Negative Ranting on CBM - Some Things Users Need to Know Before Contributing...
Hi gang. Galactus here.
Galactus responds to a disgruntled ex-contributor's complaints, and explains how things run around here. Useful comments and user input appreciated, but negative CBM-bashers beware.
Recently, late in the night (coward), a disgruntled ex-user whom I had previously banned for constantly disparaging the site was able to get back in with a new IP address and post a Youtube video of himself ragging (again) on our beloved ComicBookMovie.com. His rant was a common one I've heard many times before, "My article was deleted unfairly ... An editor stole my news story ... and ... ComicBookMovie is biased."
(If you want to see the whole whiny thing, you can see it on YouTube HERE.)
I used to allow these negative "editorials" to stay up on the site mainly to show everybody that we could take honest criticism, and that we wanted user's input to improve the site, but I decided after awhile that most of these complaint articles weren't really "honest" at all because they contained quite a few false assumptions, and misleading accusations, as well as a misunderstanding about how we run things here. In fact, most of the whiners have not taken the time to read our style guide or learn the ropes. They just immediately want their work to appear on the homepage whether or not the article meets any of our guidelines.
So, while we try and address any concern that users bring up, I no longer allow CBM-bashing articles unless they expose a REAL issue that we want to debate in the comment section.
But noting that the comments in this particular rant were filled with other disgruntled contributors I figured it was time to clear some things up again. I have written other "explanation" articles for our users before, but I understand that some things need to be revisited from time to time for the newer users, and those who haven't fully explored our LEARN HOW section. So here goes...
If I miss any of your questions or concerns just comment them below and I'll add them to this article or answer them in the comments section.
1.) Why do my articles get deleted? #1 Reason is Duplicate Content...
For obvious reasons we cannot allow 20 articles of the same thing on the site. Contributors of "breaking news" should realize that they are competing with a LOT of other people for the same news. Before you post, you need to check to be sure that an article is not already posted. Our site is HUGE and it is becoming VERY competitive. If you can't hack it with the big boys, you had better write stuff that you don't have to compete for, like editorials or features. There is also a 10 minute lag time that regular users do not see but the volunteer editors can identify who was first, second, third, etc. Even so, they are not going to pick a sub-par "first" article over a much better "third" article. And frankly, if they all suck, the editor is free to write the same article himself if it would be too much work to "fix" one of the sub-par ones.
Just FYI, here are THE RULES that all volunteer editors are told about how to deal with dupes and competition among users:
THE ABSOLUTE RULE: The absolute rule for duplicates is "the best one wins" NOT "the first one wins".
CAVEAT #1. Always favor the earliest poster when duplicate articles are of similar quality.
CAVEAT #2. If you notice that duplicate articles (of similar quality) are between a frequent contributor vs. an infrequent or NEW contributor, you may want to favor the NEW/Infrequent one so that he is encouraged to contribute more often.
CAVEAT #3. If duplicate articles (of similar quality) involve an Editor, I expect the Editor to defer to the user.
CAVEAT #4. If duplicate articles (of similar quality) involve two Editors, refer to the absolute rule.
Other reasons articles get deleted are because they are plagiarized, not sourced, incomplete, have poor grammar, bad layouts, or just poor writing. We're pretty easy about letting stuff get past, but if you are not spell checking your articles or aren't making any point in your editorial, don't expect the volunteer editors to spend the time on it that you won't.
2.) But I see crappy articles on CBM all the time, so why can't my crap get past?
Two wrongs don't make a right. We have over 7.5 million monthly readers and a good many of them also contribute. We have around 10 volunteer editors who can only devote so much time to edit. The quick answer is that we do our best but we are shorthanded, and probably always will be. We try to help contributors to improve, and we email the author with an explanation when their articles are deleted, but we are only human beings and not perfect. It is up to you to make your articles as free from errors as possible to avoid deletion. Just realize that if you KNOW you're posting crap, you have no defense if we delete your article. The above kid ADMITTED he was posting crap, and instead of improving he decided to spam the site with CBM-bashing editorials.
3.) The volunteer editors steal from other contributors and abuse their power!!!
We have all made honest mistakes in editing others, but I haven't found any malicious intent when it occurs. If REAL evidence of abuse by my volunteers is brought to my attention, I will remove the editor's privileges immediately. I have done so in the past, but I've found that most of these accusations are false and come from the disgruntled contributors who get ticked off that their sub-par articles are removed or not immediately seen as home page material. Even the guy in the video above who started all of this ADMITTED that he misspelled words and submitted poor articles when he wasn't submitting CBM-bashing "editorials". So, if any of you can provide screenshots or ANY evidence of the volunteer editors abusing their power, I ask you to send it to me at [email protected] and I will take action. But put up, or shut up. Too many negative Nancys out there don't know what they are talking about.
4.) ComicBookMovie is unfair, biased and has an elitist group of users that run the whole thing.
That just isn't true. Here's how it works.
a) We allow EVERYONE who registers the ability to post on our site. If it is good, it gets moved from the tabbed sections to the homepage by our volunteer editors. But being on the main is a privilege, NOT a right. You earn it.
b) We give automatic "front page" privileges to ANY regular contributor who shows that they can consistently produce quality articles that don't need editing. Those that want to help out the site are given admin access and can affect all contributions.
c) Still, we are only human, so to be completely fair we have instituted a "like" system that allows users to vote an article to the homepage so that we don't overlook good user contributions. This feature makes it impossible to whine about biased editors.
d) The invitation is open to all to attain the VERY SAME "front page" privileges as our editors, but you have to put in the work. Many of our volunteer editors have worked long and hard to get where they are. Josh Wilding, who many of you are obsessing over, posted articles for over 2 years before he was given any privileges. Now he reps us at press junkets and screenings. All of the volunteer editors have gotten where they are because they put in the work and got really good at it. So, if you have what it takes, all you have to do is make me notice you. What this guy (above) did was make me notice him in a negative way.
Lastly, I want to say that we recognize that it is YOU, the loyal readers and contributors of CBM that have made our website a success. And we have encouraged fun debate and even a little chaos to reign on CBM in the name of free speech. But recently, with our growth, there has been an negative spirit entering into our community that I would like to erradicate. So, this is your notice that I will not put up with CBM-bashing, and I'd like the Marvel vs. DC warriors to chill out. I won't put up with some things, so don't do anything that would get you eaten.
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