1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. "Hi!" messages


"Hi!" messages

There are so many messages on the forum of clueless and/or ignorant users that say nothing but "Hi!" or something about those lines. There are many messages with one line that's impossible to understand. It ruins the experience for those of us who want to get or give useful information.

Can DL put up a threshold for posting? Like, you can only post in a language group after you have 100xp for that language? This should weed out the clueless messages.

October 26, 2017



Hi! (I couldn't resist). However, I share your sentiments about the abundance of Discussion detritus, the empty and annoying squawks demanding attention. Unfortunately, unless Duolingo divides classroom and public users into two separate sites, I think the problem will continue to grow.


Duo does have a form of threshold posting. New users are only able to post to the Troubleshooting forum until their level is 2 or above. This allows them to seek help for technical problems but restricts the forums that spammers can attack. It’s not perfect (guess where all those “hi” messages go) and some of the worst offenders can be teachers trying to understand how their classrooms work. There is also the downvote system where we users can censor post like these by down voting them.

In the end though, there will always be users who simply want to say something, and this has increased with the growth of social networking among the younger users. I suspect we will just have to get used to it and use the only weapons we have.


A common problem with any internet forum... that, and the trolls, the people who don't read the FAQ's, etc. I'm actually amazed at how relatively polite the DL forums are.


The point of the forums is to create a safe and supportive learning environment. So, I hope our community members will continue to achieve above average on the polite scale. ^_^


Hope alone, without clear guidelines and a supportive structure, is usually insufficient to guarantee politeness and consideration.


Duolingo has a good set of guidelines for an internationally diverse crowd of learners. You've probably already seen them, but maybe some others who scroll past my comment haven't. So, I'll post them up here: http://www.duolingo.com/guidelines. You are right though, we cannot guarantee politeness or consideration.


Like, you can only post in a language group after you have 100xp

That's WAY too low. You can get that amount in about an hour if you go fast, which I have done.


But if you make it too big a step it could deter new students from asking genuine questions about grammar or how to use Duo.


I agree - 200 would probably be a more reasonable theshold.


I agree there should be more barriers to post creation, although I don't think your example would be effective. It's a one time thing.

At the moment it is far too easy to create a post - there should be multiple steps, perhaps showing the contents of the etiquette post, directions to search, and the wiki, and validation rules about title and post length... hopefully sheer laziness will suppress some low quality posts. No one barrier will prevent this stuff absolutely.. but a combination should make the experience boring for children that want to play.

Note: Staff and moderators/contributors should be able to skip the screens.

[Anyone who thinks this is too much overhead is obviously creating too many posts!]


Duolingo just doesn't care much about this old problem, unfortunately they are happy by having some people wasting their lifes for free at cleaning all the dirty in the forums .


See level 2 threshold. And, Duolingo has run other a/b tests as well (and is running some right now in fact.) So, they do care. And, they have several things they care about. So, it is a matter of having to set priority and then fit lower priority things into any excess time they find. So, it takes time.


The moderators delete such comments and warn the user not to do it again. If they persist they may lose their account.

If you see any such behavior please report it. Here: https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us


I wouldn't report just a "hello", or even minor troll spamming. I recommend only reporting "emergency" situations, like porn (because we have minors), death threats, people encouraging each other to die, things like that. Those accounts need to go. Other posts can be down voted if people don't want to see them. ^_^


What is the threshold for acceptable meaningful content of a post? Unless that is clarified, I would never report comments just for their little content. I have reported comments that were either abusive or soliciting contact info from minors. That part I'm clear about! But I wouldn't be too certain about what constitutes "such comments" – not sure what you mean here.

[deactivated user]

    Downvote such posts. Moderators would usually remove them within an hour, if not in minutes.


    Re the "Hi" and other short worded beginner posts: They are new here and that is their ice breaker. We can turn those discussions into an opportunity to welcome people to the community and link them to resources that will help them with their course of study and introduce them to how the forums work. I and the other moderators don't always have the chance to do so, and once others join and turn it into a chat, we generally have to go with the "please don't use Duolingo as a chatroom" thing. But, if everyone in the community pitched in, these folks could be warmly welcomed and politely initiated into the forums norms. ^_^

    Duolingo already has a threshold of level 2 (60XP in a single course), which has reduced some of the spam and cyberbullying. Though, of course not all of it. And, we cannot put any threashold between them and Troubleshooting, because they might get stuck and not be able to reach 60XP.


    I sincerely wish that once you blocked someone you would never get to see their nonsense again. Now that Activity Stream is gone, blocking does nothing at all.

    The Forum has about 20% really great language stuff, lost in the disorganization of a chronological-only feed; 20% well-meaning but somewhat repetitive questions, that could be reduced if they had a Forum grouped by topic that could be more easily searched; 20% complaints, but at least topical and DL or language related; and 40% garbage from bored school kids forced to be here who clutter everything up.


    Those messages are such a waste of time of the people who are actually trying to be productive on this website


    I think there should be a discussion forum specifically for "saying hi" and the like.


    I think there should be a "Hi" and "give me lingots pls" forum merged into one.


    Yeah people are kind of being rude when they are begging for lingots.


    Yes...agreed. FB-ish drama simply to troll for similar minded people. Some are clearly young first timers, but other "should" know better. Others are very correct in that our Lingots and down votes help to mould this community. PS....you are doing great. Enjoy a Lingot.


    I use Stackoverflow, that doesn't have these clueless messages for three reasons.

    1. users are software developers with previous experience using forums

    2. You can only post replies if you have sufficient xp's, generated by asking questions. Generally, the more useful stuff you do on the forum, the higher your ranking, and the more priviliges you get. This also has the advantage that you can judge the value of a reply from the ranking of the poster.

    3. There are tons of moderators who immediately remove off-topic and clueless messages.

    Then, if a question does not meet the standard, an editor can edit the questions. This happens when a person posts who doesn't speak English very well. It all works very well, and I'd like to see DL start using something similar. Otherwise, I'll just ignore the forum from now on.


    It would be very nice if rankings were based on useful posts, and diminished (at least temporarily) by irrelevant/harmful posts, and a certain ranking was required before additional posts could be made, but I doubt that such a system will occur on Duolingo.


    moderators will delete useless/harmful messages.

    Anyways, i agree with u 100%.


    That Hi! thing is not just here on Duolingo. I get a dozen or so direct messages with them every day on social media (I have some large accounts). I think people spam the same "Hi!" to multiple places and see who replies back. Then they usually want to practice a language with you (for free) or have a question which they want answered in private (instead of where the public can see). Sometimes users are such a basic level that they don't know anything else or after I reply Hi back, they say "How are you?". Sometimes they just want to test a forum / direct message thing to see how it works and it is quick and easy just to put Hi. I have also found it is something very young people do, especially school kids that have been made to check out a certain site and are bored.


    Oh, I forgot to say, yes... they can be annoying. Mostly I just ignore them.


    I was annoyed about these "hi", too (not here, but on social media). But then I started thinking it might be a cultural thing. I think there are cultures (like mine, European) where you start a conversation only when you've got something to say. But there are other cultures (like my Indian or a South American friend), where establishing contact is way more important than the content of a conversation. Of course, I hate getting a meaningless "hi" when I'm super busy. But I might as well be grateful that someone cares about me and wants to see whether I'm fine. It's their way of reaching out to others and showing a friendly gesture.


    I'm glad to see your post! you can do it!

    Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.