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Michelle has made a tweak on Sphinn today so that users no longer see a number tally next to the "Report Spam" link. Clicking the link will still alert us to posts which you see as spam however, so please continue to use the reporting method where appropriate.
Comments17 Comments  

Comments

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from evilgreenmonkey 2420 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Some members have been clicking the link for posts that they disagreed with, rather than actual spam. Others have also been concerned when a single spam report was marked against their story. We’ve made changes to the backend software so that spam monitoring and removal is much easier. Although we may remove some posts that receive a high number of spam reports temporarily, the ultimate decision of what stays and what goes is made by the Sphinn team. Please do not report a story as spam if you disagree with an issue raised in the post, a Desphinn feature will be released later this month for doing so. "Report Spam" should only be used when a submission is off-topic or trying to sell something either within the story or on the page linked to from the submission. Feel free to browse our Submission Guidelines for further Do’s and Dont’s. Could I also ask people to strip blog/site names from your story title unless essential to its meaning. Many blogging platforms automatically append " - Joe Bloggs’ Blog" on the end of every page title, which our software picks up when suggesting a story title. This will keep Sphinn free of lengthy two-liner headlines and should also result in more people clicking through to read your story. Thank you all for your continued support, and keep Sphinning! :o)

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from katfrench 2420 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sounds like some smart, responsive changes. 

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from Halfdeck 2420 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"a Desphinn feature will be released later this month"I can’t wait :)

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from SearchBuzz 2420 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"This will keep Sphinn free of lengthy two-liner headlines" -- can we use the blog title or author if we keep the title on one line?  ;)

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from MattMcGee 2420 Days ago #
Votes: 0

can we use the blog title or author if we keep the title on one line?  ;)Only if you want to give the mods more work to do. :-)

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from AndyBeard 2420 Days ago #
Votes: 0

’"Report Spam" should only be used when a submission is off-topic or trying to sell something either within the story or on the page linked to from the submission.’ We currently have content and interviews by notable sphinners clearly intended to promote something going unchecked, and reviews of 2 competing products receiving spam flags.I have no problem with the former, as long as the content itself has value, and hell, if I write a review about something that happens to have an affiliate link, if the content is good I would like for it still to be considered, though I would never, and have never self submited content that is in some way promotional (no, I wouldn’t ask someone to do it for me either) If it is going to be universally enforced fair enough, though it does contradict the use your best judgement ethos we used to have, it should be included in the rules if that is what it is.I am actually worried about Despinn especially about topics that polarize the community.

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from g1smd 2420 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Can you add a feature that at submission time counts the words in the title, and then for titles longer than say seven words flags up red text warning the submitter to cut the title length?

Avatar Administrator
from Michelle 2420 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Andy - please don’t hesitate to contact the mods and alert us to specific stories that you feel are spam and need to be reviewed. Things definitely get missed and we rely on users either using the spam report button, or contacting us directly in those cases.  Also, I’ve just posted about the desphinn feature and would love your feedback based upon how it is described here.@g1smd - will add that to the features wishlist.  thanks!

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from SlightlyShadySEO 2420 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@g1smdSome articles are complicated, and need their wordcount to accurately say what they’re about. I feel like people putting their blog titles in the title is something that can be handled w/o limiting the potential of other stories.

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from Gamermk 2419 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Well I’m just happy at a number of the usability changes I’ve seen accomplished around Sphinn that I’ve brought to the Staff’s attention. Michelle especially has been very curteous in her emails responding to my inquiries. Great job team :Dp.s. when I’m not logged in can I have the login button be where the profile button will appear rather than the register button. Sometimes I don’t realize that I’m not logged in and when I go to check my profile (or at least I think I am) I accidently click what I think is the profile link and it sends me to the regristration page. The login link in this place instead would save me a click when I screw up ;)

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from g1smd 2419 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@shady: Notice that I didn’t say "cut titles to seven words", nor did I say that "titles should be less than seven words", I actually said "alert the submitter if the title is longer than seven words".That will simply pick up just about all of the titles that fall foul of the "don’t include the blog name in the title" suggestion, and with a bit of luck, the submitter will edit the title to comply with that.The "seven" is not the required length, but simply the threshold that triggers a suggestion to the submitter to look at, and possibly edit, the title.If the title needs to be longer than that, then there will be no need to edit it.  Only the submitter will see the warning, and only at the point they are writing the post.

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from SlightlyShadySEO 2419 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Ohhh alerting. I gotcha.Much better.I’ll be quiet now :-)

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from AndyBeard 2419 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Michelle,I first thought of giving this example in private, but then decided it would be best to give it in public, because it is not exactly outing someone for doing something wrong, it is an example of something done right, but which wouldn’t conform to the new "verbage"http://sphinn.com/story/23287Darren wrote a great article, it is topical, contains a few interesting stats and reinforces a major news story placing it into real perspective.It just happens to have referral links in it to 2 Adsense alternatives.As far as I am concerned , Darren has done nothing wrong, and nor has someone submitting the article.The problem is you are never going to be able to draw a hard and fast rule about how much good content has to be included for an article to be self promotional.In many ways it is similar to the situation with high quality paid reviews, which happen to include search engine friendly links. Google uses a one glove fits all, which many are not happy about. You will get people who have not been blogging as long as Darren submitting their own articles or their readers submitting the articles, and they will also have affiliate links in them on occasion, maybe even for the same companies.Votes will determine the if their content is better or worse than Darren’s, the links in the article shouldn’t be a factor.I can give you tons of other examples, that just happened to be submitted today and was easy to find.

Avatar Administrator
from Michelle 2419 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hi Andy - I understand your concerns here, and so we have our submission guidelines - not hard and fast rules - but guidelines.  Moderating would be so much easier if we had the rules! ;-)But we don’t - we have confidence that by and large most members here will be more interested in the long term gains of proper participation vs. the short term gains of spamming. Also, we have our moderators - they review the content and make the tough calls. And trust me, there are some tough calls. There are a lot of things that get posted that are borderline. When I see these things, I review the user’s history - are they new? Have they contributed either stories, comments, and votes that are not self serving? Or did they just drop in to promote their next blah blah blah? Obvious spam is easy to deal wtih. It’s the borderline stuff that’s challenging. And depending on the moderator, things may get discarded, kicked into spam jail, or left to die a slow and painful death in public view.  And yes, things may seemingly get unfairly dealt with - in either direction - or missed altogether.  Cause there are not hard and fast rules and we take things on a case by case scenario.  Good news is - users are free to speak up - contact us, have us review a decision or a non-decision as the case may be. And we respond.  And with the spam button and the coming desphinn button, we’re empowering users to assist us in reviewing the content here.  So back to what Rob posted - the spam button really is for out and out spam - the obvious stuff. (I don’t think you’d find a moderator on the team that would remove the link you point to above).  And we’re really not seeng abuse with spam reporting.  And just because something is reported, does not mean that it is removed.  Even if something is temporarily removed (if it gets 5 reports) - it is not permanenetly removed from the site until a moderator reviews it and makes the final call.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2419 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Andy, I don’t even see the links in Darren’s articles are an issue. Certainly no one has filed a spam report.I see this all the time, and I feel pretty confident the only time affiliate/referral links have an impact is when you get a page that clearly has no news value at all. Typically these are like one paragraph long.As Michelle said, you can always flag a moderator to review a site that you think might be dinged for the wrong reasons. I just haven’t seen much of that.

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from AndyBeard 2419 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I used Darren’s article as an example because it wouldn’t be an issue for the majority of people (and it certainly isn’t a problem for me) but it would break what Rob stated""Report Spam" should only be used when a submission is off-topic or trying to sell something either within the story or on the page linked to from the submission."The best short term measure would be to not show an article has been reported as spamI am sure we are on the same page, and that is how things have been going up until now. Stories like this one http://sphinn.com/story/23101 get 2 spam flags, and then get them removed once the story is dead. It is already being abused or misunderstood.If you then add what Rob describes into the mix, the spam reporting is probably going to add to the work of moderators, and you will get a lot more spam flagging.

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from dannysullivan 2419 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Oh, I see. I’m sure we can modify the "sell" stuff thing to be more specific.

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