HubPages Sucks: an experiment in censorship and corporate etc. blah blah
So, just to see if HubPages really censors for its own nefarious reasons, or if that’s just a nasty rumor, I thought I’d have a little experiment to see how it plays out. What follows will be my honest opinion of HubPages with as much fact as I can muster, mitigated by the fact that facts are subjective and anyone who tells you otherwise is either a salesman or a fool. So, here goes:
I found HubPages (HP from here out) nestled amongst job listings on Craigslist. It looked like a job posting, saying, “Writers wanted,” or some such, and given it was placed what I consider strategically amongst employment opportunity posts, it could be construed as manipulative or deceptive advertising. I consider it to have been both, but perhaps that’s just me.
However, HP is a business, not a charity. Their graphic icon is not a Red Cross. HP is a subordinate of Google. So, to expect less than the most strategic marketing is to show a lack of understanding about business, particularly in modern cultural climes.
With the lack of a unifying God figure to lay out morality for us, we are left to our own devices. Google makes no bones about being a company, and as such, a profit enterprise. The HP terms of service are perfectly clear, and where they aren't, there are no existing moral guidelines that stand as universal for companies pioneering new terrain, no iron chains to bind the winds of words or the gusts of meanings whispered beneath the breath. The gray spaces, the nebulosity of slippery language, and the tactical deployment of ambiguous words is all that is needed to provide plausible deniability and a shadow of doubt – no matter if they hazard upon one’s hopes and dreams like explorers upon a village of primitives. Comb morion, anyone?
Until some god or another shows up and adds starch to the mudslide of subjectivity and relativism, we who scramble to stay atop and wade, running over its sucking wet surface must muck through as best we can. Seek the best of the worst and stare only at the parts of it that don’t frighten us if we think too hard on what it means.
That said, HubPages is a place to write. It’s not really a writers’ place, not in the way I think of writers – writers as people who poke at and peel back the dead skin of social decay and try to get at the still living meat, maybe sprinkle in a handful of prosaic maggots to eat away at blackening flesh, a placebo of a few mealy words to keep the body alive and red like salmon or tuna in a sushi bar. That’s the not the kind of writers this writers’ place is a place for. It’s more of a typers’ place, a place where typers can create monetary driven works with the intent or pseudo-intent of informing others about one thing or the next: some put some care into their work, others work at their work with care, and a few actually say, occasionally, something of worth about something for which I might care. In short, it’s a menagerie of typers, with a few writers kept in canary cages, all mashing and pecking at keyboards with such tap-tapping clamor as to drown one another out. Notice to be noticed by Google, carnival keeper of them all.
However, there is no sin in being a typer. Even writers are typers from time to time. And what human has not sold out this value or that when such-and-such required. There’s no shame in it. There’s no shame in sharing sameness with the rest of the human world. It is a corporate world after all. It’s a world that requires we make a buck. Without a buck we have nothing. At least nothing that the consumer world considers valuable. Food is a commodity, and we can’t grow vegetable gardens in our front yard. There’s been hubs on that.
I don’t want to see your corn stalks when I look across the street. I’d like to write well enough to eat. Fancy there’s something growing in that, but I don’t want to look at it hard enough to write about right now. Not here on HP. No one would read it.
Those thoughts won’t search, and there is no HP money to be made. Better I write about a cure for pet dander or powder to cure hemorrhoidal itch. That’s where the money is.
So, does HubPages suck? Yes. And, No. It is what it is, and we have what we have of it. No one makes anyone write here, and they don’t have to play by your rules. That’s the song of our lives. If you don’t like it, leave. So true. Go somewhere else if you don’t like this or that or the other thing. Nobody cares if you do. There’s another commune waiting to take you in. Another forum culture waiting to hold you up and tell you how smart you are.
Until one of you, some of you, get bored again. Then rinse and repeat.
Nobody is going to pay you what you are worth, and you probably aren’t worth what you think you should be paid. Is that HP’s fault? Likely not. If you are worth what you think you are worth, then you should be being paid what you think you should be. So, don’t blame HP.
Could HP do more to keep out trolls? Unlikely. The nature of trolls, at least the good ones, is that they possess the gift of plausible deniability. Oops, there’s that phrase again. How funny in such proximity. When HP tries to give someone the benefit of the doubt, they allow trolls to exist. When they kill a troll, they kill innocents. A thankless task, warden to the borders between humans and trolls. There’s a whole genre dedicated to that fantastic sort of tale. Nobody believes it. A realm of magic and make believe.
Does HP suck? Compared to what?
Everything sucks when compared to certain other things.
- Things I Have Learned About Hubpages
Yoshi wrote a good hub on HubPages, more specific than this rambling thing of mine. Have a look.