Suspicious of Some Editors

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  1. MsDora profile image92
    MsDoraposted 2 months ago

    Just expressing my concern about the editors. How can we make sure that they are contributing to our morale and our improvement?

    I wrote an article about my grandchildren and me. I used ONLY ORIGINAL PICTURES of my grandchildren and me, which the editor thought was good enough to keep. Yet, he/she replaced my top photograph of my grandchildren and me, with that of a Caucasian grandmother and a Caucasian granddaughter. Why? My granddaughter and I are beautiful with our braided hair. The replacement picture had completely different hair and hairstyles, and did not resemble us in any way,  but the story is about my grandchildren and me. (Did I add "with original pictures?) What am I missing?

    This made me cry. I wrote an article titled "Lifetime Gifts My Father Left Me." I do not remember what my top photograph was but I know that it was not a cross with a comment about remembering his death, because I wanted to celebrate his life, NOT HIS DEATH. The sight of that cross shook me.

    KUDOS to Larry Slawson before I continue. I like his work!

    Some editors have changed the focus in a few of my stories by replacing a lead word in my title; or by inserting their personal opinion (sometimes three and four sentences long) under my photos. They have also replaced my top photos with dark or hazy photos which are not pleasing to me, and may not be attractive to readers.  I have always expressed gratitude for their efforts, and I hope that I am not considered disrespectful or ungrateful by re-editing some of their work.

    I suggest that the editors review their purpose and objectives, and be more sensitive in considering that the writers also know their purpose and objectives. Wishing HP the best, moving forward!

    1. OldRoses profile image97
      OldRosesposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      You are not alone.  I write about gardening.  Not only am I a lifelong gardener, but I also teach gardening.  And yet the 20-something English major editors think that they know more than me about my topic.  They have substituted photos of the wrong plants, "corrected" horticultural terms, and removed italics from Latin names.  I am in the process of moving my articles to another platform.

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image94
        Kenna McHughposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Caren, I am sorry to hear that! What platform?

        1. OldRoses profile image97
          OldRosesposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          I'm re-working my hubs as Substack newsletters.

          1. Kenna McHugh profile image94
            Kenna McHughposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            That makes sense with your background.

      2. Miebakagh57 profile image69
        Miebakagh57posted 2 months agoin reply to this

        OMG! Another writer about to leave HubPages?

        1. OldRoses profile image97
          OldRosesposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          I haven't written anything new on Hub Pages in years because of editorial interference.

          1. Miebakagh57 profile image69
            Miebakagh57posted 2 months agoin reply to this

            Sorry, Ma'am.

      3. MsDora profile image92
        MsDoraposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks, Old roses, for letting me know that I'm not alone in my frustration. Yet, I hate to see you go. I intend to hang on and wait a little longer for a change. I pray that it happens soon.

      4. Cheryl E Preston profile image84
        Cheryl E Prestonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        I had no idea this was going on.

    2. chef-de-jour profile image97
      chef-de-jourposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      There's no doubting the lack of consistency when it comes to editing on HP - hit and miss shouldn't be the norm!   

      The example you give of the changed photograph is outrageous and should be challenged. I'd write and tell them. If you don't get a meaningful reply change the images to the ones you originally used.

      1. Miebakagh57 profile image69
        Miebakagh57posted 2 months agoin reply to this

        That makes sense.

      2. MsDora profile image92
        MsDoraposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks for your support, chef-de-jour. I'm already in the re-editing process and I'm taking Angel's explanation into consideration.

    3. Miebakagh57 profile image69
      Miebakagh57posted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Odd. Very odd. It keeps me wondering.

    4. Angel Jennings profile imageSTAFF
      Angel Jenningsposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      MsDora, thank you for bringing this to our attention!

      I believe these edits were likely attempts to add landscape-style top images, which we began implementing in edits last year as an SEO strategy. We do our best to honor the authenticity and original intent of each article while ensuring articles comply with our editorial guidelines. It sounds like the editors who updated these images misunderstood or overlooked the emotional significance of the images selected in your articles. I will share your comments with the editorial team.

      We value your feedback and take your concerns seriously. I apologize for any distress caused by these edits.

      Take care,
      Angel

      1. Miebakagh57 profile image69
        Miebakagh57posted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks Angel. I think those editors are lately appointed, or has been at HubPages for a year or two?                                        It seems also that they're not yet familiar with some of the drastic changes that took place in their absense.                                       Does Hubpages had a school for an induction course for those new editors, say for 2 months? Thanks again.

      2. MsDora profile image92
        MsDoraposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Thank you, Angel, for this explanation, "I believe these edits were likely attempts to add landscape-style top images . . ." I will keep that in mind when I do my re-editing.

        I appreciate your response.

        Sincerely and Gratefully,
        MsDora

    5. Tamarajo profile image93
      Tamarajoposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      I have experienced the same issue with my top photos being changed to ones that I don't like. I spend a lot of time selecting the lead photo that best represent the entire article.

      Also, some of my articles would do best as a series but are disqualified for promotion if they are noted as such in the article. I have, therefore, headed each of them with the same photo so that readers can identify the ones that go together. Some of those were changed too, which disconnected them.

      In each case it wasn't clear why the originals weren't acceptable as lead photos. In some cases my lead photo just got moved down in the article so it must have been acceptable for use in general.

    6. Cheryl E Preston profile image84
      Cheryl E Prestonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Wow, that's racist to change your personal photos to someone of a different race. I had no idea they switched pictures. So sorry you were hurt by this. Did you reach out to anyone?

      1. Patty Inglish, MS profile image85
        Patty Inglish, MSposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        I agree that this action was racist. Also unprofessional.

    7. Nell Rose profile image87
      Nell Roseposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Dora that is appalling that they replaced your photos with Caucasian photos! What on earth were they thinking?
      I have noticed my photos changed over the years, or just pictures that I have used. Most of the time I don't mind, but this in your case, is definitely stepping over the mark.

  2. Venkatachari M profile image81
    Venkatachari Mposted 2 months ago

    Dora, your experiences are scary. I haven't come across such things with my articles.
    I hope the editors have read your post or will be doing so soon. They need to contact you soon and address the issue.

  3. Jodah profile image91
    Jodahposted 2 months ago

    I am sorry you have experienced this Ms Dora. That is going far beyond simply editing. They should be sensitive, especially if an article is of a personal nature. Do not feel bad about changing those photos back. I would too.

    1. MsDora profile image92
      MsDoraposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      John, thanks for your support. I miss you and your excellent work.

  4. eugbug profile image96
    eugbugposted 2 months ago

    I wish they'd leave the previous version so we can revert. It takes a lot of work to do this. I've had to totally rebuild an article to reverse all the changes they've made on occasions.

  5. Rupert Taylor profile image95
    Rupert Taylorposted 2 months ago

    Generally, I find the editing acceptable but sometimes there are screw ups. If it's something I feel strongly about, I change it back to the original and that's usually accepted.

    However, I've never experienced anything as egregious as what happened to you Dora. Changing your own image was insensitive in the extreme and deserves a firm whack across the knuckles, although we're probably not allowed to do that anymore.

  6. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 2 months ago

    Regarding my own experience of the editing issues, as raised by OldRoses:

    I'd say I've generally been happy with the edits relating to grammar/spelling and most of the SEO stuff.

    Where it's been problematic is when subject matter is changed or inserted and the new material is either factually incorrect or expresses viewpoints that I don't hold.

    It doesn't happen most of the time but it upsets me when it does occur.

    Aside from the obvious issue of incorrect info, it's emotionally troubling. As an experienced writer, I wouldn't consider myself to be overly precious about my work. However, I do have a certain sense of pride and ownership regarding articles written in my name.

    What HP can do about the problem isn't clear to me, though. The editors' specialties tend to be the wording and the SEO. In most cases, they won't be familiar with the subject matter, never mind possess direct experience or knowledge.

    Diligent and time-consuming research can help, maybe, but it's difficult to see the issue ever going away, as far as I can see.

    The original idea of HP was that the writer supplies information that most people don't know. It's difficult for a third party to step in and change things. However, they've increasingly felt forced to do that due to changes to the Google algorithm.

    I tend to let the editors get on with things because the alternative is to give over a lot of my time to checking over all the edits and getting into discussions. Mistakes used to be picked up by readers and I was alerted to them in the comments. That doesn't happen anymore because the comments system hasn't really been functional for years.

    With AI's arrival, I think issues related to veracity will only become more acute.

    1. eugbug profile image96
      eugbugposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      I agree with all that and I've been generally happy with edits. What I dislike is when content is expressed in a way I wouldn't express it and "Americanisms" are used. If extra content is added, it should be in plain English, then I can mould it to the way I want it.

    2. MsDora profile image92
      MsDoraposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Paul, I also thought that their editing was limited to "grammar/spelling and most of the SEO stuff." I also agree that. "Where it's been problematic is when subject matter is changed or inserted and the new material is either factually incorrect or expresses viewpoints that I don't hold."

      Even today, I had to re-edit another statement that is not true. Obviously, the editor was outside of his/her scope, and offered information which was unnecessary and wrong. Why do they prefer their opinion to ours? Why not rebut with an article of their own?

  7. janshares profile image90
    jansharesposted 2 months ago

    MsDora,

    This is so disturbing, on several levels. So sorry to hear the anger and hurt this has caused you. As one of the most successful veteran writers at HP, you deserve better. I find it very disrespectful that the editor obviously did not take the time to read your article as they would have clearly understood your purpose and objectives. Or maybe they did. The changing of the photos of you and your granddaughter to random white people is a micro-aggression in my opinion. It's very insulting especially within the context of what you were conveying, personally and culturally. I see why you used the word "suspicious" in the title of this forum. It certainly makes you question their agenda, or at the very least their cultural awareness.

    I appreciate the support you received from others who have had editing issues with changed photos/text for whatever reason. But what you've expressed here goes way deeper than changing out photos. I do hope that by now you have received an apology from the editor and that they've learned from this unfortunate incident. Sometimes people don't read the room outside of their own culture.

    Sending prayers for recovery and peace of mind.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image94
      Kenna McHughposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Jan, These are sound points. My hat is off to you for pointing out that "people don't read outside their own culture." I'll be kind to the editor and say it's ignorance.

      1. janshares profile image90
        jansharesposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks, Kenna.

        1. Kenna McHugh profile image94
          Kenna McHughposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          You're welcome!

  8. emge profile image80
    emgeposted 2 months ago

    I think the editors live in a different world and it's very difficult for them to get out of their ivory towers. In my stint with HubPages for over 10 years. I have observed so many points but I never make an issue. It's not worth it.

  9. ControlledChaos1 profile image95
    ControlledChaos1posted 2 months ago

    I too have had mixed emotions in the past about the editing process. Although it hasn't happened in a year or so, articles were edited, titles were changed on 1st search result articles (which I never understood why). Google did not see the changes as good and I immediately lost rank, they were "re-edited", which only made things worse. The end result is that a couple of really well ranked articles quickly fell.

    As I said this was a couple of years ago, so income definitely took a hit. Hasn't really happened since then, but of course earnings have become a lot worse anyways in the past year.

    It does seem the edits being to my articles in the past year have been minor and to the benefit of the article (no matter how slight). I know that I've said this in the past, but I think that any changes to articles which have a  #1 search result position on Google should be very carefully weighed,

  10. MsDora profile image92
    MsDoraposted 2 months ago

    Thanks, again to Angel, and to all of you who shared your opinions and suggestions and made me aware that I am not alone in my frustration. I have already recovered my peace of mind, and am determined to follow-up with my editing, paying special attention to my top images. Landscape they will all be!

    Praying that owners, writers, editors and all of us will succeed in our efforts to make HP the excellent platform, which it has the potential to become!

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image94
      Kenna McHughposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      I am with you on that, MsDora!

    2. Tamarajo profile image93
      Tamarajoposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      I didn't realize that the lead photos need to be landscape. That really limits image options. I might look at cropping the ones I can so they are landscape orientation.

      1. eugbug profile image96
        eugbugposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Also no text on them either, although you can shift them further down the article and use a new title photo. Photos with text are probably more appealing to readers and more likely to be pinned on Pinterest. Google can also read the text on images.

        1. Tamarajo profile image93
          Tamarajoposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          Yes, I think that's what the editors did was shift them down further. I was just really tied to the ones I wanted but I will try to figure out another way to comply.  Thank you for the added tips!

  11. PinoyWitch profile image91
    PinoyWitchposted 2 months ago

    I've had this problem before, but it's usually because of the size and quality of the photos chosen, especially the header. There were times that I also felt that the editing changed the message of my article. Unless I'm contacted by the editor to ask why I fixed their work, I just re-edited them without a problem since it's still mine.

 
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