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Ideas for Defending Defamation on WPQs

I'm using Lawrence's precedent ([[LINK href="http://wpquestions.com/question/show/id/1075"]]Question #1075[[/LINK]]) to put forth an Internal WPQ question. The token-value is simply to asks the Experts of WPquestions for suggestions to minimise and moderate defamation on the site. It's an important issue, particularly for those who earn their living online. I'm sure the experts who use WPQ can provide valuable input on this topic which will benefit all parties involved.

A [[LINK href="http://wpquestions.com/question/show/id/2342"]]recent question[[/LINK]] asked by a 1st time user of WPQ escalated in an unfortunate manner and --after reading the responses & discourse in full-- in my opinion unfairly and unjustly defamed and attacked [[LINK href="http://wpquestions.com/user/profile/id/1709"]]Denzel Chia[[/LINK]]. Denzel is currently the #1 Expert answerer on WPQ, and his answers have been declared correct by paying customers 103 times. He has earned his #1 ranking via hard word, professionalism, competency, and honesty. Meanwhile some person simply joins WPQ, pays $15, attacks and defames everyone (Lawrence included), and then asks for his $15 back?

With hindsight, I think Denzel <em>could</em> have handled the exchange <em>a little better</em> himself, as he does not need to defend his integrity here on WPQ. He is the #1 expert for good reason, and clearly has excellent coding skills. If a brand new user comes along and defames an expert it should bear no weight to the experts reputation, and retaliation to people with such aggressive attitudes should be reported and ignored. (But that is <em>very easy for me to say</em> because it was not my integrity being attacked, and nor do I rely on WPQ for an income source).

Much like [[LINK href="http://wpquestions.com/user/profile/id/673"]]WP Answers[[/LINK]], I have used Denzel's services external to WPQs for many projects, which continue today. He has be most professional and honest (and SO patient!!!) and I recommend him to anyone needing coding and/or WordPress work. He is ALWAYS my first email for any new project.

My points in summary .....

- It seems inappropriate that someone can just sign-up as a new user and discredit a long-serving user in what looks like an attempt to get their $15 back. WPquestions is a unique and niche service, and to-date it's also been a happy home for nearly everyone, with positive outcomes the norm.

- Could there be some "flag" or "report" method for Experts to report such instances of defamation?

- I think we all need to understand and remember the importance of the language barriers online. English is not everyone's first language, and while the Q&As on WPQ are (for the majority) in English, it does not mean that English is the first language of the asker/answerer. Perhaps a "Country Flag" could be displayed next all avatars to better signal country of origin?

Answers (8)

2011-05-30

Julian Lannigan answers:

<blockquote>- It seems inappropriate that someone can just sign-up as a new user and discredit a long-serving user in what looks like an attempt to get their $15 back. WPquestions is a unique and niche service, and to-date it's also been a happy home for nearly everyone, with positive outcomes the norm.</blockquote>
I think this is unavoidable. For the simple reason that there are multiple education levels on this site.

<blockquote>- Could there be some "flag" or "report" method for Experts to report such instances of deformation?</blockquote>
I like the idea of a "report" function, because it seems like a more direct approach than writing discourse that can be overlooked. I'm not absolutely sure on how to handle the reporting, but I think it would be something that the admins would have to handle if someone submitted a report about a question or a particular response.

<blockquote>- I think we all need to understand and remember the importance of the language barriers online. English is not everyone's first language, and while the Q&As on WPQ are (for the majority) in English, it does not mean that English is the first language of the asker/answerer. Perhaps a "Country Flag" could be displayed next all avatars to better signal country of origin?</blockquote>
Excellent idea.

Julian

2011-05-30

Peter Michael answers:

<blockquote>It seems inappropriate that someone can just sign-up as a new user and discredit a long-serving user</blockquote>

That happens and IMHO both had a bad day.

<blockquote>Could there be some "flag" or "report" method for Experts to report such instances of deformation?</blockquote>

'Flag' or 'Report' button should be on a user's profile. Once flagged, the other users should get notified by an icon visible on all questions/answers next to the affected username or something similar. Discourse could then be used to clarify why the user has been flagged.

<blockquote>Perhaps a "Country Flag" could be displayed next all avatars to better signal country of origin?</blockquote>

The 'country of origin' flag is a good idea, but I think the public part of the site (including questions/answers) should be kept in English language. If the participants want to communicate in another language, they should do that via PM or email. This should be stated somewhere in the [[LINK href="http://wpquestions.com/page/static/name/Terms"]]terms[[/LINK]].

Aside from the above, I would welcome a function much like [[LINK href="http://stackoverflow.com"]]Stackoverflow[[/LINK]] uses for up/down votings, both for answers and users.

2011-05-30

Kailey Lampert answers:

Wow. What happened on that question was ridiculous.

I agree with you that it would probably be beneficial to have some sort of more official way of reporting abuse like that. Ideally, that question should have been closed (and refunded) as soon as harsh words were being used. In my opinion, describing someone's response as "lame" would have been enough.

No one, especially those that have a good reputation like Denzel's, should have to defend themselves here. Though I think it would be neat to have a reputation based off of more than just earnings. For example, allowing askers to leave written testimonials for experts - especially since many questions are answered/finished outside of WPQ.

I haven't asked a question on this site, but are there good guidelines for posting? (I just noticed that in the Tips box, the read more link for "what makes a good question" is broken.) Perhaps certain tips like "include a link to the site" or "show us the code" could be made more prominent.

I like using this site, because up till now I've never had to worry about being verbally abused - even if my suggestions were wrong or just too late. I hope that one way or another we can keep this site usable, for both askers and answerers.

2011-05-30

Christianto answers:

If there is a mechanism to vote the question down, it will be great.

This won't prevent newbie to discredit experts when they not getting proper answer, but will prevent any debate become more damaging for both askers and experts.

Country flag is nice idea, but I think this is not about language barrier, in recent case both asker and Denzel understand English, Is this country flag suggestion related to my comment on the question?
My English is bad :D


TheLoneCuber comments:

I agree Christiano - it is not about the language (barrier), and certainly not in the recent question. My suggestion for the Country flag was simply to highlight a country origin, which might simply create a greater awareness of non-native English users on WPQs.

I see many people online apologising for their English skills, when they should not feel they have to apologise. That they even have a second language is impressive, and that they can communicate via words in it, even more so.

Your English is <em>not bad at all</em>. It's good!


Christianto comments:

Ok, no problem..

But I think they will keep apologizing even if there is flag, its natural for non-English speaking people especially from Asia to do it, it just like using sir/mam.. if you're calling people older than you, instead only his name.

But its good suggestion, like you said it will increase awareness of experts for non-native english @WPquestions.com

Thank you for your concern to the experts here..
Your so kind..

@Duncan O'Neil
Nice English LOL


Christianto comments:

sorry typos, what a bad language that I have..
Above should be "You are so Kind.."

:D

2011-05-30

Duncan O'Neill answers:

Please note that it's "defamation", not "deformation".

thanks,


TheLoneCuber comments:

Thanks Duncan. *Edited accordingly.


Duncan O'Neill comments:

Cheers Thao :-)

I agree with those above who have suggested a 'flag' or 'report' function for the site. I also think that the details of the flag or report ( which themselves could spark a defamation row ) sent to the admin should only be viewable by logged-in users.

Perhaps if the admin decided the flag was justified it would then stay on the user's profile. Only viewable by logged-in users. "This user flagged x times", or similar?

For what it's worth, I think the asker on the recent question which sparked all this did HIMSELF much more discredit than the expert did. Anyone who reads the entire episode ( which in some ways I hope stays online ) should fairly easily see who the plonker is.

best,

2011-05-30

shawn answers:

I can't tell you how angry I was when I read the comments about Denzel. I have spent a pretty decent amount of money on this site asking questions and have always received the best service one could ask for. Denzel does incredible work here and it never ceases to amaze me how much information I receive in return for such little investment.

Having some type of report system would be fantastic!

I would even suggest going as far as to allow the ability for the top coders on this site to temporarily remove the post for further review.

Or something like a special 'flag' this user, where that users account is locked until reviewed by an admin here. That would stop the ability for the user to continue in a flame war.

2011-05-30

WP Answers answers:

Hey everyone,

I just want to chime in and say that my team and I are the original developers of the Karma Wordpress Theme, and we did indeed hire Denzel for his wordpress coding services.

Working with Denzel has always been a pleasant experience. He's very honest, very skilled, and we would absolutely hire him again in the future. Heck he even sent us a refund via PayPal when we accidentally sent too much money. This guy's the real deal.

We highly recommend Denzel for all of your coding needs.

Blessings to everyone from the US.

:)

2011-05-30

Lawrence Krubner answers:

Just so you all know, I did just roll out a kind of downvoting mechanism. However, this is aimed at newbies who are trying to answer questions and who post bad information. The goal of this was best articulated by Michael Fields here:

[[LINK href="http://codewi.se/2011/05/22/projects-questions-prize-money/"]]http://codewi.se/2011/05/22/projects-questions-prize-money/[[/LINK]]

I'll post more details about this on Codewi.se in a few moments.


Lawrence Krubner comments:




I'll try to put all of my replies into this one message.


Thao says:

<blockquote>English is not everyone's first language, and while the Q&As on WPQ are (for the majority) in English, it does not mean that English is the first language of the asker/answerer. Perhaps a "Country Flag" could be displayed next all avatars to better signal country of origin?</blockquote>

People can add their country to their profile but few have so far. On a different note, we will soon be offering this software to all of you, so those who want to start a similar site in another language will be free to do so.


Julian Lannigan says:

<blockquote>I think this is unavoidable. For the simple reason that there are multiple education levels on this site.</blockquote>

I think that is true, and educating beginners is something this site is all about. It's a problem, but something we all need to work on.


Peter Michael says:

<blockquote>I would welcome a function much like Stackoverflow uses for up/down votings, both for answers and users.</blockquote>

This is what I just rolled out tonight. It is for answers only. Only top experts (and top monthly experts) can vote. An answer that gets a net 3 downvotes is no longer shown in the normal way.


Kailey Lampert says:

<blockquote>I haven't asked a question on this site, but are there good guidelines for posting? (I just noticed that in the Tips box, the read more link for "what makes a good question" is broken.) Perhaps certain tips like "include a link to the site" or "show us the code" could be made more prominent. </blockquote>

Thank you for pointing that out. We are putting major effort into renewing the FAQ and tutorials. But helping to educate people is an ongoing process.


Christianto says:

<blockquote>This won't prevent newbie to discredit experts when they not getting proper answer, but will prevent any debate become more damaging for both askers and experts.</blockquote>

In retrospect, I should have been much quicker to end that conversation. I should have simply refunded the money and closed the conversation before it got carried away. I apologize to everyone for not responding faster.


Duncan O'Neill says:

<blockquote>Perhaps if the admin decided the flag was justified it would then stay on the user's profile. Only viewable by logged-in users. "This user flagged x times", or similar?</blockquote>

You can send us an email. In the past I've been slow to respond to emails, since WP Quesions is hardly my full time job (the site only generates $40 or $50 a week for me). However, as I mentioned on Codewi.se, we now have another person helping me with the site, so responses should be faster.

As it happened, Denzel Chia pinged me via Twitter and told me what was going on. I should have, at that point, refunded the money and shut the conversation down. I regret not doing so.


shawn says:

<blockquote>Having some type of report system would be fantastic!</blockquote>

I'll think about this. My initial bias is against this idea -- I'm tolerant of askers unless their behavior is extreme, and if it is extreme then I want to ban them from the site forever.