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Does anybody know why some discussion threads disappear?

Several times when I've bookmarked discussions to come back to, I will find that the page has disappeared and the URL I bookmarked gets redirected to an error page. This is happening with disturbing frequency. Here's an example for a discussion thread titled "Duolingo and Depression"...The URL was: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/25203377 --that redirected to the 404 error page: https://www.duolingo.com/errors/404.html

I wouldn't be asking about this except that I've run across this a lot on the Duolingo site. The discussion was about how Duolingo was helping some people with depression, so it was quite positive. There weren't any violations of Duolingo discussion rules that I saw, so I'm really wondering what's going on. Thanks.

December 17, 2017


[deactivated user]

    To be completely honest I deleted this discussion because I felt very very depressed at the moment I deleted it and wanted to delete my Duolingo account as well ( I guess I'm glad that's not possible) ...I apologize to all the people that have replied to my discussion...


    I did not see your discussion, but you don't need to apologize. I'm currently in a lost place, in terms of ambitions and basically... My sense of self. This has gradually seeped into my language learning goals. However, if you need to vent, make sure it is very, very relevant to the site. Again, I didn't read your discussion, so perhaps it was related. I won't make any assumptions. Anyway, I have written a couple posts concerning sorrow and stress and how that relates to my usage of Duolingo. One way or another, I connected it to this site and languages in general. Based on the title, you may have made a connection, but I don't know. In all, don't be sorry about making a post about your depression. Just make sure it has connection to this site. Otherwise, its irrelevancy may perplex some people, especially since there are many children here who may not understand depression.

    I hope you feel better. Those are my insignificant words of hope, I guess. ^ ^


    MasterZsword, I recall Sh3m3sh's discussion. It was on topic for the forums. :)


    Oh, alright. Thank you for notifying me!

    [deactivated user]

      Usagiboy7, thank you for your message :) You have mentioned it before, all people are different in what they need, and besides you can't really give good advise to a person you don't know that well. I feel I have to fight 'my demons' myself. I wish you all the best.


      Hello Sh3m3sh, you are right that advice can not be given by people who do not know you, but I want to let you know that you are not alone. Although it seems like it on some days I am sure there are friends who understand who are willing to care. Best wishes to you.


      Thank you so much for responding Sh3m3sh. I'm glad to hear you were the one, as author, who deleted it. I was concerned that a moderator deleted it only because of the title. I would find that very problematic, so I am very reassured in Duolingo's judgment that it wasn't a moderator delete. I found your discussion very positive. As I remember it, you discussed how Duolingo was helping you with those down swings and asking if others had experienced that. Although I hadn't added to the discussion, I have found that to be the case also. And I thought there were some very positive additions by people like Usagiboy7, who mentioned some other language sources like readlang.com. (Luckily I bookmarked that and another site he mentioned.) I like to go back to some of these discussions since they prove a motivator on occasion for my doing Duolingo every day. I'm sort of an elaborate bookmark person, so I had it under my "Brain, Behavior and Language" folder, where I have for example an article from the UK's newspaper, The Guardian, on "The case for language learning": https://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jan/13/learning-language-depression-anxiety

      I've found that I get a real boost out of dreaming in a different language, which I can get from reading in a language while using a dictionary that translates directly into simpler words in the language (a regular French dictionary, rather than a French-English dictionary for instance.) Just 30-45 minutes of language struggle before going to bed has gotten my dreams moving into French, breaking up any bad dream cycles.

      In addition to helping with depression, language learning seems to improve decision-making functions--leading language learners to make better decisions, researchers have speculated, because thinking about a problem in a different language helps one to see the problem through a different lens. Here's a pdf from The Washington International School that describes a number of articles on the Cognitive Benefits of Language Learning: https://www.wis.edu/uploaded/Admissions/Cognitive_Benefits_of_Language_Learning.pdf

      The topic of language and depression is very relevant to understanding the many reasons language learning is so important. It's also relevant to any children who choose to click on the topic. Depression is, increasingly with the bullying found on social media, a topic that affects children as well. They need to know there are fun things that might be useful for that--like language learning.

      [I will add for anyone interested, that some very specific internet games have been developed to help children in these areas. McGill University, a well-respected public research university in Montreal, has been the creator of self-esteem games (http://selfesteemgames.mcgill.ca/). The benefits for children are described here: https://www.mcgill.ca/reporter/36/16/self-esteem/]

      We all simply need to keep plugging away at the things that can help in this area, even if they fail us on any given day or week or longer. You are moving in the right direction even when it doesn't feel like it, and as you can see, you never know when you may be inspiring others to persevere.

      [deactivated user]

        Thank you for your kind and inspiring words. Both language learning and playing video games have cognitive benefits :) Even when I'm very depressed I still try to learn some words or try to play a video game to distract my mind. Take care!

        • 15

        Thank you all those participating in sharing good advice. Advice that is inclusive and supportive, and also on an issue that many of us do have challenges about, and I would not be surprised if at sometime through our lives the vast majority of us suffer from.

        Thank you especially Sh3m3sh , and also especially TreesHugger for sharing these resources and also assisting in making this discussion - something that can be talked about, and also strategies that can be effective, and how Duolingo can also play a part in facing this challenge.

        I hope others , if they have other advice and suggestions, or related issues to depression, and how Duolingo can play a role in this, that others will also join in this conversation.

        It is not easy to talk about many of the challenges we face in life. It is by shining a light on issue such as this, and also of how Duolingo can play a positive role in this challenge, that people are more likely to find better solutions to be able to live a better life for themselves, and also their communities.


        Duolingo would never delete a discussion without notifying the users and explaining the reasons. But most certainly would not delete a discussion concerning depression or other problems. Please note that the author has deleted that particular comment.


        I just want to add to Jaye16's comment (I hope you don't mind Jaye), there are situations in which someone won't be notified.

        If someone has a fake email registered with Duolingo, people's whose discussions are deleted won't receive messages sent to them about the situation.

        It is also the case that sometimes new moderators are still learning and may forget at first. But, most people should be getting notified.

        If a moderator reasonably suspects that notifying the person will lead to being targeted with abuse. In these cases the moderator can seek input from other moderators. In some situations, it leads to "wait and see if a ban will soon be appropriate."

        The majority of people who aren't notified haven't had their discussions deleted, but rather the community has down voted them and the discussions are hidden. This shouldn't lead to a 404 though.

        When Duolingo experiences high latencies, many discussions can produce a 404 temporarily. The amount of time varies for how long the 404 is produced though.

        When a person who created a discussion deletes it themselves.


        Thanks @usagi for filling in those details. We should all know how this works.


        It might be another case of the new profanity filter acting up. We've had a lot of cases like this (old discussions giving 404 errors) in the Dutch forums, because there are some common Dutch words that are interpreted as English slurs.


        I keep hoping Duolingo gets rid of the filter... -_-

        • 15

        • 15

        TreesHugger, Sh3m3sh, MasterZsword, Grace291391, Each of you are treasured learners in our community. Each of you are different. Each of you are greatly valued as language learners in our community. Each of you make a positive difference due to your different learning styles in our community.

        As Jaye16 has pointed out, there are guidelines that regulate our forums.
        Check them out here: https://www.duolingo.com/guidelines And moderators have to follow firstly those, and then also https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/205079384-What-are-the-Moderator-Guidelines- ( and a few others as well )

        - Moderators will NOT:

        • Delete discussions before confirming they break the guidelines
        • Delete threads or discussions based on personal views or dislikes
        • Delete threads just because they are critical of Duolingo
          ... etc.

        Moderators are held to account, as Jaye has also mentioned.

        And also as Simius has mentioned, there are many factors at play in our forums. Lets not jump on the conspiracy theory band wagon, as Oregon501 has playfully pointed out. ;P

        Yet also let us each , I hope , choose to do what we can to help Duolingo to remain able to achieve its dream of providing language learning for free, by doing our bit and following the intention of the guidelines.

        Including keeping post we put up to be about language learning, especially about grammar, vocabulary, learning resources, etc. ( and only some relevant duolingo related issues ).

        What you do, what I do - does make a difference. And there are certain topics that are not appropriate in this forum that is striving to provide language learning for free.


        Oh, I completely understand the guidelines. I think we all do here. I was not trying to support a discussion like depression to be here, I was only saying that what the user writes should be relevant to Duolingo. Basically, I was saying what you were saying. I don't know how I got caught up in this, but I apologize if I said anything that may have strayed from the guidelines or if I insulted the role of a moderator.

        • 15

        You have done nothing that I have seen that has even swayed from the guidelines.
        I have known you for a long time MasterZsword. And you are a treasure of a person.
        There is nothing for you to apologise for.


        • Each of you matter.
        • How we interact matters.
        • We have guidelines we are all required to follow. Each of us has rights and with that also responsibilities.
        • Remember if an inappropriate comment occurs one of the most powerful tools we all have in Duolingo is to choose to not respond, and to downvote the comment.
        • Issues concerning how we interact as a community are relevant to how Duolingo functions as a safe and open language learning environment.
          You matter, and how your act - it matters.
        • As Usagi has said "I recall Sh3m3sh's discussion. It was on topic for the forums. :)"
        • Our focus in Duolingo is on Language learning.

        Rambling expansion of these points:

        Yes, each and everyone of us matters. Here we seek to support everyone and show respect to everyone. To encourage the community to show kindness to everyone.
        What we choose to do and how we do it, it does matter.

        We seek to provide a safe community here so that people have the ability to focus on their language learning.

        In that - it does matter how we interact.

        Sometimes it is wisest for us to choose to not interact in an inappropriate situation. As attention given to some inappropriate issues only fuels the inappropriate action. There is truth in the concept of the saying, "Don't feed the trolls".
        Yet in that, never put the label on a person that they are a troll. For that is a lose lose situation. Always assume the action is the troll. Do not label the person as a troll. This is even re-enforced in our guidelines "Always be Respectful" ... "Please don’t use Duolingo to... Attack a person or group of people with words and actions" Gosh those guidelines are well written. I read them often and can see different nuances in them. And they are good advice to apply outside of Duolingo, I would personally suggest. However that is me. ...

        Do though notice, the issues under discussion about disappearing discussion threads, and how we as a community function is an appropriate issue, a Duolingo related issue. It has even engage the interaction of 3 mods as at this moment.

        When we show kindness, and in a situation we seek to see and accentuate the good, we are more likely to bring about a good action that creates a safe environment. Often people mean to say something good, but they say it is a negative way. Sometimes they do this to try to be funny. Yet this can have at times a life of its own, and take us of on a very unhappy and unkind journey. So where possible, also I would recommend, when you see a destructive comment, and you find the need to want to engage, instead of choose to NOT use the most effective tool in your tool box ( to not respond ) , try to see the good in it. Do not react with horror or pain or indication, or in a similar way, etc. Choose instead to act in a way that brings goodness and kindness to all our community, including the person making the statement. Point out the good point that you see the person is trying to make.

        Though if in doubt, if you see an inappropriate comment, do consider not remarking, and consider giving the comment a down vote. It is one of the ways we all help moderate our language learning environment here.

        How we function as a community - it does matter. It is one of the keys to why we are such an effective community. Of all the open and global communities on the internet - we are a stand out for how we operate. And this is for a number of reasons.

        I must emphasise in all that I have written here - that it is in my opinion.


        I see. I suppose I misinterpreted your intent on what you wrote, because it seemed like you were addressing certain people of misconduct, and I was ready to assume the blame. My belief was wrong. You were only stating what needed to be said to everyone concerning how we interact with people. I'm sorry for thinking such negative thoughts about your words. I should have trusted you. You truly are a wonderful moderator who deserves the position you have. You put ridiculous people like me in line, and I appreciate that, along with all of the numerous things moderators do. Without you guys, Duolingo wouldn't be the way it is. Again, I'm sorry for assuming the worst from you. That is a shameful act of mine and you didn't deserve it. You deserved to be treated better. :)

        • 15

        I apologise that it sounded in this instance like I was

        addressing certain people of misconduct,

        That was not my intent, as you also state.

        And again, you have my respect MasterZsword, as do the others that have so far participated in this discussion.

        Please do not be hard on yourself. I am human. I do stand as being accountable. I do do mistakes. I constantly review myself. I have even at times reported myself when I have reviewed myself. And also taken actions as I thought appropriate in the circumstances. Your questioning of me is not shameful. We are a community here.

        I am fine at you questioning me. I respect you for questioning me. I strive to bring my best to this community. To be respectful of each individual, and for the benefit of us a respectful and kind language learning community.

        Again, thank you MasterZsword for your valued contribution to our community, enabling our focus to be on language learning.


        There is a secret society with a finger in every pot and a head on every pillow. They live in a different dimension, one of unimaginable brightness, but also sadness. They kill the threads, actually harvest them. To power their spaceships. Anger them and they will drain your XP. Shocking, I know. Beware.

        • 15

        I see in what you are writing here, that you do not believe there is a conspiracy happening.

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