How to successfully appeal a Quora policy violation

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You’ve been hacking and slashing at creating great Quora answers when OUT OF THE BLUE this happens:

A couple of your answers get deleted because someone flagged them for SPAM and Quora moderators in their infinite wisdom decided to simply click “delete answer” in their admin console. BOOOOOO

I’m going to teach you how to successfully appeal a Quora Moderation decision

I’ve appealed about two dozen of these Moderation Actions and failed quite miserably.

There’s no way to appeal again. Your answer just disappears into the nothingness of the WWW. Along with ALL your answer views that came with it. Out the door like it never existed. It is so frustrating. It made me wanna quit Quora and never look back.

BUT, I’m not a quitter. When I’m down I get up and fight back. Over the years I learned how to appeal to Quora by using their own rules against them.

I answered my first question on June 22, 2011. Quite a while back! 🙂

I’ve answered questions littered with affiliate links (wasn’t aware this wasn’t allowed). I’ve answered questions littered with links to my own websites. I’ve answered questions with a single line of text. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Luckily I like to learn :o)

How long do I have to appeal a moderation decision?

There’s no term. BUT I only found one way to appeal a decision and that is by going to your notifications and clicking on the appeal button. My notifications go back a maximum of 2 months. I can’t see any notifications beyond that timeframe.

The stupid thing is… I didn’t get any email saying that my answers were deleted even though the email setting is on.

I check Quora almost on a daily basis so I know what’s happening. But if your answer gets flagged and deleted you probably won’t receive an email and after a couple of months you probably can’t appeal this decision anymore.

There was one email that landed in my Inbox. It was about my answering privileges. So if you don’t check your Quora account a lot there’s still a way to know (if you’ve made a few violations).

This is how you successfully appeal a moderation decision for a SPAM complaint

I’ve only had moderation actions against me for spamming. I’m a marketer. I want people to visit my website too you know! So I walk the line. I make mistakes. Luckily I know how to always get my answers on the right side of the “law”.

If you write an answer that is littered with affiliate links, blatant self-promotion, etc. etc. Stop reading. Don’t appeal. Just move on.

Made a genuine attempt at answering the question without too much self-promotion? Didn’t write a 300 word answer with a single link to your website (or your employers)? Continue reading…

Use Quora’s guidelines to your advantage

Quora has its own law. They write policies people using their platform have to abide by. That’s also their achilles heel. Lawyers didn’t write those policies and lawyers aren’t checking the appeals. Use Quora’s own guidelines to your benefit.

Quora has a policy on SPAM which can be found here. It was originally posted back in 2014 and updated last in 2018.

They also have a general answering policy which I think is even more important. You find that one here.

I’m not saying you should learn them by heart but you should check them out and read them at least once.

Why? Because they mention stuff like this

Self-promotion is permitted only as part of a sincere, helpful and direct answer to the question

and

Affiliate links are not allowed.

Etc. That’s why I said: if you have affiliate links in your answer… Don’t bother. The moderation team probably gets swamped by answers that contain them. Even an honest mistake or any excuse you can come up with will not be accepted.

I use at least 3 quotes from Quora’s own guidelines in my appeal.

Look at all the other answers that were given and compare them to yours

I compared my answers to those of Neil Patel and unknown guys. The reason I compare my answer to other answers to the same questions is because I want to show Quora that I did a genuine effort to add value to the community.

I compare my answer on:

  • Content length
  • The lack of affiliate links (vs others who do)
  • Number of images
  • External links
  • Upvote to view ratio
  • The amount of self promotion

Say you’re sorry for the inconvenience

Put yourself in the Moderation Team’s shoes. They probably have to deal with SPAM complaints a gazillion times a day. Every complaint is extra work for them. Someone reported your answer. Someone on the moderation team had to read and act on the report. And now someone has to read and act on your appeal.

That’s a lot of work. Be humble. Say you are constantly learning. Say: even though in your opinion (and based on Quora’s own guidelines) you don’t consider your answer to be SPAM still say you’re sorry for the trouble. Tell them you learned how to create even better answers so in the future your answers will have a lower chance of being flagged.

Create some body to your appeal

Imagine reading two appeals. One is 50 words long. Can be easily scanned and doesn’t show the slightest form of remorse and substance. What would you do as a moderator?

What would you do if you were presented with a 500 – 750 words long appeal. Starting with an apology. Referencing Quora’s own guidelines multiple times. Stating that by Quora’s own rules your answer shouldn’t be considered SPAM? In stead of saying “in my opinion I don’t think my answer is SPAM”.

I know which one I’d choose. I know where I’d accept the appeal and where I’d reject the appeal. If you follow this guide and build your appeal following my guidelines you’ll get these decisions:

To summarize

  • Say you’re sorry
  • Tell the moderators you still learned
  • Tell them you’re able to improve your answers in the future because of the SPAM complaint
  • Use Quora’s own guidelines to support your case
  • Compare your answer to other answers to the same question

Good luck appealing! If you have any questions, please leave a comment. I read and answer all the comments.

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6 thoughts on “How to successfully appeal a Quora policy violation”

  1. Hello, I tried commenting directly on your how to appeal Quora moderation but that one doesn’t seem to have a comment button? Anyway I need help! 🙂 It seems Quora moderators are allowed to be politically biased and that’s not right. People say stuff on the one side that’s downright evil. But oh, dare to respond and get blocked. Try to appeal and the only clickable button is ‘I understand your policy’. What! Please help me. 0:-)

    1. Hi Kristy,

      Thanks for your comment! I moved it and enabled comments on this page (thanks for the heads up!)

      Unfortunately it’s very hard to do anything about this specific case. You’ve probably been reported by a lot of users and that alone will make it hard for Quora moderators to not treat your comment as harassment. Read this policy page https://www.quora.com/What-is-Quoras-Be-Nice-Be-Respectful-policy

      Most important tip I can give you: Before posting a comment… Reread your comment and remove all the mentions of “You” or “Your”. Have your comment reflect on your beliefs in stead of what another person is saying which you don’t agree with. So say “I think” ., etc. 🙂 instead of you’re wrong.

  2. Quora in itself is a nice idea and the sheer endless amount of information – of every kind – is great. But when I see that several of my answers are getting randomly and after several months collapsed I am questioning if they have a “moderation” “team” (I put both in brackets because I believe neither is true) at all. Yes, I know, bot-assisted moderations are a thing, but if an answer is there for 1 year and suddenly “violates a rule” – what is that bullcrappery all about?

    I do not really care to be honest, I am absolutely not into the “Lets Make Money on Websites” nonsense, my actual profession pays me well enough not to cry about some website like Quora. I am mostly there to talk about kink stuff, because in my close, real-life social circle there is no-one to share or talk about certain subjects.

    The thing is, in the end, the moderation of Quora sucks big times. I have answers deleted for no reasons. I really mean it. I have two answers collapsed for not following a guideline after 1+ year. Whatever. I’ve been banned for being controverse. What the heck? I’ve been moderated for using the word “clueless” (Yes, that triggers the auto-moderator). And I even abused the “Moderation” “team” myself to get some annoying answer deleted – and that answer I reported was NOTHING even remotely annoying, I just pulled the snowflake card. No subjective moderation (without brackets) would’ve deleted said comment, but Quora’s “moderation” (in brackes, because they are a joke) does.

    I like Quora, but their rules are absolute bullshit. As said, I do not care about collapsed answers, because I still get upvotes on those, but the fact they change their policies like their underwear – or moderate randomly – makes it a bad place and basically contradict their own philosophy.

    By the way, the real kinky images that are NSFW are all there. But dear god, use the word “clueless” and you get moderatored.

    1. Thanks for your honest feedback about Quora Bill.

      Ys it is strange that a year old answer gets squashed just like that. People just flag your answer when it gets more eyeballs. Competitors or people who are agitated quickly just flag your answer and the moderators aren’t withstanding the pressure of these people. That’s why it’s really important to get a proper appeal. I’ve appealed quite a few of my answers and now none of them get flagged anymore. Probably been marked “green” on their backend or something.

  3. 2 years ago +/- I answered ” How can you lose 5 pounds in 2 days?” FIRST PARAGRAPH (36 words) I correctly stated 3500 calories and provided a link to a Huffpost Blog “How Many Calories Do You Actually Have To Burn To Lose One Pound” link that conveniently contained a Mayo Clinic calorie counter. SECOND PARAGRAPH (70 words) I riffed on losing 17 pounds of water weight in one afternoon to make weight for wrestling. THIRD PARAGRAPH (26 words) I stressed DON’T DO THAT and recommended cutting 300-500 calories a day as per the Huffpost article and various other links I found.
    As answers go, it is a nothing burger. 1.2K views 1 Upvote. Boring and clinical except for that brief 2nd ‘graph which I tried to keep light. No snark. No obscenity. Nothing unless the Q-bot doesn’t like stupid wrestling training.
    It was only an hour or so before that I accidentally stumbled across this answer.
    I reread it as I am wont to do. Realized I used “canard” incorrectly and changed it to “old saw” which might sound strange but is correct usage. There is a reference to “rational weight loss” but it is innocuous in context or by any other measure.
    Then I get slammed within an hour after leaving. WTF.
    What upsets me is the out-of-the-blue randomness of the whole thing.
    Arbitrary and capricious is probably the best descriptor.
    Q recently collapsed me for “Can you get Covid from contact your eyes, ears, open cuts?” I appealed and won.
    Q collapsed an answer presumably because it thought 4 word definition links were spam ??? Appealed and won.
    Q collapsed a 17 word concise and coherent answer with nothing offensive except for the last two words “Troll much?” I immediately deleted that gratuitous snark and appealed; denied. That one hurt because it was satire, funny, tight, and on point.
    One comment collapsed correctly although the guy was a roving bully who wove his name-calling and snark through parts of a long thread. No appeal.
    A week ago +/- I suddenly was looking at a free-floating banner that said “You are not allowed to answer questions.” that was attached to anything I have saved the Q e-addie so I wrote asking “Now what?” The next day all was good with apologies. Probably a Q-bot brain fart.
    The point here is 1.) I’m starting to feel like Q-bot is stalking me. I keep it clean and within bounds and I still get slammed. 2.) Why am I wasting my time like this.?
    Venting. 454 words. This screed is too long. My apologies.

    I really need a hobby that doesn’t involve sitting. Abandoning this site might be a good first step toward achieving that goal.

    1. It’s tough sometimes Bruce 🙂

      Only one person has to flag your answer to have it collapsed.

      You like to push the boundaries a little I see 🙂 I do that too sometimes. It can backfire though. Leaving Quora alone for a while might not be a bad idea 🙂 You seem like a smart guy. Why not start writing on Medium? Create your own audience. Decide on your own actions.

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