After giving thought to how the amount of spam in both the Questions, and Forums can be reduced I came up with only really one solution.
Require approval of new accounts, many who have their accounts banned,flagged etc simply recreate a new account. This also would reduce the number of people creating multiple accounts that they can spam their links with (current users) while not risking their primary account.
This also would have a duel affect of reducing the amount of spam hubs, questions, and forums while increasing the overall quality of Hubpages. It also would help weed out those that have no comprehension of the English Language. (No mine isn't perfect either)
Feel free to insert your thoughts, so long as you remain respectful. Thanks for your input.
Thanks for your feedback and suggestions. I understand your frustration about the length of time it takes for flags to be attended to. Our turn around time is pretty good, but it could always be better.
Spam is a major problem with user generated content and social networking sites. There are only three moderators at HubPages, and thousands of new hubs published everyday (not counting thousands of forum posts, questions/answers, and emails sent to our support inbox). Through the use of down-voting and flags for TOS violations, authors and readers can help us manage the content on the site.
As for putting new accounts on hold for approval, that is outside of the spirit of HubPages. We would like to be as inviting and open to all individuals as possible, not just those who are experts at setting up a first hub or account. Thanks for your suggestion. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns!
HubPages' main interest happens to be page views, and a system such as you are suggesting would probably reduce sign-ups significantly. We have seen again and again how generating page views has priority over virtually anything else.
For banned users, creating new accounts should not be as simple as you say, since IP addresses are being recorded. Similarly, no one should feel safe spamming from one of multiple accounts.
You may be right, as I do not have multiple accounts like some I am not sure how their process exactly works. Yes in the short term their page views may decrease...Imagine though the Quality shift to where they would eventually get a higher amount of traffic due to having quality writers (Or at least ones who don't spam, and know the English Language.)
I agree with you. No one likes spam, and it is reducing the quality of this site. Some of the spammers are more like corporations, I suspect.
All we can do currently is get more writers input, and hope the HP staff does something to correct this already growing problem. The fact of just waiting on us to flag them, and the speed of which these spam hubs/posts are deleted is taking longer than it should.
It's not a growing problem, Jason, it's pretty much the same as it ever was. HubPages' ability to catch and remove these spammy Hubs has, in fact, improved a lot since I joined.
Remember, most of your paying customers won't see HubPages as a whole - they'll arrive at one of your Hubs via a search engine and may never go anywhere else on the site. So these spammy Hubs have very little effect on your work, as evidenced by the continuing high page rank of the HubPages site.
No. If this feature gets implemented then this place will be no different than demand studios, helium etc. There is already a lot of barrier for making money online and if this feature gets implemented then hopes for many newbies is lost.
And if this feature gets implemented then many newbies/active users should move to other sites like info barrel, squidoo etc - because some people here will complicate(or say overdo) things by reporting new authors who have trouble with typos/grammar etc.
We can control spam using two features that hubpages provides:
- Report tool
- Hub hopping tool
If you're posting hubs in particular category then you can keep it clean by reporting spam hubs. You can even report those hubs which violate google TOS or are simply link-droppers.
I do think that we all should report those hubs which are created only to drop link back to the big corporations/products.
I agree it would make it more difficult for newer writers to join, however that is the point. All you really need is a grasp of the English language, and some examples of prior work. You could have examples up on the many other sites that do not require approval.
Use those reported for incorrect grammar etc could be a potential problem, but the real point would be to keep those that have no grasp on English at all out of Hubpages.
Keeping in mind, the higher the quality, the more readers therefore higher earnings for current writers also. (See Suite101 as a good example)
I am not stating that they need restrictions like Demand Studios where you need a BA in a related writing field, and 6 years of writing experience (which will be their downfall in the end.) But some sort of approval process to aid in screening out those only interested in spamming the website.
I think a sign up approval would be a good thing, I have implemented it on my article directory.
I don't think it is fair to compare it with places like demand studios right off the bat without considering how stringent the approval process is.
Was it Groucho who said he wouldn't belong to any club that would have him as a member?
I think I would feel a bit like that.
I personally am not a fan of the idea. I came to hubpages as a person who loved to write but had always thought of writing as something big and complicated involving either writing a whole novel or finishing a big degree at uni. If hubpages hadn't been so welcoming and easy to use I would doubtless still be busy "not writing."
However I think there should be some minimum on new accounts. Maybe a limit on hubs/forum posts till you reach a certain hubscore or get a certain level of good feedback through the hopper... I'm not sure.
But anytime I've flagged something either in the forums or the hopper, it usually gets taken down pretty fast - a lot faster than other sites. So I'm happy with that.
I think that anyone should be permitted to sign up but the first three hubs should go through an approval process. Any criticism should be helpful, possibly a set of links to hubs that are a good example.
Actually, I think it would be enough for the first Hub to go through an approval process.
That would catch all the spammers who create lots of single Hubs under different user names, each promoting the same rubbish, so they don't get picked up as spammers quite so quickly.
Ideally, we would like to review all new hubs. Right now we review a cross section based on certain criteria. It wouldn't be possible for us to review all first hubs, primarily because of the work load and the inherent delay involved in that process. Many people open new accounts at times when there aren't moderation staff working. If the author is a potentially valuable contributor, all of their work will have to wait until one of us reviews their first hub. Many won't come back. Besides, people often game the system so that their first hubs are okay, and then the rest are low quality and spammy.
I thought that would be the case. HubPages always has to do a cost/benefit analysis on whether to apply additional controls, and that makes sense.
The OP was actually complaining more about the low quality of the Questions/Answers section and the forums. Personally I think that could be done more effectively by doing something drastic with the Q&A section. The forums I think get controlled pretty well.
We are talking about changing some things with the Q/A moderation process. Hopefully we'll get the ball rolling on some of these modifications soon, but until then, please keep flagging the questions. They are easy for us to take down as soon as we come across them.
If you'd like to help us with this, hop some hubs.
- Any hub that you flag will be reviewed by a real live moderator
- Voting a hub up will help propel that hub and author to a good score
- Voting a hub down will push that hub and author one step closer to the bottom of the virtual barrel (meaning nofollow links and no internal promotion)
If 200 Hubbers hopped 20-25 hubs a day each, nearly every new hub would be "eyeballed" at least once. If you don't find anything worth reading, it only takes about 5-10 minutes to hop 25 hubs.
wow fixed the typo in seconds....
heres a way to make hopping fun and useful
i never would have gotten involved here if new hubbers had to be approved..there is something to be said for instant gratification.
It took me months to write my first set of IB's
I think Hubpages is fine as it is. I don't think there should be barriers for new writers. Those who really want to write will develop and learn a new way to write if they're interested in this kind of writing. Those who are interested only for the money will get discouraged and the spammers and low quality hubs, just report them. Hubpages gets rid of them soon enough.
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