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Commenting on job ads, and why moderation is needed

Posted by souri on Wed, 17/02/10 - 6:55 PM

To those curious as to why news items concerning jobs advertised on here are / have recently been heavily moderated, then please read on.

For the longest while, comment areas on Sumea/tsumea have been an unmoderated and fairly relaxed part of the site. It was pretty much anything-goes on here. Unfortunately, in a lot of ways it has been detrimental to the site, and particularly for the purpose of job advertisements.

Game developers advertise their jobs directly on tsumea. Every job ad we have had on here for the last 8 or so years has been submitted directly by the developer advertising it. As a result, we are *the best* source for real games related job openings in Australia and New Zealand. Many, many, many people have successfully applied and gained employment from the job ads we've posted, and the jobs that are posted here are far reaching and go beyond the regular visitors of this site.

As I've been lax with comment moderation, with job advertisements over the years we've had in the comment areas such as:

People who aren't interesting in applying, but nonetheless want to complain about:

1. How lame the company is and why no one should apply for it
2. How the company's last game sucks and why no one should apply for the job
3. How the job itself sucks and why no one should apply for it
4. Some passing comment about a bullet point in the job description and why it sucks and why no one should apply for it
5. Question the jobs legitimacy
6. Any other off-hand comment relating to a circumstance or status of the company which they disapprove of

This was becoming so common and even predictable with job advertisements for certain game developers that I knew what was coming right after I posted the ad.

The purpose of job advertisements on the site is for companies to advertise their job openings. It is not the right place to debate about the company or the job ad in question. *Any* negative comment about the game developer in question (including those listed above) is defeating the purpose of the job ad.

If we leave things unmoderated here, it won't be a surprise to anybody that game devs simply won't bother sending their job openings to us anymore. And that would be a damn shame, considering what a great service this site provides for local game dev job seekers.

It's not because I want to censor negative comments, am on a power trip, or any other conspiracy. You are free to create a new thread voicing your concerns. Preserving the great job service here is the main reason why moderation is required.

If you do have a genuine question regarding the job position advertised, then please do post your question - I might even get the HR person from the company to respond to it like I have many times in the past.

If you have something to get off your chest about this matter, it's best to respond to it here or through the contact form on the 'contact' page.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 14/11/10 - 3:28 AM Permalink

While I applaud the intent for clarity and veracity when approaching a job advertisment within these guidelines I do feel that it neglects to address the danger of "positive" reviews of an instituiton. One might view the dichotomy between the two aspects [positive/negative] to translate into the following idea.
Negative comments have no place because they might potentially hurt an undeserving company.
Positive comments have no place because they might potentially mislead a reader to believe lies.

I think that any particular comment, be it negative or positive in regards to the nature of the advertising institution should be moderated while the only valid comments be left at questions regarding the position itself...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 14/11/10 - 10:18 PM Permalink

to suggest that somebody might want to investigate further before signing with company X in a civil way. Or an example of why someone might want to think twice. Endless immature tolling helps no one.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 15/11/10 - 9:47 AM Permalink

The issue is the immaturity of the vast majority of posters here and the industry in Australia itself.

Healthy competition is one thing but the competition on here is more akin to rabid football supporters aligining themselves with their favorite team and pointing out that every player/coach on an opposition side (read employee or CEO) is absolutely crap at their job and shouldn't be on the park, or worse, those never having been "in the game" (read never had a job in the industry) screaming like toothless Collingwood supporters asking "how does that bloke ever get a game!".

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 15/11/10 - 12:46 PM Permalink

As you mentioned, job postings have contacts listed, legitimate inquiries can be done through those contact points, so although it is a "nice to have", maybe it's best just to remove comments for job postings? Most recruitment sites don't allow people to comment on job listings.

Or... Maybe disable anonymous posting on job posts? Posting anonymously does encourage people to think that everyone wants to hear their rants and opinions. Combine Harvester by the Wurzels is better than anything by Nine Inch Nails. See what I mean?

Granted, there is a certain amount of entertainment to be had from people posting "Wow, you guys really missed out on a great candidate, if only you authored your assets through Sculpt Animate 4d junior, you could have hired me and we could have made sweet, sweet games together. I have 2 months experience in Deluxe Paint, and would have been very willing to share the secrets palette cycling to improve your character, Kratos. Think about it.".

Submitted by souri on Mon, 15/11/10 - 3:48 PM Permalink

The thing is, very rarely do we even *get* positive comments on job postings. If you look at the recent positive comment on the Qantm job ad, which I'm sure is the reason why this issue is being raised, the comment was praising the institution's course structure and would be of interest only to students thinking of applying, whereas the job itself is for a lecturer, so it doesn't even have a bearing or influence for anyone applying for a teaching role anyway.

On the other side of the coin, negative comments and snide remarks on job postings was a very common occurrence (before moderation began). All the types of comments I wrote about in the original post have happened, many, many times each.

Turning off comments for job posts is going to deny those who do have genuine questions about the job, and making logged in visitors being able to post enquiries in job items sounds like a great idea, although I'll have to look up and implement that feature sometime. In the meantime, I'll have to continue moderating the manual way.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 16/11/10 - 10:34 PM Permalink

The constant lambasting must make potential employers wary.

And I agree with the comments made by anonymous in Victoria(or so I assume by his collingwood references)
I acknowledge some serious crap has gone down with the Australian games industry lately, I have personally
been effected. I would love to see some news and positive posts about the Indies around the place, learn a
few more names of people and just generally get a vibe for something other than the usual Krome kick fest.
and maybe remove the ability to post anonymously? tee hee, I'm posting anonymously cause it's easy.
and it makes it even easier to TROLL tee hee. fighting the urge to TROLL right now.


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 01/02/11 - 9:54 PM Permalink

I've nothing to do with this company, but I do know a few (kick ass) people who work there, but I'd be a bit disappointed seeing comments like the following:…

I'm not saying the people making the comments are wrong (I wouldn't know), but I don't think a job listing is an appropriate forum for this sort of bile. Honestly, once you've got a point of contact for the company, any applicant that is the slightest bit interested in the position would use that contact to ask questions.

I guess it doesn't matter much, but this sort of thing would stop me from wanting my company listing jobs on this site.
If I ever owned a company, there would be bigger problems for the australian games industry, but still :)

Submitted by souri on Tue, 01/02/11 - 10:14 PM Permalink

Thanks for letting me know, I've removed those posts. But yeh, that's exactly what I mean. Things have been fairly good with job comments in recent times, but occasionally something like that does slip through.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 02/02/11 - 1:58 AM Permalink

I know when I was working for certain companies people higher ups were complaining about posting job advertisements on the site due to the high level of immaturity of some of the comments.

Then you got legitimate comment threads where you find out new information about some bad practices going on in the industry. You don't want to discourage that.