Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/Umiman

Be kind to each other.

Umiman
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This is the same point as EoghanBostock made in a previous discussion but feel it is a good point. People can be very mean on this website, and it can be overwhelming. I'm sure if you go to the discussions page now you will find plenty of downvoted pages for no reason. It can harm someone's confidence and put them off the great discussions page here and people just want to ask questions and socialise with the community.

Please be more kind to people and instead of downvoting them, just help them learn the language.

2 years ago

48 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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This does feel like a different community than two years ago. We were all very close back then and encouragement was easy to find and there seemed more room for people of all ages to participate. Hopefully, we'll see another golden age. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wildfood
wildfood
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I believe one difference is that teachers are forcing people who do not want to be here to use Duolingo...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Liebert_
Liebert_
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Good point!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GrandApple
GrandApple
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Honestly, just go to Reddit. Same discussion format and that behavior is permitted. {@style=background-color: black @color:white}

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Umiman
Umiman
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Good old days of Duolingo, how it's evolved.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nblaisdell
nblaisdell
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On the bright side, just means Duo is getting more popular and more people are learning on it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Not to say that all things were perfect. But, they were noticeably different.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lindakanga
lindakanga
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Things constantly change - that is what living does.

Each one of us - also plays a part in this - by what we bring here - to learn languages ourselves, to help others learn, and to ignore those that are disruptive. And if we are personally attacked - and feel uncomfortable - then to go and talk with a moderator. For chances are - if we as an individual are feeling uncomfortable - this person may be making others feel uncomfortable also. And it is best to not respond directly to this person -but to block them, and let a moderator know. For if you respond - for some antagonists - that only encourages them to be more antagonistic.

I am reminded of the Hawaiian saying. "Turn your face towards the sun and the shadows will fall behind you."
And also "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead

If I say there are a lot of red cars on the roads these days - chances are we will notice lots of red cars. The mind is funny that way. I see a lot of caring and informative and creative people here that inspire me here. I see duolingo - exploding - with so many new courses blossoming. I think it is good we can have a discussion on improving our culture - for community matters a great deal to me, and language leaning matters to me.

Or as another saying "Be the change"

other inspiring quotes

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NSACSS

I think this is true. I have noticed a change in the atmosphere of the discussion stream, it's a lot different to what it used to be...and in a negative way, as well. Lots of trolls and people wanting Lingots, still don't see the big deal about lingots lol.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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And self-important announcements from people who think it's all about them and obnoxious attempts at policing everyone else's inoffensive conversations. And the unnecessary shouting down of anything that could be construed as remotely off topic gives rise to more of the loony pomposity because there are clearly a lot of people who want to engage with others here (or who just want to post something, anything!) who then tie themselves in knots to find Something To Tell Us All. We've got people so desperate to join in the conversation and so flummoxed by the shouty 'you can't talk here' brigade that they are copy-pasting Wikipedia articles to the main board as a means of being seen to post something about languages.

I hate seeing people who are clearly inexperienced with message boards being slapped down for daring to fall foul of the rather sloppy interface and would love to see a healthy, convivial, mutually supportive board - but I can't see it happening any time soon, not least because it would require a seachange in the approach of those running the thing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Umiman
Umiman
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Lingots hahahaha. The very concept of them is that you work for them so you can get bonuses. Asking, or begging for them for that matter, defeats that purpose.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/parapluie41

I think the people begging for lingots might be high school or middle school students who receive some kind of bonus for having a lot of them.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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If the teachers are that incompetent, they need to be sacked.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aokoye
aokoye
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I agree that people need to be kind, I don't agree that down voting a post or a thread or a comment is inherently mean or rude. As I've said before, we have no idea why people down vote things but there are plenty of "non rude/mean" reasons that I can come up with. Disagreeing with someone, expressing that whatever was said just isn't true, misclicking (which is likely the minority but who knows), thinking that what someone said was offensive, etc.

There are also times when people down vote things because they're just tired of seeing the same thing come up ad nauseam - yeah they could ignore it, but I think that frustration is valid and I'd rather see a disagree click than someone typing out a diatribe about it.

And yes, there are people who are mean. This is the internet, we can't get away from that. But to assume that every (or even most) disagree is an act of meanness is doing a disservice, primarily to yourself.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Umiman
Umiman
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I remember when I posted a thread congratulating the Modern Hebrew team for their working and saying I was excited to learn Hebrew and I got -7 downvotes. I also remember this guy asked for help because he was learning English and he got -6 (something like that :) )downvotes. There are plenty of other things too.

My point is that the majority of the community on this website are over-aggressive, I'm not stating we should never downvote because there are instances when we obviously should.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aokoye
aokoye
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I don't think it's possible to say that the majority of the community is over aggressive when we don't know who is doing the clicking (and let me be clear up front, I don't think we should be able to know - not that I think anyone has suggested that, but I'd rather nip that in the bud). Perhaps it wasn't fair of me, but my reply was also a response to the numerous responses to other threads in which people have talked about how people should only down vote if someone is being a troll and that down voting, in general, is mean/rude.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FlipWilson5000

Abusive downvoting is hurting the discussion area. I think they should eliminate downvoting entirely. The abuse has gotten worse now that a post can be hidden with -5 votes. The votes are also not very meaningful because it is obvious that some people vote many times. Posts like this express the concern of many members of the community that a competitive, divisive and adversarial spirit is replacing a helpful, welcoming and encouraging community.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aokoye
aokoye
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Again, I'd rather a down vote than a pile on of "you're wrong and this is why." Never mind that, again, we can't read the minds of those who are down voting posts so think think that all of them are adversarial and/or divisive is patently incorrect. Unless you truly think that someone disagreeing with another person is an adversarial act...

Again, I'm not saying that people can't be mean because they can be. What I'm saying is that clicking the down vote button is not inherently mean, rude (and if we want to add some more descriptors, adversarial or divisive).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FlipWilson5000

Yes, you are making a very narrow philosophical point. You repeated it 3 times for luck. And here we are. But you were arguing against a straw man. No one mentioned the inherent nature of downvotes as good or evil, mean or kind.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aokoye
aokoye
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If you think that the fact that people don't hit the down vote button only out of "competitive, divisive and adversarial spirit " is a straw man then I'm not sure what to say.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FlipWilson5000

Baby girl, that is another example of a straw man argument. Nobody done said that it was only this or only that.

I would rather someone write a comment than downvote another person, if that were the choice. This is a discussion board, to participate; you write. The abuse of downvotes hides non offensive discussion the same as it hides offensive discussion.

Allowing people to hide opinions that they disagree with, along with offensive posts, discourages people from participating. Even though a downvote may not be inherently bad, or discouraging, it difficult to imagine the new user who is not disappointed that their post to introduce themselves to the community was downvoted and hidden within minutes, with one comment, "Excuse me, but this is probably spam. Don't do this again." The community will also read this and be discouraged from offering opinions. Some will believe that they should downvote others to help Duolingo to reduce clutter.

This is not only a problem in the fora but within the discussions themselves. The votes change the order of the messages and whether they appear or not. The numbers are not meaningless when a message will be hidden, or the debate skewed. The voting system of Duolingo is not secure from tampering, so why should it be trusted to organize the discussions?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Coconutti

I don't care about down votes but I do about feelings!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mcsdlw53

After working in prison for 10 years you het used to hearing insults on a daily scale. Nothing surprises me anymore. I get home and go here and it is the same thing- more insults. We dont need duolingo to start sounding like everyone hates each other. So I know there will always be someone being rude and mean but lets be a little nicer. Ok?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jahnah
Jahnah
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I agree Mr.Lazylion. Isn't the process of learning a new language the process of learning how to reach out to other people and meet them on equal ground?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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I'd only add, can we be nice to course creators and mods, too? They're volunteers who put a lot of work into creating and maintaining the courses and in trying to police the forums without stepping on any toes, and I'm saddened by some of the grouchiness that gets thrown their way. Classic example; the people who whined and whined at the Russian team about a delay and a discrepancy on the course page for an estimated release date they had absolutely no power to solve. Some of the entitled, rude, or just downright nasty behaviour towards these volunteers is really awful.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EpicPowerHero

That's very true. They should make people who complain not get the course! No, not really, I'm just kidding.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Hah, maybe they should be barred for a week ;)

I think I've even seen, a couple of times, people having real whine about Jitengore being 'late' or missing an occssional update from one of the teams with his WIU. I mean, Jiten does this amazing job, totally voluntarily, and puts huge effort into it... and then people whine because he is too busy one Sunday to put it out as swiftly as usual.

Usually most of the comments on the WIU are positive, and the people who are adding detail are doing so graciously and for information, not whining, but once or twice I've seen some really childish tantrum type behaviour, and it baffles me people are so rude when the effort involved is so obvious to anyone with half s brain :-/

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Awesomegirl4321
<h1>YES YOU ARE RIGHT PLEASE PEOPLE PLEASE BE NICE!</h1>
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

Eliminating the downvotes would be a mistake as it would make the trolls even more difficult to manage. If I see someone being downvoted unfairly in my opinion, I upvote to balance it out. That said, people should probably spend a little time searching previous discussions before posting.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aokoye
aokoye
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I think eliminating the button will end in people actually spelling out their disagreements which likely won't end well.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FlipWilson5000

won't end well? Are you trying to sound ominous? What are these mysterious pitfalls that we avoid only by allowing downvotes?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LucySalamence

Nicer? People are so nice to each other here that it starts to be creepy.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GrandApple
GrandApple
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I have seen a very sharp decline especially from the point when Alexis and Lenkvist resigned. That left a void where extremist harassment trolls started to fill in. When I first started in January 2014 on a different account (this one is also made in 2014 too), the community was very welcoming and focused on language learning. Most discussions were so interesting, yet were language learning related. I don't know why, but they just were. I was so motivated to learn French. I've done that, but it was just a hobby. Now I'm struggling to keep myself on here every day, and I know recovery is a distant option. {@style=color: blue}

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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I think there has been a shift in the tone of the moderation and that filters through into everything.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AureliaUK
AureliaUK
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I think TPTB left it far too long to realise there was a problem and to even start to think about talking about what they might possibly do about it. Meanwhile there have been too many new registrants who see all the crap and assume it's acceptable. Stopping it now, and reclaiming the forums for serious discussion about languages and language learning, has become a matter of turning round an oil tanker instead of a rowing boat.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126
Theron126
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The vast majority of the people I've spoken to on this site have been great, helpful people. Of course there are some exceptions, but at least in my experience they are an extremely small minority here, at least among the people taking the Russian course. (maybe learning Russian makes you politer :-D)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrisse
mrisse
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I'm sure I'll get downvoted for this... but, do we really need 3+ threads about how we need to be nice to each other? Maybe people need to have a little thicker skin and not worry about what some internet fool says. If your confidence is so shaken by what someone writes or downvotes on an internet forum, you may have an underlying confidence issue. You have the power to ignore, use it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FlipWilson5000

You do not understand the issue. It is easy to ignore what you do not understand. Do you think you are doing the community a service by arguing against a post about being nice to each other?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrisse
mrisse
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I think I am doing the community a service by encouraging people to ignore trolls and downvotes and, instead, to believe in themselves. Tough love does not equal no love.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FlipWilson5000

Often aggression hides behind tough love. I don't think your message is as inspirational as you think it is. It is what a grumpy insensitive person would say, Duolingo has many many of those.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrisse
mrisse
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You can question my motives and character all you like. I still think it's a good thing for people to be able to rise above negativity no matter where it comes from in life. If you know yourself and believe in yourself, then no one can effect you and you will not need validation from anyone.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrisse
mrisse
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Thanks for the suggestion. I think I got my point across though. Self-reliance is not a very popular notion these days, but I suppose these things go in cycles.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FlipWilson5000

It seems awkward to me to use self-reliance as an argument against a community being kind to each other.

@mrisse if all you are saying is that you would rather see a post about self-reliance instead of one encouraging people to be nice to each other, I recommend you write that post.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrisse
mrisse
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I did not argue against the community being nice to each other, if you will read my original post. Instead, I was talking about the need to post multiple threads about being nice and also about having the ability to ignore the naysayers. Is that not a good skill to have in life? There are a lot young people here and I hope they can develop that skill.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KOokey_Pokey

yes that was very well said

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EpicPowerHero

There will be mean people anywhere. It's not a problem to me if there are several threads about being nice, but you do make a point.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mcsdlw53

When the fool speaks the wise man listens

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EpicPowerHero

Well said.

2 years ago