Is It Taboo to Be Truthful on SiteComments?

Last Update: November 06, 2018

Maybe it's just me and I got a bad rap from a trial membership of a popular company online. I'm sure this happens to others who have experienced sudden banishment from their accounts, which is what happened to me on the grounds that their algorithm detected suspcious activity from me from having played an audio book more than twice.

This concerned Audible.com. It happened several years ago, which came up in the argument for having had my comment disapproved. There is no way to contact the author. I guess the only chance one gets is to do so before submitting anything. Once it's disapproved, that shuts off. The website has no contact that I have found - maybe not looked hard enough. I put it here.

I made two phone calls to Audible for this and had my free audio book revoked. There were other things involved here and these folks were not going to move or consider restoring my account.

I wrote the comment the end of August. I did a massive amount of comments during that time. There were a couple that remained pending. Some 94 comments that I had written were all approved. For several days, these two remained in pending status. I had a feeling something wasn't going to turn out here. I warded off those feelings based on what I had gotten so far from this venue.

I just happened to discover today that one of the two remaining was a disapproval.

Okay, we are bound to get these once in a while, but the one thing that bothers me about this - and there was no attempt at any kind of discussion about the comment...

"Disapproval Reason: This is not really what I am looking for. It is too negative. This talks about a few years ago and a lot can change in that time. I have found a lot of positive reviews."

I am truthful about how I feel about a product, service, or whatever the content was about for which I wrote a comment. I felt I had something to say here, but nope...

Not what this person was looking for? So, SiteComments is all about positive experiences only, at least in the minds of some? I appreciate that, for a few I left unfavourable discourse, they have been approved and published with a reply on what I have said, even if this was a rebuttal. Some of these turned into a thread, which after the first round, is outside SiteComments, and have turned into learning experiences for both sides, not to mention the amount of content it provides. It disturbs me, not so much the black mark, but the reason, that is, disapproval of mine because the experience I had with the audiobook giant was censored in the way of disapproval..

What I said was controvertial but truthful. I was treated badly and was an unfortuntate affair. I got punished for suspicious activity and then tried to contest it. I had not downloaded the free audiobook because that's not how it worked. I also realized that any audiobooks purchased can only be accessed through an online library and not downloadable. Not sure if it's still this way but it was.

Again, I appreciate the open-mindedness of having a gripe about something published, even if it is not positive.

Maybe there really wasn't much of a need for a rant like this, but I found it a poor reason to diapprove the comment based on it being negative. Not everybody goes with the flow and I guess I must admit that this comes with a price.

I guess this means I need to be more careful about my opinions and interjecting my personal experiences on SiteComments in fear I will get too many disapprovals that if I understand it correctly, too many of these gets one banned from the SiteComments system, and there will be those who want no such challenges in their comments.

SiteComments is outstanding. Who would ever come up with such a system than none-other than Kyle & Carson?

The person was abashed that I would write something negative about something they are promoting. My resolve?

PM a copy of the pending comment to the author before subitting it. If the comment is not wanted, it doesn't get submitted. I pledge to be on topic with what the article is about and have real interest in it - and this means selection, even amongst my topical interests. This way, I am submitting comments that are not shallow and provide real value - even is some of them pose arguments rather than praise. Because I often see things quite differently than most people do, I feel I have to take extra efforts that most people would find unnecessary.

That's my lot and it always has been this way. I don't think I did anything amiss here, but maybe I did by way of disagreeing with something that nobody else does. I think this is a poor reason to have a comment disapproved and therefore my resolve going forward..

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x2double19 Premium
I think people are missing the point. If you use SiteComments make sure you know the product and like the product. If you don't stay away from it. Your negativity could hurt a website and we are looking for positive feedback. If you have nothing nice to say don't say it at all. In time if the product sucks that bad the people visiting someone site will let them know about its not our place because people don't search for stuff they don't like just so they could post negative stuff and other people will disagree thinking highly of the product.
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If this is what SiteComments is about then, yes, I will stay away from it because I don't see anything unhealthy about having negative things to say about a product, especially if I were to bring out both the good and bad points about it and am not there simply to smear it without having the facts.

The "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all" is a cop-out and an incredibly-overused statement used to promote censorship through moral principles. What's the point of having forums if the voice of opposition must not exist? To me, that's bias.

In this case, I wrote about my experience with a product. It wasn't favourable I admit, but only in the last two or three generations has this "politically incorrectness" thing become such a popular cop-out that, you are right - regardless, we must mind our own business and just "don't."

I assure you I didn't go searching for this in order to smear it like you are saying. I had a very negative experience with it in the first place and I expressed it. If indeed, it is against the rules to be doing this on the SiteComments service, I will admit my error right here in this thread and indeed stop using it.

Thank you for your contribution
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BobMargroff Premium
I understand your views on the SiteComments feature here at WA. But, here is how I view that particular feature: it is used to provide the site owner a method of interaction with readers for improving the ratings. It is used for open discussion without being totally negative about their site. Not necessarily for constructive criticism.

I feel that the use of the Site Feedback as a way to provide that constructive criticism instead of the SiteComment feature.

Just my opinion.
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Okay, I had to read this a couple times. I disagree. It was the product I was talking about, not the website. SiteComments is about providing content for the context of the article. SiteFeedback is about getting feedback about the nuts and bolts of the website itself, and perhaps the way things are written and so forth. This is how I see the distinction between these. I merely gave an account of the experience I had with the product and though, as some have said, it was opposed to the product in that way, it was indeed about the product and the trial membership, etc. Battery is dying... I will come back after a bit.
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Oops! I forgot to send what I wrote...

I see it differently. SiteComments is for commenting on what is in the article we read before placing a comment. This includes praise or opposing viewpoints about what the article is about.

SiteFeedback is for providing input about the website, author, the mechanics therein and anything else that isn't related to the content of the article but can concern the article when it comes to grammar, writing, format or how it was delivered.

I was not providing any type of feedback. I expressed the personal experience I had with the Audible service which the article was about.

In my case, the author wanted no part of opposing viewpoints nor apparently does not welcome any type of open discussion about it, seeking only those who favour the product. In this case, it was not used as a method of interaction with readers like myself. I believe it would have improved the ratings if the author had published it and said in a reply what was said privately to me.

My point is: I had nothing negative to say about the site. It did not come up and I was not off-topic. She didn't want anything negative said about Audible. To me, that's quite biased and at best, artificial. That's how I see it, and I might be in left field.
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BobMargroff Premium
Oh ok, I see your point now. Somehow I got confused about what it was you were trying to say. I was seeing your statements about your past experience with audible and didn’t see where you were referring to it as a discussion on the individual’s website.

I thought you were just pointing out something on the website. I am thinking I was tired at the time I first read this blog post and then commented later in the day and was short on time at the time I responded also. Now that I have gone back and reread your blog post...I feel amiss in my reply.

I do agree with you on the purpose of what SiteComment and SiteFeedback purposes...I didn’t do it justice in the way I replied originally. I was on break at work and trying to respond within the ten minutes I had before going back to work. They don’t allow cell phones on the plant floor. Another reason I am a member of WA and developing my business here...but that’s another discussion for later.

Accept my apologies for my answer... I would allow an open discussion on my site if you commented. I wouldn’t deny or disapprove a comment either.
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You're good. No need for apology. It's a great example of what disagreement can do, though it is unpleasant at the time. There's differing of opinions and some opposition right here on this thread. It has created quite a bit of content and many facets of the issue has been considered.

When it comes to the end of things here, it's the author who is missing out, not me.

Yep, employment procures too much control on the worker's life, both on and off the job. Most people don't realize how extensive this is but when you add it all up, it is quite straight way. Very little time belongs to the employee when you add up the actual face time, deduct sleep time, all of the details involved in preparing for work, commuting and lifestyle that must conform to employment.

Don't feel bad about any misunderstanding. It happens to all of us. Those who don't take the time to get to the bottom of things like you did are the ones who wear the blinders.

Like some others on here, I may discontinue using the service if it turns out we should not be doing anything other than agreeing.
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BobMargroff Premium
Cool beans...yes being an employee does eat up time...but I’m working on that now... 🤪
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Memorylaneuk Premium
We all get disapproved every now and again and the reasons are often ridiculous. One even referred to me by another name other than my own which I always leave at the end of the comment. Me thinks that person got a bit confused on that one.
The thing is by disapproving a comment they are losing a valuable comment.
If you don’t like the comment left, just edit it... lol
With Grace and Gratitude
Karen
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RENTON Premium
That's an idea! I know people are trying to build their websites but I think the rules of WA should carry across. Treat people with respect.
It feels very disrespectful when your work is tossed aside for ridiculous reasons. like you said.
I guess that's life though. You have to wade through the meanies to find real friends!
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Memorylaneuk Premium
Most people here are for real. Some get the wrong idea especially when starting out but that is normal. The bad ones are usually weeded out fairly quickly.
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RENTON Premium
I guess you are right, I suppose we just have to try and be graceful and respectful (even though it still hurts a bit).
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I agree. Controversy almost always brings about discussion. Big names want this on their sites. There is compensation involved and in this case, when I disagree with something I will PM the author first before submitting it being more aware that some don't want opposing views and see such as negativity.
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I did feel slighted by having my work disregarded like this and is why I initially wrote this blog. There is no way to contact the author either. It wasn't worth my while even going there.
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MikaelM Premium
It depends a lot on the person who has the website.

Personally I will be happy to accept and reply to negative comments if they are real and sharing real concerns as it sounds like your did as it was your experience.

I would have accepted and explained it a lot has changed. Think that is a great comment and discussion to have on the website.

I have however also disapproved comments a few times because it was clear the person was just being negative without actually relating to what my article was about.

If it is a legit comment with concerns, I would always accept it, as I would with any real and legit comment.

Luckily many people feel like this and are happy to have balanced discussions on their website, but some people are not.
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Most people on here would accept opposing opinions whether or not it's through the SiteComments venue. I totally agree with you.

You can tell when someone is simply being difficult and spiteful or there for some other motive, like attacking the person rather than the content. I would say those would be grounds to not publish a reply, especially if it shows the person hasn't taken the effort to read the article.
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jvranjes Premium
Yes Daniel it is how you describe it, this is why I stopped using this 2 years ago. You are not supposed to be truthful. They want to hear fake stuff and everybody is happy.

Yes, you can get banned, at least this was so when I used the system.

Long ago I blogged about it here claiming that the receiver of the comment should also lose credits if the comment is rejected. The designers of the system did not like the idea. Now I rely on genuine visitors' comments only.
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I read that you can be banned and I think that still stands. I forget where I read it - perhaps someone who has had it happen.

Just having natural comments is definitely the best way though, it's a vicious cycle. If you don't get adequate traffic, you don't get comments. If you don't get comments, you don't get trust.

SiteComments is a great idea and I've seen similar things like this precede it. I don't know if you remember some of the G+ communities that did this sort of thing. I never had anyone disapprove a comment I've made. There also wasn't compensation involved, which I think contributes to entitlement mentality in some people.

I see very popular folks on here with opposing comments. They approve and reply to such if they are sincere and on topic.

I'm going to continue on as I have with the exception of PM'ing certain ones. If I were to get so many disapprovals that I get my privilege revoked, then SiteComments isn't for me. Like some have suggested, I'm not going to worry about it. I've seen blog posts complaining about this (and probably read yours) and now I know why.
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Fleeky Premium
Yuk...
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Yup.
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x2double19 Premium
I haven't learned too much about SiteComments and constructive criticism is good criticism, but some people don't acknowledge that fact..
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Marley2016 Premium
Thank you for sharing Daniel.
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bigrog44 Premium
Thanks for sharing, Daniel.
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Jay Gumbs Premium
I wrote a review a couple of weeks ago and while researching I saw that someone from WA also had a review of the same program (no surprise because it's a MLM thing).

The difference between my review and the other guy's review was mines was a critical review and the other guy was promoting the program.

So I'm telling people not to join and the other guy is telling people he's involved and you should join.

I noticed that he was using SiteComments and most of the comments were positive. Nothing like I would say if I was commenting.

I asked for comments on the post I did for the same program and all the comments were the opposite view of those that were posted on the other review.

So what I noticed with most people asking for comments is that they want you to agree with them. I would have never commented on the other review because I know it would probably been disapproved.

I don't mind comments that share the opposite view from what I have. It gives me the opportunity to address issues that others might have.

But, you can't be mad at anyone for a disapproved comment because after all they're paying (with credits) for those comments. The only time I disapprove comments is where I find the comment to be really generic and I have doubt that the person even read the post. And it's hard for me to tell them I'm disapproving their comment.

Personally, I wouldn't make a big issue out of getting a disapproved comment. Just accept it and move on. You'll get your turn to disapprove a comment too and someone probably wouldn't like it.
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YanFellow Premium
Well put and well reasoned, Jay.

Regardless of your opinion on the rights and wrongs of the situation, just accept it and move on.
Ian
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Well, I tried to respond twice already but the first time, forgot to send it and lost it and the second time, did the same thing when it was time to go to the airport.

So, here we go again.

From what I see here, a lot of people are having similar issues with this, so I don't feel so exclusive.

Once again, what you say makes good sense and I do value your feedback. Like I said, some people are trigger-happy and getting all but the one approved was a feat. I am glad that most people on here do see the value of difference in views and see that as healthy for their websites, as long as the argument (and in my case, experience) is valid and on topic.

I guess this would have been a matter of time. I only started using the service in late August. I realize, now having had it happen, that it is going to happen.

You and others are so absolutely right. Opposing viewpoints do a lot - they provide content, resolution and discussion. It was the author's loss, not so much mine that she disapproved it.

I will be back. One of my sister's cats used my opened suitcase as a litterbox!! First casualty of this trip...

Okay - this is how I felt about it. It was, "Oh! it makes the product I'm promoting look bad and I will lose sales! Stop the presses!! Stop the presses!!"

Not angry about it, but it did disappoint me - and I see that this is a common issue. I'm moving on...

Thanks for the comment Jay.
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Happy2Learn Premium
All members who have been here a while feel your pain.
Some of my comments have been rejected for things like "i used their keywords" huh? & I didnt want anyone to talk about ingredient #2 that was used in my chemical product, only chemical #1...ok, so why dedicate half your post to chemical #2?
Uuuuggggghhhhh!!!!!#
See it happens to all of us.
The old system allowed for around 70% approval rating before you had issues. I am not sure about the new system.
If you want some advice Do Not bother pm'ing people prior to submitting comments. The new system will not tolerate the time lag required.
Just write it, post it and if you get rejected go and write x10 more to keep your approval ratings in the 90's. Cheers
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I didn't know this was based on a rating. I thought it was about a specific number allowed before being banned.
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PreshusLove Premium
I feel you on this. Although I love SiteComments and haven't found it to hard to maintain a high percentage, it's frustrating to get disapprovals at all when you work so hard to put substance into your comment.

Mine have never been disapproved for disagreeing with someone, but I have had rejections I didn't understand or that had no explanation at all. I personally think your honesty is just fine if that was your experience - but could it also have been the way it was written?

Some people are particular about how they want their website to read and to be team players here I guess we have to accept that, sigh. I think that's why they don't require 100% approval rating, to give us some room for particularities like that.

I like the idea of PMing someone when you get one that you want to edit or something, and I've promoted that idea before and do it myself at times.
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Thanks for commenting. You have a point. Sometimes I write quite straight way - in this case, about Audible. I wrote nothing in the comment that defamed the author. I do not believe in the ad hominem approach.

Wordpress provides the means to edit any comment that has been submitted and if the author didn't like the way I worded something, I have no qualms if it must be edited.

I see it as a power-play. Yes, the author obviously didn't like what I said and was trigger-happy. I thought of the PM idea right after I got over the initial shock of reading the reason. It's as if some people forget they are dealing with other human beings and not game pieces. Might be the wrong way to look at it but it's how I see it.

Can we please everyone? Nope.

Can we avoid something like this 100% of the time? Nope.

Can we minimise it? Yep.
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RENTON Premium
I feel you man! There's nothing like the slap n the face you get after taking the time to read someone's entire post, and then give a meaningful answer only to have it disapproved.

I was under the impression that a comment should be declined if it is off topic or spam. That's it! In fact, negative comments can give you the opportunity to start a conversation just as much if not more than positive comments!

That is like throwing away an engagement opportunity. Sorry for your trouble!
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That's what I had hoped, but given enough time doing this, it's bound to happen. Consciously, I feel it is my duty to provide value that is taller than the standard. I learnt that here. I had a gut feeling that this was going to happen because of the delay though I thought I'd have two disapprovals.

This is the same reason why I don't sell on eBay. Not so much a reflection on WA nor the community, which I think are outstanding, but that it's too easy for people to drop the axe without considering the unprecedented damage it can cause.

Anyway, tomorrow is another day and not a reason to throw towels, etc. It's one thing to be voicing opinions (and in my case here, an experience) without permission, but I had permission to do so by answering the person's call on SiteComments. Okay, I learnt a lesson from it.
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RENTON Premium
Yep! Don't let the bad apples ruin your day! Most of the people here are very grateful and friendly.
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Without any doubt. But I had to say something about it. and you are right. In spite of doing one's best doesn't always result approval - and I know this.

In 12 hours, I'm going to be on an aeroplane heading to cold climate from Florida and be there for a four-week visit with my sister. I will be up all night getting ready for this trip. This is just an episode. I'm not the first, nor the last to make a complaint like this. I never gave it a thought that it would be my turn one day...
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