How can I report poor quality content on MakeUseOf?

Rob Hindle August 13, 2012
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Wanting to ask one question raised another so here they both are:

1. Is there a way of reporting MakeUseOf postings that should be deleted.
Why? well there are incentives to make postings (badges, points), there’s a risk of poor quality postings purely in order to earn those rewards. Are rewards purely automatic? Does every posting earn points or is there any kind of selectivity? Maybe a thumbs-up/down option could be used as part of the points system so the community could help with that assessment process.

2. What category of MakeUseOf “Ask tech help” should I use for getting help with MakeUseOf? Are these questions in the right place? I think some kind of “getting the best from MakeUseOf” forum would be a great benefit

  1. Mike
    August 14, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Sorry, I couldn't add another reply to the post.

    I believe everything in that regard has already been said.
    There is a report function, points unfortunately are not taken away (to prevent spam) and the Answers section is a work-in-progress which (hopefully) soon will have a vote function.

    Rob, your concern is valid but honestly, in the (about) two years I have been here in the MUO Answers section I feel that the quality of answers is constantly rising and the spam is at a very minimum especially compared to other sites.

    I'm not sure what the badge is worth to someone ~ if it is for the points, it is so easy to make them. Just look through the articles and press one of the social buttons to share them on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc… the MUO team will be happy if you do so :-)

  2. Tina
    August 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm


    Comments from new commenters automatically go into moderation and we read each and every comment to screen for abuse. Of course we cannot catch every nuance and are not able to test everything ourselves.

    You can flag comments that you think are poor quality or spam. They will return into moderation. However, the posters will not lose their rewards points.

    I'm not sure I understand the second part of your question. Are you referring to the options in the Ask Tech Help navigation bar menu? Those are just categories tags that we use and you can view all questions with this category or tag. Categories and tags are solely assigned by editors and users don't have to worry about picking the right or wrong ones.

    If you have any other concerns or want to share an observation, you can either tweet us @MUOAnswers, send an email to Answers (answers at makeuseof dot com) or directly to me (tina at makeuseof dot com).

    • Vipul Jain
      August 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      AFAI understood he meant that usually tech related questions are asked in the "Ask Tech Help" section.
      So is this is the right place to ask questions related to this website MUO, i.e. is he posting in the right section?

      • Tina
        August 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm

        Thanks Vipul!

        Well, in that case, yes. Answers is the right place to ask MakeUseOf-related questions. If a question is of common interest (like this one), we will publish it and respond via Answers. Otherwise, we will respond directly via email.

        • Rob Hindle
          August 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm

          I'd not realised that the litle flag next to "Reply" was "report as spam". However it's not so much blatant spam as responses to questions that don't actually add any value - none quite as bad as on relatively unmoderated forums. The great thing about MUO is the high quality of responses I'd not like to see it being degraded.

        • Tina
          August 14, 2012 at 6:34 am

          We don't want the quality to be degraded, either. That's why we read all comments and trash ones that are clearly not helpful. I know this isn't sufficient. Hence, a way to vote up (and maybe down) comments is on our ToDo list.

        • Mike
          August 14, 2012 at 8:22 am

          Tina already mentioned the most important job performed in that regard. Another question is what you define as "value".

          I agree that there are sometimes responses that do not help or solve the question or are only distantly related to it. But, knowing that an answer won't solve the problem doesn't make it wrong.

          This is a User-To-User section – all efforts count. Personally, I have misunderstood a question or overlooked details at least two dozen times.

        • Rob Hindle
          August 14, 2012 at 8:50 am

          @Mike - to explain where I'm coming from on this I'll give an example: I use GiffGaff SIM only mobile phone service provider. They have user forums and incentivise users to make postings in a similar way to MUO (but as far as I can see with less editorial control than MUO).
          A simple question there can generate hundreds of responses. Some repeat what's already been said, some are to say "I agree" or "I've got that problem too". Others comment on grammar or spelling, answer a different question or wander completely off topic. One result is that a question may well have been answered before but it's easier to create a new question than to wade through pages of garbage - and even then not necessarily find any useful advice.

          I might add that it was seeing a low grade comment on MUO, then observing that the originator had accumulated loads of points and high level badge that made me ask the question. Then I looked up some of his other postings. I was unimpressed and was concerned that MUO might risk going downhill.

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