The Hypocrisy of Hubpages

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  1. davidlivermore profile image92
    davidlivermoreposted 10 years ago

    First off, this isn't a post bashing Hubpages.  I have enjoyed my time here for the last two years.  But this recent incident has rubbed me the wrong way.

    I recently published this hub:  How to Delete Yourself from the Internet.  It is my 100th hub (yay), so I was excited about it and put a lot of work into it.  The main focus of it was providing users a listing of websites that could have their personal information, and ways to remove themselves.  That information can be hard to find, and there are sites that try to charge users to help them get it removed.  I wanted to provide people the direct route instead.

    I had one website that HP flagged as being prohibited.  I contacted HP, and once they reviewed my hub, ALL of the links were flagged as prohibited.  Mostly due to reverse phone number searches and the such.  I was annoyed, as the reason why I wanted them on there was to help users, not promote those sites.

    So, I heavily modify the hub and publish it.  It has a horribly low score, which I think will just get worse due to the content.  However, I checked my hub out and found an ad to search arrest records, which goes to Instant Checkmate.

    To say I wasn't pissed off would be an understatement.  I know these aren't coming from HP, but if there can be ads on this hub, the very thing I am trying to prevent, I find it hypocritical that I can't put up these links to help users delete themselves off of the internet.

    I am actually considering deleting this hub because I don't want to encourage this kind of thing, I am trying to discourage it.  I recently went through and cleaned up my information on at least 10 of these websites.  I know what I'm talking about.

    It's just frustrating that ads are fine for this kind of thing, but links I post aren't, especially when they are relevant to my hub.

    Let me guess, if those other companies were willing to pony up the money, their ads would appear on my hub too?

    This is probably my first bad experience with the supposed censorship HP has done to others.  So it still has me irked.  So I just had to vent!

    1. Will Apse profile image87
      Will Apseposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      A lot of people seem to think HP should be the moral compass for the entire civilized world.

      Strangely, the staff at HP actually seem to agree.

      So good luck with the outrage. We all feel it from time to time. And afterwards get back to the business of making a few dollars.

    2. profile image0
      sheilamyersposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      First, congrats on your 100th hub!

      I don't know if this will help or not, but ... It sounds like you've made actual links to the various sites. I think that's a great way to help people get directly to the sites from your hub if they want to follow the steps to getting their info off those sites. And I think I'd do the same if I ever wrote such a hub. However if the links are what is causing the low score, perhaps you can simply name the site without forming a link. Yes, it's a pain that people would have to find it themselves, yet it would still provide the location without the link causing a problem. People could then open a new browser window, find the site, and click back and forth to read your instructions and do work at the other site. As I said, It would be a pain, but you'd still have your hub to help them while eliminating the links that are keeping your hub score low.

      1. davidlivermore profile image92
        davidlivermoreposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Well, I don't care about the low score (it's jumped up 30 points recently), but providing the links would be better than just naming the site.  I spent a good day finding all of the ways to remove yourself from these sites.  I was trying to save people the trouble.  Giving the site names would help little.  Thanks for the idea though, I still may do it.

    3. Barbara Kay profile image73
      Barbara Kayposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      You've got me interested in your hub. I'll have to make a visit. I know my name is all over the internet, but most of them have my old address from 8 years ago, so much for the info they provide.

    4. galleryofgrace profile image71
      galleryofgraceposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I applaud you for writing the hub and trying to help but you have to look at it in reverse from a criminals point of view.
      The checkmate site is a known scam. Public information is free from any courthouse.

      1. davidlivermore profile image92
        davidlivermoreposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Agreed, criminal information, at least.  But other details that don't involve a criminal history will be on sites like this, which are all shady, at best.

    5. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      David:  I suspect you could have written the same article without actually linking to those sites but still giving the info: for example you could have said xyz dot com rather than using the link lingo.  That way, you give the same info without the controversy.  I think this probably would work OK and would save you a ton of upset.

      1. davidlivermore profile image92
        davidlivermoreposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I am sure HP would have picked up on that.  And they already said any mention of sites like that would result in my hub being unpublished.

  2. tirelesstraveler profile image60
    tirelesstravelerposted 10 years ago

    Sorry your having trouble with your 100th hub.

  3. Tom Mukasa profile image67
    Tom Mukasaposted 10 years ago

    Two things make me delighted. 1. Congratulations on your hub anniversary.
    2. Thanks for sharing something on how one is able to delete oneself from some nuisance links.

    I did delete some links using some of your tips and my own computer skills.

    How does it feel hitting 100?

    1. davidlivermore profile image92
      davidlivermoreposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Good and frustrating at the same time.  I really like this hub, so it's a shame I can't add critical information.

  4. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 10 years ago

    I can see what you mean and understand why it would be aggravating, but I suppose  I'd kind of justify the apparent hypocrisy with the fact that HP deals with advertisers on one set of terms, and with one set of aims/purposes in mind; while they deal with writers with a different set of aims/purposes and terms.  That can seem like, or sometimes even "turn into", hypocrisy; but I don't think it really is - at least, for the most part - if you imagine how, say, school officials/teachers deal with, say, students on one set of terms and the parents of students on another.  OR, if you think of how a company may deal with its employees on one set of rules/terms but the outside cleaning company that comes in every day on another.

    Sometimes there's conflict, as you've run into; but I don't think it's so much hypocrisy as it is two different sets of terms/rules/purposes for two different types of people/companies that HP deals with as part of its business.

    Having two different sets of rules/terms can seem like hypocrisy at first glance, but on a site like this advertisers are one type of people who serve one purpose while writers are another category who serve another purpose   The entire site, advertisers, writers, Google - all play different roles and have different purposes.  If they all played the same role and had the same purpose it would be hypocrisy, I think; but they don't..

    I don't see this particular situation so much as an outrage as I see it yet another example of one of the (sometimes very, sometimes only mildly) frustrating ironies that can happen when one posts his writing on a site that belongs to someone else.

  5. psycheskinner profile image84
    psycheskinnerposted 10 years ago

    Basically because we want their money we need to suck up to advertisers, they don't really need to please us. Such is life.

  6. Paul Edmondson profile imageSTAFF
    Paul Edmondsonposted 10 years ago

    I have to say, you're in rare territory!

    Why is a link not permitted but the advertiser is and why do we block advertisers, but allow links to them.

    Lisa HW nailed how this happens.  We have a set of moderation processes for Hubs that are different from how we moderate advertisers. 

    We use a lot of math for trying to control spam.  There are always outliers.  When we see these, we will see what we can do.  We will look at seeing if we can modify how are link policies are enforced.  The type of links you describe are highly correlated with spam.

    It should be noted, If we block an advertiser, we don't remove Hubs that link to them if it's the advertiser that broke the rule.

    1. Jean Bakula profile image91
      Jean Bakulaposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Congratulations on your 100th hub, I remember when I was there.

      You may want to consider if you want to add more hubs to this site. The reason I say this is not because I dislike HP, I like it here. But they do keep making changes, and if you have more than 100 hubs, fixing them all can be a very aggravating and lengthy process.

      I wrote more at 100, but was also writing on 2 other sites to get accepted there. Many sites require this. So I spent a year moving articles around, and working on a blog. If you love it here, and don't mind changes, then keep on going. I just wanted you to be aware of the potential problems that you encounter if you write too much on any one site. But I also still like HP the best

      Best wishes in the future.

    2. davidlivermore profile image92
      davidlivermoreposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I agree, these sites are horrible websites, which was the point of my hub.  I wanted to point them out to people.  I didn't want to give them more business, I am trying to discourage that.

      There are articles like my hub out there, but they are there to sell more products to supposedly "help" people.  This hub is the first true article I have seen that is just trying to help people.

      If the policy ever changes, I would like to add those links back up, at least the ones that let people remove their information.

  7. Marie Flint profile image74
    Marie Flintposted 10 years ago

    Gosh, David, I can relate somewhat to your frustration. My hang ups are the "Sponsored from Around the Web" articles that often appear at the bottom of my hubs. I write a good deal of hubs with a spiritual and religious theme. Then, pictures appear at the bottom of my good, clean subject hubs with "How to Tell if Your Spouse is Cheating on You" and "How Cruises Get You" with a picture of a woman in a bikini showing only the area below the waist. Of course, Hub Pages isn't responsible, so I have to turn the ad display setting to "off" in order to get rid of such ads.

    On someone else's hub about the serious topic of disassembling body "burials," an ad appeared at the bottom for Frigidaire appliances because the word "permafrost", describing the terrain where the custom is practiced, triggered the inappropriate ad.

    I liked it better when we could put in our own tag words. At least we had a little control.

    Your hub about cleaning your personal contact information off the internet sounds like a good one. I, for one, would be interested in reading it. Perhaps if you write it explaining how you cleared your statistics without the links, you can get it published. Don't worry about the low score, as this can improve due to how much traffic you get on the hub. You can also include a disclaimer for that anticipated ad(s) you mentioned.

    Be cool and be at peace. Blessings!

  8. Tom Mukasa profile image67
    Tom Mukasaposted 10 years ago

    Honestly,I was motivated into writing because writing reveals so much more rich character in a person than what may be apparent.

    I do write out of expression of happiness. Sometimes I write to make my points clearer. At other times I write to keep my thoughts available for future reference.

    As an assisting volunteer teacher to younger children I have seen what writing does to their attitude towards education. Many look forward to having their articles or artistic hand writing given a nod and 'excellent.'

    Having said that,I joined the hub pages and went through the video tutorial. I want to say I am a good student. I did manage to wrap my brain around what to do, how to do and when/where to do. I still have not found a match from the jobs section. I looked forward to sitting home and working from there.In my mind I thought and expected that there are people out there who need someone to read over their long articles for typos, syntax and grammatical errors. Or even content development and are willing to pay. I am still to get that kind of job.

    Google Ad word, Google Ad sense and 'my adverts,' those are three things I do not understand. I know that in this day and age if I made an attempt at contacting a website, there are means of getting back to me even if I stopped half way.

    I thought I had developed enough content to have some money out of this effort. I have done everything. But I still cannot get through to that facility that would enable me get money. But......I have so far got 4 reminders from another facility asking me to pay some money in order to have my adverts displayed ( advertised). I still wonder at this marketing means. I am not complaining but am thinking aloud.

    I still maintain,I am writing for fun.

    1. Marie Flint profile image74
      Marie Flintposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Tom, if you're going to pay someone, you might as well just use Facebook. For $1 a day, you can build a pretty good consumer/customer base. I haven't done this yet because I allowed myself to have a very negative reaction to a sales pitch (not Facebook), wherein I couldn't afford the cost required and then was offered a discount. Right after I accepted the discount, another ad popped up saying, "Wait, for $295 you can get . . ." The amount is spent was only $19. Once I get over this, I'll probably try Facebook. Right now, though, I'm not too keen on being an internet entrepreneur.

      Writing should be fun. For me, somehow when money gets involved, writing becomes less fun. (I'm working on this little psychological glitch because money is spiritual too.)

      I caution about responding to any promise to get you traffic, especially if they are asking for money.

      I've been enjoying Hub Pages. Like you, I'd like to receive a little money from time to time for my editorial and writing skills. Usually, though, what I do is gratis. Whether people feel I'm helping or just being a nerd is questionable. I do get a 'thank you' from some, but, so far, Hub Pages has not offered me a telecommute position for pay. Maybe they can't afford me. This might very well be the case, given the poor traffic I receive on my hubs.

      So, yes, Hub Pages, if nothing else, is fun. Welcome aboard and good luck!

  9. Tom Mukasa profile image67
    Tom Mukasaposted 10 years ago

    Thanks Marie Flint. I decided to increase on number of hubs. I am doing research on the topics I chose to write about. My main thrust is  information as an empowering tool. I choose a topic and curve/craft it to inform others. I hope traffic will increase with time.

    Thanks for the encouraging words.

    NB. Soon they will notice you. Soon they will afford you.

  10. 2besure profile image78
    2besureposted 10 years ago

    I used to write for the Charlotte Christian Observer online site.  When  I  decided to no longer write for that site I sent an email and asked that all my content be removed.  When I went back I did not see my work.  Now 6 years later, I ran across some of my articles are still online, earning them money.  The article you wrote is information writers need.  Many do not know what to do.  Post the article somewhere else!


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