Are posts asking for followers allowed?
More than once, I've seen posts asking for followers, because they have none (personally I wouldn't mind that too much), or they need a competitive leaderboard. Of course, it's almost definitely kids in Duolingo for Schools who decide that followers on a language site will make them cool, or something, but what I find weird is these posts are almost always upvoted and "lingoted" (yes, that's a verb now.)
So, to get to the point of this discussion, are those posts even allowed? Should they be downvoted? Or are they not spam?
Thanks for your answers.
Honestly posts of that kind make me wish that Discussions were disabled by default for Duolingo for Schools. (I'm unsure if it is actually.) I'm also curious as to whether or not a moderator can email the teacher behind a student's classroom about their activities. If not, that needs to be implemented, since we get so much spam from those types of users.
I don't think it's difficult to imagine e.g. a sensible group of 17-18-year-olds in their last year of high school who should be trusted on the forums. There are plenty of groups younger than that who can be trusted too (as well as some who can't).
Duolingo for Schools is used by adult learners, as well.
Strictly speaking, "follow me!" posts are not allowed because they are social posts and don't help anyone in their language learning journey.
As you mention, those type of posts are usually from young learners. I find it best to silently down vote their post if they're just trying to socialize. If they say they're looking for friends to compete with, I might post a friendly and encouraging message to them and suggest that they follow others, because following others is what makes people show up on their leaderboard, and that gives them some folks to try to keep up with, XP-wise.
We were all new once, so it's best to be supportive and encouraging. Usually those folks just don't know any better (yet).
Duolingo should know better. They've made it impossible for anyone to make friends but are letting these children think both that they can make friends here and that they should (and that everyone else can do it and is more popular than them for reasons they can't fathom because they never saw the site when it was worthwhile). I've just tried to explain to someone on a thread headed 'why do we HAVE to make friends' complaining that they couldn't figure out how. It's very unfair on them. Trying to suggest that these people are then in breach of some sort of irrational rule will only compound the offence.
You shouldn't downvote stuff that you consider to be spam, for instance, the posts like, "I finished my Ukrainian tree!" "666 day streak!" aren't spam but many people view it as spam.
Also, as much as I hate to admit it, asking the user to stop what they're doing usually doesn't work.
Here's my view on it. If you're going to post a thread that just says "Follow me!" or "I want som fwendz plz" then that's just downright spam. However, what should be (and hopefully is) allowed is posting a RELEVANT comment or question on Duolingo, thanking everyone for their feedback, and then maybe offhandedly asking them to follow you.
Albeit the "socializing" aspect of following someone, it should be ok if you have the right intentions. And besides, it helps you get motivated to earn more XP and learn more than everyone else you follow. That is using the "follow" feature correctly