SiteComments, A Constant Focus on Improvement.

Last Update: April 15, 2019

You have asked for improvements, we have responded.

There has been much controversy surrounding SiteComments and the underlying comment quality in recent weeks, and over the past month or so. Since introduction of "certified commenters" where there was a monetary incentive added for those that are top commenters within the platform and retaining a certain level of quality, there have been many requests for “better” comments.

The problem? Anytime you add a financial element to a platform there are going to be those that try to game, abuse, or “trick” the system into thinking you are authentically using it. When in reality there is actually financial motivation as the driving factor.

Because of this, and because of everyone’s useful, insightful, and thorough feedback on the issues with the platform, we are making some much-needed changes to the SiteComments platform which will curb this sort of “low quality” activity.

Disabled MANY Users From Platform

Our first step to analyzing and assessing low quality, was to inspect those accounts of commentors whom were getting disapprovals, yet were still above the acceptable rate. We found there was a consistent habit of very low quality commenters. In fact, there was a large trend of “system gaming” that we found that is not easily detectable through the many algorithms that we have in place.

In other words you can build all the technology in the world to try to anticipate and prevent different types of fraud, but it is not always going to be perfect. In the same way Google develops algorithms to prevent low quality content from ranking well in their search, they are not always perfect.

As a result, we have determined that there were many “bad actors” within the SiteComments platform and have subsequently disabled their accounts. They are no longer going to be able to use SiteComments as we take this sort of activity and what we deem as borderline fraudulent behaviour seriously.

Those that are offering quality comments, are now going to rise to the surface and without these high volume, yet low quality users, you are going to see some major improvements to the SiteComments platform.

Manual Review on All Certified Commenters

A Certified Commenter is one that meets the appropriate criteria to allow them to earn “cash” credits through the SiteComments platform. In other words, if you are certified you can earn an income through the platform as many people are.

Another update we are making is a manual review process for those that get accepted into the Certification platform. We are going to be reviewing the type of comments being offered, and will be assessing the overall quality, before they can earn cash credits.

If you are reading people’s posts, then offering quality comments you have NOTHING to worry about. You are going to be accepted into the Certification program (upon achieving that status) without issue.

Those that are trying to game the system into thinking you are a quality users, or trying to trick others into approving “mediocre” (at best) comments that are relevant but done through pretty broad and ambiguous comments, they are not going to slip through the cracks any longer.

Again, people that are reading others posts and then offering quality, relevant, and engaging comments will not be impacted by this. Those that are trying to game the system will have their accounts reviewed and disabled.

A Suggestion: Disapprove Comments That Are LOW Quality

One thing that I think has led to this slight breakdown of SiteComments is acceptance of comments that shouldn’t have been accepted. If someone offers you a comment that doesn’t speak to the exact article, is generic, has poor English, or that is being copied from elsewhere in your content, DISAPPROVE IT.

That will help weed out the low quality comments from the platform, and allow those that are truly offering the most authentic and highest quality comments to rise to the surface.

Low quality comments should led to a disapproved comments. Medium to high quality, should led to approval.

Just remember one thing. Lots of people are learning when they first join in on the SiteComments platform, so when you disapprove a comment make sure you leave a note as to WHY it was disapproved and what they could potentially do to improve their comment next time. In many cases it could just be someone making a rookie mistake that you can help improve their comments moving forward.

We Continue to Improve As We March Forward.

Your feedback has and will always dictate the future of WA, what we developed in the past, the improvements and changes we make, and the platforms that we work on for the future.

On any given week we are rolling out MANY new changes, some more obvious than others. But our release schedule is almost daily and these are changes that continue to improve the platform, community, and industry leading level of service that you have come to expect here at WA.

This is just one of those and we appreciate everyone’s feedback (and in some cases complaints) about what was happening in the SiteComments platform. We are going to continue to work towards mitigating the low quality comments in the platform from gamers/fraudsters, helping those that legitimately make mistakes improve their quality, and reward those that are truly offering authentic and high quality comments. We appreciate you!

If you have any comments about our changes and decisions here, questions or further feedback/insights, we would love to hear it. :)

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Recent messages
Debs66 Premium
Hi,
I have been using site comments quite a bit in the last few weeks. I actually like the newbies or rookies so to speak. They tend to give off that air of innocence.

I might have to edit it a little but I can work with that. It works to my advantage. I am always willing to give someone a chance. Those little credits do add up for them.

However I don't want to sit all day editing comments. lol, it's bad enough editing my own work. A little more care with spelling maybe would help more.

If they could do the comments in Paragraphs instead of one big block of writing that would help too. Some comments I get are 2 sentences so I have to add on a little more. That can be a pain also.

Those too who sit and hog site comments all day or night was a bit unfair for others. Sitting there with an extra tab open ready to pounce is unfair.

Debs :)
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GrahamDodd Premium
As a very new member that has made comment on a few posts as requested, I have not been aware of the the situation that has arisen. But I'm very grateful that the "umpiring" system you have in place, makes it a more level and fair playing field for all of us. Thank you Kyle & Carson for your constant endeavours on our behalf for the benefit of all.
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hagstf Premium
I applaud the effort to increase the quality of the comments and to prevent those who are trying to game the system, however, I admit that I have been avoiding the platform after hearing of complaints from several members who claim to have left a quality comment but still got rejected for some unknown or silly reason.

If the rejected comments are being monitored to weed out the system gamers, are there any plans to protect the members who do leave good comments but still get rejected?

While it is understandable that newer members need to learn and practice how to leave a quality comment then perhaps there are some that also need to learn what to accept and reject.

It hasn't happened to me yet but I am concerned with ruining my 100% approval rating.
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TylerClark34 Premium
If you're giving quality comments, this truly doesn't affect you at all. The reason he called it a "manual review" is because an actual person will be the one making the decision after multiple infractions.

Your approval rating only goes down if your comments are disapproved, meaning they weren't relevant or what the requester asked for.

With the depth of the response, and the proper English used, I honestly believe you have nothing to worry about.
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AlenkaV Premium
Couldn't agree more.
I've given hundreds of comments so far and had only one disapproved.
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TylerClark34 Premium
As one of the seemingly many who have brought this up, I have to comment on this post. I truly appreciate how well you listen to your members, and I know the genuine people here do as well.

I believe this is the absolute best and most efficient way this could have been handled, and it was done as fast as possible, which is incredible and not seen in many other places.

You guys are awesome, and that's why this place is the right place for awesome people to be.

Keep up the excellent work.
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TylerClark34 Premium
After reading quite a few replies, I think some people are not really seeing the value, or fairness.

"Manual Review", in my understanding, means they will have their comments reviewed by a person, and if there is the occasional MISTAKE, it will not result in an account disabling. If, however, they are a chronic low quality commenter (aka fraudulent spam artist), it will be pretty noticeable.

Much like the only people that hate cops are criminals, the only ones outraged by this are the ones that instigated its necessity (or simply those that don't understand what is meant).
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sgregcrx Premium
Exactly,

Those who provide real valuable Comments have NOTHING to fear.

Those that are gaming the System are just upset they have had there (minuscule) income stream taken away.
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tripleturn Premium
There is no system in this world that is perfect, hence the need for constant improvement. I agree there is a need to make the site commenting better. However, I'm against the criteria' used by Kyle and his team.
Low for heaven’s sake is a relative word. what you termed low might be high from another person's view. How can you say someone with 95 percent and above rating is a poor commenter? That they are gaming, abusing, tricking the system. I find these words unbelievable.

Besides, we have people here from other parts of the world, though English language for most is the lingua franca. However, it is not their mother tongue, yet you phased out for what you called low-quality comments.
Then, earning the certified commenting status and disapproval button are useless with this action. If I request for comment, and you send in a low quality one, I disapprove it without sentiment.

Going forward, I'm in support of improvement, but this action is uncalled for, because of some disgruntled fellow that are perfectionists.
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