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Regarding submissions and approvals

Last year, I posted a blog entitled "On submissions, approvals, and comments". You can read that blog here.

That blog has been linked every month in every contest blog, with a message telling people that they should read it, so at this point there's really no excuse for not having seen it.

What I want to draw everyone's attention to are the rules in that blog on submitting content from a website that you're a staff member of, or are otherwise associated with. In general, you should not approve any stories from a website you yourself are affiliated with unless they were submitted at least 24 hours ago, and there are no other competing submissions (ie. submissions for the same story from other users/websites) in the approval queue. We allow you to approve submissions after that 24 hour period simply so that we don't have too much sluggishness in the approvals queue.

Over the past few weeks, I've been carefully watching the submissions from and for a certain website. I won't mention the website in question in this blog, but I'm sure most of you can guess which website I'm talking about. This website has been the source of some complaints from users. Specifically, these complaints have centered around the content being sub-par and below their expectations for AnimeShinbun. Up until now, I've been hesitant to step in. While I did have some concerns about the content myself, I had not witnessed any overt rule-breaking. And while it was certainly plausible that there were some, I did not feel it was in the best interests of AnimeShinbun or its community for me to be going on a witch hunt.

So, what's changed? Well, the blatant attempts to push through articles that aren't even an hour old, while at the same time ignoring many high quality articles lower down in the queue (including a number I'd purposefully planted in there earlier). Now if we'd just been looking at a case of people over-enthusiastically approving every story in the queue (and it's certainly not the first time that's happened), I'd be inclined to use a much gentler touch. But being this blatant about things? Even if it wasn't against the letter of the rules, it's clearly against the spirit.

As a result, I will be fail any submissions for content from that website for the next 30 days. I am also placing the accounts of the six users involved with this website under 30 day restrictions for both submitting stories and approving submissions. These six users will be ineligible for the October and November AnimeShinbun monthly contests. Again, I'm not going to be naming names. But I do hope those users will reconsider their actions, and step up their game in future. I will not hesitate to hand out stronger restrictions or bans in future if it is required.

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SynGamer1401d ago (Edited 1401d ago )

So just to be clear, it isn't necessarily the content (or lack thereof) that is at fault, but the actions of a certain website and it's members when it comes to approving articles?

I didn't think people were still pushing through their articles to game the system so that's disappointing. Even more so when you take into consideration the lack of content for this certain website.

On a side note: I love to put honey in my tea, but no amount of honey can make up for a tea that lacks flavor and aroma...

Stringerbell1401d ago

Maybe both? I get the whole random lists of top 10 this and that it drives traffic. But some of these lists that showed up were strange. For instance the big chested Ghibli list, like really? Another one was a list about anime characters who all had the same astrological sign to them.

On the topic of content can we discuss video game articles? I've submitted many in the past but usually they are games inspired by animes as opposed to standalone games that happen to have an anime art style to them. Whats the verdict on this?

Archaic1401d ago

No, this is more a case of busting Al Capone for tax evasion.

A quick bit of background. As I'd mentioned in this month's contest blog, I was planning to post an updated version of the "On submissions, approvals, and comments" blog post after Christmas. Before doing that, I wanted to start a conversation with regards to those types of articles, as I in response to Thunder_God's comment on that blog.

Yesterday, I started to put together a blog to get that ball rolling. As part of that, I submitted a number of articles (to serve as examples of kinds of stories that are currently under-represented on AS), and I started went through a number of recent submissions to use them as examples of the stories I'd like to see less of. While I was doing that, I noticed a stack of articles from this site being submitted all at once. That's not exactly unusual though, plenty of contributors have done that in the past, and often not even for sites they're associated with (the typical wave of ANN stories being the prime example there). Those submissions even gave me a bunch of ready made examples for some of the points I wanted to make in my blog. Unfortunately for them, that meant I was looking directly at these articles when they each suddenly got 4 approval points out of nowhere. Specifically those stories, and none of the others in the queue at all. That led me to go back and check all the recent submissions from that website, and it quickly became obvious that almost all submissions for the website were being approved solely by this group of 6 people, who also happened to be the only people who ever made submissions for that particular source.

For the record, the complaints I'd received about this website were solely in terms of the quality of submissions. Up until now, I hadn't actually suspected this of happening. Like you, I thought we'd largely done away with people trying to game the system. While these articles continued to attract lots of heat, I had no reason to suspect that they were getting their approvals illegitimately.

But to get back to your question... while AS does not have anything against "listicles" style submissions as such, I was concerned that an increasing number of these submissions lacked sufficient copy to really be classes as articles. Lumping a numbered list together with some images and calling it a day really isn't making an article. Especially when that list is based on such a weak theme as those Stringerbell noted in his comment.

And to answer your question Stringerbell...yes, that's something I wanted the community to have a discussion on. I'm inclined to say Japanese games with anime style art are fine (so no western games that just happen to have an "anime" art style), but that's simply because I don't want to unduly limit the number of potential submissions. I'd be very interested to know everyone's thoughts on the matter however.

Stringerbell1401d ago

Is Archaic Detective Conan? lol just kidding but its good to see such practices nipped in the bud. And thank you for answering my question in regards to video game related articles - but yeah anyone else feel free to chime in on this...