Since we are allowed to put affiliate links in hubs, how do you tell whether to flag a hub as spam?
I was hub hopping, and flagged some hubs as spam, then realized they might just be affiliate hubs.
When should we flag?
Well Amie that's your opinion.
Let's look at it like this.
You look at a hub and YOU decide it is spam and you flag it.
I look at the same hub and get benefit from it.
So really who made you the flag Queen.
When should we flag? Answer - Never. Your a hubber and we look after each other.
Mind your own business and do your own thing without you having to be the control freak on deciding what is a spam hub and what is not.
We are all here to make a few bucks without the need for some condescending do-gooder announcing to all and sundry that will listen to them, they have a higher opinion then anyone else and will "Flag Hubs as spam" because that's what they think.
You have been here for four months, you have 20 hubs and now your a self appointed afficiondo. If you want to flag everyone's hub that you find when your "hub hopping" then start your own blog or forum and high five yourself each time you ban someone or delete their comment.
As Maddie said, this is their site, "we" will decide what is spam or not.
Just a quick quote from your profile"Amie Warren is a professional internet freelance writer who enjoys helping people learn to write and make money online, and to live a greener, more frugal lifestyle."
You help people by - flagging their hub as spam. Seriously ...
I thought flagging poorly written spam hubs was a way to preserve the importance or integrity of Hubpages? Of course it's difficult to judge and so on, but isn't it a responsible thing to do?
Are we hubbers to put others down? Are we hubbing so we can police the internet and force our given right to flag something that is often a well written hubpage with a few affiliate links in there?
Just get on with it. Build hubs, put your affiliate links in there, Adsense and Kontera to make a few dollars. Be a quiet achiever..
Hubpages has a strong support team, they have spam software etc.. it's their job to flag and delete, its our job to build content so they and we make a few dollars.
Its not rocket science.
I just thought that they encourage you to hub hop - says something like "help us out - hop some hubs". And among the buttons like Useful and so on there is one that says Flag.
Do you think they should remove the Flag button? Then we wouldn't get confused.
I don't know much, obviously, but I understand that Hubpages gets a high Google ranking because it is generally regarded as quality content. As I don't use any black hat stuff (whatever that is) then poor quality stuff might hurt my traffic.
Just thinking aloud really. What to do? Flag or not to flag.
Ha! Mr. Ewbie and his first "almost" confrontation! I never thought I'd see the day!!! VERY well done, though.
I'm trying to get that Flame Accolade and this was my first real attempt.
If you get yourself banned there is a club you can join
I need to back peddle and fast.
All Hubbers are nice people, this is a great place to be, and I am writing for the love of, er, writing rather than attempting to make any money.
I always thought the spam button was for... well... people who spam forum comments with links, and automatic digeredoes that produce 10,000 crappy quality backlinks in ten microseconds.
These people can seriously destroy an entire site, because if google thinks a site is spammy... well... it can delist an entire site. And has in the past.
Even if they don't delist, they can penalise entire sites, but making it harder to rank and costing us all money if the site if promotion methods or the contents of a site are crappy.
It happened to the article directories, it happened to squidoo, and it can happen to hubpages.
I thought low quality was the flag for, say, 75 word hubs with a daft link.
Either way, flagging does no one any harm, one of the site owners/teams have a look at the hub, and if it is within the rules, well, no harm is done.
Don't get me wrong. I'm entirely OK with flagging. What I am not OK with is people who do it without even understanding what the rules are to begin with.
Who is someone to enforce rules on me when that someone doesn't even know what the rules are? That's what I don't like.
It's the attitude of "flag it and let HubPages sort it out" that bugs me.
That attitude is wrong yes. However, the rules of what is allowed and what not can be ambiguous and we could then err on the side of caution. But when you flag you must have a decent idea of why you're flagging.
It's really clear when you flag a Hub what the guidelines are, as doing so opens a dialog box whereby you have to indicate a reason why you are bringing the Hub to the admin team's attention. You must pick one of those reasons before you can send the alert.
I've flagged Hubs for every one of the reasons admin has listed, including "other" because I actually happen to know Google's AdSense TOS rules too.
What you are saying is that you are very deliberate when you flag. I'm OK with that. The original post (which is what my mini-rant is about) was a much different scenario.
Although I'm not necessarily in favor of folks running around playing content police with all of their free time, I can accept it provided these folks know why they are flagging.
When someone (as is the case in the OP) flags content without understanding the rules of the site to start with, that's where I start getting annoyed.
I guess I'm less irritated with the act of flagging itself and more with the "this-MIGHT-break-some-rule-that-I-don't-really-understand-to-begin-with-so-I-better-flag-it-just-in-case" mentality.
It is clearly the writer's responsibility to understand the rules of the site. However, it is also the responsibility of the flagger to know what he/she is flagging and what rule is being broken. I'm not sure that is the case all of the time.
Purely promotional offers and Hubs designed only to promote other sites or businesses are not allowed.
Let me explain further -- Let's say you're pushing blue widgets. Your hub would be focused on the benefits of blue widgets and where you can purchase them.
If you focus the hub on Bob's Corner Blue Widget Store and how great Bob's Corner Blue Widget Store is and include gobs of links to the store's website, it's probably overly promotional.
Sorry if this is harsh or offends but it does need to be said and since the topic relates to a stable of affiliate hubs that I maintain on another ID, I guess I'm a bit biased.
How about if you aren't sure (or have to ask what spam is), you simply leave it alone? Why would you be messing with peoples' income if you aren't even sure of what you are doing? Not only are you interfering with peoples' livelihoods, but you are also burdening HubPages staff with unnecessary work.
Your time is much better spent worrying about your own work rather than worrying about others.
There are some of us that make a significant income from affiliate hubs. I, for one, go as far as contacting the HubPages team every so often to make sure my hubs are all still in compliance. It just annoys me when folks feel the need to be interfering.
That said, I'm all for flagging what are clearly-spun, unoriginal, low quality pieces of work.
Actually, a Hub that's flagged as overly promotional will not be taken down until a moderator reviews it and determines that it does, indeed, break our rules. So don't worry if you flag something and aren't entirely sure it's spam; we'll make the final call before any action that affects the Hub or user is taken.
I realize that and maybe I am being a bit harsh. However, it just bothers me that there are people here who advocate flagging things just because they "think" it "might" be a violation without having a full understanding of the rules in the first place.
I guess I take umbrage with folks who, themselves, do not fully understand the rules but feel it is OK to take it upon themselves to ensure others are following the rules. Just seems hypocritical to me.
Maybe I'm just in a bad mood
The rule would be, don't flag anything when you don know the rules Thanks Annie Warren for your posting and thanks for having deeper thoughts about this what you were doing I hope nobody is harmed and finally nothing is happened and everybody is happy! By the way, Happy New Year to all!
Well, in fairness, she hasn't just flagged. She has actually asked!
Hmm... and yet, MyPostingID, you seem to have an accolade for reporting other peoples' material.
Yes... I know I do to.
As I stated, I do not have problems with people flagging hubs. I do have issues when people flag something because it "might" be some kind of violation that the flagger doesn't even understand.
Yes, I have flagged hubs. However, the hubs I've flagged have been hubs with no more than 2 or 3 sentences of clearly spun content that made absolutely no sense at all.
That's the difference.
There's eight buttons. One is flag.
How many other sites have you visited and sent an email to the webbie telling him or her that there is a comment or a post you don't like and feel it should be deleted?
Life is hard enough as it is without someone else making life harder. It seems here on Hubpages that your own worst enemy is another Hubber.
I am sorry, but I do not think that's right. We should be supporting each other, no matter what our background, education or knowledge level is.
You seem annoyed, did some of your content get flagged?
You cannot expect me to accept everything that other people post. If it is obviously spam, I'll flag it because if HubPages derails into a low-quality domain with crappy content, that will definitely affect us all.
I will support fellow Hubbers but I will not support those who abuse the platform. Of course, what abuse of the platform is, is open for discussion.
@Terry - We ARE supporting each other when we flag substandard and spammy cr*p. I'm not quite sure how you don't see that...
@simeonvisser - What abuse of the platform is is actually not open for discussion unless, of course, you're planning on buying out hp?
Well, it depends. There are obvious cases of spamming and posting crappy content but there is a fine line between mediocre content and spam. Sometimes I read hubs that have a writing style that feels rushed and they have affiliate links in them. Is the writer pumping out as many hubs as possible (and thus lowering quality standards) or is this the best he/she can do?
I would like all hubs to be high quality because HubPages is a beautiful publishing platform but I do realize some people don't care at all about the quality of the content.
If someone is publishing links purely to direct people to another website (and nothing else, only hubs to do that), is that 'abuse' of the platform? It's common practice but from HubPages' perspective, that's not ideal.
Gotcha. I think I just misunderstood your original post. All I was trying to say is that at the end of the day, you and I can both flag our hearts out, but it really means diddly squat. What happens to the flagged hubs is up to HP's discretion -- not ours.
You know what would be nice?
If people who flag bad hubs would also 'share' good ones, ya know tweet it or post on FB or something. With the variety of opinions on the to flag or not to flag conundrum any flagger could happily defend what they do by saying they also share anything particularly good they find
Just an idea
Ah well - it seems the majority has spoken. Flag away to your hearts content.
As for my hubs getting flagged, no, none and personally couldn't care less. I would just delete it and move onto another hub.
Just consider this though - while your hub hopping and flagging - basically doing the Hubpage teams work - the spammers are out there building more pages and making money while your not.
I appreciate the return comments and take them in good faith, I am not bitter, but it is not my way to "flag" someone who might already be acting in good faith.
Remember my comments were based on the first comment made by the Op as "I was hub hopping, and flagged some hubs as spam, then realized they might just be affiliate hubs" and no other side issue or moral thought.
I agree with you on that. But I do feel maintaining the quality of HubPages is a combined effort of HubPages and us. I'm not gonna do the work of the HubPages team but if I do see something that they should look at, I'll flag it. More content is published all the time and flagging is easy.
I also agree that we need to be careful not to flag those who are acting in good faith. But on the other hand, the HubPages team is smart enough (I assume ) to remove only those hubs that violate their TOS.
Ok... During Hub Hops, I have flagged stuff that is clearly spam. I have also left (I hope) constructive advice on Hubs using the comment box.
One such comment was that writing an entire Hub in bold text is not really a good idea. That (new) Hubber contacted me to thank me for that advice, and changed the entire Hub to normal text.
The Hubber has written some great stuff. And, I am pleased to add, we now follow each other.
I have never and will never flag any Hub simply because it says something that I personally do not agree with.
However... if I find something that is clearly a breach of TOS - spam, hate material, etc., I will flag it.
Why should the majority suffer a slide in HP's reputation - and Hubbers' incomes - because of a minority who can not or will not take the time to post work worthy of the place we write?
~I have written 10 plagiarized/poor quality hub
~Then backlined them heavily in a bad way and brought the reputation down of HP [I have heard that yahoo answer banned HP links for a while]
~I have created some auntie photo hubs and ranked in the first page and help hubpages to gain the reputation of best pornographic site [most of the top ranked different types of desi auntie contents are from hubpages!!]
~I have created lots of very short and poor hubs[say 50 words] and given backlink to a high quality outside domain that is currently competing with an existing hub of HP.
And you are not going to flag me?????????WOW and thank you very much. HP is the heaven of spammer. You rock guies.
~HP don't unpublish a hub or penalize it or the author without reviewing if its flagged
~A software cannot filter everything
~HP is a better platform because it tries to ensures quality of content
~If you have doubt you can flag it as its like an appeal to the team only nothing more. Its always better to see the doctor and take a test when you have a breast pain.
~Most of the hubber know what is flag worthy and what not. If some one flag 5 legit hubs and 20 poor hubs; it will bring only the 20 poor hubs down. So, no problem.
Flagging appropriate content doesn't harm the author, so why are you so annoyed? HP takes action only after reviewing.
I surely don't flag appropriate content
I thought your point was to just rant. Especially since, from my perceptive angle, you're doing it behind a persona created just for that purpose.
When I flag something, I'm making a judgment based on how I'm perceiving something, which may or may not match the admin team's take on the situation.... which is all anyone else is doing when they flag a Hub.
from my perceptive angle, you're doing it behind a persona created just for that purpose.
Your perceptive angle would be incorrect.
Flagging is as much a part of our responsibilities here, as is being supportive of fellow writers by voting up their hubs, and leaving encouraging comments.
It can take staff a very long time to check every hub, as there are hundreds of thousands of hubs and certainly not that many staff ( ), for which I am grateful.
I have had hubs flagged, and have had to "fix" what someone found objectionable, and in at least one case, had the problem sorted out without having to change anything.
Yes - it was irritating. Yes - I was ticked off that "someone" could have been so upset by such mild photos (one photo on a lingerie hub showed a rather nice backside in a jeweled-thong pantie), but I have since altered the hub photos, and get even more views now - so that flagging actually helped).
That "flag" button is standard issue on most web sites, for casual visitors to respond to the site's content without having to email the site admin about every little thing they don't like.
It is also there so that we can take part in that process as community members, and fellow writers who will have more sense of what is invested in each hub, than might a casual visitor.
It is the responsibility of any community member, online or off, to take part in their community, and assist in maintaining standards for their community. That is grass-roots democracy in action. We all get a say in what is appropriate. Otherwise we are no better than those folks who do nothing, and say nothing, and stand up for nothing because "it is not their job" - until they are personally attacked or abused in some way, and then cry out for "someone else" to fix it for them.
Some people prefer to stand up for good content by supporting the good content and ignoring the sub-standard crap, hoping it will go away.
Substandard content won't just "go away", unless we are willing to stand up and "help" it to go.
We all need to take part in our community, or the option to do so eventually could be not available, as on some other sites.
...and if you are concerned that I am posting from behind a persona, HubPages knows me from my IP and sign-up info. As well, you can go to my profile - anyone can see who I am, for whatever difference that makes.
I flag content occasionally, however my usual standard is low quality content. The kind that barely follow the rules of English.
That's kind of the only thing I flag too (usually, it's stuff that's obviously a spun thing that makes no sense). Other than that, the only other thing I really flag might be the single-paragraph type of thing or the Hub that's little but one picture with a link to an ad. When/if I flag it's never a matter of having do any wheel-spinning over it. It's pretty obvious the thing's heading for being flagged by someone.
I've never flagged but have voted bad hubs down while hub hopping. These are the types that look like they should have been posted in the forums instead. And lately I have started leaving the same good advice given to me in the comments if it seems like the hubber is trying.
If I ever do flag, it will be because the hub is clearly against the few rules I do know.
Thanks, nell - every once in a while, the Northerner in me gets up on her back legs and speaks out
I think I have been the worst victim of flagging but I still support it. 7 of my hubs have no ads and having read the TOS I feel myself deprived and the judgment wasn't uniform to all[or I think so or different moderator had different view for different hubs] but I have no hard feeling. For the greater benefit of the community its acceptable.
I honestly can't believe the original post has generated such an argument.
I personally have had more than one look at a hub and gone "is it or is it not against the rules?" I usually flag it in that case, especially if I believe it to be a possible Adsense violation, because I'd prefer to keep Adsense on the site.
Amie was just asking a basic question, not setting herself up as god.
Some of the hubs on the hopper are such low quality content that I often have to force myself NOT to flag them because they actually don't break any rules but are shoddily written anyway. It's not about hubbers attacking each other, it's about hubbers keeping the reputation of hubpages, by making sure it's a quality site!
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