Friends and privacy

Here are my views on this issue.

The problem seems to have originated with ABHIJEET but it does perhaps point out some problems with our friend system. Mark will have to reply.

I would like to see more advantages to becoming a friend. I have never quite understood “friend” at youtube or facebook. I would like ours to have more meaning. Right now we see friends blogs, and activities. Should there be other things that happen between us when we are friends?

Do any of you have any suggestions?

Speaking of Youtube, I can follow your Youtube channel without you following mine or you even knowing me. I don’t see why this is that different. None of your personal information is shared with someone who friends you but who you don’t friend back. Also, we wanted to help people meet and contact each other since most members are not friends before coming to LingQ. For the most part, this has worked, although we get the odd issue that arises. Whether people friend you or not, they can post on your wall at anytime. We will go back and improve the friend system at some point but I don’t really see where allowing people to friend you without being friended back is that bad. They can visit your profile any time whether they have friended you or not.

I don’t think we have to add a blocking function, but maybe a simple delete button could result in a cleaner wall (for instance, I would delete a couple of messages I’ve accidentally written on my own wall).



“I don’t really see where allowing people to friend you without being friended back is that bad.”

Am I wrong in thinking that the person who friends you without being friended back from you can monitor your activities at LingQ?

Monitor is perhaps a strong word. It implies that an unwanted friend is carefully watching what you are doing. I consider that highly unlikely and personally am not bothered by people seeing what I am doing.

To the extent that LingQers watch what others are doing, it gives them an idea of what they themselves might do to improve their learning.

I do not see the problem. What are the views of others? We have to assume that all LingQers, friends or not, are here to help each other learn. There will be the odd person who causes a little bit of annoyance but I do not see a big problem.

Like Steve, I don’t mind that others ‘monitor’ my progress. I sometimes look at what my friends are studying and may choose a similar lesson; it is a kind of motivator.

What I was concerned about was simply personal privacy protection from someone I don’t want to know. The reality is, however, that we have spent a lot of time on this issue and so, in a way, kept the issue alive. I am as guilty of it as the next person…

I would like a different way of accepting friends if that were possible.


You can hide your contact information in your settings. You do not have to accept friends. I do not think that with all the things we are working on to make LingQ better and to attract more members, this is an area that we are going to change right now.

Well, I’ve been stalking Steve in his Russian activities for some time now. I’ve been secretly stealing all his best techniques.


Friendship should be reciprocal. I don’t want to be considered a “friend” of someone whom I don’t know or I cannot trust.

Interesting comments Miss Take. I think this is all a matter of individual styles and preferences.

I do not know if people want others to know if they are online. In Skype I often forget to change my settings and get interrupted by people trying to contact me, and this is usually not welcome. At LingQ, now, we can ignore people who write on our walls or contact them when we want.

In the LingQ model, our members help each other mostly asynchronously , in other words by creating useful content such as you have done. There is also the opportunity to offer or join discussions per a schedule.

I understand that Livemocha is more about members correcting each other. In my case, I am not very interested in having people comment on my Russian or whatever language I am learning. I prefer to learn on my own, and then communicate with them when I am ready.

I have heard that the LingQ approach is difficult for beginners and that is something we need to address. I am not sure the Livemocha model is the way to go but would like to hear from others on this as well.

Thanks for your detailed comment and thanks for all you content!

There is one very practical reason for “friending” someone on LingQ, and that is that you can then invite them to join in a group discussion with you. There are many LingQ members that I love dearly, but I have “unfriended” them because we have no target language in common and my friends list is unmanageably long.

The word “friend” is completely misused on the the internet. It is used to mean “contact” (a person I have or want some contact with). In the real world, I can list my worst enemy as a “contact”. In fact, anyone I have no contact with is unlikely to ever reach enemy status.

Presumably the world “contact” means something different to web programmers than it does to the rest of us. Possibly web programmers don’t understand that the word friend has social implications…perhaps I’d better not go there :wink:

I consulted a dictionary, and found that to friend means to add someone to your list of “friends” on a social networking site. I think that I don’t want to be “friended” by anonymous people on the Internet.