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Do you tell your students not to spam the Discussion forum?

Take a look at the Discussion forum today, and you will see why serious Duolingo users are not happy with the "Duolingo for Schools" addition. Each time someone spams the Discussion forum, questions about languages, tips about online resources, etc., are pushed down. It's really frustrating to have to wade through all of these puerile comments!!

March 12, 2015



I have been wondering the same thing...do the teachers monitor what their students are doing on DuoLingo when they give them a lesson plan and send them on their way? The number of infantile blathering posts on DuoLingo just seems to get worse each day and I feel like the rest of us are drowning in a sea of chatter and crud from bored 10 year olds who think this is Facebook. Please, please do something about getting those comments sectioned out from the main discussion board, o DuoLingo gods...


Spamming did not start with Duo for Schools, it has been going on since it was released.


Today at one point, more than half of the "New" discussion posts were spam, and some of them included obscenities and offensive language (e.g., the n-word). It has gotten progressively worse during my time on Duolingo.


Today may have left a big impression with you, but that does not prove that things are getting worse. As psionpete said, it is nothing new and there have probably been worse days. It's easy to use the school's feature as a scapegoat, but Duolingo is becoming more popular anyway so new spammers can come from anywhere.


it is not just new students from the schools. Duo is inherently insecure. Anyone can open multiple accounts, even using fictional email addresses, there is no verification that an email address is genuine and despite Luis von Ahn being the creator of Captcha system, it is not used to prevent bots from creating multiple accounts.

I appreciate that no system is 100% secure but Duo is bottoming out of the security league with about 0%. At least, some basic security measures would deter some of the spammers and reduce the work load of the overworked moderators.

While I think Luis is an incredible individual I think he is making a big mistake by ignoring the security issues.


Is there anything that the rest of us "serious" DuoLingers can do to bring this to the attention of the DuoLingo powers that be? Anything at all?


I would suggest maybe spamming the forum with posts about how to combat the spam....but that already happens...


Use the 'Contact Us' tab under 'Help' I send a letter through that once a week telling them to smarten up and listen to us.


I can't imagine being an educator and NOT checking on the activity of each of my students, but clearly there are some lazy teachers out there. Those students are peeing in what used to be a super nice pool, and making it intolerable. The forums used to be a great place to go for explanations, help, advice, and moral support. Now it's just a blood pressure elevator and it makes the site so much less friendly and a less effective learning tool.

It's a real shame because those kids don't appreciate what a wonderful thing this is, and they just ruin it for everyone.


Well said, Lrtward...your analogy of the nice pool being peed in was dead on and very accurate, I have to say. I wish the rest of us could do something to alert the DuoLingo staff about this? (By the way, I have said it before to you, but every time I see your avatar it makes me smile...I love that giraffe!) :D Lingots for the adorable giraffe, yay!


well now u can disable the discussion and social profiles for kids


Schools are not to blame for spam in the forum. We've grown astronomically in the past few years. We're a community of over 80 million learners now and with that comes more spam in the forum. We're creating better tools to combat that.


With all due respect (and I mean that sincerely!), it is abundantly clear that many of the recent spammers are bored students being forced to take language classes. As someone else pointed out, the appearance of spam correlates with standard US class times, AND are much less evident on weekends. I appreciate that Duolingo has grown exponentially in the last few years. But part of that growth is Duolingo for Schools, and I think it's important to acknowledge that fact. I'm glad that you are developing better tools for combating it: there have been many suggestions made by users just since I've been on Duolingo. Perhaps some of those ideas are worth revisiting.


Macjory Yes, as the community has grown there are various new types of spammers - not denying that at all :)


I always breathe a big sigh of relief when the weekend rolls around - finally a few days without the insane barrage of spam. If I read one more "...'sup?" post, I'm going to throw my laptop at a wall.


Dcarl, that was a great post and I could not have said it better myself. I have wanted to throw my computer at a wall time after time when the "kiddies" come onto the forum...I always roll my eyes and think, "Oh great, the school week has started again...." It really gets depressing.


maybe I always happen to get on after the most offensive stuff has been removed, but I've never seen the forums so bad that it takes more than a second or two to get past any spam. over 80 million users and you think it -has- to be DL for Schools based off of correlation? The only thing that is -abundantly- clear is that there is spam, and it comes from different sources, one of them being DL for Schools.


I am very glad with the decision to create Duo for Schools! And this is the most important step in Duolingo for life. I believe that the people now, not only the "serious", but also "open-minded" and "creative" ones, have to see that it's the real aim of Duolingo, in all the community, for every development team, for every learner and every educator, to be more and more attractive for the young learners (and it's not an opinion, I think currently it's a fact). We are learning languages, and we're actually testing the fantastic, the new educational system for languages. Perhaps, we can solve many conflicts for several years, and bring to the new educators in Duolingo a very friendly behaviour to work and collaborate in different learning groups. Besides, more people guess if this could be used to learn more than languages. So, it's clear that new doors are opened now. And, necessarily, young and adult people from learning institutions from every country will be part in the process, doing good efforts to be successful, to collaborate to expand their knowledge and their activities. So, we only need to have suggestions to improve the system, with some view of criticism, but always supporting this process. We anxiously hope the creation of tools will increase the security of Duolingo, in all the aspects of communication between the learners and the educators. These tools can help to adults too. (Yes, because I want to use Duo for the rest of my life, to discover new languages for me) But children cannot be apart of Duolingo anymore. I'm really considering also, if the forum and translations will be part of Duolingo in the same way, because the change would be necessary just there. I don't know it, but I can imagine many many things. As Luis said, we could have conversations with the machine (a matrix? Duo bot?), and perhaps the new matrix can help us with the translations too. How much interactive would be the translation system, between the users? At the end, I think "I'm not the only one", saying Welcome Duo for Schools, and thanks for being the best learning method ever for education in the world!

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