|Members posting tons of news stories without adding their own thoughts|
I've got a regular member that's a pretty good contributor. However, for the last week or so, he's been starting hundreds of threads by posting mainstream news articles etc in from my niche. One of things I've tried to avoid with my forum is posting copy/paste news stories because I want to encourage people to start threads with their own words and thoughts, and not turn the forum into just another news scraper site, which is effectively what this guy is doing.
Now, I really don't want to tell him to stop, because he thinks he's doing me a favour. But he obviously doesn't know about the SEO implications and it's actually making the forum look bad. I'm dealing with it for now by deleting a very old news topic from a couple of years ago, each time he starts a new thread, so the overall ratio of copy/paste topics never gets any higher than it already is...
But I'm running out of old news topics to delete... and it's really beginning to make my blood boil. How would you handle this kind of poster?
This kind of behavior isn't uncommon, and usually the posters are trying to be helpful.
First, posting whole articles or huge excerpts is a copyright violation and could have legal implications. Whole article posts should be snipped down to a few-sentence excerpt (OK under "fair use" in the US) and a link.
When you edit one of these, thank the poster for sharing that content but let him know that posting massive quotes isn't allowed under your TOS (change as needed) and to comply with copyright law. At the same time, encourage him to take an extra minute to comment on the article. It could be an opinion, or a short summary of what wasn't pasted. (E.g., "The article goes on to say..."). Point out that this will help engage other members in the discussion.
If no discussion results from most of these posts, you may have to ask him to throttle his news reporting volume. Point out that the purpose of the community is to bring members together to discuss these topics, and his posting more selectively will help.
Since the guy is apparently a good member trying to be helpful, try to couch all your feedback in a positive way that points out how doing things differently will be good for the community and other members.
I have a site where this is going on too. In fact it's a few users that hove nothing original to post and insist on "sharing" articles they come across. This actually includes copying it from one site to mine, formatting and all, which breaks the site due to the editor recognizing the formatting. If I turn off the editor I get complaints - I can't win!
Like they do here, sort of. :-)
Post edited to an excerpt and link to source added; pasting copyrighted material creates a liability for this web site, please see TOS. Thank you!
Eventually they will get the point.
Thanks for the comments.
Indeed, I've lost members who just signed out in a disgust, just because I point out to them that the articles aren't mine and I can't risk copyright infringement. No matter how delicately you word it, they'll just take it as a personal snub on their attempts to help the forum.
For sure, it's a difficult problem to deal with, no matter what size your community.
|No matter how delicately you word it, they'll just take it as a personal snub on their attempts to help the forum. |
You'll get that no matter what, because some people just can't take criticism. It's just one of the difficulties that goes with the territory. If this member really is an asset then he'll see reason and follow your suggestions.