Helium.com has banned India

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  1. Marisa Wright profile image90
    Marisa Wrightposted 14 years ago

    It's going to be interesting to see if we have an influx of Indian writers now that Helium.com has banned them.

    The reason they give for barring India from the site is that they were getting flooded with articles in poor English.  Not sure whether bans on places like the Philippines will follow.

    1. SiddSingh profile image58
      SiddSinghposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting! Have they banned only the new applicants, or even the existing writers altogether? I have an account there, but it has been ages since I submitted an article there.

    2. profile image0
      terrygposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Now that's waving a red flag.

      There's a few in Australia that have a poor command of the English language as well and were all from convict stock.

      1. WHoArtNow profile image82
        WHoArtNowposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Australia don't have a poor command of the English language, it's the only language they know. So your basically calling Aussies stupid. Yes they are bred from convicts, but hundreds of years ago. Generations of Aussies have removed it. Otherwise don;t you think it would have one of the highest crime rates?

        1. profile image0
          terrygposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Your not serious are you? How you can get "so your basically calling Aussies stupid" out of "a poor command of the English language" dumbfounds me.

          1. agvulpes profile image87
            agvulpesposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            I would like, being one who gets quite an enjoyment out of destroying the english language, would like to tell terryg to take a running jump at himself. But unfortunatley it looks as though Mr and Mrs H. Pages has beaten me to the punch and he has "poof" vanished into thin air , as it were.
            I appreciate the succinct update of our culture,

            1. SweetiePie profile image83
              SweetiePieposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              I would just ignore him.  His remarks were really silly quite often.

            2. Sufidreamer profile image80
              Sufidreamerposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              Disgraceful behaviour - only the English are allowed to say things like that about the Aussies. It is our right.

              Sorry ag - just pulling your leg. I am warming up for the coming Ashes series. smile

              Nearly time for a bit of good-natured banter before the ritual humiliation begins sad

              1. LondonGirl profile image81
                LondonGirlposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                I timed my maternity leave perfectly in 2005 - Isaac was a newborn baby while the Ashes were on, and sadly, I had to spend a lot of time sitting down, feeding him....

                1. Sufidreamer profile image80
                  Sufidreamerposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                  Lucky he was not born a little later, or you might have had to call him Freddie smile

                  He must be nearly old enough to pick up a bat by now - start 'em young.

              2. agvulpes profile image87
                agvulpesposted 14 years agoin reply to this

                Sufidreamer,this coming from you, living in Greece! Gotcha !
                Me old mate,you don't have to apologise, we thrive on this stuff.
                Ashes ? Do England still play Test Cricket, I thought they had graduated to Tiddly Winks ?

                1. Sufidreamer profile image80
                  Sufidreamerposted 14 years agoin reply to this


                  I was looking for a witty comeback, but sadly I do not have a leg to stand on. You would probably whitewash us at tiddlywinks too sad

                  Mind you,I reckon that we are better than you at midget-throwing. Now there's a real sport.


    3. Cris A profile image57
      Cris Aposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Did they ban by place/location or nationality?

      1. Abhishek87 profile image60
        Abhishek87posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I think its by location, I had applied a week or two back and I was refused saying that their facilities were not available in my area.

        I agree with SweetiePie, banning a whole place because of some poor writers... even if there are more, just ban the ones that are not good, I mean thats a very lame reason ....

      2. Marisa Wright profile image90
        Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this


        1. Abhishek87 profile image60
          Abhishek87posted 14 years agoin reply to this

          So that means an Indian out of India can get a Helium account? hmm

    4. JamaGenee profile image81
      JamaGeneeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry, but it makes perfect sense to me.  If they're being "flooded" with articles in poor English, they either have to hire a ton of extra staff to consider each submission on a case-by-case basis, or just ban all submissions from the country they come from.

      Personally, I wouldn't even consider submitting articles in a language not my first.  Speaking a foreign language "fluently" enough to communicate with native-borns is not the same as being able to write grammatically correct sentences in that language.

      1. Aya_Hajime profile image60
        Aya_Hajimeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Agreed. From Helium's standpoint this is just a matter of economics. They don't want to alienate their current group of users, both writers and readers, by throwing a whole lot of spam out there.

        Note that a fair number of social networking sites ban all articles from HubPages. Sure they can do it on an ISP by ISP level, but that often does not work out from a money standpoint.

        It's not personal, it's just business.

        1. darkside profile image72
          darksideposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          That pretty much sums it up.

          And who better to know the impact on their business than the site owners themselves.

      2. LondonGirl profile image81
        LondonGirlposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        That's a bit tough - my other half conducts his entire professional life in his second language. I bet you couldn't tell if you read one of his advices, opinions or similar that Hebrew was his first language (-:

      3. Raj kamal profile image61
        Raj kamalposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Do you mean Indians should be banned from the whole of 'Internet' ???

    5. Benson Yeung profile image67
      Benson Yeungposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I won't blame Helium.com. They are merely retaliating my banning them because of my poor English. Unfortunately, they thought I was from India. My apologies to Indian writers.
      Dr Benson Yeung

  2. SweetiePie profile image83
    SweetiePieposted 14 years ago

    To me this comes across as cultural imperialism as Helium should only consider banning users on a case by case basis.  I have found much of its rating system to be very arbitrary anyway.

    1. ngureco profile image80
      ngurecoposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Sure. It is cultural imperialism.

      With a population of 1.1 billion people and the shrewdness of Indian entrepreneurs, it will not take long before Helium realizes that they need Indians more than Indians need Helium.

  3. Uninvited Writer profile image78
    Uninvited Writerposted 14 years ago

    Every country has people who have poor command of the English language...England included smile

    I can sort of see Helium's point. It is an English-speaking site and I would hope they take it seriously that things are written properly. But...this also includes people in countries like the US and Canada too. I have seen a lot of crap get through on Helium.

    1. Abhishek87 profile image60
      Abhishek87posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Well then, a better option would be to check the quality of the content instead of just flagging a whole country neutral

      1. Mark Knowles profile image57
        Mark Knowlesposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, but there is poor command of the English language, and tere is being command of poorlyness.

        I can't say I am surprised. By far the bulk of the spam on the internet is pouring out of India, if you want to hire spam commenters, that is the place to go. Click values on google by Indian consumers are all but worthless and 99% of the Indian internet population only seems interested in "meeting" Aunties lol


        1. Abhishek87 profile image60
          Abhishek87posted 14 years agoin reply to this

          I think a lot ( not 99% though smile ) of the internet population is interested in viewing the Indian "Aunties" lol

          1. aniketgore profile image61
            aniketgoreposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            LOLZ NICE VIEW. My English is also poor. I have written 2-3 hubs when i joined and i didn't used english spell checker. Just yest a hubber friend noticed me that one of my hub is n poor English.

        2. Julaha profile image61
          Julahaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Very true. There is a myth being propagated, chiefly by the big software companies of India, that India is an English-speaking country. The truth is less than 2% of India speaks English and a fraction of that percent knows how to write proper English.

      2. debugs profile image59
        debugsposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with that point. Banning a whole country is almost like a violation of freedom of expression. Banning an individual's isp is comprehensible however considering how crummy some of the articles are there.

    2. Christa Dovel profile image72
      Christa Dovelposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      This is just what I was thinking... After rating many too many articles on Helium, I see no reason why they should ban those from India.  If they are really concerned with high quality writing, maybe they should have an entrance exam of some sort.  Many companies who pay by article do.

  4. Anamika S profile image70
    Anamika Sposted 14 years ago

    I am not a member of Helium, but was considering joining. However it's unfortunate to know that Indians are banned from joining. It is sad to see how some Indian writers have polluted the internet with adult content and pictures even in decent sites.

  5. profile image48
    badcompany99posted 14 years ago

    Well I am not from India but I know a lot of brilliant Indian writers and I feel the mass ban is a disgrace. As for the Grammar I was on an English writing website and trust me some of the grammar on it was like a 5 year olds. I just feel this is discrimination !

  6. aidenofthetower profile image69
    aidenofthetowerposted 14 years ago

    I have to agree with those that say this is ridiculous. I would imagine all countries where English is not the main language would have a higher percentages of writers with a poor command of the English language. That only makes sense when these people are speaking English as a second (or more) language. However, banning a whole country because they are more likely to be poor English speakers isn't really fair to those who have a good command of the language and are good writers with good things to share! It is also true that there are people in English speaking countries who write terribly and have a poor command of the English language.

  7. Marisa Wright profile image90
    Marisa Wrightposted 14 years ago

    I started this thread for information really, not taking sides one way or the other.  I agree with those that say Helium is a business, and if they're being flooded with spam, they have to find a low-cost way of dealing with it. 

    What I don't like is the way they did it - using words which suggested there was some technical reason why they couldn't operate in India.  It was only later in a thread in the forum that they admitted it was purely because of poor English.

    Over the years, several people have suggested Helium change their setup so that authors have to submit their first three articles for manual approval before they get full access to the site.  I still don't quite understand why Helium won't do that - yes, it would take work, but it would remove all the catch-up work they do now, purging sub-standard articles and removing inappropriate ones after the event. And it would certainly be a fairer way to ensure quality than banning whole countries!

  8. Research Analyst profile image77
    Research Analystposted 14 years ago

    Doesn't Helium make money selling the articles written by the writers that join their site?

  9. countrywomen profile image59
    countrywomenposted 14 years ago

    I don't know if others are full time writers since I hardly find enough time to contribute to even one community like hub pages. I guess if they don't want to have some folks then it is there prerogative. If they have factored in that they may lose some good writers but still continuing that policy than so be it.

    I am very happy with hub pages and hope that they never have such a policy that will rob me of the ability to interact with some of my friends who are from India. smile

  10. SweetiePie profile image83
    SweetiePieposted 14 years ago

    Hubpages is way too intelligent in their way of thinking to ever do something like that.  I think Helium may lose some potential web traffic if they plan on blocking certain countries and people from writing there.  I was never really excited about writing there to start with, but it does give a good backlink.

    1. Lisa HW profile image61
      Lisa HWposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think HubPages would have to even consider it, but HubPages isn't paying writers.  Google is.  Google does emphasize "high-quality content", but I'm guessing that kind of judgment (if/when it's done, and even if it's an automated process) is on a case-by-case basis.  Of course, HubPages has its Hub Score process; so that can screen out really low-quality stuff too.

      I like HubPages too.   smile

      1. SweetiePie profile image83
        SweetiePieposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        The hubscore process also factors in traffic, which makes certain hubs higher ranked than others.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image90
      Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Actually it doesn't give a good backlink, Sweetiepie, because all the links in articles are no-follow.

      I made the same mistake as you, and started leapfrogging my articles to include links to my Hubs.  Then when I was cutting and pasting to fix an error, I noticed the "no follow" tag and posted on their forums to ask the question.  They confirmed they don't allow do-follow links.

      1. SweetiePie profile image83
        SweetiePieposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        My profile is showing a follow link for me, which is the only place I have a link.  Backlinkwatch.com and iwebtool.com say the profile link is follow, so if it is non-follow these checkers are not registering it.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image90
          Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          I beg your pardon SweetiePie, I wasn't thinking about the links on the profile!  I have three links in the "My Links" section and I also set up a Zone on their new Betaville section.  The whole Betaville thing seems to be very quiet, but I thought it was worth it for the backlinks as you can add as many links as you like - I must check to see whether they are actually do follow, though!

          1. SweetiePie profile image83
            SweetiePieposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            You know maybe the profile links are no-follow too.  I was just wondering maybe it is not registering correctly.  Some sites show I have 200 backlinks, which is not very realistic because I made one comment on a site.  Sometimes I think the backlink checkers are not always very accurate.

  11. cindyvine profile image73
    cindyvineposted 14 years ago

    Helium wouldn't have done something so drastic if they didn't have a real problem which was effecting their credibility and money, cause at the end of the day it's money that talks.

  12. Lisa HW profile image61
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    Might the issue for Helium be money?  They give upfront payments (depending on how many "stars" someone has, but I think there's something for anyone managing to get at least one writing star).  They also give upfront bonuses for people who contribute when there's only one article for a title.   I can see how someone could get a couple of stars by submitting something like recipes, and then start earning whatever they'd earn for submitting any-old-thing.

    If people from India were flooding Helium in some version of the above scenario it could mean they were paying out far more money than they could later generate in ad revenue.   If they were ending up paying out too much money for floods of stuff that were essentially scamming, I can see why they'd ban the stuff.   I'm not necessarily defending Helium - only trying to suggest that people from India shouldn't necessarily think it's just about "incorrect English".  It's more likely related to that "flooding factor" that accompanies it.

  13. SweetiePie profile image83
    SweetiePieposted 14 years ago

    If that is the case Helium needs to rethink their payment schedule.  Nevertheless, I found other venues for writing such as Hubpages, ehow, and the examiner to be much more profitable.  Another thing I never liked about Helium is you no longer have the rights to delete or take your story elsewhere.

  14. Lisa HW profile image61
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    SweetiePie,  based on what I've seen, I think you're right about other sites being far more profitable (although Helium does sometimes sell the license to individual articles, which can mean adding to the earning potential).  Helium can be quite profitable for people who have enough highly rated material and/or are very active in the other earnings opportunities offered by Helium; but not all members want to spend that much time/effort.

    They don't let you delete, but they don't care if you publish the material elsewhere either (because you keep all the rights).  You can't, though, sell first rights to someone else once it's on Helium.

  15. SweetiePie profile image83
    SweetiePieposted 14 years ago

    Maybe some like Helium, but I will just say I love Hubpages and ehow much better.  Even the examiner has a better format.  We all know there are some very good writers from India, so no love is lost if Helium bans them from the website.

    A few other hubbers had said in the past that once you post your material to Helium you can not longer delete it, so I was going off what they said.  Also, they do not allow you to add photographs, so their publishing tool lacks a certain something that other sites have.

  16. Lisa HW profile image61
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    My comment here should not be seen as an attempt to answer a question that was not directed at me.  I just thought adding some clarification on the Helium matter may be helpful.

    Some Internet sites have contributors that have discussions and conversations, or write whatever they want to write.  Others (Helium is one) have an aim of trying to offer "professionally written" or "magazine-style" articles.  Helium has a way to go before they reach that aim, but it's the latest aim to improve quality (so that publishers will buy articles and readers will find professionally written material).

    Sites that are considered "web content" or "web articles" sites can be different from "general writing" sites, where "magazine-style" articles are not necessarily the focus.

    When a site (like Helium, Associated Content, etc.) pays writers for articles but wants a good command of the English language, it's the "imperfect" grammar that's the issue - not the country.  To the best of my understanding, Helium is also addressing the issue of some American contributors whose material is too far outside the most recent guidelines for quality.  It's a very different thing on a site that leaves the writing up to the writer, and leaves "approval" up to the readers.

  17. Research Analyst profile image77
    Research Analystposted 14 years ago

    I would say that if a site is selling the content that the writers submit then they are wanting to make sure that the articles are grammatically correct and in a readable and understandable format. So to say Helium has banned India is too broad of a statement when all the facts have not been presented. It is easy to make speculations but its harder to get the real truth on the situation.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image90
      Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I'm not speculating, Research Analyst.  It's a fact, it's been confirmed by Helium and it's been hotly debated on the Helium forums (which you have to be a member to access, or I would include the link).

      If an Indian tries to join, they are rejected and get an email saying that Helium does not have facilities in their country, or some such excuse.

      They've allowed some good Indian writers, who were existing members before the ban, to retain their membership.

  18. Julaha profile image61
    Julahaposted 14 years ago

    I think Helium has done the right thing, even though I dislike my country being singled out. As many here have said, there are bad wielders of English in every country, including the English-speaking countries.

    The reason why I hold Helium's decision as correct is that India is not an English-speaking country. Many Indians even when they don't know English, just because of the glamour attached with English, and also the possibility of making money, venture to write in English, where angles would have feared to tread.

    The result is shameful posts that not only malign the name of the authors, but also that of India.

    My only fear is, this could easily happen to HubPages too, and not only because of Indians, but also because of the number of other non-English-speaking people belonging to other nationalities who write and speak very bad English.

    But I have a better suggestion for HubPages (as well as Helium) which I have articulated (ad nauseaum according to some hubbers) else where, which is to allow hubs in non-English languages. Here is the link if you are interested:

    Should HubPages Go Multi-lingual?

    This will reduce the compulsion of hubbers to write in English even when they can't possibly do so.

  19. Lisa HW profile image61
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    Hey - it just so happens that I just got the exact same message from Mercy123 in my e.mail about five minutes ago.  For someone with no Hubs and no profile, Mercy123 does a lot of looking at profiles, apparently....

  20. lindagoffigan profile image57
    lindagoffiganposted 14 years ago

    I am a member of Helium and can understand why they took that stand as some Americans have a difficult time adhering to their stringent standards.  The compensation at Helium is better than HubPages with their writing contests and market place targeted writing so maybe that is why they are being so selective.  Helium has clients who they must satisfy for sustainability.

  21. bames24 profile image60
    bames24posted 12 years ago

    I am a member of helium and I was able to submit an article as recently as last month. I am from India and my English is quite good.

    I do admit there are writers who have bad grammar but that applies to almost any other country around the world.


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