Cliques, gettoes and outside groups

It’s sad to see how the Viki volunteer community is divided in groups that hate and badmouth each other, with leaders, loyal followers and separate “rooms”, so to speak. I have spoken or read posts here by members of many languages, and it seems that this situation is common in most of them. If I were to reveal the nasty things (true or not, who knows?) people have personally written to me about other fellow volunteers …!!!

Some communities are so exclusive that they even operate completely outside Viki for their organization and daily operations: they only come here to use the subtitle editor and that’s all.
We’ve seen people recruiting on another platform, and it has been alleged that sometimes they post there even before posting here on Discussions Project Board. So the moment you see the announcemente here on the Project Board, most places are already taken. (I don’t know whether this is true or not)
Also, there are other communities (90% of the Italian community, from what I know, but there are others) that do all their recruiting on F*** book (so if you are not a member, you cannot even know which projects are in need of volunteers).
They rarely, if ever, accept people who are not members of their main F b group.
Not only, but they also create team mini-groups there for their regular communication for the duration of the project - instead of using the group chat feature available here at Viki. You also must make “friends” with the moderator, in order to be added.
Recently, a would-be contributor was told “Anyone who does not have F**** book cannot be part of my groups”.

None of this is illegal or against Viki rules, of course. I just find it completely absurd. It’s one thing to create a Google sheet to have all the project information (Team Notes for other languages) in one place, which is essential and not provided by Viki, and another to completely move the Viki operations to other platforms, when we have here most of the tools we need.

What does everyone think? What’s your experience, and what’s your opinion on all this?

15 Likes

I think it’s perfectly normal to form groups around people you are comfortable with.

What is not normal is to exclude people from the team on Viki because they don’t have an account in a particular third-party social media. And it actually goes against Viki’s rule of not discouraging volunteering.

How would it look if someone comes to you and says “You all have to be on Snapchat or you can’t be contributing on Viki”?

What does one have to do with the other?

12 Likes

I think it’s sad but it seems to be human nature. Not only do they create closed groups but as you say, speak ill of others. Some have disappeared but new ones have formed.

In any case, I think the volunteer community will soon disappear. The segmenter projects have disappeared. Subtitle projects will soon be gone. Viki will use machine translation everywhere and will be nothing more than a streaming site.

5 Likes

There are good and bad sides to forming a bond with other translators. It’s good, because you can depend on each other, it’s bad, because you might see them only in positive way and not be objective about their work. Such communities might get toxic real quick.

I do sometimes write to people about other people, since Help Center just never does anything.

It’s about those kinds of things: Funny subbing mistakes - #147 by zyxw
Idk, maybe it’s rude, but those kinds of subs just bother me.
If it’s just punctuation problems or they miss something once in a while, it’s okay. I’m not a perfect translator either. But if it’s translating “neat freak” as a “shapely weirdo” and so on… People who watch this drama, will have no idea, what’s going on. There needs to be SOME understanding of English and the language that someone is translating to, so that the plot will make sense to the viewers. The least someone can do is change the genders when copying from google translate, please.

If anyone here doesn’t want me writing to them about such cases, you can just notify me here or on private messages. I will remember that and will never write to you about such cases.

My opinion is that such closed communities are fine, if they are a minority on Viki. I know of some groups operating in Polish Viki community. It sometimes irritates me, if I can’t join a drama as a translator or invite someone from them to my team, but they don’t take large numbers of projects and we’re peacefully coexisting :smiley:

That is too much in my opinion

And that is not fair

4 Likes

I think that, like everything in life, having a close bond with translators/ editors has its pros and cons. Many times throughout the project you become close to some subbers while others are just team members. In all of my teams, I have people I am close with and people who I only talk to when I am asked questions or when I am going to assign a part. That’s
normal, after all, not everyone comes to Viki to make friends and some might prefer to keep their distance.

Regarding this, I cannot speak for the entirety of the Spanish community, but I can speak for myself and the people I work with. For most projects, we prefer to use chat rooms outside of Viki for obvious reasons. Take, for example, the last two weeks. The inbox has been giving error very often. Are we supposed to just wait around for it to decide to work in order to advance our projects? Now, don’t get me wrong, our Go’s are sent through both Viki and the other platform.
image
image
image
image

As you can see above, we have the group chats in both platforms. If someone doesn’t want to join the chat outside of Viki, that’s fine. We send the information through both. It’s easier for the moderator and team members to communicate in an easier manner and to answer questions faster.

Do we? Chatting platforms outside Viki have many features that our inbox does not have. Should I communicate through the TD to be able to tag my team members and answer questions? Let me tell you that, at least, with Spanish, after answering questions, the TD would become a mess and full of chats. Should I use the inbox? Half of the time, the inbox has some type of bug. You can’t @ someone, nor can you directly reply to a message. While you’re writing, you may receive messages that you won’t see until you refresh. You get my drift. Outside platforms let us reply directly to the message while also receiving messages without refreshing. And you also get instant notifications to your phone. Unlike with the inbox where you have to check your email or enter viki. Or the TD where you, once again, have to open viki and enter the TD. With outside platforms, I know that I am easily accessible at any time of day for my team members, even when I’m not using Viki.

Now, I do agree with you that we should not be excluding people because they can’t or don’t want to join platform A or send out announcements that say “If you’re not part of X you cannot join.” That’s very unfair to those who don’t want to join the platform but want to help in the project.

This is something I see a lot and agree with what you said. This should not be happening. You should not have to befriend the moderator to join a project or to be added to a project.

Viki is the main platform, and we should be using it to communicate, but I see nothing wrong with using another platform to make up for what viki lacks.
I might have misunderstood what you meant in your post, but I answered based on what I understood.

7 Likes

I absolutely agree!

It’s not that. I also have a group of trusted people whom I ask first. But, alongside them, I also always give a chance to new people, let’s say out of twelve for a show, the six will be my “nucleus” of dependable subbers, and another 2-3 people I may have worked sporadically before, and 3 new to me. Because one has to refresh one’s pool of translators, and who knows, you might find a gem.

Νο, no, I never dreamed of Team Discussions! These are a mess, you cannot use common words because your post gets delayed and, as you say, it cannot be used by all language teams because it would become complete chaos! Nowadays even English teams mostly use Inbox group chats

Frankly my impression is that it’s more like 95-96%, I just wanted to be conservative in my estimate because of course, I don’t have numbers - I mean I don’t know how many active volunteers of each language are present on Viki. What I know is that almost everyone I know here either is a member of this group or is waiting to get in, and there is a small number who has quit, or who has never joined it because they don’t like that third-party platform starting with F.

3 Likes

Ah, now I understand more clearly what you meant. And I agree. I have my subbers who you will almost always see in every drama because I know they’re good, and I can depend on, but I always leave the door open to new subbers or anyone who wants to join. Only time I reject are because I see bad subs or if I have too many subbers. For example, in chase the truth, I had to start rejecting because I reached 70 subbers. Plus, as you said, you might find a gem. I disagree with people who have fixed teams and won’t accept anyone. We have a few people like that in Spanish.

Thank god! That TD is a hit or a miss. Half of the time I never see the message if I am not waiting for it.Plus, it becomes a mess easily, and then you’re left digging through piles of messages.

3 Likes

I meant it to say, that if minority of people recruited through fb, it would not be a problem, if it’s 90% then it is.

2 Likes

@irmar … and that’s why I have left subtitling and felt ignored by the platform :sob:

2 Likes

@irmar

All of your points were very well said! (~Like always lol)

And I even want to apologize for something while reading your post I recognized in myself. Sometimes I’m very several on my posts, comments, opinions, etc… so this might cause I bad impression of me. That’s no excuse. But actually, I just want an amazing environment that is available for of us, you know? Even if I’m not here for such a long time like more than 2 years or something, I feel like that this is a place where you can find some peace outside of your daily life. Anyway, I just wanted to say this before exposing my points about the real matter.

I do agree with all of them. That’s very sad, annoying, unfair… Just because you trust someone it doesn’t mean that you have to be closed for other opportunities and just mind about having people you want, you like, that you think it’s safe and stuff like that… And as many of our fellow members said, this can’t happen! It’s against the rules. “Blackmailing, discouraging others from contributing, etc…”. What I mean is… you need to be careful about your action, we don’t disagree on this; but you also needs to be open for rookies and even provide what they need the most (a help hand).
There are many awesome volunteers around here who does an incredible job while translating, but you also needs to give a chance to the rookies who also want to show their capability and commitment to it. That’s a very real point and you can’t complain about it, and if you do, just quit. Not long time ago you were on this position and you had someone to lean on, so be this person to someone new around here. Or even with the old ones too! That serves them right lol.

It is very useful to have a chat outside of VIKI, like: Tegram, WhatApp, Facbook even on Insgram… but this should be a tool that helps you to manage things and even get the job done real fast! - (And we know why we have to go on this apps. - VIKI do something, we’re talking about this inbox for such a long time already! - ) - This shouldn’t be a requirement! Like you said… I can’t demand from a volunteer who wants to get in my team to be on What****App, like many of Portuguese Moderators do, just because I want to make sure that this person is a person, or talk bad about someone or do even worse. Be respectful, keep your opinions for yourself and figure a way to handle it. Like… why should I do this if I’m not comfortable with??? I’m here to contribute, if I want to have a real relationship with anyone here, I can write to them, ask for the number or whatever, you know? This can’t be a requirement! And oh… I do understand that after I expose my point will emerge some people saying… “But this should not bother you if you’re real and stuff like that, we’re not asking for to much” - YES, you are! You don’t need to know me, you need to know my capability, my skills, etc… Knowing me is a plus after we do our best! (I can say this because happens to me all the time. And now that I’m moderating, every single application, volunteer, who comes to me, I treat like a friend; like a real capable person, so that they will have someone to lean on like one day I had. Thanks to many awesome people I know a lot and can manage to do my best; this has came to me as compliments, invitations, etc…)

So my opinion is… Be reasonable! You can find some ways to make things better, but you can’t demand this from others; Open your eyes for what is in front of you; Handle things on a friendly way; Do not forget that we need to be united not apart; Do not put yourself above everyone! Also… assume your mistakes and opinions, don’t push them away;

Anyway… sorry for being such a pain on a** lol. I think I should give you guys a break from speaking my thoughts lol​:rofl::rofl::rofl:.

3 Likes

I cannot agree more with you about this mentality of “you are either one of us or you cannot work with us” mentality. The power dynamics I’ve been seeing when I first started working, especially in my community which is fairly small, kind of make me sick, therefore I also took a break feeling unmotivated and alone. Some people would “appoint” you as their subbers and to which parts they pleased and they’d like to be the editor/moderator, although they barely contribute to the translation. They would have very high subtitle numbers for each project, too, for that they would not edit (or refuse anyone else editing a project) but add space or do very minor and not-really-needed changes on others’ subs. But when they were asked to join a team, they’d never join as a subtitler because it was a “low” position.

After what I experienced in such a small community as mine, which was basically monopolised by one/or two people who were not even good at what they were doing, I initiated our dis.cord server. I must agree “splitting” the community is not a great idea, but with the lack of Viki’s tools for volunteers and their so infamous censorship, I really found myself in need of another platform. I strongly advertise dis.cord not because they pay me for anything, but because it is a great platform for communities, studying, friend groups etc. I feel like this website/app is a bit too much for someone who just started using it (I hated it and I hated my friends for making me use it to communicate it) but now it’s an essential part of my life. With so many channels you can create for specific needs with an option to not see those channels you don’t want to, it gives me a place I can keep only to what-i-want and what-i-need.

What you mentioned about people not welcoming other members for not having the XYZ app/group is still so confusing and absurd to me. I believe all viki-volunteer-based communities should comply with Viki’s own ToS and community guidelines and managers of such platforms should encourage newbies & and help them out instead of discouraging and hindering these people. After all, we are all here to volunteer, have fun and do something good while enjoying something we love. So I cannot understand why some people feel the need to act as if someone is coming to get their hard-earned-full-paid job. I also do think it is “illegal” or at least against Viki’s rules to not allow people to join teams unless they are an ■■■ member because Viki has clear rules about blacklisting people and I’d say saying “anyone except my group is a no go” is a soft-blacklist-ish?

I still enjoy reading posts on discussions. I do check daily all the days I am online to sub, to connect with fellow volunteers. I don’t think it is a day-consuming job, let’s say a maximum of 20 mins. And on dis.cord, I sometimes just go by channels that I need at the moment when I subtitle (we do have some self-made dictionaries for k-dramas/c-dramas, we got a list of "common mistakes in written Turkish, excel sheets pinned to a chat & team notes) but some days if I have the luxury of time, I love to share a meal I recently made, send pictures of my adorable, grumpy old cat, read about others opinions on daily questions, and connect with the community.

I hope any community out there can be more open and welcoming to new members (both new to Viki and their community) and have some patience if people don’t operate the same way they do. Working solo is okay but working with a team is quite amazing too. I also get that working with people you know and can rely on is relaxing but you cannot know if you can rely on a teammate if you never give them the chance of becoming one.

Thank you for bringing attention to this problem again. I believe “closed rooms” are okay as long as they open the door when you knock on the door. I don’t like the “lock everyone out” mentality, and I think many OL communities suffer from this.

By the way, Happy New Year! Best of luck to everyone, their families and loved ones throughout this year and those to come. Take good care! :snowflake: :fireworks: :clinking_glasses:

-A

8 Likes

It really makes me sad to see what’s going on.