Porn and trash links seen by kids reading articles on Owlcation

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  1. stuff4kids profile image96
    stuff4kidsposted 11 months ago

    Do the porn and trash links appear on my Owlcation educational articles?

    I know the issue has been highlighted elsewhere, but this specific question concerns me.

    I don't want to support that sort of thing in any case and I'm sure I'm not alone here in realizing that if that's the future of Hubpages, then in good conscience I'll have to remove my articles and close my account.

    I'm hoping that stuff will be removed and I'm prepared to wait a month or so to see how things unfold.

    But in the meantime, I need reassurance that my name and reputation won't be smeared when my Owlcation articles are shared by teachers with their classes, as I know they often are, and that the kids won't be exposed to those horrifying links.

    It's the worst and most unsettling development I've ever seen here. In fact, it's the only one. But it's bad. I'm very worried and unhappy about it. And I can hardly begin to express how upset I'd be if I had to leave because of it.

    1. janshares profile image94
      jansharesposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I'm surprised this is still happening, thought it was taken care of by now. So sorry to hear how it's impacting your work and potentially the teachers and children you serve. I checked a few of mine and the "R" rated articles are definitely still there, mostly on my relationship articles on PairedLife. I hope HP finds a way to work through this with the Maven merger, especially for sake of excellent hubbers like you, Amanda. Would hate to see you have to leave.

    2. chef-de-jour profile image98
      chef-de-jourposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      In total agreement. Owlcation has an excellent reputation which needs to be upheld, not undermined. Lobo mentioned the link to a previous forum where this issue was raised. Samantha said the ads/links had been caused by a bug? Hopefully it's done and dusted now. Please read through to gain a better perspective.
      If it continues however I'm sure there are many writers on HP who would seriously question their future on this platform. That said, I believe the niche sites are generally doing really well - Google updates apart -  my earnings have never been better that's for sure - so issues such as porn/garbage ads/links are just plain not wanted.

      1. lobobrandon profile image90
        lobobrandonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Exactly.

      2. stuff4kids profile image96
        stuff4kidsposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        I've read through the thread and it isn't clear at all why this is happening. But I don't know whether that's deliberate obfuscation on Hubpage's part or a communication failure.

        But it is still happening. No "bug" has been "fixed" at all as far as I can tell. I was able to find these ads/links on several hubs just now and many of them are not simply "trashy" but really revolting, obscene; encouraging people to gloat over explicit violence to women and so on.

        This has to be taken much more seriously and a proper, clear statement from Hubpages is needed urgently.

        Otherwise I think many of the best writers will finally end up leaving. I'd always considered Hubpages to be an exceptional online community because of its ethics and good practice across the board. If that changes as it merges with Maven, I can't stay.

        Just seeing some of the stuff I've seen today has genuinely upset me. I wish I'd never seen it. I don't want that to be a part of my readers' experience.

        1. Jean Bakula profile image95
          Jean Bakulaposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          I have articles on Owlcation which seem to attract a middle school audience when they study a unit on Mythology. I am also upset by a few of the filty ads I've seen on my work. I am worried we will see more of this from The Maven. Their standards seem to be low, and we've been writing about this issue for at least a month or more now.

          Also, many of the articles listed on the sidebar have nothing to do with the  topics I've written about. I would hate to leave too, but am getting disgusted.

    3. poppyr profile image93
      poppyrposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      It’s pretty bad. On all articles I’m seeing celebrity gossip, things like “do men really like pubic hair on women?” And other “trash and porn,” which is the perfect way to describe it!

      HubPages/Maven need to fix this and go back to having relevant HubPages articles come up instead. Right now it looks spammy and might be what has damaged everyone’s traffic the past few weeks.

  2. lobobrandon profile image90
    lobobrandonposted 11 months ago

    I agree. Kids use kidrex.org to find a certain Owlcation article of mine and I don't want to imagine the kind of recommended articles they see.

  3. stuff4kids profile image96
    stuff4kidsposted 11 months ago

    Thanks for your supportive comments folks. I'd like to hear from someone at Hubpages. I wrote to Christy Kirwan, but the email bounced back, so I guess that means we've lost her from Hubpages staff.

    Christy was "the new Simone". So, who's "the new Christy"?

    1. lobobrandon profile image90
      lobobrandonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Samantha. You can see a post she began to address these concerns here: https://hubpages.com/community/forum/34 … nouncement

      1. stuff4kids profile image96
        stuff4kidsposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks!

  4. stuff4kids profile image96
    stuff4kidsposted 11 months ago

    I've emailed Samantha and await a reply.

  5. stuff4kids profile image96
    stuff4kidsposted 11 months ago

    Still waiting for a reply from Samantha.

    1. lobobrandon profile image90
      lobobrandonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      It's been a few working days and now it's the weekend, doubt you'll get one over the coming weekend either.

  6. stuff4kids profile image96
    stuff4kidsposted 11 months ago

    I emailed Samantha Cubbison two weeks ago now and still I've heard nothing. In the meantime, I have this coming up next to an article on mindfulness meditation.

    I'm very disappointed and saddened about this on-going situation and the lack of response or action. We were told ages ago that this was a "bug" and had been "fixed". It's obviously not true.

    Do I really have to remove my stuff and leave Hubpages not to be associated with this anymore? Can nothing be done?

    https://hubstatic.com/14289181.jpg

    1. poppyr profile image93
      poppyrposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Oh, no. I thought this had been cleaned up sad

    2. Shesabutterfly profile image96
      Shesabutterflyposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      You said this is showing up on your Owlcation articles?? The two articles under Physical Intimacy are on the HP site Pairedlife, so if your article is there I'm not surprised you are seeing those. I have never seen anything by Inked Mag Staff, but I'm assuming it's yet another new site aquired by Maven so we all will probably be seeing a lot more articles by them sad

      This is all very sad. I thought the cross links between niche sites had been taken care of. This is not looking good. I also did a quick check and it appears that Inked Mag Staff is part of the Maven coalition...

      Would be nice if staff would address this yet again, as it appears there are still "bugs" as they say.


      EDIT: I can no longer find Inked Mag Staff any of the hp sites. Hope that means it was taken care of quickly...I did not see it on Maven either. It's weird. I know for a fact when I clicked on the Inked Mag Staff article it took me to the site and it had maven coalition in the url, but now there is nothing. The website url no longer has maven in it either??? What is going on?!

      1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image97
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 11 months agoin reply to this

        The only answer is to continue to email the staff until they take care of this issue.  These sites should not be permitted on HP or any of our niche sites.

        1. Shesabutterfly profile image96
          Shesabutterflyposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          Would be nice if staff actually replied to e-mails. I know things are very busy right now for them, but all of us are busy too. If we can manage to take five minutes out of our day to constantly e-mail staff, they could do the same. I agree, nothing of that nature should be on the niche sites.

          Pairedlife has a ton of articles just like the two in the screenshot above, and that is usually what the popular section of pairedlife is filled with. Someone somewhere is reading it (or Maven wouldn't be continually picking up websites like these).

          I never thought hp would allow content like that, but I think we are finding they have allowed questionable content for many many years. Even if the content does not contain sexual or pornagraphic photos, doesn't mean it's not offensive to others. Especially if it's showing up on Owlcation yet again.

    3. chef-de-jour profile image98
      chef-de-jourposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I also emailed Samantha. No reply. I'll email again. It would be good to know the truth about these wretched 'dirty' ads/links, because if it's a new policy driven by Maven I'd say that's hugely bad. And sad. I hope it's a residual bug, like they said, but I have doubts.

  7. Shesabutterfly profile image96
    Shesabutterflyposted 11 months ago

    https://hubstatic.com/14289623_f1024.jpg

    I knew I wasn't crazy. If you check the url it shows Maven coalition. However, when you search the niche sites nothing comes up anymore, and it doesn't show up on Maven either. I have not been able to reproduce that url. If you Google that site it takes you there but Maven is no longer in the url...

    What is going on??

    1. lobobrandon profile image90
      lobobrandonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Joking: Maybe they didn't ink their deal and are dropped from the coalition?

      1. Shesabutterfly profile image96
        Shesabutterflyposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        This is the most recent release from Mavencommunications. The inked link does not work, so maybe you're on to something?

        I never read the article until today, so can't be certain it was ever a working link. Seems odd that it's the only one that doesn't go to a site though. All the other links work.

        https://hubstatic.com/14289698_f1024.jpg

        1. lobobrandon profile image90
          lobobrandonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          I checked this out the other day when PD linked out to it. I clicked through the first 4 links smile But, had it been taken away I think they would remove it from the mention and not just remove the link.

  8. stuff4kids profile image96
    stuff4kidsposted 11 months ago

    UPDATE

    So, I've had a reply from Samantha who hadn't received my email but saw the forum posts.

    As I understand it, what she basically said was:

    1) The ads served are based on the user's search/viewing history/activity profile.

    In my situation, that's clearly not the case as neither I, nor anyone who has access to my computer, would look for or read such material.

    So, she suggested that it may be my privacy settings, which are set to max. If I'm not giving anything away to the bots, the algorithim has nothing to go on and throws up random ads, which may from time-to-time include offensive material. Which would also explain why the ads show up after clearing cache, etc.

    Changing  ad settings according to some instructions she included should remove that possibility.

    2) In principle, Hubpages has no problem with promoting misogynistic, offensive, and trashy material. In fact, post the Maven merger, it's definitely part of the plan to recirculate all material across all sites in the coalition, the only question is to get the technology to show stuff exclusively to people already likely to want it and not to others. That technology is still experimental.

    I've written back to clarify that's what she means, but that's the gist of it.

    I now have a lot of thinking to do.

    1. lobobrandon profile image90
      lobobrandonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Oh... When someone has high privacy settings, isn't it safest to assume they are interested in more of the kind of article they are already looking at? So, the recommended hubs should be related to the article as much as possible instead of second-guessing with "objectionable" stuff, unless of course, they are viewing an article of that kind.

      1. Shesabutterfly profile image96
        Shesabutterflyposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        I think it's important to watch the terminology that we are using. I keep seeing a lot of people referring to these links as ads. The response that Samantha provided sounds like she is responding to (Google) ads rather than the article links themselves.

        For example: Her first response is directly related to Google ads. Which like stuff4kids has said is not new technology. Those ads (Google) I suspect are not her issue. I for one have not seen any questionable Google ads. They have all been related to stuff I have either searched for or sites I have been to recently.

        In this paragraph for example "So, she suggested that it may be my privacy settings, which are set to max. If I'm not giving anything away to the bots, the algorithim has nothing to go on and throws up random ads, which may from time-to-time include offensive material. Which would also explain why the ads show up after clearing cache, etc." it's unclear exactly what she is trying to say. Is Samantha talking about the Google ads or the links to the articles on HP and Maven? If she's talking about article links than I think they need to continue working on their recommended section algorithim. Like you said, I would think highest privacy settings would result in material closely related to material you are already reading rather than suggest material that can clearly be defined as offensive to some.

        1. lobobrandon profile image90
          lobobrandonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          Good point.

    2. psycheskinner profile image84
      psycheskinnerposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Suggesting we all suddenly just wanted to know about sex tapes and pubic hair is disingenuous at best.  I am beginning to feel very concerned about the direction Hubpages is going --  I don't think "traffic at all costs" is a strategy that works, or is ethical.  I saw similar things happen at Today.com ... before they closed.

  9. stuff4kids profile image96
    stuff4kidsposted 11 months ago

    That would make sense. But the article I was viewing when I took the screen shot of the Recommended section was about mindfulness meditation! So that makes no sense.

    I'm not sure what the "new technology" is, as Google has been serving ads based on user profiles for a long time, and it's never shown me anything like that, even with high privacy settings. It doesn't make sense to me.

    But the key issue for me is that I'm now part of a network I didn't join which behaves in ways I can't condone. So I have a tough decision to make.

    1. lobobrandon profile image90
      lobobrandonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Yup, good luck making that decision. Can't be easy.

  10. Dolores Monet profile image95
    Dolores Monetposted 11 months ago

    Maybe we should all take a good look at our hubs. I seem to remember some time back seeing some pretty skeezy ads. Just checking right now, some in Owlcation, I'm seeing mostly ads for insurance, clothing, DNA tests, books, and cat towers - a lot of the types of things I've been looking at.

  11. ziyena profile image92
    ziyenaposted 11 months ago

    It is unfortunate.  Most of my articles are with Owlcation since I write humanities, in particular, art and history.  I've no other choice but to put up a disclaimer on my profile page that I do not support the decision to provide adult-oriented content and maybe an apology until further notice.  Guess I can explain how to set security levels so these ads don't pop up?  Disappointed.  Sex sells ... but not in the academic realm or to school-age kids.  We are now associated with trash content, the so-called professional expert content providers.  Hubpages was and still is so much better than that

    1. Jean Bakula profile image95
      Jean Bakulaposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I agree. I write about metaphysical topics, but have many articles on Owlcation too, as my interests also lie there. I didn't think to put a disclaimer. It's so much work. When HP first went to change standards and go to niche sites (two events) I had to revamp about 150 articles. I still have 8 on HP which I want to move to niches.

      Plus, don't different ads come at different times?

      1. Shesabutterfly profile image96
        Shesabutterflyposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Google ads will be different for each individual person depending on what they search for or where they visit. It has been this way for quite some time.

        The recommended section shows different articles based on what hp recommends to any individual reader. It's unclear exactly how hp/maven has set this up though. It sounds like it's a work in progress still, however "bugs", "glitches", or what have you are making it so a majority of people are seeing the same trashy content. It's unclear what exactly these issues where, but it has cleaned up quite a bit on my end at least.

        If hp kept the recommended section to the individual niche sites and stopped trying to create traffic for Maven sites or other hp sites I do not think we would be having the issues we are currently seeing. Quite a few of the Maven sites are lacking in quality and contain questionable content, however there is also a lot of questionable content on hp and pairedlife.

        Not all of it is family friendly, and when the crossing of links/articles happen on the hp sites/Maven we end up seeing content we did not know existed. It's one thing to want to bring traffic to the entire Maven coalition, but it's important to not lose the quality and credibility that we have all worked so hard here at hp to get. I think the crossing of unrelated content just because they want more traffic is a serious misstep on hp/maven staff.

    2. Shesabutterfly profile image96
      Shesabutterflyposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I do not know that putting up a disclaimer would be a good idea. Not everyone is seeing these links, and explaining about content that most people likely are not seeing could cause issues in itself I think.

      Lobobrandon for example still doesn't see the recommended section most of the time. It's hard to know what non hp members are seeing. If they see the related section like he does, they likely are not seeing anything trashy.

      Explaining about security settings also seems silly. I don't think Samantha fully understands (or maybe doesn't care to comment on) exactly what we are talking about. With a lot of people using terminology that doesn't fully fit with the issues we're seeing, it's hard to know for sure. I do not think adjusting security settings however, is going to fix what links people see.

      The trashy content is not ads. They are actual links to articles on hp and other Maven acquired sites. What needs to happen is the staff needs to fix their algorithim for the recommend section, or own up to the fact that we are now a site that is going in the direction of traffic at any costs. Even if that means we are no longer a family friendly site. The hp staff have frequently commented on the fact that they are working on putting links on hp niche sites that will take traffic all across the Maven coalition. It has always been the plan to do this, however I don't think we (the writers) knew exactly what that meant and what that could cost us, until now.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        "or own up to the fact that we are now a site that is going in the direction of traffic at any costs. Even if that means we are no longer a family friendly site. "

        HubPages was never designed to be a "family friendly site".  Any censorship was done to fit with the requirements of Google, in an effort to maintain traffic that only Google provides.  "Traffic at all costs", then, even if it means censoring what we write.

        Rather than griping that HubPages does not morally police our hubs to ensure they fit within their own code of ethics, I'm wondering why our hubs are pushing traffic to Maven but I have yet to see a single visitor coming from maven.

        1. Shesabutterfly profile image96
          Shesabutterflyposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          That is true. Some sites however, such as Owlcation are used by schools as well as parents/families. One would think Google would have higher standards for those types of sites. If hp was truly censoring to get on Google's good side, we should be continuing that practice. Hp worked hard to get where it is.

          They do not provide links out from Maven at this time. Hp has the traffic, and Maven has the ad revenue. As far as I know we were never joining with Maven so we could get their traffic. We merged so they could get ours. I don't know if you frequent the Maven site, but honestly I would not want my work on most of their pages/sites anyway.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 11 months agoin reply to this

            I haven't seen much on Maven that would make sense to link out to anything I've written, though truthfully I haven't looked around there much. 

            It does seem as though HP participation is primarily to provide traffic to Maven - something I'm not pleased with.  Those links could just as easily have remained within HP, benefiting HP writers rather than Maven people.

            1. Shesabutterfly profile image96
              Shesabutterflyposted 11 months agoin reply to this

              I agree, it would have been nice to have the links remain on the hp sites. From what I understand though, hp needed the technology and ad revenue abilities that Maven had. Without it we would not have seen the uptick in cpm's. In return Maven was getting our traffic (or at least the possibility of it). Hard to know if people are actually clicking through and at what rate. Odd either way as I thought Google and other search engines were the best way to get long term traffic.

              If hp created the niche sites to get away from content farming and having too many links (something Google doesn't like) I find it odd that we are going backwards and allowing outside links throughout the network. Hopefully the staff will find a happy medium for all this.

            2. Jean Bakula profile image95
              Jean Bakulaposted 10 months agoin reply to this

              I see some of my articles on Maven, and they have a "niche" if that's the right word, where some of my work fits in well. But I haven't seen any traffic from the Maven because of them. They seem to reap all the benefit.

              As you know, my tech understanding is somewhat limited, but their area which coincides with mine is pretty slick.

 
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