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  5. Please do not add to the lack…


Please do not add to the lack of kindness and respect

While I am fully aware that this message will most likely be ignored, not seen by the people who should see it the most, not believed, and that I sound idiotic saying this, but I think this is an important message, so please read on.

This community used to be filled with the kindest people I had ever met, who were always willing to help out. Even then there was still the occasional idiot, but it was much better than it is now. Some of these people are still here, still helping, but many have disappeared or have gone inactive most of the time.

The other day, some people said they wanted this user dead because the user annoyed them. While I'm aware they weren't serious, I do not think the user felt extremely amazing to see people asking for their death.

Before you post a comment, remember that the person you are writing to could be your nephew, could be your cousin, could be your grandfather. Would you tell them that they are idiots who would make everyone happy if they jumped in a lake and drowned?

Even if you are quite sure that the person you are writing to isn't a relative or friend, does that mean you should be downright rude, disrespectful, and unkind to them?

I hope the answer to both those questions is "no."

While you probably are sick of me constantly quoting the guidelines, I'm going to do it again, from various parts of the guidelines:

"Be respectful of others and where they’re coming from. Curiosity, questioning, and cultural understanding are something we celebrate. If someone uses incorrect grammar or has a question you think has an obvious answer, kindly and calmly help them out. Heckling and being straight up mean doesn’t help anyone learn. Can’t say it nicely? Don’t weigh in. Hateful, obscene and off-topic comments don’t contribute to learning. Cursing doesn’t either. Leave them out of the language discussions.We do not tolerate content that is Illegal, Pornographic, Excessively profane or violent, Spam, Threatening, harassing, or bullying, Associated with racism or intolerance, Impersonating someone in a misleading or deceptive manner, Personal confidential information."##

"Please don't waste your time looking for loopholes; we will remove any content that violates the spirit of these guidelines and you will risk losing partial or full access to Duolingo without warning. By following these guidelines, we will all contribute to an interesting and helpful learning community."

There is enough hate in this world without you adding to it, even if it's on a tiny forum on a tiny site for learning languages.

So, let the downvoting begin!


December 7, 2017



I would upvote this a dozen times if I could. Sadly, I think Duolingo might be getting pulled down to the level of much of the rest of the internet, where the most horrifying things are permissible because they’re anonymous.

In the hopes that that fate can be avoided, I’ve promised myself that I will never make an angry post here. I’d rather downvote quietly than turn this place into another online cesspool.


And for what it's worth, downvoting is more than enough to send a message that you don't like what someone has to say. If you don't like their words, downvote them. If you don't like them, keep it to yourself.


Well, not liking what somebody says =/= them being unkind or unrespectful.

I sometimes still up-vote people who say something I don't like / don't agree with. I can respect people who draw a wrong (in my opinion or factually) but reasoned and/or decently informed conclusion.

People should think for themselves and nobody should expect people to agree with them or to like what then say. It's better to say the truth which people don't like rather than to lie or to jump on the bandwagon just to get support from people. There's a certain mod on here who often has opinions conflicting with mine, but whose opinions I often still respect (and upvote / not downvote) - I unsurprisingly still sometimes downvote people solely because I disagree though (up and down voting easily becomes a childish game).


I came from a community that could be considered "bottom of the barrel" by this community when it comes to newcomer kindness. I was forced to quit for reasons, but once I came here I felt unexpectedly better about browsing the forum. I feel whichever user made that comment probably came/is part of one of those "bottom of the barrel" communities, since in the community I was part of, that was the norm. Either that or they're just a bad person in general, which is entirely possible. Or both.


Woof... I have known you for 5 months. I consider you a friend and someone I can agree with. I will not hesitate to say that this is the most mature and beautiful post I have ever seen you make. I agree with every word, having used Duolingo for years, and I have this to say: You are a wonderful person, and you would make one of the best forum moderators on Duolingo. Thank you for this post, and to show my appreciation for this, here's 10 lingots.


As a newer user I don't have the same negative perception you seem to have of the community.

Most folks seem very decent here. The rare trolls does not even register, not worth consideration or thought few downvotes and comments are gone.


Make Duolingo Kind Again! :)


When I first stumbled upon this post I was amazed. Did someone actually care?

Some people are just downright rude over the slightest things. Just because someone's grammar isn't correct does not mean a user needs to chew them out and correct them. Someone who is standing up for the rules should not be harassed.

Some users will try to keep others from getting into trouble by telling what rule they are breaking. The "Violators" (As I shall call them) will either accept that they did something wrong, or they will insult the user and harass them.

Some users, when receiving this treatment, will not back down. Others fear being made fun of and will back down, embarrassed, and start to argue with the violators. Did I feel ashamed when I was bullied? Yes. Did I want to let my emotions go free and scream at them? Yes. Did I do it? No. Screaming at someone will make the situation worse and possibly get you into trouble.

Woof. has explained everything perfectly. She has given great advice for anyone to follow. Of course, not everyone is going to agree and follow the counsel.

Please stay calm, no matter what situation you are in. If someone is threatening you, harassing you, asking for personal information, or if someone is doing something that bothers you, please, please contact a Moderator and/or report the users. Please do not stress. If you want to talk to the user that is bothering you, do not scream at them, or bully them back. Just calmly tell them that you're contacting a Moderator (Or reporting them) if they do not stop. If they continue, report them.

People are here to help, but they cannot help you if you do not ask. If you do not know how to report someone or you can't reach a Moderator, simply ask someone you trust. I know it is hard to stay calm in a situation like this, but please try. You will feel much better afterward.

I know this has been a long comment. I hope this has helped you if you are in a bad situation. I hoped Woof.'s advice helped you as well. Stay calm and happy learning.



bravo, well written! I one hundred percent agree with you man.


Hi Woof,

What you wrote should go without saying but it isn't. So thank you for your post.

Best regards Angel


I think we must have been reading different posts lately.

I agree that at any given time there are some really annoying people on Duolingo who are gratuitously unkind or say things no decent, thinking person would say.

If anything, however, I think I've seen a bit less of that lately. For instance, it's been ages since I've seen an outright racist post.

For what it's worth, I've been using Duolingo for close to three years and don't think it's worse overall. Also, I've noticed over time that really nasty folks, for the most part, seem to disappear pretty quickly. I assume that in many cases the moderators crack down on them. Others may just wander away, because they're not really interested in language-learning.


An outright racist post? I only recall seeing one of those in all my years on duolingo!

An outright awful post? They aren't as common as good posts but I've seen a lot.


In the past I've seen a ton - and I mean hundreds - of obscene, racist, threatening, etc posts. I think it's at least part of why Activity Stream is gone, as it tended to be a force amplifier for this by garnering attention for these type of posts. The spam filter seems to be doing a much better job of controlling this type of thing these days and there is little of this any more.


people who read this post and agree should up vote it, lots of times people won't up vote something that they like but don't think twice about down voting something they don't.


This is so true and inspirational! Thank you.


Εύγε Woof!

The world needs more people like you.

Should this be stickied? I think this should be stickied...


Should it be stickied? Nah, it's just a motivational message against unkindness.


and who are willing to speak up


Woof like a dawg 8) Well said, lad. Someone has to speak the thruth, and hold the banner high.


Thank you for this.


i am on the same page here are 5 lingots


sorry i can't give you any more i only gave 1 it is not working


i gave you a lingot cuz that was so sweet


I hope that more people like you continue to try and spread kindness! Thank you


Here are 2 lingots! Thank you


This discussion has become amazing! So many comments and likes, everyone agrees! I hope one of the staff or moderators saw this.


I wish i could keep up voteing this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I know I'm kinda late to this discussion, but I'll post anyhow. I don't know what it used to be like on here because I have only been on here for about 3 months. But I would like to see it like some people explained it. I myself got told that someone wishes I were dead. I didn't take it hard at all, but I have been starting to notice the scarce kind/helpful/awesome people around more. I mean, after seeing how unhelpful some people are, it helps me notice the helpful people. So yeah, I really like this discussion and I totally agree with it :)

Wait... there is just one thing I don't agree with, and that is So, let the downvoting begin!. Congrats on not being right about that ;)


P.s Hi Woof, I just looked at your profile and notice that you lost it. I know that must be really hard (Or at least I think I do, I lost an 18 day streak, so that might be like comparing a broken finger to a broken leg) Well, I need some motivation, So... do you want to start another one? I'm sure we won't ever catch up to Felix, but we could at least try ;)


Woof you are very respected and i wish that there were more people in the world like you and everyone that posted their kind regards to you. Thank you all for what you have done!


All I can say is thank you for every thing that you are doing and keep up the good work> Please follow me.


you're so correct, everyone could use nothing but support when tackling something as difficult as a new language and the feeling of community has always been strong even in the somewhat brief time I've been here. I'm all for working to make this an even more accepting environment than it already is.

Sidenote: please follow and then unfollow me for the achievement! Thanks!


Every time I look at this post I smile. :D

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