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Posts by non-paying members take too long to get approved
Thread poster: Jean Dimitriadis

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:47
Member (2015)
English to French
+ ...
May 21

Hello,

In a few discussions I’ve participated lately, I’ve noticed an important lag between the time a reply is posted and its approval, which disrupts conversations since older replies suddenly appear above posts that could not take those replies into account.

At the very least, I suggest that all posts are systematically approved within a specific time frame. I don’t know how moderation is being carried out, but if a moderator does not approve or reject a post within let's say 10–15 minutes (in some posts, even that is probably generous), let the post be published anyway.

I would push my suggestion even further: Simply waive the prior approval condition for non-paying members. This should not be a paid advantage. I prefer to discuss with my peers on an equal footing, and I feel this limitation does not foster that, especially when such lags come into play.

Jean

PS: Please note I’m a paying member myself, so this is not out of personal interest.


 

Hans Lenting  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2006)
German to Dutch
Partially agree May 21

Yes, approval should happen faster.

But please keep the moderation, to allow on topic exchange of professional discussions with peers.

Personally, I have had very bad experiences in a related forum where no moderation takes place.


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 15:47
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Verified May 21

Jean Dimitriadis wrote: This should not be a paid advantage


It's not about paying vs non-paying, it's about being verified or not.

Cheers,

Hans (non-paying, unverified)


 

The Misha
Local time: 04:47
Russian to English
+ ...
Have you ever heard of pay to play? May 21

Jean Dimitriadis wrote:

This should not be a paid advantage. I prefer to discuss with my peers on an equal footing


Ahem, why do you think you should be entitled to your preferences if it involves telling a private, for-profit business what they should or should not do? Naturally, this place is partially at fault for this common misconception by actively implying (although not expressly asserting it, of course) that they are some kind of a public resource and a "force for the common good," which, if you ask me, is nothing but deceptive marketing. What they really are is a business, out to make a buck - which means they get to make the rules, period. If you ask me, that's exactly how it should be.

Naturally, as a consumer of the service they provide, you are definitely free to vote with your feet if you don't like something, and many here have done exactly that over the years, but ultimately, it is the site owner's decision. The flip side of this coin, of course, is that it is him who suffers the consequences of the good, smart noodles leaving this place behind. Fair is fair.

As a disclaimer, I have always been a shameless "freeloader" here myself, and my own posts, when I bother making them, are almost always held back and sometimes don't even show up at all. Guess what? If it was so crucially important for me to have immediate access, I would pay for the privilege, or get verified, whatever that means. But it isn't, so I don't. I treat writing those posts as yet another mental exercise that helps stave off Alzheimer's. If someone reads them, that's an extra bonus, I guess. If not, I guess that's all right too.

Bottom line: "You can't always get what you want". Hehe.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:47
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Many moderators are unpaid volunteers May 21

Moderators have a lot of other things to do with their time, whether they are employed by Proz.com or they are volunteers. Even if they did nothing else, the sheer volume of posts on the forums will mean they cannot always react immediately to each post.

This site is active round the globe, so time zones make a difference too - moderators have to sleep and take time off!

It is many years now since I had the privilege and made a very modest contribution as a moderator. I don't know how much has changed since then, but I guess that vetting forum posts is much the same in principle. I see that regular employees are moderators of many forums, so time is dedicated systematically to the task, both by them and the volunteers.

Vetting within 10-15 minutes is asking a lot!

On other sites, moderators struggle or fail to keep discussions on track and the tone courteous when all posts appear immediately, and then unsuitable posts have to be flagged for removal.

It costs money to run a website, so someone has to pay, and there are plenty of other places where you can air opinions free and fast. I would prefer to see Proz.com continue as it is.

You can see the list of forum moderators here:
https://www.proz.com/?sp=mod/list&show_mode=forum_mods


[Edited at 2018-05-21 09:57 GMT]


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 15:47
English to Indonesian
+ ...
ProZ is a money machine May 21

Christine Andersen wrote: Many moderators are unpaid volunteers


ProZ is a money machine, and that's fine with me. However, not paying moderators, is ProZ' choice, and the consequences are their's.

Cheers,

Hans


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 10:47
Member
English to Italian
Paying May 21

Meta Arkadia wrote:

It's not about paying vs non-paying, it's about being verified or not.



Actually, IT IS about paying vs non-paying:

"Forum postings from members and users with verified identities appear immediately.* Postings from all others are checked before being made visible. Most postings are approved within 12 hours." - https://www.proz.com/faq/3064#3064

Besides, you basically have to pay in order to get "verified", either by buying membership or making a one time payment, so...

Personally, I believe a "whitelisting" system would be more sensible, with vetting being lifted after a user has posted a certain number of posts (without incident) over a given period of time.


 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:47
Member (2015)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ensure all replies are posted in a timely manner May 22

Hello,

@Hans Lenting

I’ve never said there should be no moderation at all. All posts can be moderated if they are out of line with the forum rules. Pre-vetting is something else.

@The Misha

I’ve posted this in the “ProZ.com suggestions” forum which the for-profit business you’re talking about has created for its consumers, so it still falls within the scope ProZ has defined.

A suggestion is just that. So, please cut the “You can’t always get what you want” crap. I do not think I’m entitled to dictate my preferences, but I surely can voice them and offer my humble or shameless suggestions. Ironically, your post also appeared quite some time after the next ones.

If you are right about one thing, though, is that ProZ is not a public resource. Social networks rely on this false sense of community and “openness” and this was a good reminder.

@Christine

Thank you for providing a (more human) background on the moderation side of ProZ.

So why translators are volunteering here at ProZ? Each, of course, has their own set of motives (and the common misconception The Misha highlighted certainly comes into play here), but I’ll posit that they also see a certain value in these forums. And just from where much of this forum’s value is deriving?

That’s right, from its users. And not just the paid and verified ones, all of them.

When asking questions, participating in discussions, or helping find a solution (be it technical, money or translation related), we’re generating activity and value for this forum and for ProZ in general.

Imagine if half the ProZ users just decided to “air their opinions” elsewhere. Would that hurt the business, for-profit side of ProZ? I think it would.

So, I’ll also posit that everyone (not just moderators) participating in ProZ forums is in fact an unpaid volunteer.

It is in the (business) interest of ProZ to make it so that these forums are engaging and fun to participate in. And they certainly are, to some extend.

I just said that long approval times for some members tend to hurt (however immaterially) the impact these forums can have. For example, it is frustrating to see the same information has already been provided by a user before my post, but I was only able to see it a long while after posting my reply.

Waiving the pre-vetting completely for all users is a way of alleviating the burden on moderators too, but I’ll agree that this second suggestion I’ve made may be too radical. This suggestion was not my bottom line anyway.

@Mirka

Thank you for posting this part of the FAQ.

While being a paid member for some time now, my identity wasn’t verified until a week ago. Guess what? I’ve never experienced pre-vetting and lag in my forum replies.

In effect, it seems to be about paying vs non-paying (although I don’t know if verified non-paying members still experience this, anyone in that situation can confirm that).

I find your suggestion quite sensible and I second it.

it could both relieve most of the burden on moderators for pre-vetting with minimal risks, while ensuring the majority of postings are published in a timely manner to foster user interaction (which was indeed my bottom line).

Thank you,

Jean

[Edited at 2018-05-22 06:51 GMT]


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 16:47
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Value May 22

I think ProZ generates more value for itself if moderation rules on free members are relaxed (if only to an extent). I also don't think it will impact paid membership numbers.

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
The point May 22

The point, for me, is that it's annoying for everyone, including paying members, when messages turn up out of sequence, especially as some of these people (like The Mischa) generally have something interesting or amusing to contribute.

Why not just let all paying and non-paying members post and then moderate if necessary. It's very rare for anything to genuinely need censorship here.


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 10:47
German to Serbian
+ ...
Job posts. May 22

I wish job posts were moderated that severely. For instance I saw job posts that said, paraphrasing:

"We need translators"

Just that one sentence, no further details whatsoever. How has that passed moderation? I even submitted tickets about this and got replies that there were no minimum requirements in terms of texts or details that need to be present in job posts.


 

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 10:47
French to English
+ ...
It can impact paying members May 22

On more than one occasion, I have posted up an answer to an urgent problem in Office and it hasn't shown up for 12 hours or more. By then, the original poster's due date for their project has already passed. I could have helped them and, in fact, tried to but no moderators were available so the asker never got to see my help in time.

Wouldn't it make more sense if posts were automatically approved for users who have made a certain number (20?) of posts without moderation problems?


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:47
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
I agree May 22

Now that the like button has disappeared again, I'm just posting to say that I agree that it would flow better if everybody's posts were to be published straight away. Posts often take longer to be moderated at the weekend. Mods need to take time off.

Of course, anyone can just sign up and start trolling, surely this is not so common on professional websites? And surely the community would be quick to flag trolling to a moderator?


 

Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:47
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Moderation post-factum May 22

I won't say anything new but would like to support the appeal of the topic starter.
Indeed, untimely moderation has put off quite a few members in my time (yers ago) and most probably still nowadays.
It is also true that excessive, aboslutely illogical moderation has actually killed some non-English forums shifting the flow of ProZ visitors/participants to FB groups.
If the harm thereof for the site (and earnings) is not obvious to its owners then I don't know whether there is enything else to be added.


 

Hans Lenting  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2006)
German to Dutch
Pre-vetting May 22

I’ve never said there should be no moderation at all. All posts can be moderated if they are out of line with the forum rules. Pre-vetting is something else.


I actually prefer this pre-vetting. Even if it disturbs the natural thread (which IMO is the lesser disadvantage).


 
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