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Integrating job ad feedback

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manager
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Integrating job ad feedback
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 It's our first week of using the Koreabridge.net interface and someone just posted a detailed negative comment on a job ad.  My first thought, was 'uh-oh, here comes the blacklist kind of stuff - shields up!'.  In the past, we have always avoided any kind of black list postings out of concern for things getting out of hand, the challenge of maintaining some sense of civility and fairness, and potential legal concerns.  Howerver, if ever there was a time to reconsider this, it is now.

I've always thought this was really useful, important functionality to include in the website, but just a potential nightmare to manage.  As much as I want to provide job seekers with useful info about potenial employers (positive and negative), I want to protect those employers from being unfairly trashed by a disgruntled employee who's mad at the world and looking for a target to blame.  How might we make this doable?  I think a big part of the challenge is coming up with clearly articulated polcies that maintain a sense of fairness and civility.  The other major part is having a moderation team willing to put the time and energy into appropriately enforcing those policies. 

So, a tentaive start to polcies might include:

  • Posts must be civil and factual. 
  • Specific names (employers or employees) should be used.
  • Personal attacks and hearsay aren't allowed. 
     (for example, it's OK to say 'this school did not pay me for overtime and the housing arrangement was not as promised in the contract.'  It's NOT OK to say 'the owner is a jerk and I heard he hit one of his teachers') 

 What else do people think might help make this work?

Btw, 'people' includes employers and recruiters.  I'd very much like to hear from them, as I'd hope that this kind of feedback would help establish positive reputations for those deserving them. 
 

manager
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Video Thoughts on Job Ad Comments


Despite how painful it was to watch afterward, I thought I'd use the new video comment option to share some updates and thoughts on this topic.

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lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009
magic carpet rides

 

Hello managing staff:

I flagged the entire article plus pictures as offensive (to me and others) because it is absolute nonsense what he claims. Bragging isn't bragging if you can back it up; he can't. 

 

 

manager
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Drawing lines...

 In response to Lee Bum Suk's comments here and here

  There still a lot of tweaking to do on our posting policies, and you certainly do help us figure out what issues need to be addressed as we figure out how and where to draw the lines of moderation.  

A few assorted thoughts.  

- We do our best to be fair and objective when deciding whether a comment gets approved or not, but the fact that you have a history of mean-spirited comments doesn't help your case.  You have made an effort to avoid overt insults (which is appreciated), but you just have a knack for sprinkling a dash (or more) of rudeness on many of your comments.   The question I usually ask myself when confronted with a borderline comment is, "Is this going to contribute positively to the conversation or is it going to antagonize and/or lead to unnecessary conflict. 

 - Comments on salary.  It seems to me that commenting about the salary on individual ads isn't the way to go.  For example, your recent comment "Another 1.8...my god these places." doesn't really add to the conversation.  If someone thinks that salary is unfair, then they won't apply.  If someone is willing for do that amount of work for that amount of money they they will.  If people want to discuss the various issues involved with salaries, then let's move the conversation to the forums.  It can be an ongoing discussion that links to particular ads, but doesn't get deleted when the ads do. 

- Feedback on jobs. This one's tricky, hasn't been spelled out very clearly on Koreabridge, and involves some legal and managerial concerns. I really do want to provide people with ways of getting accurate, useful infomration about a potential employer and I'm all for holding everyone (employers, recruiters, and teachers) accountable.  Accordingly, the kind of feedback that would seem clearly OK is first hand experiences expressed neutrally (or at least without being too rude).  e.g. - I worked for this company and this was my experience.  The harder stuff to deal with is 'I heard this company sucks' or I had a friend who worked for a hagwon with a name that sounded like that and I think they were late paying him sometimes'. Questions seem fair (like your 'why did the last person leave?'), but there is potential to harass advertisers by innuendo.  Perhaps some more questions should be added to the ad format.  I'm really not sure how to draw these lines, but whatever standards we come up with need to apply to all advertisers, not just employers, but to job seekers as well.  

- With the libel laws being what they are in Korea, I want to make sure that we are legally protected. Just because KB is hesitant to publish something doesn't mean it can't be published elsewhere.  I'd still be very interested in working with other Korea sites and setting up some kind of tagging system where employers are assigned a particular tag - e.g. happyhagwonbusan.  People could then post whatever they want on their own blogs or sites and we could simply link to all content that uses that tag (without concerns about libel or hosting content that doesn't meet our posting policies). 

I do realize that our posting policies do need to be refined so people have a clear idea about what is and isn't acceptable.  I appreciate the fact that these borderline comments help move the discussion forward by forcing us to figure out what crosses the line and what doesn't.  Would love to hear more opinions about all this.  Please post them below.  I'm also going to tentatively schedule a live discussion about this and other site issues for Wednesday, December 16, 8pmKST.  Should have a call-in number ready by then, but get your skype headsets ready - hope to hear from many of you then.  Now that I'm back in Korea, also plan to start streaming a variety of live webcasts, most of which will be about things much more interesting than posting policies. 

Cheers, 

Jeff

manager
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Job Ad Comments Disabled

After several months of allowing job ad comments, I've decided to disable them for now. I had hoped that they would be an opportunity for visitors to ask questions of advertisers and share experiences concerning particular employers or recruiters, but most of the comments that were posted were general 'how dare you pay so little?!' or 'this has a name similar to hagwon I've heard of that has a really bad reputation'.  

We try to provide as much information as possible for prospective employees on the side panel of every job ad page and trust people to make their own informed decisions. My concerns about continuing job ad comments are
  a) this kind of harassment will scare away job advertisers and the repetitive comments will turn off visitors 
and 
  b) the posting of inaccurate or hearsay criticism of specific employers will lead to legal and managerial headaches. 

Comments and advice about finding jobs are still welcome in the teaching salaries and seeing job advice forum topics. Feel free to refer to specific job ads when posting.  I'd also still like to find a way to work with other Korean employment sites to provide potential employees with as much information as possible about employers, but for now, transferring comments to the forums was just getting too tedious.  

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