https://www.duolingo.com/EliasPitts

Downvoted when they shouldn't be

sometimes in Duolingo, actually quite a lot on Duolingo, people get downvoted because they make posts were they ask questions that people who would know more about languages would not ask. I think this is a real shame. They can't do anything about it that they don't know much about languages. And I've seen many great and big posts in Duolingo that are being upvoted and they should be, I'm not saying anything bad about them, but at the same time posts with questions some people would think are for stupid people get downvoted. I think We should see the discussions with more easy questions equal to big discussions. What do you think?

September 16, 2017

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MasterZsword

I find that shameful too, how a simple question about present French conjugation, for example, would be downvoted because most people know it. However, when it comes to basic questions, I would highly suggest looking it up in the search bar or searching it online before asking in the discussions. Most of those types of posts have been posted before. French conjugation, using the same example, is one that has been asked about often. So, I think there needs to be more effort placed on the questioner, but no one should downvote a post if the answer "seems" so obvious. People should remember that not everyone has the same knowledge as everyone else.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/EliasPitts

I absolutely agree with you!

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Fidget.S321

I don't think so but at least you say yes

September 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/EstudanteYahoo

I have the same thought. I've already seen many basic questions being downvoted, and that makes me feel a kind of angry. Those people were born knowing everything, I guess. Furthermore, I think this might discourage someone on answer their questions, which would cause more difficulties on learning a language.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/EliasPitts

Yes, you're right. Actually, these kinds of downvoting are almost the same as laughing at people who know less that you

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolinaViking

Location is important. Asking German questions outside of the German forum, asking troubleshooting questions outside of that forum, or asking things not related specifically to duolingo amounts to lots of downvotes on those types of questions.

September 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
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Absolutely!

Also, I think that people shouldn't downvote posts like ''I'm new, can somebody please tell me how this website works?'' because they are just confused. They shouldn't have their posts downvoted just because they should figure it out for themselves. Most of the time when I see spam, it's by users who have just started and have no idea that their account could get deleted by doing this.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TaliaStar

Hey Woof, I think you should sign up to be a Moderator

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
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Thank you :)! But to be honest, I think I would be the worst moderator ever.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TaliaStar

You would not be the worst! I've seen your comments on posts, they follow the guidelines and you help people all the time. I see that you'r learning English as well, are you not a native English speaker or are you doing the reverse tree?

September 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
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The reverse tree. But I've read the guidelines for moderating and I'm not sure how well I could keep them, I have been pretty rude to people before, and I know that some people are a bit annoyed with how I spend so much time on the forums, but despite that my schedule just became extremely busy so I have a lot less time to go on the forums. But seriously, thank you :) You would probably be a great moderator.

September 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/wombatua
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Oh, great. Another overly sensitive poster. Good heavens, downvoting is not a sign of a stain on one's character or something immoral. It's disagreement with a post, or the opinion that the post is spam, or is ridiculously repetitive, showing that the poster hasn't done any of their own research. For heaven's sake, don't take downvotes personally. Quite frankly, I think they should be used more liberally, given how many people don't bother to research a question that's been asked six thousand times.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Arcaeca
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My thoughts exactly - I wish I could give you 9 more upvotes for this. Instead, take 9 more lingots; they're not useful for much else than extra upvotes anyway.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nueby
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Out of the mouths of--wombats :-)

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolinaViking

Learn to have a thicker skin. The downvotew quite literally mean nothing.

Most of the time they're even predictable. Some examples follow:

People who ask a question already answered in their language forum or elsewhere and easily searched. People who are trying to "chat" like it's a social media site. Children who refuse to follow the terms of the forums. People who beat dead horses like immersion. If even half the people who still whine about that had actually used it, it might've been updated. People who post in the wrong forum.

The last one is a biggie. Don't post French questions or Spanish questions in the main forum. Some do this without even mentioning which language. They jump right in asking how to conjugate something with examples. There's a strong chance most people aren't studying rhat language. So suggest it get moved to the proper forum before responding.

Troubleshooting is another one that people seem to refuse to use even when asked.

In short, stop worrying about downvotes. I suspect many who freak out are too young to understand the reasons listed above or simply too lazy to follow the proper procedure. ("I'm different, I'll post here instead of the proper forum for more eyes.")

Most that I've seen downvoted, not all, are quite easily recognized as something that should be downvoted to many.

September 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
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''People who ask a question already answered in their language forum or elsewhere and easily searched. People who are trying to "chat" like it's a social media site. Children who refuse to follow the terms of the forums. People who beat dead horses like immersion. If even half the people who still whine about that had actually used it, it might've been updated. People who post in the wrong forum.''

Yup, because all except the last one are spam. And most people here on this discussion are fine with spam being downvoted: We just don't like when harmless questions are downvoted. I am all for downvoting spam, but there is no reason to downvote questions as long as they're related to duolingo.

September 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/_aaangie_s

Absolutely

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BaroldThe1
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What do you believe down voting should be used for then?

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
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Spam. Not questions.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Arcaeca
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And there's a sizeable group of people - myself included - that think that asking the same question over and over again ought to count as spam. Yes, perhaps they don't know the answer to the question, but usually their questions would be answered if they just read the grammar notes before each lesson, or even just a simple Google. Their questions are taken as more of an indication that they just don't read or attempt to find the solutions to problems themselves before passing them off to others, rather than simple ignorance.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MasterZsword

I think I have a remedy for this. What if in each language forum, a moderator made a post answering the most frequently asked questions in reference to that language (sort of like the FAQ post for the Duolingo forum) and stickied it? Then, less people would keep asking the same things.

Then again... Seeing how people still ask questions about contributing to a course or requesting a language (cough Latin), even though there are posts specifically about those topics, I'm sure any efforts to implement the idea I gave would end in vain. But, at least it's a thought. ^ ^

Plus, there is Google, like you said... People ought to use it more.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Michael.Lubetsky
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Having a sticky FAQ is actually done for some languages on Duolingo, including Esperanto, Polish, Irish and Hebrew.

This said, at least for the languges I'm studying, there isn't a lot of clutter in the language forums. Yes, it seems that about every month, a new person in the German forum asks for general guidance about determining the gender of nouns, but that's not so bad (it's actually a shared trauma for all German learners). What is more troublesome is when people ask particular questions about a particular language (most often Spanish) in the general Duolingo forum.

I think that the greater problem is that there are two fundamentally different schools of thought about the Duolingo general forum. Some see it more like an internet chat room where you can constant post random questions or make statements more as a social exercise, I post "Hi, I'm new!" Or "Hey ya'll, what's the Spanish word for "flamingo"?) and then a round of comments appear where I meet new Duolingo friends and we all have a laugh, until the converation fizzles out and a new one appears. After a day, a thread is long forgotten.

Others (including me) would prefer to keep the Duolingo forum to original, interesting issues of general interest, such that a thread can stay present in the feed longer and attract deeper discussion over a longer period of time.

As I mentioned in another thread a few weeks ago,what would be nice would be a way to block/remove a post from your feed without necessarily downvoting it. Perhaps that will be coming in the overhauling of the forums that Duolingo has said is coming.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Arcaeca
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That, or Duolingo could add a couple new forums: I think just having an Introductions forum to which to redirect all the people whose posts just consist of "hey guys, I'm new here" would go a long way. A second forum for the sort of general chat you describe would also be welcome, although its function might overlap with the first so much that the first might as well be merged into the second.

Of course, this means hosting additional forum databases for Duolingo, so I sort of doubt they'd go for it.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
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Judging that probably the 2nd most common question in the Russian forum is how to type in Cyrillic (the 1st most common being how do I learn Cyrillic, a question for which there is probably never not an available answer within easy scrolling reach of the top of the forum), which is addressed in a post very prominently stickied and obviously titled to that effect, yeah, I think your right to have limited expectations of this accomplishing much.

It should be done, though. Some languages (Dutch, Ukrainian, Catalan come to mind) already have such a thing.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/wombatua
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Hear hear.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/psionpete
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The only time that some questions are down voted from what I have seen are when the questions have been asked time and time again.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
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I appreciate the irony of the contrary opinions in this thread having been downvoted.

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/wombatua
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And as the target of those downvotes, I'm fine with that. I'm not going to lose sleep over it the way some folks would seem to from their comments...

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nueby
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You should totally make a separate post about the horror of it all. :-)

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Libbareed

I think that Duolingo should stop all downvoting. In my opinion, it totally goes against the principle of Duolingo being a welcoming, inclusive and supportive forum for learning a language. It's a negative action. Everybody has to start somewhere- whether it's learning a language or navigating ones way around this site. I appreciate that it's a method of removing spam: however what one person's views as spam, isn't always another's idea of spam. I feel that if voting was limited to upvoting only, and then only the most popular threads were kept as available, the whole experience would be more positive. The less popular would naturally disappear, rather than being bullied out-as so often seems the case at present.

September 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MasterZsword

I don't think the idea of having differing opinions is considered uninclusive. Although, I do see where you're coming from.

In theory, yes, it could be possible to have an upvote-only system in which the moderators (if they are around to see discussions that break the guideline at specific times) would delete posts that need to be removed and as a result, the abiding posts would remain untouched by those with bad intentions. However, that system can and will most likely be abused. The current system as a whole has been abused and unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done.

Downvoting is only negative if you have bad intentions, and is often based on one's sensitivity level. If a post breaks the guidelines and a user downvotes, I don't believe those people should be berated for trying to keep a good, organized community. There is nothing negative about that. In fact, people learn through downvotes because they realize what is unhelpful or not to the community of Duolingo. Even I have learned lessons through people downvoting me. Experience is often the best teacher. Now, I understand there are new members who are just trying to find their way through, which is why I think it is important to read the content of a post before downvoting it. I don't always downvote just because I disagree with someone's post; I usually don't vote on it at all. The same goes for people who are clearly new. But, there are immature people who don't have any consideration for the guidelines (it is obvious who they are), and I think the downvoting system is helpful in that sense.

In all, the voting system here is extremely vulnerable towards abuse, but what can we do? If it makes you fell better, I would upvote posts that are in its nature abiding and frankly interesting to you. A downvote can have good or bad intentions; we must not ignore the good sides of it to justify its "unfairness".

September 19, 2017
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