https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tedhascoldpants

Why so toxic?

I understand that we all get excited when a new language enters the Incubator, and when it looks like a course is nearing completion. Why do people get so toxic when it isn't released the instant the little bar hits 100%? It's not like whining and complaining and throwing insults in the contributors' streams is going to make anything go any faster! This was bad while EN->RU was at 100% and Duolingo was trying to get the TTS, and it seems almost as bad now for EN->HU.

None of us on this website are entitled to demand anything; we're getting this whole platform for free. Most of the population on Duolingo is positive and supportive and patient, but every time I see one person being so rude, inconsiderate, and impatient, it really grinds my gears.

We're all only human; be patient.

...is this what they call being "triggered"?

January 8, 2016

30 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ketoacidosis

Most often, the people posting these messages don't know at least some of the following four points:

  1. The course contributors don't set the estimated release date. It is automatically generated.

  2. The course contributors don't set the percentage of the course complete. ("Why would you lie and say the course is 100% complete when it's not done yet?")

  3. If a course says it is 100%, it may not actually be 100% complete. It may be 80% done, it may be 8% done.

  4. Even when a course finally reaches 100%, it still takes a few days to be released.

I would like to think that it's just not being aware of this, and not blatant rudeness.

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tedhascoldpants

Very true. Honestly, part of the problem is that all of DL's completion estimates are... questionable at best. Not saying that I could do it any better, but it just seems like they cause more confusion than they solve.

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

They do. I really, really wish Duolingo would get rid of the estimates, they're unhelpful, inaccurate, and consistently lead to dashed expectations, and most of the time it's the people who are voluntarily building the courses who get the flak. And it's been going on for ages. It's happened with pretty much every course I've seen released. Duolingo should have got the picture by now :-/ - it doesn't exactly reflect well on them as a company, either.

(Honestly, I don't understand the mindset that sees 100% but no release and doesn't think hey, that's weird, maybe I should find out more before I start whining at people, but getting rid of or fixing the release date would be a good start.)

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MultiLinguAlex

I'd prefer to see courses that can set the estimated completion date for themselves. Everybody would be happy with that solution, right?

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

That's another good option. To be honest, I think there are probably a lot of good possibilities out there, but the current system sucks :-/ and certainly no estimated completion date (which I assume would be relatively easy to do, since it's just removing something) would be a good interim solution until they figured out a better one!

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MultiLinguAlex

Et voilĂ , they changed the system yesterday and now every course can set its own estimation date (click me). The estimation date remains automatic until one of the course members changes it and from then on, it's written who changed it last. Nice!

January 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

Oh, excellent! Long overdue, but still excellent :D

January 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Misakachi

Do you think we could get a petition to persuade Duolingo to get rid of the estimates?

January 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

I have no idea if it would work, but maybe it'd be worth a try.

January 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anebz

Absolutely, I agree with you. But imagine you are new to the site and, as @ketoacidosis has said, you don't know those four points. If a course shows it's 100% done, then it should be out very shortly. Otherwise, it's not at 100% and that number is a lie (from the perspective of the new user). Of course, being rude achieves nothing.

A better adjustment of the percentage number would avoid all this, because it makes no sense that it says that a course is 100% done when it clearly it is not.

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WildSage

It doesn't matter if they know those points or not. There are ways of asking without being rude.

And if they are new they have even less invested in the site so they have even less of a reason to be all cranky about it.

January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankKool

"This was bad while EN-RU was at 100% and Duolingo was trying to get the TTS, and it seems almost as bad now for EN-HU."

A recurring problem here is that most people don't know that the estimated release date is just an algorithm based on progress in the past. Often, incubator teams do not (properly) inform people of this, and that's why a lot of them feel cheated when the date keeps getting pushed back one day at a time.

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

It should be on Duolingo to explain that, not the voluntary teams, IMO.

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankKool

The voluntary teams are the ones who place updates on the incubator page, where the estimated release date is also shown. This is where people can be notified of the fact that the estimated date is just an automatically generated number, and does not include post-production work.

January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WildSage

Cheated out of what? How much did they pay?

January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankKool

Time, most of them. For a long time, DuoLingo made its money from the user generated translations. If you have made extensive use of Immersion, than you have contributed to DuoLingo's wealth.

The users are the reason DL makes money. To repeat an Internet-idiom: "If you use a service for free, you're not a user, you're the product."

January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MultiLinguAlex

Duolingo has never made any profit, thus I don't know why you use the word "wealth".

January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankKool

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/wealth?s=t

DuoLingo makes money. Therefor, DuoLingo has wealth.

Realizing that DL is not out to make as much money as possible and that they are adamant about keeping their services free, it still does not mean that it has no wealth.

January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WildSage

If a language hasn't come out of the incubator then how many translations have you done for it?

January 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankKool

Zero, according to my calculations.

Fortunately, immersion was already available when DuoLingo was still in beta. We only had German, French, and Spanish back then. I immediately devoted most of my time and energy on translating articles, it's an awesome way to learn a new language.. Good times. :)

January 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lelieblad

I agree that complaining about something like this is silly. I'm not disagreeing with that.

However, this 'you're getting this for 'free', thus you can't demand anything' is an equally silly mindset.

Decades ago in western societies, it was pretty much the rule that the woman stayed at home and did unpaid work while the man went out of the house and did paid work. Lots of society had the mentality that the unpaid work was less valuable than the paid work, even though the amount of work was equal.

Many sadly still have this view today, and it ties into this whole idea that you're only paying for something if you're paying money, and you're only working if you're getting money--and this isn't true.

Duolingo needs us and so yes, we do have the right to demand things. Many work for Duolingo by doing Immersion, and all of us work for Duolingo by being volunteers in A/B experiments. If you volunteered for an experiment at many universities you're often given say $40 or so for your time, depending on the experiment. We're given Duolingo in exchange for participating in research instead of being given money. Also, Duolingo only can attract investors if people use Duolingo.

So sure, I think complaining about small delays is silly, but we do have a right to demand things. We give certain things to Duolingo, and Duolingo gives back.

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lizsue

Good points! :D Also, remember that volunteers can easily stop volunteering. They don't depend on paychecks from Duolingo, so they risk less if they quit.

Bothering volunteers, making volunteering an unpleasant experience, therefore decreases the chances of them working faster on the course and increases the chances of them no longer working on the course at all!

...is this what they call being "triggered"?

No, it is not. Being "triggered" only happens to people who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It happens when a vivid reminder of the past trauma sparks symptoms of PTSD such as a flashback or panic attack. There's more information at http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/ptsd-triggers .

January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/evelynoja

You have a point. We DO get this website for free, so why not be thankful? :)

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sgt.Hammer

Why assume they are not thankful? I would assume that someone who gets rude with a contributor because they are impatient to learn, was very thankful, but was overcome by impatience or their English isn't good enough to know that what they are saying is rude.

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/evelynoja

I'm not assuming that at all. Why do you think I am?

January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sgt.Hammer

Because you brought up the idea of not being thankful, your message was short, I assumed you were talking about the same people as the OP. Implying that they were not being thankful. Please feel free to explain yourself. You could have responded to this post by accident without ever having read it, but I assumed you were answering the OP. You have me confused now. What were you talking about?

January 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/evelynoja

I just was saying that to encourage people to be thankful. :) And to put it into perspective if you know what I mean. I just want people to remember that we get this awesome website for free that takes so much work and that we should thank them. Sorry I made you think differently of it. Good luck and keep that streak going! :D

January 10, 2016

[deactivated user]

    Yes, I believe this is being "triggered". I have seen what you are talking about, and totally agree with you. We should not badger anyone about these things. The people who are making the course have to work really hard to get it ready for us to use. I think that when people complain, they need to stop and think for a second; These people are working super hard to make an entire language course for us, and they don't even get paid! We need to be thankful that some are willing to do these things for people they don't even know, some that are just plain mean, dreadful, and rude. Yet they still do it! =)

    January 8, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChocolateWish14

    Hi! Here's my opinion. I think creating an entire post on this subject (and wasting space) is unnecessary. Yes, we are all human. This means that we are eager to learn and are excited to do so. I have never seen people being 'rude, inconsiderate or impatient' over anything like that. That's just my opinion. :)

    January 8, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/greg.mort

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    January 9, 2016
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