Today I have some news to share related to Hub comment moderation. While we have traditionally used a nearly 100% community-run comment moderation system, we are concerned because there are in fact thousands of potentially low-quality anonymous comments across the site. Thoughtful and substantive comments add immense value to a Hub, whereas low-quality posts can be off-putting and interrupt healthy discussions. Thus, we will be cleaning up these anonymous comments by supplementing our existing moderation efforts with a service called CrowdFlower.
CrowdFlower is a crowdsourcing platform similar to Amazon's Mechanical Turk. With the assistance of CrowdFlower's workforce, we will be able to work through the backlog of comments needing review quickly and keep up with new anonymous comments in close to real time. In addition to CrowdFlower, we'll also be enlisting the help of HubPages moderators and enhancing our automated tools.
You aren't required to do anything new, but if you're so inclined, you can help out by reading the new comment moderation guidelines we shared with CrowdFlower and making sure the comments on your own Hubs are up to snuff.
I'd also like to mention that while CrowdFlower is accurate at identifying the worst comments the majority of the time, mistakes will occasionally happen. You will have the ability to overrule the decision on a moderated comment in My Account > Comments or by using the buttons next to individual comments in the Comment Capsule on your Hub. Here's what the buttons will look like:
Just click on the "Approve (not low quality)" button next to the comment to revert CrowdFlower's decision and approve the comment. (Please note that you can't revert decisions made by HubPages moderators, only those made by CrowdFlower, but you can still delete any comment from your Hubs.) Finally, if CrowdFlower rejects an anonymous comment that you approved earlier, CrowdFlower's decision will be applied because it is more recent.
CrowdFlower will start working on the backlog of anonymous comments soon. New anonymous comments will follow shortly after.
Let us know if you have any questions!
It seems unlikely the CrowdFlower workers will actually read the hubs so how will they be able to tell if the comments are on topic or not?
The interface that CrowdFlower will be using includes a link to the comment in context (on the live Hub).
So, if I go to my account, comments, low quality, it will show me which comments have been moderated in this manner? I would hate to have to go to each individual hub to see, especially since I have already been through all of my hubs to delete low quality comments.
Does this address only anonymous comments, or will it include HP members whose comments were argumentative? Are those considered low quality, as well?
Only anonymous comments. Comments made by signed-in users tend to be much higher quality than comments made by anonymous users.
When HP made all the corrections to spelling errors, most of them were in other people's comments, not in hubber's writing. I agree that anonymous comments are always argumentative or insulting and don't add anything valid to the discussion.
I had one hubber who came back about 3 times to give me a really hard time on one of my hubs, telling me to 'get educated,' etc....I deleted the entire thread including my replies!
Yes, Jean, either that, or spam...usually including a link to their website!
I really have not found that to be the case. Hubber comments are more grammatically correct, but "anonymous" comments often have more substance. I have hundreds of guest user comments that I would hate to lose.
After reviewing the moderation guidelines, I think I should be safe if the CrowdFlower people follow them.
My comments are globally set to not appear unless I approve them. How will CF affect me and otherusers with the same comment settings?
Also, is this for unmoderated comments only or will it also be applied to comments that have been previously manually approved by the author?
A new, anonymous comment will be sent to CF when it is submitted. If CF approves the comment, we will email you about the comment and you will still need to approve the comment in order for it to appear. If CF denies the comment, then we will not email you about it, but you can still approve the comment if you wish either from the Hub or the My Account > Comments page.
All existing, anonymous comments will be sent to CF for review, whether they were previously approved by the author or not. Comments on Network Sites will be prioritized. If CF disagrees with an author’s decision, CF’s decision will be applied to the comment because it is more recent and takes our new standards into account. You can still reverse the decision. Also, it is worth noting that CF does not have the ability to delete a comment from a Hub.
CrowdFlower (mentioned in the OP), the new service we will be using to help us assess the quality of these comments.
Is "anonymous" different from "guest user?" HP moderators will delete low quality guest users comments?
Hmm, I am not quite sure where you are seeing "guest user" but in relation to commenting on Hubs, yes anonymous and guest user are the same. This might be a simpler way of looking at it:
There are two types of comments on Hubs: those from signed-in users (Hubbers) and those from signed-out visitors (anonymous). We'll be using these new tools (e.g., CrowdFlower) to address the latter of the two.
Not sure if it shows on the actual hub, but in the notifications drop-down on our feed page, we often see, "a guest user has commented on such-and-such a hub."
I guess that answers my question, Marina. I sometimes have friends who are not HP members leave comments with their name. Sometimes I see "guest." But I think I understand for moderation purposes, both fall under "anonymous" because they are not signed in users.
I find this answer quite alarming. I have always considered outside comments more valuable. Lots of HP member just stop by because they know me, people who find me through a search are more likely to be interested in the topic of the hub.
Great! Most of the anonymous stuff is spammy crap ot just downright ugly. Some websites and blogs have ditched comments all together. Why? Because some comments contain language that Google Adsense doesn't like. And did you know you can lose your Adsense account for not moderating your comments? You can. People have been banned for this.
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone.
When will they ever learn?
Sound like a reasonable system - but does remind me of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
The thing I've never ever understood is why HubPages doesn't make it mandatory for ALL COMMENTS TO BE MODERATED - no matter who leaves them.
Some of the spammiest and/or nonsense comments I've had have been left by members.
I've always operated moderation on every site I've got and believe me if you site is known as one where spam comments can't get through they start to leave you alone.
By way of contrast those people I've known who've been afflicted by spam comments have invariably never bothered to switch on moderation.
Making moderation mandatory seems like such a simple thing to do....
I moderate my own comments. After getting some offensive comments a few years back, I started making it so I had to approve a comment before it got posted. I am also filtering through comments on older hubs, and deleting useless ones.
Although, I do have a question regarding comment editing. Is there a reason we cannot edit comments on Hubs that have been moved to niche sites? I have slowly been going through the comments on my old hubs, and I can't seem to edit the ones that have moved to the niche sites. Do I have to log into the niche sites separately in order to do that?
I am so glad and thankful that you are making this change on Hubpages. I have been a member of Hubpages for 2 years now and I have received lots of low quality comments mostly from individuals who wanted to promote a certain link. I have always reported those as 'spam' but I also feared that those kind of comments would scale down the quality of my hubs and my profile in general. I am looking forward to these new changes!
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