Whenever I go onto the discussion boards, I mostly see intelligent discussions about languages and all that but recently I have noticed a phenomenon in which people who are usually low level create posts that make no sense like XDDDDDDDD or write something that makes the IQ points of regular people go down and it seems like this is starting to clog up Duolingo. So I see some actions that could occur: people cannot go onto the discussion until they reach a certain level (perhaps level 10) but the problem with this is that if there are low level people that actually want to learn the language they won't be able to post their questions. Then maybe there should be a discussion section for people below level 10 that anybody can go to but that costs Duolingo time, money, and effort maintaining that board. So the only thing that I see is a viable option in the long run is for Duolingo to moderate the discussions more efficiently. Nevertheless, I still like using Duolingo for free and they provide a good service considering that they aren't charging people.
I don't presume to be an expert on bulletin board management, but echoing many of the other comments here, I would moot considering the following:
1) Not allowing people to post in the general Duolingo forum until level 5 (I think 10 is a bit much). People could post in the language forums, sentence forums (if allowed by the language mods) and in Troubleshooting. This would basically allow the newcomers to ask their language-related questions and get technical assistance, but only entitled them to participate in other discussions until they have demonstrated a certain level of seriousness in their use of Duolingo.
2) As a variant on #1, perhaps allow people to post comments on other people's posts in the general Duolingo forum, but not to create their own until level 5, 10 or some other. Alternatively, not allow people to create posts in the general Duolingo forum until their comments get a certain number of upvotes or lingots over a certain period of time.
3) Consider creating a few Duolingo forums for things like XP contests, lingot requests, and other "specialised" posts that seem to come with great frequency but which are of limited interest. A new forum for Duolingo beginners may well be a good addition.
I was thinking of a separate forum too for under level 10, but I thought of how crazy it would be with all the spammers populating every post there with nonsense. Genuine learners will hardly be seen as posts are surrounded with spam. Also, the moderators will have many forums to monitor, making their jobs a bit harder.
I then though maybe the forums would unlock at level 10, but then, similar to what I said above, beginners to a language wouldn't have many options to ask questions about a language.
Whew, it's complicated!
this is a good idea, but it's wise to note that not all low-levelers are spammers and not every spammer is a low level. Perhaps a reporting system, where spam doesn't have to be monitored and caught by the moderators, but the learners can have a "report a spammer" feature (or something along those lines) to make the moderators job easier.
Hi Lolp3633! I hope my message didn't say that all low level people are spammers as I definitely did not mean that. :-) It's just more typical to see spammers in low levels because they can just create an account, do a few lessons to level 2, then have their kicks spamming the forums. It's rare to see a level 25 person making fun of people on the forums.
But yeah, your "report a spammer" feature is nice, as it can link to the abuse form on Duolingo (I have mine bookmarked) so people can easily fill it out, and the abuse form will link directly to the objectionable content in question.
I think it is only level 2 before you gain access to other forums so that target is not too onerous for genuine language learners. You can also down vote any posts that you consider spam and if 5 users down vote it, it disappears from the forum listings. Also moderators have recently become much more agressive in deleting spam posts.
Unfortunately spam is something that can be very difficult to stop because the people that do it enjoy winding other people up.
Duolingo's forums need two things, both of which most other forums sites already have:
Each user has to confirm their email address before they can post on the forums.
An "off-topic" forum, to house all the cruft that we want out of the current forums - the random chat, the people asking for friends and followers, etc.
Level 10 is quite high, someone could need assistance with their learning long before they reach level 10.