For the second time in less than a week, I just spent time opening "questions" that aren't questions, but nonsensical "garbage"--bits of a paragraph copies from somewhere and dumped into HP. In each case, I flagged them for HP, and they will likely disappear soon. But they harm the quality of the HP experience just by being there temporarily. Sometimes these jerks with nothing better to do "join" HP with one name/account. Other times there will be a string of them with numerous different user names. The Question feature isn't something that would be sorely missed if it were removed from HP. Of course, the perpetrators might switch to nonsensical hubs, which would have to be reported.
Hi all. I finally created my own account so I can post my own writing. I am kind of limited on awordlover's account since all the articles are hers.
On topic: I can't stand these guys either. Jaye, they already make nonsensical hubs, sometimes five in a row. If no one pays attention, they keep posting in the various forums, but mostly in "Short Stories." I guess they have "short attention spans" because they never seem to pick another category. lol I've been flagging them for over a month, but I know they've been here for a long while. Lately it is getting much worse though. I could stop following the forums, but I like to keep them as "follow" because sometimes there's good stuff in there! These idiots have nothing better to do with their time than to come and spam up the forums and make stupid hubs with their copy pasting of Michael Jordan, Nike and Air Purifier topics.
My last couple of weeks' worth of email notifications - the one that tells you all the new hubs and questions in the topics you follow - must have had at least 30 extra hubs and forum questions, all because of these guys with multiple accounts. It is never just one account at a time, it's always 3 or more.
Doing away with the "Questions" part of HP is ok. I also like paradigmsearch's idea - drag them behind the barn and shoot them. I wonder if they'd just spam up another feature.
The question section was created to help prompt answers written as hubs. Though there are many spammers (which you can flag) there are also great questions asked and answered. Some of my best performing hubs were actually written based on questions asked and I supplied my answer with a hub.
Why not just flag these questions?
Even the stupid questions and the outright spam have some value - at least to me. No matter why they were written, there have been quite a few times I've read the question and it has given me an idea for a hub. The final hub can be a direct answer to the question or a way to provide the opposite viewpoint to what the poster asked.
That is very true. No question is truly stupid. Commonly people ask a question when they honestly don't know the answer and you're right it can spark inspiration at times.
I wasn't really referring to "stupid" questions, but to the nonsenical groups of words that are tantamount to gibberish or purposeful doubletalk--real sentences with nonsense words or phrases thrown in helter-skelter. I don't mind questions that may not be profound. Goodness! I'm sure I've asked a few that seemed a bit off the wall (such as THIS one, which I sorely regret).
When someone asks a question in an honest way in an attempt to get a helpful answer, I'm all for that mode of Q&A. I also understand how a real question can be the inspiration to readers for a hub.
It is only the nonsense gibberish that isn't even meant to be a question and bears no relation to one, but is placed on HP as a question because that's obviously the easiest method of spamming--now, that "gets my goat" (one of those old southern expressions I use from time to time).
*giggles* You should never regret asking a question. If we do not ask then we do not learn. I am a Floridian so I am very aware of classic southern expressions such as that one.
Sorry I misunderstood. I do agree something needs to be done to stop the spamming and get rid of the gibberish. I know there are some people here who will hate me for saying this - people who think any type of moderation is comparable to censorship - but the spam and such is why HP created the reporting feature. From what I've been able to see in the short time I've had an account, HP takes those kinds of reports seriously and will ban people. It's up to those of us who take our writing seriously and want HP to be the best place on the web to help keep it cleaned up.
NO, the question section should not be done away with. I happen to love the question section. It gives me the freedom to exercise my mind with creative, thoughtful questions and responses.
I have said this repeatedly, all new hubbers must have at least 50 featured hubs BEFORE being ALLOWED to PARTICIPATE in either the QUESTION or FORUM section. That way would eliminate the spammers in both the question and forum sections. Hubbers with 0 hubs SHOULDN'T be allowed to participate in the question or forum section. The main purpose of HubPages is to write informative (non-fiction) and creative hubs(if fiction).
NO HUBBER should be allowed to participate in the question section until he/she has 50 FEATURED hubs.
Oh darn it, I just signed on to only post questions and/or participate in the forums, NOT WRITE HUBS. I want to ask questions, that's ALL.
Me too, I didn't sign on to WRITE HUBS.........Noooooo.
Well, it's TIME to clean HOUSE.......Let's go, I SAID let's GO.......
YOU'RE now going to write hubs before being ALLOWED to participate in the question or forum section, HEAR ME?!
Heck no, NOT AGAIN, get ME my SHOOTER!
Once in awhile I score an AdSense click from Q&A. Thus, I am fond of it and want it to stay. I believe our current practice of dragging spammers out behind the barn and shooting them is sufficient.
That made me laugh so hard - I'm not sure why. . The spammers are sure annoying, but I too like that I get added clicks from the Q&A section and why throw the whole thing out due to a few bad apples?
Some of the questions are still very good and are fine prompts for Hub writing.
To be honest I haven't really followed the question feature enough to stumble across what you are discussing. But from time to time I have used it. On a couple of occasions it has been helpful in receiving input which helped with my creating of Hubs. Also as the others have mentioned the Q+A clicks which could add to a little extra revenue. Personally I don't see the need to scrap something just because of a small minority. There are also those that write spammy hubs or post spammy content into the forums. I wouldn't suggest that Hubpages completely shut down their whole site because of it.
I use the Q&A thing when I need an answer and can't find what I am looking for in the forum. It is a nifty thing to have, but is it only for hub related questions or can it be used for non-hub related questions too?
They are supposed to be non-hub related. http://hubpages.com/faq/#questions
It can be used for non Hubpages related question. You can pose a question in any of the same topics that are available to write Hubs on. When composing one of my "Songs About" hubs I quite often ask if anyone is aware of any songs about that particular topic. I find at times the input can be helpful.
We can't let the spammers run our lives. I pay attention to the questions on my feed which have a high percentage of reliable questions. I have used some questions for hubs. With permission, one of my best earners has answers from hubbers as an important part of hub.
My agreement was with ChristinS's statement about liking the Q&A for added clicks. I like the feature. (Just wanted to clear that up.) :-)
so, the OP wants to discontinue the question feature? I had to make sure that was correct. What is this 14th century Europe? Are the fuedal lordes frightened the farm workers will get to smart? The question feature is designed to allow people the chance to have something answered. Yahoo and Ask both have this feature and millions go to it a month! You cant tell me all the questions are "appropriate". Its like the forum. A tool, and a way to relax.
Whoa!! Guess I overreacted. I certainly don't want to take away a HP tool that is helpful to many or even just a way for descentiongal to relax. I simply get so tired of those spamming jerks clogging up the feed with their garbage.
Perhaps if I visualize "taking them out behind the barn and shooting them" whenever I see one (or five or six), perhaps it will make me feel better. (Thanks for the laugh, paradigmsearch. I needed that!) Jaye
It was meant as a joke and more of a point about the situation. The idea of removing a long standing feature due to spam is like saying that you want the idea of flying in an airplane to end because of terrorists. Spam is everywhere. You can not avoid it. Heck i get it on my cell phone as a text from time to time. We just have to live with it.
Do you click on them to read them? I think that's how they clog up your feed. That happened to me once. I had to flag each one and reported it to HP. It was a massive #, around 30 or so. It was in the forums. I finally got rid of them with the prompt help of HP. Now I recognize them and don't click them. I see them in Q&A and the forums. The user names usually have more consonants and numbers than vowels. And of course the anonymous avatar.
An anonymous avatar means nothing, the op here has an anonymous avatar.
They are so recognizable for what they are (and usually in clusters) that I click on them to investigate and flag the stuff. I suppose I've been considering it my 'duty' as a HP member because I don't really know how HP finds and gets rid of this junk without our help. I've actually seen some extremely low-quality "hubs" that HP has left on the site, which I think has a bad effect on the overall site quality. Otherwise, I'd leave it up to the system HP uses to rate our hubs (and sometimes penalize them) to find and delete all spam and ban the perps (temporarily, at least).
Am I wrong in thinking HP needs our intervention, ie., flagging garbage? Should I just pass them by while thinking, OUT BEHIND THE BARN WITH YOU!....?
(Gosh, I feel so exposed and dumb in this forum. Asking this question and reading the replies has certainly contributed to my sense of humility. Haha.)
I use the questions from time to time; I just posted one today, in fact.
Probably most of the time, it is something I could research myself on Google or some other search engine, but as a Hub Pages member, I also recognize that asking the question here might stimulate the idea for someone to create a hub based on that question, which is one stated purpose of the Q&A feature, so I often start there.
Sometimes, it's not the question that's the problem; there are also sometimes stupid answers that are either snarky or irrelevant. If that's all I get, I close the question. But most of the time, I get a pretty decent or terrific answer, that provides the information I was looking for.
I have also seen the kinds of questions to which the OP refers; stupid, nonsensical, often just a sentence fragment that is not even a question, just a half-a$$ed statement.
I ignore those--I'll have to double check--I did not previously realize that questions could also be flagged/reported.
Perhaps I just have an overactive feeling of responsibility and HP doesn't really need my help after all, but there's a button in the top righthand corner of the screen with which to flag something inappropriate. The drop-down box provides a number of categories of why a question or hub should be flagged.
Absolutely flag stuff that is inappropriate as you run across it when we all do that it is greatly helpful to making HP a better place for all of us. I certainly do flag spam questions and hubs of a questionable nature. We have the Hub Hopper and ability to flag for exactly that reason and when we do it, it of course benefits all.
When I don't have enough content for a hub, but have a good title, I'll phrase it in the form of a question.
There is spam in questions, in the forums and in hubs.
You can't avoid spam; the best you can do is flag it.
This strange spam gets everywhere. I found some on a support group today, made no sense at all and completely unrelated to the site. Yes, it's annoying, but it seems to be part of the internet world. I have no clue how anyone can benefit from it.
Maybe the Q&A section is fine. Perhaps the people who join with the wrong intent should be watched closer and given warnings.
The Question feature is helpful at times. I get a lot of answers to questions that I have thought of but never asked.
So you are going to attempt to reduce the spamming up of the questions feature by encouraging the spamming of Hubs. Good call.
I already feel foolish for bringing up this topic. Trying to make me feel worse?
:-( (You did.) The responses certainly make me see the situation in a different way. I didn't realize how helpful many hubbers find the Q&A, and now I do. So...I DON'T WANT THE Q&A DISCONTINUED!
However, quite a few of these spammers publish "hubs" composed entirely of gibberish, often only a brief paragraph, so those people are already encouraged.
Its ok to be upset, that's a human reaction. Do you see my avatar? It is a butterfly. Some caterpillars are ugly, slow, and even nasty. Then they go into a cocoon and are quiet and still. Its not something you go out and search for, not something you notice. But then they emerge, as a butterfly. Something you see. Something that is an improvement.
I am a butterfly in many ways. I am not new to HP, so I can help shed light on all this in a different way than has previously been stated. The Q&A feature, is a landmark. Its a feature that has been a round for a while on here. Many, many (probably countless) hubbers have used and love it. Spam will always be there, perhaps that is where people come from when defending it. Even if they are a little harsh. That usually means they love it all the more.
Oh dear -- sorry, I wasn't actually replying to you Jaye, my post was a direct response to gmwilliams'. Apologies for being too lazy to quote.
I have used the question section quite a lot, and find it to be very useful. It should definitely not be done away with. There are serious people on HubPages to answer questions that don't have answers that can be easily found.
The questions feature is useful and is another way for us to find like-minded hubbers to connect with.
Spam questions can easily be deait with by the report feature and by ignoring them.
I agree it should be replaced with Social Shortcuts or Chat - a revenue shared tool for posting shorter brief articles on HP - See http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/119707
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