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Teachers and forum spam

Since the new Educators system where teachers can monitor their students Duolingo progress, it seems to me that there has been an increase in juvenile spam in the forums. I suspect this is due to an increase in classes joining Duo so is probably understandable.

My query is whether teachers are able to see any indication of spamming from their students? And if so, do they feel any responsibility for controlling their students actions.

March 18, 2015



I've been noticing a lot of this in the immersion section as well (I'm assuming it's from child accounts)... students are adding or editing throwaway translations ("dfdsfsdfsdfs") in order to get points quickly, which is really bad for the quality of those documents and really bad for the students because they're just gaming the system and not actually using Duolingo to learn.

I imagine it must be difficult for some teachers to closely monitor every bit of activity their students have, so I can sympathize certainly, but also feel like that's probably a feature for educators that needs to be made available... some sort of indication of when their students are being reported as spammers/abuse so that they can take appropriate action.


I have been wondering about this, myself. Many people have asserted that it is the teachers' responsibility to monitor their students' behavior, but I suspect that most of these people have not had much experience in front of a classroom. I am reminded of a maxim that states that if you let 28 kids out into a field, they will immediately run off in 29 different directions. In virtual space, this problem is compounded.

If there were a system that identified spammer-like behavior and automatically alerted instructors, I think it would be reasonable to expect the teachers to take disciplinary action.

My mother, who retired this year after nearly half a century of teaching in public elementary and junior high schools, is a truly frightening woman. There is no doubt in my mind that (if Duolingo for Schools had existed in her time) she would have spent hours at a time looking through forum posts and update feeds, searching for the smallest hint of trouble from her students, and, after the first incident, infractions would have been rare to nonexistent. For better or worse, hers is a dying breed. Nonetheless, I think the newer generation of teachers can learn to deter students from disruptive behavior, if they are given the proper tools.


Most spamming is down voted so it should be possible for the number of negative posts be saved in the OP profile and this info could then be used in the teachers list of students and used to determine any action that could be taken.

I sympathise with your mother, i have four grandchildren (grown up now) and your story about 28 kids in a field struct a note of truth even with 4, so how she managed with a full class I can only imagine.


Currently, there is a huge amount of "down voting" good comments because they can get away with it. This is why Duolingo needs to have a school site that completely separate from the other duolingo site. Then, have forums for specific classes where the students can only post there in their classes' own forum. And then only the teacher can post in the technical section that is only seen by the teacher. This would clear up all the alleged "child spamming and down voting".

However, there is a high possibility it is adults who are doing the spamming-down voting. Why? I have noticed spamming on blogs that had nonsense, but then had links to crap sites. Students generally do not do this sort of thing.

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