I just visited a Hub yesterday by a new Hubber. It was called "Hate Trumps Hate." The author is a conservative, but did not vote for Trump. She was writing about the persecution she and other conservative students are facing on social media and on her college campus since Trump was elected.
It was decently well-written, especially compared to some of the rants I've seen on HubPages. I appreciated it, and left a comment saying so. I also started following her.
Today, she e-mailed me that HubPages had removed her Hub because it "did not meet their standards." She had re-posted it on her own blog, which likely, no one will ever see.
I don't know the whole story here. She was new Hubber, so it's possible the Hub wasn't removed, just wasn't featured or something like that. But it sounded suspicious to me ... like maybe the Hub was removed because it expressed an unpopular opinion. If so, this would be just another example of the very phenomenon she was talking about.
Has anyone else had an experience like this?
It had to be for quality. Very often, the political hubs and questions are poorly written either because the writer is too caught up in the moment or they are just sloppy writers. Spend a few minutes and read some of the "political" hubs, particularly the Trump ones (or the Trump hating ones as well) and you'll see all kinds of grammatical mistakes and careless editing. HP allows a lot of views. I think they are more than fair. I'm a Republican (NeverTrump) who does not write political hubs but I do participate in the forums. Check it out.
If it was for quality, then the quality standard is so flexible as to be meaningless. There were no grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors that I noticed. Nor were there unsupported claims. Paragraphs were coherent, and so on. That is more than I can say for some Hubs I have seen (not most, of course, only some).
I will say this is the first time I've noticed anything like this happening. I have written a few Hubs that could be taken as conservative, and they haven't been dinged. (One was about church, one about why large families are not such a horrible thing.) But those were not as hot a topic as Trump.
I have felt like HP does discriminate against conservative hubbers, if you are a conservative hubber you know it.
Thanks for your input. Examples? (Only if you feel comfortable giving them.)
all Hubbers are facing increasing hurdles to publication. And some decide it is ideological, whatever ideology is their hot button. But it is 99.99% just not the case.
@Jennifer, Brie . . .honestly I cannot say that this has happened to me. The only thing close to one of my hubs being "Removed," is that a couple of years ago, I wrote a fictitious hub about a private eye who loved this nightclub singer who was a real doll.
I gently described her, but HP said that Google Sense flagged it because of this reason: "It aroused sexual tensions" among readers.
And it was MILD for goodness sake.
I never knew that my words had so much power.
I argued, edited, argued, edited and finally gave up and deleted the hub.
Have been "walking in minefields" ever since.
You are right, Kenneth, anything that can be taken as sexist is of course very touchy.
@Jennifer, the text in my hub was not of a "sexist" nature, but of very mild sexual description of this guy's girlfriend, but NOT describing body parts, etc.
OK, sorry, did not mean to call you sexist. I know we've discussed this in the comments section of your Hubs before, and we've established that you are not sexist. :-)
I don't know the details of how the process works, but here is my guess. Some things (all the -isms, basically), are such sticky topics that all it takes is one person to complain about them, and the complaint itself is reason enough for removal, whether or not it proves to be justified. Whereas other Hubs, far worse in nature, might go unnoticed because no one bothered to complain about them. The dynamic is similar to a witch hunt in some ways.
Here is the process of how the back and forth with HP ended.
1. I edited down, or watered-down the parts that AdSense said that were too sexual in content. I made it so a fourth-grader would be able to read it with no problems at all.
2. There were few images, but to be on the safe side, I deleted all but two and they were of a man and woman at a restaurant having dinner and the ones deleted were couples walking in the park. Safe stuff.
(even this was not enough).
3. I began to ask "be precise, please. What do YOU call sexual so I can edit it for the sixth time."
4. HP/AdSense wanted the first paragraph to be less commercial. Okay. I sent them a screenshot where I did NOT mention or suggest ANY brand name restaurant, drive-in chain at all.
5. HP/AdSense insisted that this paragraph be edited. So I did. Down to three sentences from five.
6. The flags remained, so I changed the headline which was next in their crosshairs.
7. I was asked (via email) why the headline was changed?
8. I replied, "to be safe."
9. HP/AdSense said to rewrite remainder of text which was (at that time) four to five short paragraphs mostly safe dialogue of a man with made-up name chatting to a woman with made-up name but with NO sexual dialogue whatsoever.
10. HP/AdSense would not publish this due to "sexual terms," being found and I lost it as I sent back a heated email and screenshot and asked one word, "Where?"
11. An email arrived in ten minutes telling me to remove the photo of man and woman having dinner as it was "too suggestive,"and this one was just down right ridiculous--man in suit and tie and woman in evening gown!!!!!
12. I removed the photo.
13. I then just emailed them back with a surrender and a basketful of questions of how did they assume or arrive at all of their judgements of my text, photos being too sensual?
14. HP "passed the buck" to AdSense as it was too sensual for family to read.
15 I deleted the hub.
That is what happened to the letter, Jenn.
Now tell me that this is not a bit strange.
The word "Hate" might have set off a red light off right away without them even reading it.
That would be my guess too, they are very sensitive about Hate speech and may have made a snap judgment based on the title without reading it properly.
That is an excellent point. I never thought of that. Seems like a shame if all it would have taken was a revised title.
I don't know about the hubs, but they certainly seem to be OK with the pro-Trump questions.
I am conservative and have been writing about my conservatism beliefs for quite a while and have never received any problem from HubPages. I also receive many comments and have debates with other hubbers here on a regular basis. Always respectful.
No wonder I could not check back on it. I read and commented on the hub, understanding that she was new to the process. I looked forward to hearing more from her and hope that she will not give up. It needed some proofing (if I remember correctly the title was all lowercase), but I have seen far worse allowed to stay even after reporting as extremely low quality. Hers was not low quality, as I said, it just needed a little polishing. Her topic was important, giving voice to those who face rabid liberal attitudes on campuses and it made interesting points well worth considering. I hope she'll look me up and let me know when she posts again.
I only dip in and out of this site, but I have always got the opposite impression and found that some writers on Hubpages are very conservative...
Maybe it was too much of an opinion piece?
I agree, there are some very conservative Hubs out there. (As well as some very liberal ones. For example: "Let's Face It, Ladies: If Trump Wins, It Will Be Because of Uneducated White Men (And Women)." How is that not an opinion piece?)
I kind of thought that variety was the point of Hub pages, actually. That's why this incident surprised me so much.
Opinion pieces and personal-experience pieces are very OK on the site, as long as the personal experience is not just rambling but ties in to some topic of interest. I think her "Hate Trumps Hate" met that standard in spades, since it gives her personal confirmation (plus some others from research) of a national phenomenon that is happening right now and is highly relevant.
The only reason I can think of that this Hub might be censored, when other conservative Hubs are not ... it doesn't just express a conservative point of view, it actually exposes hypocrisy that is happening on the left right now. And it does so in a fairly well-written Hub, showing that not all conservatives are uneducated bozos. Stakes too high to allow the Hub?
I think it depends where you hang out. If you spend a lot of time in the Topical forums then yes, I'd say you'd get that impression. But a lot of Hubbers won't go near the Topical forums!
Because it can get pretty nasty in the political forums. Also in the religious forums, there are people who only want to preach at you, not have an intellligent debate, and they can also turn nasty.
The other topical forums are usually OK - but the trouble is, when you click on Topical forums, the "latest posts" are always dominated by political and religious rants and it's not pleasant.
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