I'm a bit suspicious about these XP contests
Ultimately, I've been seeing a lot of 'XP contests' posts where you must give two lingots to the authors in order to enter a contest, who claim that the first three places will get a certain amount of lingots (usually 50, 25 and 10) plus they will increase the amount if they are given donations.
However, there are two strange things about them I'd like to mention: one is that they don't even mention how the contest works or about its process. They only ask you to upvote, give the lingots, friend them (not in all the cases), but not how to win. And the second is that they are being organazied by new users or users who doesn't seem to have too many lingots (who are studying only one language and are below level 10).
Of course I'm not for or against it, and since people started to make a lot of contests, I'm guessing it's either a duolingo tradition or people just liked the original author's idea. I'm just curious.
The entry fee (which is usually two lingots per person) isn't really a great sacrifice, but I have mixed opinions about it. Whether if they are doing it just for fun or they actually are trying to get free lingots.
What do you guys think about them?
It depends on the person running the contest. Some of the competitions are scams; it's good to be careful and check everything out first. To see how many lingots a person has, go to https://www.duolingo.com/users/(insert person's username here). Hit CTRL + F and type in "rupees". If the user doesn't have the amount of lingots they are offering, it is most likely a scam to get lingots. Some users really are running genuine lingot contests and plan to give out prizes at the end, but it's good to be careful before you throw away your lingots to a fake competition. Best of luck!
(EDIT: The original link provided may not work for some users on some browsers. If it doesn't work for you, try using https://www.duolingo.com/users//[username], which has a double slash.)
Most of the people posting them are seeking attention and followers. They don't bother to make clear posts about what is expected, when it will begin and end. And how they will decide and inform the winners.
Some of them are completely nuts and say random things like don't cheat by on an XP contest by using a Streak Freeze. Which makes it clear the person hasn't bothered to find out how the site works
For a serious language learner they are absolutely pointless. They clutter the forums with nonsense - including multiple discussions for the same contest and spamming other people's discussions and streams. Keeping the amount of garbage on the forums high and serious language discussions low or non-existent by comparison. Also, rushing through to get XP for some worthless lingots is ridiculous and does nothing to help one learn a language.
IanShales, this is a great example! The only thing it's missing is whether people are allowed to challenge skills or not as a source for earning XP.
Technically, people are no longer allowed to require lingot exchanges as a chance to win more lingots. This is because people were making multiple scam posts. Donation requests only, just as you have done is exactly right!