https://www.duolingo.com/Ikamjh

"Offensive content" (even legitimate Wikipedia) articles not allowed

Ikamjh
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Isn't the whole point of Duolingo was to translate as much of the web as possible. The fact that articles with "offensive content" are blocked seems to get in the way of this mission that Duolingo has. There are many legitimate articles on Wikipedia, for example that have offensive content. I ran into this problem when I tried to upload the Wikipedia article for Tupac, which was not allowed because it contained profanity, even though it was a perfectly legitimate article. I understand that some articles may be truly inappropriate for a website like this to translate, but there should be a way for legitimate articles flagged as inappropriate to be translated. There could be a warning that comes up for anyone who might be offended or something that could warn people that the article that they are about to edit could be offensive, but all out censorship is not the answer.

4 years ago

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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Yes, we agree on this, but until we make a distinction between children and adult users (which will happen soonish), we prefer to err on the side of caution.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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Luis, it's not censorship or not censorship that is baffling, but the gross inconsistency. Seriously, why is this https://www.duolingo.com/translation/37a8f70dc3db33caa98e3531b59bfe67 or this (and various similar articles) OK https://www.duolingo.com/translation/626718dd72d1cc40545cff29d21a1a3a

https://www.duolingo.com/translation/945dc4ef2260b5096e1c863651703c2c

(I would have expected the 'speciality' and list of titles in the filmography to trigger the alert, and it purports to be uploaded by your company anyway) or this

https://www.duolingo.com/translation/0ee62e2c1cb4dd9660cc6968960b2506 (you need to be looking at the second half, especially the last image with the flashing genitalia)

but not this http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Polidori nor this (long since reported) http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simone_de_beauvoir nor this http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali%C3%A9nor_d%27Aquitaine which I first reported as a false positive months ago. All still rejected as 'offensive' tonight, I just checked. Not what everyone wants to read maybe, but offensive? Really? Rather demure mid 20th century feminist philosopher offensive, cheap and tacky porn positively encouraged?

If it's about being U rated and family friendly, I'm surprised that one with the flashing images and the Middle English vocabulary survived after people drew attention to it with your team. I really would be interested to know the criteria here, if only so people know what you want reported as unsuitable.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
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I hope Luis answers you, as other staff have avoided that specific question, even when given examples such as the ones you linked to above. I'm disappointed to hear that your previously reported Wikipedia articles are still being rejected. I was able to upload a couple of mine, so it seems adjustments to their filter have been made, but clearly it needs to be looked at again. It's troubling (and puzzling) that articles on historical figures are still being rejected for offensive content.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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@Kassandra - I wouldn't be disappointed were it not for the fact that the flashing penis and related content etc are still there. If the decision is that there's no problem with that sort of material (and it's still there today after Luis' response yesterday, so presumably that's the case), then we ought to be able to have those articles that we all fail to upload which are innocuous by comparison. I don't mind whether it's supposed to be a polite environment or a free for all. I mind the double standards.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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Two or three from that original list have either been corrected for or the original hanging problem on some of them has been fixed, Kassandra - but I do find it slightly alarming that anyone can class a dry article about the life of Simone de Beauvoir as too offensive whilst touting articles about pornstars and the unpleasantly salacious treatment of images* and tone in one of those other two links.

*I have nothing against breasts and have incidentally uploaded paintings of them in other articles but there's something really quite demeaning and obnoxious about that stuff. I don't have any problem with my nieces and nephews seeing images of nudity per se or laughing at a blue joke but there's a nasty sly undercurrent of misogyny there that I wouldn't want them exposed to.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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Hi, thanks for reporting this. The truth is that this is an automated filter that is not perfect and that we continue to improve over time. Computers can't yet understand the contents of an article (or see what's in the images), so our filter relies on surface features that tend to correlate with offensive articles (such as the occurrence of certain words).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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Luis, I do understand that - but that material was both flagged up on the boards where I'm pretty certain it was seen by your team https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1464967, and also reported directly as abuse - and that was a month ago. There was an email conversation. The articles re still there, which suggests that a decision was made that it was acceptable. Or was it an oversight? Likewise, I reported the failure to upload of two of those Wikipedia entries that seem to me to be false positives a month ago, and Kristine acknowledged at the time that that didn't make sense. And there have been a couple of threads that didn't involve me about the duobot pornstar uploads that I know various people reported as unsuitable.

So without wanting to have a row about it, I think the question stands: what is the policy on what you do and don't accept on the site? Because as far as I can see, the 'tits' article violates your terms on the basis of making others uncomfortable, quite aside from issues around profanity filters and suitability for kids. Is the criteria respect for others (gender/race/religion/sexuality etc etc etc)? Crude language? Sexual content? I'm honestly baffled.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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Oh, and this is nice too. https://www.duolingo.com/translation/6fa5aa7d335f9cb6b787438ad4cfb1dd https://www.duolingo.com/translation/ef790b97ab29871c7d2b67fb339eb2cf

Meanwhile, I am still getting this screen in relation to a Wikipedia article about a medieval queen? And Romeo and Juliet? http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_%26_Giulietta

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ikamjh
Ikamjh
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Thank you very much!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/millnoc

I don't understand the censorship - these children have the web at their fingertips.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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They have to know of something/someone to google it. And perhaps Duolingo wants to keep the site on the 'clean' lists for searches that are subject to parental control. Which would make sense if only they applied the policy consistently.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElOtroMiqui
ElOtroMiqui
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The algorithm that Duolingo uses to check if something's offensive or not is bad I guess, the other day I tried to upload the Wikipedia article for Polyglot and it said that it had offensive content (?)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
jaye16
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And this was all discussed a month ago and no action has been taken as far as I can tell. I'm surprised and disappointed.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jun-Dai
Jun-Dai
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I agree, although I can see why they might want to err on the side of caution in these early days.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ikamjh
Ikamjh
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Yes, but it seems that it would be easy to have a warning, and if that wasn't good enough, then people could have none of the "inappropriate" articles show up at all on the list of articles. They could have a clean setting that prevents that from happening.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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Well, you'd think they might!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ikamjh
Ikamjh
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Or what if they allowed all Wikipedia. While there can be "inappropriate" content on Wikipedia, that's Wikipedia's job to prevent, not Duolingo's.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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No, anyone who republishes something is legally liable for that content where it infringes laws. But the stuff that gets rejected around here is ridiculous - I've just been told this is offensive: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_William_Polidori . Yet it lets genuinely offensive material through, which doesn't get removed.

4 years ago
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