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Confidentiality issues when posting Kudoz questions and possibility of implementing a time rule
Thread poster: Gillian Scheibelein

Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:09
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Oct 3, 2008

Dear All,

I have noticed an unfortunate trend in the posting of Kudoz questions: some people regularly paste a chunk of text they are translating as "context" for their term, with no attempt to hide names and data. I'm sure that most customers would be horrified to see parts of their internal documents openly published on the web and probably visible forevermore. The worst offenders, IMHO, are people with a high asked-to-answered ratio. Not only can't they be bothered to help others, they are extremely lazy when asking questions, hence pasting without editing rather than adding a few words explaining why they have posted or perhaps a few ideas on what the answer might be.

At the moment there is a small red warning about not posting confidential data, etc. ("Do not post any sensitive or confidential information in this form") but perhaps this is being overlooked or askers are unaware that the text they are posting is too revealing. After I'd pointed out this problem to an asker today, the next question came with XY's all over the place so that the meaning of the sentence was completely lost. Perhaps the wording of the warning should be altered or maybe an extra pop-up warning could be added alerting askers to this issue prior to posting or even a link on how to anonymize the text properly.

And another thing that has been bugging me: is it possible to implement some sort of rule limiting the number of questions per asker to e.g. 3 per hour. We have a few of the aforementioned high-ratio askers on the German > English forum who fire off 6 or more questions in a few minutes thus pushing questions from other askers off the front page prematurely. This is particularly annoying to those who only ask occasional questions after thoroughly researching the term and who really do need help. Unfortunately, this is not a sporadic occurrence, at least in my language pair.

Jill


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:09
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
This is Kudoz - Take it or leave it Oct 3, 2008

Sorry for the long reply, folks.

Although I understand your concerns, and would have shared your proposals not long ago, after contributing to Kudoz as an answerer for many years I have this vision now:

1. There are bad askers. It makes no sense to help bad askers, as they will choose the wrong answer, explain their queries badly, mess things up, disturb answerers with a lack of attention or lack of courtesy. Let's just jump over their questions, or filter them completely, for that matter. No rule, check or automatic control will help a bad asker be a better asker.

2. There are new askers who don't know the rules and can be helped to become good, responsible, respectful askers with useful, kind hints. Let's help those become good askers.

3. There are also good askers who might not have the experience of other people in a certain area. Let's help them with their doubts.

We cannot ban bad askers or try to improve their behaviour. It's not been possible in 7-8 years I have been here. They are damaging themselves every day with a wrong use of Kudoz, and that can only yield good results to good askers and good translators.

And if you ask me about the glossaries, I think that any careful translator will use the Kudoz glossaries with caution. And if someone is not careful using them, again it will yield good results to good translators, who will get more work in the long run.


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:09
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
who said anything about banning? Oct 3, 2008

Dear Tomás,

It seems you have completely missed the point of my post. The idea is to alert askers to the problem of confidentially and how to post without revealing too much information and, secondly, to try and limit the number of questions asked in an hour to give other askers more prime exposure.

Cheers,
Jill


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
I agree with you, Gillian Oct 3, 2008

The trouble is there are people who use KudoZ as a place of first resort. The very same 'bad askers' who copy and paste huge chunks of their texts without regard to the confidentiality of the situation have in all likelihood already signed an agreement with the client/agency which contains all manner of clauses about confidentiality and breach thereof. They just haven't bothered to:

a) read it; or worse,
b) understand it.

The rule about posting sensitive/confidential information (even unintentionally) in other parts of the site, e.g. on forums, is much more strictly policed. I know, I have fallen foul a couple of times...

But what you have pointed out in your original post is, no matter how many respond with their various views on the subject, ultimately one which only moderators or staff can deal with, as they are the ones with the power to change the system.

I'm sure that most customers would be horrified to see parts of their internal documents openly published on the web and probably visible forevermore.


Horrified is putting it mildly (!)


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:09
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Confidentiality - Missing in my reply Oct 3, 2008

Gillian Scheibelein wrote:
It seems you have completely missed the point of my post. The idea is to alert askers to the problem of confidentially and how to post without revealing too much information and, secondly, to try and limit the number of questions asked in an hour to give other askers more prime exposure.


I had assumed the confidentiality matters as part of what a "bad asker" does. But to be more specific, let me say that confidentiality is each person's responsibility. They are the ones who should be careful about it. If they are not, let them bear the consequences. The same as a bad behaviour in general.


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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:09
Member (2006)
English to French
Dear Gillian Oct 3, 2008

you are right about confidentiality, but I must say that for once (I am the first one to complain about some askers' behaviours), I really don't care ! I don't care if they don't take time to hide names. This is not my problem.

I am more concerned by people who keep asking questions with no context at all or who seem not to know themselves what their texts are about (usually, I end up skipping their questions and helping askers who make efforts to explain their problems).

Stéphanie

[Edited at 2008-10-03 16:24]

[Edited at 2008-10-03 16:24]


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Mario Gonzalez  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:09
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
taking of the job Oct 3, 2008

I have seen a couple of examples of "translators" asking many questions leading me to believe they do not dominate the subject of the translation.
I hope someone is noticing this and also noticing who has the "right answers".


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
French to English
Hurrah!! Oct 3, 2008

Gillian Scheibelein wrote:
to try and limit the number of questions asked in an hour to give other askers more prime exposure.



I do believe that you are the only other person (apart from me, natch!) I have ever seen mention this problem.

That said, I got bored of typing it not long after the daily limits were introduced and also got bored of threads about Kudoz issues constantly being ignored by those in a position to do anything. I may have missed it.

Perhaps some of those in the "ah, just ignore the askers that annoy you" camp would feel differently if a vital question of theirs had been pushed off the first page within an hour of being asked thanks to the usual suspects (one of whom has just posted a raft of questions in my pair) flooding the system. Gillian has eloquently explained why we shouldn't just put up with it.

Just a bloody pity it's Friday night and it'll be the weekend soon and so everybody will care still less in a few hours time....


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:09
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
You do have a good point! Oct 3, 2008

Yes, a limit of questions per hour would be good. I took one of my rare looks at KudoZ this afternoon and saw the flood of entries in our pair from some of the usual suspects and just rolled my eyes and mumbled "get a dictionary" under my breath. In some cases I wonder whether they really have any familiarity at all with the source language.

As far as the confidentiality issues are concerned, if they stick their necks out stupidly, they deserve to get them chopped I think.

************

"Morning after" addendum: Inspired by this thread, I took a look again this morning at the DE-EN KudoZ list. Same names as yesterday mostly, new bunch of words. I made a small contribution to one of the items and then decided it was time to see help requests from somebody who isn't asking us to contribute the equivalent of a dictionary to cover every second word in an assignment, so I applied an asker filter for the first time. It certainly was nice to see how that cleaned up the list!

[Edited at 2008-10-04 13:03]


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bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:09
English to French
+ ...
I do not agree with unethic behaviors... and I'm still here Oct 3, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

Take it or leave it


Why should we leave if we do not agree with some behaviors ?
Proz is our common thing, shared by all contributors (even those who contribute with something else than money).
I think that we have the right to suggest rules which could improve the fairness as well as ethical behavior.
Proz has a number of rules, it could easily add one stating that posts should preserve the confidentiality of the customer's documents. And there are ways to flag bad behaviors (at least, I suppose).
I do like the idea of a limited number of questions per hour.
By the way, I often have to help unexperienced people translating highly difficult IT-related texts that I would have loved to work on. I will never get these jobs, simply because I'm not the cheapest (there are so many people that pretend to be IT specialists because they have their own PC). While I continue to help them, I still wonder if I'm really doing the right thing.

[Modifié le 2008-10-03 21:23]


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 05:09
SITE STAFF
This rule exists already Oct 3, 2008

bohy wrote:

I think that we have the right to suggest rules which could improve the fairness as well as ethical behavior.
Proz has a number of rules, it could easily add one stating that posts should preserve the confidentiality of the customer's documents.


Rule http://www.proz.com/siterules/kudoz_asking/2.10#2.10 states:

    Care should be taken not to disclose confidential information in KudoZ postings. In most cases, client names should not be disclosed in a KudoZ posting. Consideration should also be given to whether the term or context would disclose confidential information by its nature.


Regards,
Enrique


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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
I filter them out Oct 3, 2008

When someone starts filling up my kudoz screen with questions a high school
Spanish student could answer, I go to my dashboard and filter them out. End of problem.


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Teresa Mozo  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:09
Member (2008)
German to Spanish
+ ...
I can only agree Oct 4, 2008

Bohy wrote

By the way, I often have to help unexperienced people translating highly difficult IT-related texts that I would have loved to work on. I will never get these jobs, simply because I'm not the cheapest (there are so many people that pretend to be IT specialists because they have their own PC). While I continue to help them, I still wonder if I'm really doing the right thing.


Not IT in my case, but I often have similar thoughts.


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RNAtranslator  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
Helping translators or helping miser clients? Oct 4, 2008

Teresa Mozo wrote:


By the way, I often have to help unexperienced people translating highly difficult IT-related texts that I would have loved to work on. I will never get these jobs, simply because I'm not the cheapest (there are so many people that pretend to be IT specialists because they have their own PC). While I continue to help them, I still wonder if I'm really doing the right thing.


Not IT in my case, but I often have similar thoughts.


No, Teresa, you are not doing the right thing, neither am I, as you probably know. It's fine helping unskilled or unspecialized translators, but it is a very bad behaviour to help clients to get specialized translations paying rock-bottom rates. That's what you and me use to do in Kudoz. We must change.


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
I also filter them out Oct 5, 2008

Jessica Noyes wrote:

When someone starts filling up my kudoz screen with questions a high school
Spanish student could answer, I go to my dashboard and filter them out. End of problem.


Hi,

I agree with your complaints about time, lack of research, lack of context, etc. But as Tomás said above, there are no rules that make a bad asked become a better asker. Anyone can make a mistake, but everyone is supposed to learn after that.

I currently remember most frequent asker's names and, if I see someone abusing of the system, I just filter them out.

Best,

Ruth @ MW


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