's what Hubbers PERCEIVE that matters.  Saying "you have no right to be upset because you should've known this" is only going to ruffle people's feathers even more!

                  2. Marisa Wright profile image92
                    Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    ...especially if the second and third times are for "inscrutable" tags and "unrelated" RSS feeds, which they had never been told about.  And yes, that happened to at least one Hubber I know.

                    Can you imagine how you would feel, Simone, if you had gone through pages and pages of work, only to be told there's another mistake they could have pointed out, but didn't?

              2. darkside profile image80
                darksideposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                The reason I'm trying to clarify this is because if they do incorporate that as a policy, I have hubs which will break such a rule simply because I followed other HP directions.

                We were encouraged to use misspellings of keywords as tags for Flagship hubs.

                1. lakeerieartists profile image79
                  lakeerieartistsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  I just read through this entire thread.  I have to admit that I have placed specialized tags in my hubs to separate them easily into feed to promote them, as well as the individual ones for 60DC.

                  I have to add to this discussion that I am most dismayed about two things:

                  Hearing that hubs have been moderated for one thing, fixed, then taken down again for another thing, then again, and so on.

                  Also, hearing that entire accounts have been taken down for hubbers who have run into some of the more stringently moderated rules like the tagging one.

                  If indeed, Darkside is correct, and the tagging practice is one that was encouraged at one point, then unpublishing is far too harsh a "moderation" for this type of practice.  As I see it, unpublishing should be a last resort after warnings.  Unpublishing seems much more like a punishment, than a moderation.

                  On a side note, I also had a warning appear on a hub of mine about Wine Decanters, that said this hub seems to be about alcohol.  Which of course, it is not.  And only noticed it by chance, because I almost never look at the public face of my hubs.

                2. Marisa Wright profile image92
                  Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Good point.  Looks like HubPages has a job on its hand to define what are legal words and what's not!

    9. Trish_M profile image88
      Trish_Mposted 5 years ago

      A clickable heading ~ 'Rules' ~ at the top of the page, with 'my account', 'my profile', etc, would be helpful to me smile

    10. Maddie Ruud profile image82
      Maddie Ruudposted 5 years ago

      I thought I'd chime in here, since I am the longest-tenured moderator here at HubPages.

      We have never promoted the creation of personal tags to create custom RSS feeds.  There is simply no need to do so.  Anyone can easily create a user-specific AND tag-specific RSS feed (such as all Hubs tagged "recipe" by Maddie Ruud).  Before there was a learning center entry devoted to this, I explained the process personally to Hubbers who ran afoul of the "deceptively tagged" rule, which I have been applying consistently to so-called "nonsense tags" for the 3+ years I have been employed at HubPages.

      I'll say again that tags like "60DC" should not result in a moderation.  Tags like "are best top" (which is behind the most recent rash of "nonsense tag" moderations) are completely meaningless and useless to the community as a whole.

      I don't think we need to issue a major apology for these moderations.  They come up very rarely, and have been consistently enforced, whenever we see them.  The only thing I can think of is that perhaps with the sheer increase in volume of moderation over the last few months post-Panda means that more of them have come to our attention.

      As far as the unrelated Hub links, as Jason has already said, we are more strictly applying the rule against unrelated links/products now that we have more moderators coming on and a specific flagging reason for it.  I'm happy to apologize, as Jason did, if anyone thought that Hub links were given a free pass on this rule, but again, I'm not sure it's such a dramatic policy change that we need to tuck our tails between our legs.

      I am very sorry for the frustration some users have experienced around the changes during the last few weeks, but I think that these two issues (nonsense tags and unrelated Hub links) are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, compared to the much wider-reaching policy changes we have instituted.  We are always happy to hear suggestions for better messaging, but the fact is that there is no way to say, "Your Hubs do not (or no longer) comply with our rules," without people getting upset.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I'm sorry Maddie,but if you could see the furore they are causing, you'd know they are not minor.

        How many times do I have to say this - you have announced all the major changes, but you didn't announce these, and PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW THEY EXIST!!!!

        Hubbers have been unpublished because of these violations, when they genuinely thought they were doing the right thing. 

        Do you expect experienced Hubbers to go back and check the learning centre every five minutes to see what's changed?

        1. Maddie Ruud profile image82
          Maddie Ruudposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Marisa, I have probably moderated less than a dozen Hubs for "nonsense tags" in the last 2 weeks.  If there is a furor over such a small number of moderations, that would seem disproportionate to me.  (An average of 2000-3000 Hubs total have been modded each day during that same period.)

          1. Marisa Wright profile image92
            Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            How many have you moderated for RSS feeds?   Did any of those Hubbers have large numbers of Hubs unpublished?

      2. darkside profile image80
        darksideposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        In My Account under Filters we can choose between 'select a category', 'select an article group' and 'select a status'. It also used to be able to 'select a tag'. I'm not sure when but at some point that has been removed.

        Now quite some time ago it was suggested, and I believe it was a HP staffer (maybe Ryan Hupfer, but I could be wrong) that using a specific (read 'personal') tag would allow a person to keep track of particular hubs.

        Of course this would not have been an official HP directive, but a helpful tip at the time.

      3. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
        mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Sorry to sound 'dense' here, but please, tell me, if I write a hub on 'Growing vegetables', is it okay to then tag all my hubs on growing vegetables with a tag such as 'growvegmh' (specific to me in other words), and then insert it on all my veg growing hubs, before creating an RSS feed on all of those hubs and using that tag in the feed URL. Surely this is within the rules!! If so, how many 'links' can I allow the RSS feed to show based on the fact they are all within the Hubpages domain?

        1. Mutiny92 profile image88
          Mutiny92posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Misty, that is the million dollar question.  A week ago, I would have said "Absolutely" as that is the method to create RSS feeds to group your similar hubs together.

          Now, I am not too sure. 

          I am embarrassed to say that I never knew this:  http://learningcenter.hubpages.com/hubb … -rss-feed/

          This seems to solve the issue altogether

          1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
            mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Hi Mutiny, I checked the link out, but sadly, as it dates back to Dec 2010, the odds are the info is now out of date, so like you, I still don't know where we stand on RSS feeds. I daren't do anything on any of my hubs right now, as it is likely to be against TOS under the new and ever changing rules. Honestly, it is starting to seem like the best option is simply to move all hubs elsewhere and then relax without wasting endless hours editing, and then re-editing hubs endlessly in order to keep them published for a few more days before the next rule change puts them in violation of TOS again.

        2. Marisa Wright profile image92
          Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          No, it isn't within the rules. It's a "nonsense" tag and no longer allowed.  Jason maintains it was never allowed.  That's why HubPages is not making an official announcement about it.

          The fact that large numbers of us used this feature doesn't seem to cut any ice.  We were all stupid and should've known better.

          There is actually a way to achieve the same thing, by using a sensible tag and our author name, which is explained in the learning center.

          1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
            mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Thanks Marisa.

    11. lrohner profile image86
      lrohnerposted 5 years ago

      Maddie and Jason -- I have known both of you long enough to understand that you are very intelligent people. I have yet to hear a hubber complain about the actual changes/decisions made (although I haven't been around much), but I hear lots and lots of them complaining about the way things have been handled.

      Coming into the forums and publicly spouting party-speak is not helping. You would be better off not saying anything and just let everyone vent.

      While you may not see it, your replies come off as extremely condescending and confrontational -- and I know those aren't inherent traits in either one of you.

      Peace out.

      1. Jason Menayan profile image61
        Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        That's fair, Lisa. I honestly appreciate what you and Marisa have said. This is a thread, though, where we've been asked to do something. It wouldn't be fair to ignore it.

        I can understand that a lot happening over a very short amount of time can feel disruptive, and the way we communicate changes could probably have been done more effectively (I'm happy to take responsibility for that). We're trying to get important changes out quickly, but it was never our intent to step on good Hubbers' toes.

        For those threads opened up to vent, I've decided to stop weighing in, even when it's to set the record straight. All I would say for several I've read over the past week is, not everything you read in the forums is true; a lot of it is misleading, and some of it intentionally so. I suppose that's true for the Internet in general, though, isn't it? smile

        1. lrohner profile image86
          lrohnerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I assume you and Maddie are not parents.

          This weekend, go spend a good, solid day with a two year old. It will change your way of thinking forever, and you will learn that picking and choosing your battles is a very good thing. smile

          1. Jason Menayan profile image61
            Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            My brother has a kid around that age. He is a changed man. wink

        2. recommend1 profile image70
          recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Just my advice from a critical theory, creative writing analysis perspective - this kind of political speak is little better than the former arrogant bulldog approach.

          That's fair, - I honestly appreciate - It wouldn't be fair
          I can understand - could probably have been done - happy to take responsibility - never our intent - good Hubbers


          To make almost meaningless soft soaping posts will irritate many people intelligent enough to recoginise it and who are looking for hard answers to direct questions.  The PR approach of HP has been atrocious at the very least, displaying an unhealthy attitude toward the people who write here.  Changing the TOS to such a degree could be seen as derogation of some elements of duty to your customers regarding the writers of hubs posted on this site under the old TOS - where aging hubs were promoted as the way to eventually get to some income.  Removing all those hubs now (for whatever reason) could be open to challenge if anyone cared enough.

          A little compromise, a little courtesy, a little more clarity a little sooner, a little less unpublishing and more warning - would all have gone a long way to resolving most of the issues that have caused many hubbers to leave.  Also alittle more humility when mistakes are made, like the virus that ran amok from a Hubpages ad that was the focus of the forums one weekend that drew the response on Tuesday from the responsible person that "we have found an error in . . . that some hubbers commented . . "  When a response more like "Sorry I screwed up and thanks for bringing it to my attention . . "  would have done him or her a lot more good.

          And you end your post with "good hubbers"  inferring that your critics are "bad hubbers"  remensicient of George Bush speak.

          Just a bit of crit from a "bad" hubber big_smile

          I have no intention of doing this again as I am afraid of Maddie and Simone is too cute.

          I will end with your ending "a lot of it is misleading, and some of it intentionally so."   this cuts both ways.

      2. EmpressFelicity profile image82
        EmpressFelicityposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Funny you should say that.  Before I read your post I thought "chocolate ration" and "1984".

    12. sunforged profile image65
      sunforgedposted 5 years ago

      As a simple request, please reconsider how you come to the decision of 'nonsense"

      The tag specifically mentioned has 767 hubs on it (not sure why it had to be specifically mentioned, would even appreciate if it it was unmentioned), so some segment of active writers does not consider it to be nonsense. They consider it to be a unique identifier to their efforts.

      While in contrast, hmtswk1 hmtswk2, hmtswk3 hmtswk4 (The hubcontest tags which were the model for this use) are less frequently used and are def not recognizable by search traffic as meaning anything

      http://hubpages.com/tag/hmtswk2/hot has 159 hubs?

      How about "novhubchallenge" 453 hubs? - will search traffic understand, no.. but the writers had a use and meaning

      Since you are aware of the tag can you "whitelist" it, please?, it certainly has meaning, purpose and continued utility to those who used it.

    13. sunforged profile image65
      sunforgedposted 5 years ago

      Hi, I found this in the forum response thread. If I read this right perhaps we can consider that tag part of a community effort and leave it alone. I think you are aware of it now?

      Im sure moving forward, if hubbers create community efforts they will be well familiar with The Learning Center and other published Guidelines, but at the time of its creation the use of the tag was a direct reflection of admin practice and the general climate of the site. The Learning Center was still in its infancy. It was a fun effort and its a shame to think elements of it would be erased for reasons that definitely do not damage the site in any way and held significance to its users.

      1. Jason Menayan profile image61
        Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, absolutely. Any widely-used community-based tag, like 60dc or some of the other challenge-related or contest-related examples you gave, should be fine. If they, for some reason, do get moderated, an email to team@ should clear things up.

    14. IzzyM profile image87
      IzzyMposted 5 years ago

      I am incredibly saddened to see so many good hubbers leave - well-respected hubbers who not only participated in the forums, but wrote good hubs that brought a lot of money not only to them but to HP.
      Hubbers the rest of us could look up to, who were knowledgeable and helpful and who shared at least some of their successes which was incredibly inspiring to those just starting out on this journey.
      When their hubs are being unpublished one minute, re-published the next after repairs were made, then unpublished again for yet another minor misdemeanor, who can blame for taking their hubs elsewhere, especially now that HP is out of favor with Google and they have already suffered a huge income drop.
      I can only hope that the changes HP are making, and the manner in which they are carrying them out, are worth it, in the long term.

      1. CMHypno profile image89
        CMHypnoposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I think that even those of us who have stayed are spending more time elsewhere - I know that for the first time I have been posting full length articles on my blogs, rather than putting them up as a hub and writing a shorter synopsis with a link back on the blog.

        I think that with so many hubbers leaving, sadly an era has come to an end. Yes, new writers will come along, but I think that those of us who have been here some time were lucky to share in some special times - even if all we did at the time was argue and bitch in the forums LOL!smile

    15. TerryGl profile image61
      TerryGlposted 5 years ago

      According to Alexa Hubpages is in a nose dive.

      We all know what a nose dive means.

      http://traffic.alexa.com/graph?&w=400&h=220&o=f&c=1&y=t&b=ffffff&n=666666&r=3m&u=hubpages.com&

      That big drop in the second week of April was when all the experienced hubbers left.

    16. humagaia profile image73
      humagaiaposted 5 years ago

      Without a list of exactly what is NOW unacceptable, and e-mails which were, at best, vague in relating what was wrong with a hub, and not being aware that there was a problem with a hub before it was unpublished (there were no warning e-mails Marissa, and I don't check inside my hubs regularly, if ever, after they have been published), the only sensible response I had was:
      to take ALL pictures out
      to remove all videos
      to remove all personal links
      to remove all RSS feeds (which now means that ALL the effort supplying them to RSS feed aggregators was a complete waste of time, and there will be no link juice for HP from these any more)
      to remove all maps
      to remove all links I had entered due to the Hubkarma c..p
      to remove all affiliate links
      to remove all e-bay modules(I did not have any thankfully)
      to remove all SEO
      to change my titles so that they only had a few words
      to remove all emboldening, italics and underlining
      to remove all inappropriate tags (like those that were for the 60DC2)
      to remove all manufactured tags that were used for RSS feed aggregation
      may as well remove all tags (Google does not use them anyway, I understand, although Yahoo does)
      to remove all news modules
      to remove all comments (as anybody that made a comment from outside HP, with a link associated with the comment (not within the comment), could cause me to have inappropriate links)
      to remove 'excessive' uses of any word or phrase (have not considered yet whether to remove all 'fluff' words like 'the' and 'and' yet, waiting for the e-mail about that one).

      What am I left with?

      Words and phrases and sentences, and nothing else.
      Oh, I forgot, I have adverts that often show something that does not relate to the content of my hub and have no chance of being clicked on - you know, wasted space.

      This is what I have been reduced to, in order to comply with 'violation''s that I could not decipher, to the extent that they were not specific enough.

      What am I getting now? with everything gone, except the words:

      overly personal (whatever that means - I think it means GTFOH we don't want this hub) OK deleted
      too many Amazon products, even though there are over 50 words for each one - OK delete the excess (no indication as to how many is too many)
      too much about a single website (I write about Google - perhaps that is not allowed) so cut out great swathes of useful information
      duplicate content (I use a template to create these hubs to access users of different country versions of Google) rewrite all Google hubs

      I think I have forgotten something, but you know how it is with these senior moments!
      Is there more to come - we are told not, for the foreseeable future.

      What have I got left?: what I had before, but a lot less of a user experience; my sanity? just; my respect for HP? ??; my income, nope; my viewers?, nope; my expectations that this will all work out for the best? nope.

      But one thing has come out of it - I have been forced to reassess  how I earn a living on the internet - and that, as far as I am concerned, is where I am the boss and decide what is and is not appropriate content, and, if truth be known, that is the path that a great many great hubbers have decided to go down also.

      Shame, but there it is. HP is the biggest loser in all of this, and that is a shame also - it is to all our detriment.

    17. humagaia profile image73
      humagaiaposted 5 years ago

      I know what I forgot!

      If I make any changes to any of my hubs they will be unpublished and sent for moderation again - my my, I must have been a really naughty boy.

      Funny that, the only things I think I have done wrong are infractions caused by 'new rules' and re-interpretation of 'old TOS'. There is a section of the law in the UK that states that whatever a rule or regulation states, should that regulation not be enforced and there becomes a state of common practise, then the common practise become the rule. I and most others here have followed 'common practises' and now we are vilified and adversely affected by them.
      As I say, shame!

      1. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        That's exactly the point I was trying to make.

    18. SunSeven profile image62
      SunSevenposted 5 years ago

      Do you honestly think or even dream that anyone (from HP) is going to adress your concerns / the points you mentioned? I dont think so. The thing is that, they have the light, and they are searching for the darkness with it.

      Best Regards

      1. Simone Smith profile image91
        Simone Smithposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Ouch. T___T

    19. Eric Graudins profile image61
      Eric Graudinsposted 5 years ago

      Simone,
      Nobody hates you.
      But an ever increasing number of people are wondering if anyone at HP has a clue about what they are doing in regard to changes with hubs, and the effects on writers.

      Writers are removing their content in droves, because they are fed up with fixing up hubs to meet some new requirement, then immediately having their hubs unpublished again because they are in breach of some other crazy requirement.

      Apparently after 4 or 5 iterations of this, then appear to be throwing up their hands in disgust, and saying "Stuff It".

      Have you heard the story of the baby that was thrown out with the bathwater?
      That appears to be happening here.

      Doesn't make any sense. Unless of course, there's a master strategy that involves short term purging of hubs and hubbers in anticipation of some "New World".

      1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
        mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        So true Eric. We are for the most part fed up of being messed about, often for incredibly trivial matters such as slighty pixelated images, and being treated like naughty children, especially when many of us have had businesses of our own and are certainly intelligent individuals. Of course we are moving Hubs/ our writing elsewhere. We haven't got endless hours of time to keep making amendments to hubs that were considered perfect for years, only to have them unpublished again for reasons that defy belief to any rational person.

        1. Jason Menayan profile image61
          Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          mistyhorizon: You can find answers to several of your questions in Simone's post here:
          http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/74274

    20. Misha profile image77
      Mishaposted 5 years ago

      Marisa, we have a rare point of agreement smile

    21. Eric Graudins profile image61
      Eric Graudinsposted 5 years ago

      Yes Cindy. So much wasted time and effort happening.

      BTW - if anyone wants to easily back up their hubs for any reason without cutting and pasting them all, Here's how to do it using Firefox and an addon called Scrapbook.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aUmTRrEsyE

      cheers, Eric G.

      1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
        mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Cheers Eric, this is the method I intend to use for the hubs I move elsewhere. Good to share the link so others deserting the 'sinking ship' can also utilize it smile

      2. TerryGl profile image61
        TerryGlposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks Eric, that is very handy. Its definitely time to copy your hubs and post them elsewhere.

        It seems Hubpages is basically turning into a MFA site. Made For Adsense. It's been said in the past and the forums are really now getting in tune that Hubpages is just an ad network.

        I can see from the writing on the wall when you have Jason, his wife, Maddie, Simone and Paul all come on this thread trying to explain themselves, very poorly mind you, and still they turn off hubbers.

        The damage has been done. This site will never be what it once was. There will be no recovery. Hubpages @staff will be unemployed and we will all be writing on our own blogs.

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