As first reported over at Collective-Thoughts, StumbleUpon has finally reacted to terrible press and user complaints by adding a line-item “flag” system to SU reviews. Now users, who feel as if they have been subject to TOS violations, can flag abusive reviews as spam, violent, hostile, or vulgar.
In the alternate, reviews can be flagged as helpful, informative, or friendly. It is unknown how giving or receiving positive or negative flags affects a user’s authority algorithmically. The system can only be an improvement. It might be algorithmically prudent to flag all of your incoming reviews, good and bad. Just remember, folks who don’t violate TOS are allowed to disagree.
Let’s recap recent rants about abusive jerks in SU and examine the results. The following posts are summarized in this SearchEngineWatchBlog post, StumbleUpon Death Threats in eBay Social Network:
6 Reasons to Love StumbleUpon, Kill “Craven StumbleUpon Traffic Whores?”, Justice Reigns: Stumble Troll BANNED by SU. Jacqui Cheng picked up the ball and ran with Memo to Internet nutjobs: Please, think before you post.
SU mounted only tepid PR defense of their supposed TOS vigilance.
Fixed After the Hot White Light
Magically, 1 week after the SEW Blog post (highly circulated SEM trade publication) called out eBay (owners of the SU cesspool) the new reviews flagging system was finally released. Previously there had only been rumors of such as system in development.
It’s easy to imagine why eBay might get queasy at owning a website known for bands of hostiles marauding around flaming people with Nazi hate rhetoric, violent language, and hate speech. Public and media reaction finally elicited reaction from eBay and StumbleUpon.
I have no doubt that we’ll be serenaded by a scintillating PR department motivated SU/eBay chorus of “we’ve had it in the works for MONTHS”. They probably have been working on it because the issue has existed for over a year, sporting some of the nastiest moderator-sanctioned behavior in all of social media. This stuff makes the whores on MySpace look tame.
Amazingly, most of the vulgarity, violence, and hate speech has suddenly disappeared from my SU reviews. I’ve banned only a couple of users. That said, there is still a direct “I will kill you” threat posted which clearly violates SU TOS. I just flagged it as hostile and vulgar. Let’s see if eBay makes the new system matter.