"Copyright by Elisa English" ** The views expressed are mine only and do not represent the views of my employer or anyone else. ** 嚴重聲明: Elisa English 文章版權所有 - 請勿竊取. **沒有得到我 (Elisa English) 的許可不可轉貼我的文章及翻譯。請刪除在您的部落格裡我的所有文章及翻譯, 否則我將採取法律行動。 Legal actions will be taken if copyright infringement is found. ** 為阻止有人來鬧場, 我不得不限制誰可以在我部落格留言。 想要留言給我,你首先需要一個pixnet帳戶,如有不當留言,將被列入黑名單. 文章迴響只限好友. 悄悄話留言只能悄悄話答覆, 不過可能會整理後發表非隱私部分, 以供大家學習. 文章將不時校對和更新。如您發現任何用字錯誤或錯別字,請告知. 勿登廣告或求代寫功課. 歡迎中文留言. 但我的答覆一律以英文為主. 盡可能在一至10天內回應, 但可能更久, 因我也有自己的工作,家庭和生活.

2/24/09 - Updates:

I have not received any response from Yahoo Management regarding all my recommendations.  I am afraid that my suggestions are just a drop in the bucket.  Nobody from Yahoo Management pays any attention to them.  I don't have any other idea to improve the current condition.  I don't believe any change will be made and I am tired of the ignorance of Yahoo Management.


Anyway, I still have about one month left as an 英文分類管理員,(the term of the position is 3 months) and I will not renew the position as an 英文分類管理員.  It makes no sense to stay if all my recommendations are being ignored. 


If you have any good suggestion, I will be your spokesperson until the term is up.  However, I doubt anything I present will actually be looked into.  I am sorry that I am unable to make a difference or influence Yahoo Management.  I am sorry if you place too much hope on me to change the status quo.  However, I am not sorry to accept the position so I can provide recommendations because you never know if you will succeed if you don't try.  At least, I tried so I will not have regrets.




Since becoming 英文分類管理員, I have received similar questions.  Instead of replying to you individually, I decided to share with you all the pitfalls I see in Yahoo Knowledge, the suggestions I provided to Yahoo Management, the response I got from them and the next steps. 


I am sorry to have you read such a long article as there is so much that I want to share with you. 


If there is any suggestion you have, please inform me.  I will respond to your suggestions and if they are sound ones, I will forward them to Yahoo Management. 


1.  Best Answers

Ø      Pitfall:

The problem with selecting a best answer is that the best answer could be the wrong answer either allowing the asker to select the best answer or allowing others to vote for the best answer. 


The problem with allowing the asker to select the best answer or others to vote for the best answer is that asker and others may not posses the appropriate knowledge to differentiate right from wrong.  In addition, it is easy for some to manipulate the result by activating their fan system to vote for their answers even though theirs may be totally wrong.


Some best answers are populated with online translator translations or filled with wrong English usage and grammar errors.  It is a prevailing situation where quite a few people, ranging from the beginning level to the expert level, using online translator to provide answers in the English section. Sometimes experts from other field tried to meddle around in the English section, occasionally providing answers in the English section using online translators. As we all know that there are tons of grammar and word usage errors presented in the translations from online translators.  最佳解答充斥著錯誤的解答以及翻譯機的解答, 更有劣幣驅逐良幣的跡象.

Ø      Suggestion from me:

The suggestion I have to Yahoo Management was to get rid of the best answer system, leaving all answers visible to all readers.  This way, it eliminates the possibility to mislead someone to believe that the best answer is the right answer.  It allows to answerers the ability to provide evidence to support their arguments.  If the answers are wrong, it will not stand the truth.  Websites like Answers.com and English forums keep all the answers. Readers can read all the responses and determine which is accurate. This will prevent 發問者及網友投票部隊亂投選出錯誤答案.


The suggestion I have to Yahoo Management about resolving the issue with accounts using online translators to provide answers was to mimic the punishment imposed onto the accounts posting tons of advertisements.  My rationale was that the impact from providing inaccurate answers far outweighs the impact from advertising the products.  If accounts posting tons of advertisement qualifies to be removed as it is providing useless information.  For accounts using online translators, won’t they qualify to be removed either?  I believe that this to be a more severe problem, providing absolutely valueless but misleading answers.


Ø      Response from Yahoo Management:

若是有發現違規的問答, Elisa 可以直接按下檢舉,向客服人員檢舉對方違規,或是將名單收集後轉交給我處理。


As for answers filled with usage and grammar errors or using online translators, this is the response from Yahoo Management:

"解答內容錯誤的部份,基於「真相會越辯越明」的原則,歡迎學有專精的大家針對錯誤的問答以「評論」方式來做辯解與修正;有些或許是普遍性觀念上的問題,有些或許是知識上的錯誤,保留錯誤的問答,是讓網友能夠瞭解對方錯誤的地方在哪裡。 在英文分類來說,翻譯機翻譯的解答嚴重錯誤百出、文法不通的部份,確實會移除處理;但遇部分說明錯誤、大家普遍使用的錯誤文法等內容,會傾向保留錯誤的問答,希望真正知曉答案的網友透過「評論」的方式,一一的糾正對方的用詞或文法的錯誤。如此一來,不有助於網友獲得更多正確觀念與收穫呢?"


I followed up with:

"Yes, I agree with you but my question was around accounts using 翻譯機翻譯的解答, providing 嚴重錯誤百出、文法不通的answers. Other than eliminating their answers, are there any ways that we can prevent them from doing so? "


And this was the response:


Ø      Next Step:

With this response, what I can do is to ask people to provide me lists of wrong answers.  After confirming the validity of the accuse that the best answers were outright wrong, I will submit that to Yahoo management. 


As for the best answers with only a few grammar or word usage errors, the suggestion I got was to write a critique about it, so people will know where the best answers were wrong. 


As I stated numerous time, I do have very limited spare time, juggling between work and my family.  So any help from you guys is greatly appreciated.  We are in this together if we want to improve the accuracy of the site.  I need the help from everyone with good English language ability to identify to me where the problems and the wrong answers are.  However, if you are going to provide me a list of all the inaccurate best answers, please make sure that they are truly wrong.  As I mentioned earlier, my spare time is limited, so I don't want to waste it reviewing false allegation.


2.  Voting System

Ø      Pitfall:

Giving people to ability to vote for best answers provides opportunities for some to manipulate the result by activating their fan system to vote for their answers even though theirs may be totally wrong.


Ø      Suggestion from me:

The suggestion I have to Yahoo Management was to get rid of the voting system.  This way, it eliminates the possibility to manipulate the result.


Ø      Response from Yahoo Management:

I did not get any specific response from Yahoo Management about this. 


3.  Title System

Ø      Pitfall:

Giving title to the answerer drives a wrong behavior.  People tend to go after this fake fame using all sorts of tactics by activating their fan systems, employing sock puppetry, etc.  It is also easy for people with a fancy title to mislead others to believe that their answers are the best ones.


Ø      Suggestion from me:

The suggestion I have to Yahoo Management was to get rid of the title system.  Without the title system, what’s left will be people pure passion to provide the right answers.  There will not be people trying to get to the top of the fake status using all sorts of dirty tricks. 


Ø      Response form Yahoo Management:

I did not get any specific response from Yahoo Management about this. 


4.  Ranking system

Ø      Pitfall:

Ranking the accuracy of answers selected as best answers drives a wrong behavior too.  Since the best answers could be the wrong answers, ranking them misleads others to believe that whoever is at the top rank has the best English ability.  People also tend to go after this fake fame using all sorts of tactics by activating their fan system, employing sock puppetry, etc.  


Ø      Suggestion from me:

The suggestion I have to Yahoo Management was to get rid of the ranking system.  Without the ranking system, what’s left will be people pure passion to provide the right answers.  There will not be people trying to get to the top of the fake status using all sorts of dirty tricks.


Ø      Response form Yahoo Management:

I did not get any specific response from Yahoo Management about this. 


5.  Removal rules

Ø      Pitfall:

The removal rules are unclear and tend to provide opportunities for people to use them as an retaliation tool.  95% of the questions can be removed based on the removal rules. 


Enpowering the askers to remove their questions if there were not an appropriate answer. 



Ø      Suggestion from me:

題目籠統 - This rule allows anyone to abuse it as a retaliation tool and delete almost any question out there at Yahoo Knowledge.  As I see it, it is impossible to put all the description on a subject line due to word limitation.  In addition, when you search the web, you are searching for the content, not the subject line, so what is the purpose of that rule?


I also suggested that the removal rules be clearly defined and that a filter system be set up so that the questions with unclear subject, requesting more than five lines of translation and related to homework get eliminated automatically before they even get posted.


Ø      Response from Yahoo Management:


以往英文分類中缺乏分類管理員,因此有許多違規或不清楚該如何做的網友導致問答被移除,希望藉由 Elisa 上任後,能夠以 Elisa 的能力改善諸位在英文分類上所遇到的各種問題。


Ø                  Suggestion from other 分類管理員:
知識+ 首重知識交流,非一般論壇而流於替代翻譯。

替代翻譯就如同替代製作圖檔與替代寫作業一樣。都是違反知識+使用規範。台灣社會存在著一股不需付費就可獲得報酬的不正確觀念,個人以為若需整篇文章翻譯,就找翻譯社或親友英文程度好者來翻譯,勿將知識+ 認為是找人幫忙替代製作圖檔、 寫作業、幫忙翻譯。另外,僅以網址回覆問題同時未加以說明解決方案,也是違反知識+ 使用規範。 而這類規範, 已經在「知識+使用規範中」說明的相當明白、清楚。

是真的有很多優質的問答,但是礙於「標題過於籠統」而最後被系統管理員移除。但,這也是另一個國人不愛看使用手冊(知識+ 使用規範)所導致。

知識+ 不僅是在回覆發問者的疑難雜症, 同時另一個價值就是「可被重新搜尋獲得解答」,問題過於簡潔、籠統,的確會造成搜尋上非常不便


知識+ 並非用來追逐點數, 而是提昇廣大網友們知識。 如果需要替代英文翻譯,則可成立類似 Yahoo 英文翻譯家族, 為這些網友們解憂。

如閣下所言有95%皆屬標題過於簡潔、尋求替代翻譯,在下建議經常回覆在該類網友們,僅回答那些符合「知識+ 使用規範」, 同時也建請系統管理群能制定 「特定關鍵字(或片語)」自動提醒不符合規範之發問者,如此一來時間久了,自然在該類別裡頭過於簡潔的標題或替代翻譯,比例就會自動減少。


Ø      Next Step:

I did not get any specific response about the filtering system. 


As for the comment from other 分類管理員, he/she seems to have good points.  His/her comment around establishing an 英文翻譯家族 seems a sound one.  So for now until the rule around massive translation is removed, this may be a pretty good solution for all of you having passion in providing large volume of translation.  Or you can try establishing an English translation knowledge group.


Anyway, as for people having frustration with answering the questions, for now, I will just have to tell them that the rules exist for good reasons and to try to avoid answering questions subject to removal.  Please read the following informaiton before you answer the questions to prevent getting any frustration when your answers are removed. 

Earlier, someone provided a good suggestion which is to 針對標題寫法作規範與教育. 

=>I have recommended that to Yahoo Management. 


He/she also speculated that the main reason of prohibiting translation requests is to avoid over-consuming the answerers' time and energy; however, if an answerer doesn't mind such consumption and is willing to contribute his or her translation work, it should be considered a knowledge communicating activity, then why should the questions be removed? 


=> I do not think that his/her speculation is accurate.  As I have heard another comment that it was to prohibit Yahoo Knowledge from providing free translation service, taking away the jobs from the translators.  This seems to be more of an accurate statement to me. 


** I always thought that the reason that the askers would remove the questions was an effort trying to cover up traces of evidence that their works of translation were not theirs and that their homework were done by others.  Penalizing them will not get rid of the problem as they can always create new accounts and continue the same acts.


It is too bad that people abuse this removal rule for purpose other than not having a right answer.  However, even if the askers thought that there was no appropriate, do they have the ability to tell?  Maybe the answer lies in removing the best answer system.  This way, it makes no sense to remove the question just because there is not a right answer now.  There is not a due date to provide answers.  Everyone has the opportunity to modify the question to make it clearer. 



Another suggestion I just provided was the information I provided half a year ago regarding abusive behavior in Yahoo Knowledge around removing questions.  What I suggested half a year ago in my answer was that Yahoo Knowledge should make it easier for people to report abusive behavior in removing the questions/answers.  So it will be two ways instead of one way and may be able to truly stop people from ganging up on others.  In addition, there is much that Yahoo can learn from Answers.com on managing the site and getting rid of the current issues around encouraging the abusive behaviors to remove questions.  See below for rules from Answers.com 


v    Questions:

1.     If your question has already been asked and answered you'll see the answer immediately.

2.     There are popularity rankings on questions for voting on the importance of questions. 

3.     Questions can be improved, too.  This way they are more likely to help lots of people instead of just one person.


v    Answers:

There is not a popularity ranking on answers because answers can be improved and edited upon over time.  What was once an unpopular answer could become more useful and vice-versa.  If the answer is just badly-written, uninformed, or incomplete, anyone improve it.  What I learn is that the answers or questions will not be removed unless they violate the law.  If you don't agree with the answer — but you don't think it was intentionally written to mislead people — leave the opinion and add your own.  Even better, try to combine them into one, complete, objective answer.


WikiAnswers is a Q&A community where answers are grown collaboratively and that anyone from anywhere has the ability to edit and modify existing posts. There is no ownership of answers (unless the question is asking for opinions), so signing answers is discouraged.


Most of the information displayed in the Answers.com window is copyrighted by their content source partners. However, if you are referring to an entry from Wikipedia -- the user-edited encyclopedia -- they invite you to edit this article yourself, directly at the source.


v    Opinions:
You can voice your opinion when you come across a user who you think did a great job answering or editing.

See more details from http://wiki.answers.com/help/how_to_contribute

** I believe if Yahoo Knowledge manages like Answers.com, it will become a more reputable site.


By the way, the way that I manage "English Forum" knowledge group would be similar to wikianswers or wikipedia, that it allows anyone to provide comments to the questions in discussion.  Any comment is accepted; however, through discussion and analysis, people will be likely to be steered to what should be considered as a better usage or explanation.


Another reason that I feel Answers.com does a great job is that they started with 180 trusted titles from the most prestigious reference publishers, to give you the most comprehensive page available on a subject.


You'll also find original articles researched by Answers.com's in-house editorial team, community-contributed articles from Wikipedia, and user-generated questions & answers from Answers.com's industry-leading WikiAnswers™ (WikiAnswers.com).


Because they compile and unify multiple sources for each topic onto a single page, you save time and get the information you need quickly.


The fact that they have integrated Wikipedia with our more than 180 "traditional" content sources allows students to compare some of the material in Wikipedia with these content sources.


If students access and use Wikipedia content with this background in mind - cross-checking facts when appropriate - they will certainly benefit from the diligence and the devotion of the Wikipedia community.


My comments:

I suffer the same frustration as many around best answers being removed.  When I started answering the questions in March 2008, I pointed out someone's English translation was absolutely a joke and I got half of my best answers deleted over night.  That's 50% removal rate (25 out of 50 questions).  Later when I pointed a well-respected English teacher's error, I got attacked by his followers accusing me of establishing a troop of overseas scholars voting for another answerer, which was entirely false as I did not have that kind of power as someone who just started answering Yahoo questions, unlike others with huge fan support.  Some answerers even use sock-puppetry accounts to defend for their answers, questioning my English ability and attacking me.  At that time, I was only a 初學者 5 .  The road has been a tough one for me.  But then, when I think of all this after the facts, it is really not that serious.  I cannot say that I am without temptation/frustration, but being over the age of temptation does make me somewhat untempted or uninfluenced.   


Believe me, even though I have only started answering Yahoo Knowledge question since last March, I have seen many and have been attacked numerous times.  See my removal rate and you will know.  I saved all my answers and will eventually post all of them in my blog if I have time. 


Talking about the kind of power to manipulate answers, I am glad that without huge fan support (I think that is because I am an outsider and also because I don't socialize much) allows me to be impartial, saying whatever is on my mind and still keep my philosophy and principles to provide better and more accurate English usage.  It is actually good to be an outsider. 


Has anyone ever thought of what all this fake fame is for?  Will it help you to earn more money?  Will it increase your real social status and get respected by others?  It is so unreal.  Yet so many people clinched on it like it is their life.  Is Yahoo knowledge this important to bend your philosophy and how do you things? 


By the way, talking about providing corrections to others.  What I believe is that you can never save everyone in this world, but if you can save one or two a day, you've done your deed for the day.  So if you can point out the errors or report their errors then that is helping one or more people a day.


Anyway, that is just me.  I am burning candles on both ends, so I don't know how long I can contribute.  Maybe, this blog will be the last thing I keep.  As in here, there is no so-called fake fame to go after.








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ELISA ENGLISH 英語園地 - 版權所有

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  • Joe
  • Right!  I need to go back to school and re-take communication 101!  LOLSorry. What I meant to say is that although people may find my words offensive, I don't mean to say bad things to offend.  It's just that I'm rather clumsy with words.And apparently, this is another example of my bad communication skill.  LOL
  • That's fine.  To err is human. 

    elisaenglish 於 2009/03/21 03:24 回覆

  • Joe
  • 此則為私密回應
  • Hi, Joe
    Thanks for your appreciation!  You are not offending me at all.  By the way, can I ask what you want to express with the word "malintent"?  I found this word from Urban dictionary: "malicious+intent".  I doubt that is what you wanted to say.  Anyway, I am not good at words either.  I say what is in my mind.
    By the way, I am a project manager, so I do talk constantly to product managers and program managers to be able to deliver the projects.  I do know that it is not in Yahoo's best interest to make the change.  However, if they want to get into the realm that touches education, they should not manage it that way.  They should manage this part like other English Forums.  This is similar to the situation where a Church gets into the field of providing child care.  They have to make sure that the people they hire are qualified to take care of kids and to provide education.  They should not look at hiring people who only believe in God but have no educational background. They should change their rules around that and accept people with different religions into their Church as educators.  I don't know if you understand what I was trying to express.
    Anyway, to me, if they cannot manage it the way it should be managed, they should not meddle in this field.  Education is sacred and should not be taken lightly. 
    As for 英文分類管理員, I don't know if I am in the black list for being direct and with a different agenda. :)
    Anyway, I will continue to provide my input not being an 英文分類管理員. 
    There is still one month to go.  We will see how things go.  Who knows. 
    Best wishes!

    elisaenglish 於 2009/03/04 13:12 回覆

  • 朱哥
  • Thank you, Elisa. As a "low level title" holder myself, I have just begun to experience many of the pitfalls you mentioned. But the more I get involved, the more I respect your passion and efforts on Yahoo Knowledge because I know how much time and effort it must have taken you.  It’s difficult to change a system, especially when it has been that way for so long for so many people. As you said, however, “you can never save everyone in this world, but if you can save one or two a day, you've done your deed for the day”. Bravo!
  • Hi, 朱哥
    Thanks to you and to those who appreciate my effort.  It is always nice to hear it. 
    I hope that you will continue your passion to answer questions as you gradually uncover more and more pitfalls. 
    I will continue to provide my input as long as I have time.
    Best Wishes!

    elisaenglish 於 2009/03/04 11:33 回覆

  • George
  • 此則為私密回應
  • 此則為私密回覆

    elisaenglish 於 2009/02/25 12:19 回覆

  • 悄悄話
  • Roger
  • 引用自 Yahoo! 知識+ 知識長 Elisa 之論述。彌足珍貴!! ...《詳全文》