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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Down votes and the Guidelines

Dear community,

Hello. I have some concerns that I would like to share with you, and some requests. I am hoping this will help improve the quality of the atmosphere in our community.

Down votes

Please, please, please do not down vote a discussion without first verifying the content. If you've been here as long as I have, you will see many legitimate questions repeated by new users. These questions hardly deserve a flood of negativity. Additionally, not everything that says "Lingots" is a request for lingots. (And we don't know what learning challenges someone is facing, so please be gentle if you plan to respond to Lingot request posts.)

Guidelines

My dear community, please don't turn the Guidelines themselves into a way to harass other people. I am encountering many instances of people posting the Guidelines at other users who have done nothing wrong. As a seasoned moderator, I still review the Guidelines several times a week. This helps me to know exactly why I've posted the Guidelines to someone each time I make contact. If you are going to post the Guidelines, please make sure you know what they say, try to soften your words by adding something encouraging or friendly.

Thank you for taking that extra minute between stimulus response, so we can have a more friendly learning environment. ^_^

February 14, 2015

40 Comments

Sorted by top post

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Artilex

This post was a post titled lingots. He/She wasn't asking for lingots, but how to give lingots. This is just one example of people downvoting before looking at the content. Before when someone asked for lingots someone would reply in a friendly but telling them not to ask for lingots again, it is considered spam way. Now a lot of it's just "Earn 'em your self"

But.. Usagi... So true!

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharmingTiger

Thank goodness that we have you, Usagi, someone who cares enough about the Duolingo community to actively participate in conversations like this one, every single day. You are an amazing person who steers people in the right direction! Even as a "seasoned moderator" you are still infinitely patient with the new folk, with "seasoned troublemakers" ;D ... with everyone! Keep on doing that voodoo that you do... so well.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

On, that sucks that people are downvoting without even looking, grrr. Not cool.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alternia

Users also seem to judge you on how large your streak is. When I had to break my 110 day streak back in July, some users were disrespectful afterwards, and I noticed my stuff getting voted down more. I'm assuming they thought I was new or something, but I still found it annoying.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

The streak does seem to carry around some status with it. I'm glad to see that you kept going. Already back at 80 too! :)

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Artilex

I agree, the streak really affects it. When I was new, most of my posts got downvoted a lot (But one post, which got 72 upvotes). Now when I post something that's pretty much the same I get more upvotes.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/no.name.42

I just want you to know that the fact that you go through the effort to read the guidelines on a regular basis made me a little bit happier and I was already pretty happy when another user posted this: http://lexicity.com/

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hellerm

That website is very useful! Bookmarked.

Also, have some lingots.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/no.name.42
February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MsLagerkvist2

Following this link led me ultimately to a brief, fascinating Noam Chomsky video on linguistics. Thank you so much! Your post represents some of the very best discussions on this forum. I love it that some users and moderators are trying to encourage a friendlier learning environment.

Chomsky (2014) "Most Interesting Insight of Linguistics" (5 minutes long) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYjpOh19MEc

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/no.name.42

I'm glad you liked the link and congratulations on your streak! Anyone who can make it to 173 is truly dedicated.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morgengrauen

Please be so kind and post the link to the Chomsky video, I'd like to take a look. Thanks!

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

seconding the request for the Chomsky video, that sounds really interesting!

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

thanks for the link!

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hellerm

Right on top of that. Just gave away some lingots! :D

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Far_1

You the man usagi! You helped me awhile back when i was a newbie (still kind of am) i appreciate what you and the other mods do for this site. So i'm sure i speak for lots when i say thanks. Also great post.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Even I'm a duoyear younger than some folks here, so, I'm a kind of newbie myself compared to them. We're all on a learning curve and I can speak honestly when I say that I'm still learning how to approach people and sometimes making mistakes. Glad you're still here and enjoying the courses. :)

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbraxunsIllusion

I'm not innocent of this and apologize for it.

Thanks, Usagi.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Even I get frustrated sometimes and forget myself. We can recover from it though. This community is worth investing good things into, and giving our best even after we've slipped up. :)

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamHansen

I think the creation of an FAQ section and a language request section will eliminate much of the down voting (and a decrease in the usual "Lingots" or "Japanese" posts)

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Artilex

A language request section? That probably won't work. A lot of people don't know how courses are created. Once they find out how they are made, they tend to stop asking.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GregHullender

There are always some people who feel that they've been appointed to educate others on what correct behavior means. In my view, Duo should have a strong rule against that. If you're not a moderator, and you're not the parent or guardian of someone, then you shouldn't be trying to tell them how to behave. It's condescending and it rightly infuriates people. For example, I once posted that I had reported something as an error, only to discover that I was mistaken and wished I had a way to delete the report. Someone felt called upon to lecture me for creating extra work for the moderators.

In general, offering unsolicited advice is a bad idea, but in the context of language learning it can sometimes be okay. But unsolicited advice on how to be a better person is just as bad as any insult and should be punished as such. People who do it consistently should be kicked off the platform.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

I agree that self-deputizing (acting as a moderator when not one) on Duolingo can be harmful to the community. It adds to any hostility, rather than reducing it.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Artilex

Do you consider the "please do not write posts like this on the forums, discussions on Duolingo must be language/Duolingo related" going to far. Because often I like to say something like that when someone on Duolingo is new, because reporting them right away won't make them feel good and they may quit.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

I've sent out an email to some moderators and we're discussion what might help. I think the best thing for community members to do outside of contacting moderators is to be kind and welcoming to those users or to not comment.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hellerm

Thank you, Usagi! Hopefully, lots of people will read this and check what they are about to post before they post it. I know I will reread before commenting. I sincerely hope this is just a phase that the forums are going through. (Try) To have happy learning everyone!

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dobie42

Frustrations run high these days, but your post is a voice of reason to us all.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TatianaBoshenka

Thanks for this reminder, usagi! You rock!

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MusingThoughts

Amen Usagi. So true!

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShongZuo

Okay! ^_^

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emma181

i agree fully!:)

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AF_fisher

Silly question, is there a reason the vote option can't simply be removed from the forum overview and only available within the discussion itself?

February 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Votes on a discussion move it up and down the priority list for the Most Popular tab.

February 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MsLagerkvist2

But I don't understand why this could not be accomplished by the presence or absence of up votes.

February 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AF_fisher

Fine, they move up/dn the list, but just make it so they have to go into the discussion to vote, instead of from just the title.

February 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ConorHoughton

Perhaps the problem is that the approval system - up and down voting - appears to be aligned to the system used to decide what goes on the discussion "popular" list; it would be useful to be able to indicate that a question or discussion topic isn't of general interest and shouldn't be on the popular page, without expressing disapproval. Generally the discussion tab is short of subtabs - popular / new / followed - once you take into account the (too common) sticky posts the popular tab becomes quite cluttered if you follow more than one language.

In short, perhaps the community would work better if the different topics, each language, newbie questions, general duolingo and off-topic chat had their own tabs under the discussion tab and there was a "misclassified" button in addition to the "downvote" one.

February 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Duolingo used to keep all languages separate. There was no "Stream". This was not popular and most of the language forums were not used. People posted nearly everything in the language general forum.

When Duolingo made the change, they preserved people's ability to still go into a view that shows you just one language forum. When you're in the forums, to the right is your subscriptions list, without clicking "edit", just click onto one of the languages in that list and it will show you only posts in that forum.

As for the stickies, Duolingoers requested those for two years before Duolingo made the change. It has been very beneficial for the community. However, I think they should not be kept in the Popular tab either, but instead a "Sticky" tab. :)

February 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ConorHoughton

That's interesting; I am obviously wrong in thinking separate language tabs are the answer! I do still think that it would be useful to keep classification away from appraisal. Maybe what is needed are "language", "general", "new" and, as you suggest, "sticky" or "announcement" tabs, so the language tab is only for specific, language, conversation. A "send to general" button in the language area might help lessen the current problem with bad temper and down voting.

February 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ConorHoughton

Also, another category of posts, why no such and such language, hopefully that will become less common as more languages appear and presumably that will become more frequent as the incubator process becomes more streamlined and automated. I do think that a "short tree" category of pre-beta languages where the tree could be finished at say level 9 would be useful and fun for introducing languages quicker and building a community around them before re-entering the incubator to produce the full level 11/12 sized tree.

February 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Enchilada5

I agree. I would even say that it would be a good idea to remove the down vote as I have seen good posts get voted down too quick, it is better that the admin makes that decision, the up vote is good.

April 27, 2019
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