Dilemma with contests


hoboken411-delete-or-not-to-delete.jpgHow often do you encounter an issue where you’re not quite sure what to do? Say there’s compelling reasons to go both one way or another?

As many of you know, I’ve been trying to run fun little contests here on Hoboken411 to take a break from the politics, bad double parkers, or other generally “grim news” and “mudslinging”. Had a Yankee ticket giveaway last month that was lots of fun, currently running a Halloween photo contest, and am finishing up the Hunt contest. I figured it’s a good and entertaining way to see what others in our community are doing, as well as “give back” to the readers too.

Due to other obligations, I haven’t been able to read each and every comment posted this week, and a reader who submitted an entry to the Hunt contest wants me to remove her entry due to some of the not-so-tasteful comments being made about the photos.

The dilemma

There’s no way the comments can be “policed” full time. The expectation is that folks are civil and respectful in general, and for the most part, it hasn’t been so bad. I would also expect that people that submit any kind of contest entries would have thicker skin and not take negative comments from anonymous posters too seriously. It’s all in fun, and can be easily shrugged off.

Even business owners have been known to step up to the plate and respond with class (see Joey’s and Turning Point). Other business owners in town also understand they can’t please everyone and try to use any non-positive reviews as “constructive criticism”.

Heck, some other website has my pictures plastered all over it, along with a jealousy-infused attack on me. Do I care? Nope.

Anyway, the reader emailed me and said:

“Can you please remove my entry from the contest (pictures and story). I have a good friend who is very upset about her picture being posted up there and I’d rather lose a contest than a friendship.”

But here’s what I’m trying to decide. Do I remove the post, pictures and comments? I happen to think the entry was just fine. Should I moderate and delete the “insulting” comments only? Would that make a difference? Though it would essentially trash that thread. Also, this contestant is currently in 3rd place in the poll, and is in line for one of the prizes (Club KO training sessions). If I do remove the entry & comments, should I consider that a “withdrawal” from the contest? Or should I issue them the prize anyway for putting up with the unpleasant comments?

Remember, running 411 is much different than just being a chat board moderator. I create the whole product you see here, and my time is being spent in many other areas.

The bottom line is that I run these contests with the hopes that we can all have some fun. The contests will continue in the future, but I hope people wouldn’t be hesitant to submit their entires because there’s the potential for derogatory comments. What was nice in this instance (and many others) were the responses from others who came to their defense. Nice to see that happen.

What would you do?

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Monday, November 5, 2007 4:14 pm

People are getting a little too touchy…


Monday, November 5, 2007 4:10 pm

What happened to the Halloweenn Photo Contest? It bit the dust, too?

Monday, November 5, 2007 3:48 pm

I agree…

Keep the photos & the posts. 😯

Friday, November 2, 2007 8:16 pm

[quote comment=”51244″]I removed the entry and photos. Locked the thread.

Next contest involving “pictures of other people” will not have comments.


I think that sucks. The comments are a big part of this site, and the stupid chick who sent the entry must have known this. If someone doesn’t want comments on their pictures, then perhaps they shouldn’t submit them to be posted on an website that is driven by user input/interaction. That entrant is even more unbelievably ignorant considering a major part of the contest was the quality of the photos. We users as judges have the expectation that people will comment. Mean people suck, but no one has a right not to be offended, even when they voluntarily submit photos on the internet.

How far will this go 411? Will comments start disappearing from other places when you receive complaints? Don’t let stupid people bring this awesome site down.

Friday, November 2, 2007 7:50 pm

Absolutely no prize for the person posting whatsoever. Why reward in any way someone who posts pictures of their friends passed out so THEY can win a prize than demands that the pictures get removed as soon as people make fun of them?

Also, deduct 1 point from Stpaddygirl for every post she makes demanding that she win, but give her a $10 gift certificate for an optometrist’s exam because she thinks Campos is hot.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x