I am often asked by users whether or not it is acceptable to submit their own content to Hubski. It is acceptable. When the content is quality, it is encouraged.
Some web communities suffer from a hypocrisy rooted in this tenet: Do not submit your own content; however, you may submit the content of others. I call this the ‘Not Mine’ policy.
Sometimes the ‘Not Mine’ policy is explicit, sometimes it is implied. Sometimes breaches of the ‘Not Mine’ policy is tolerated in small doses. Any ‘Not Mine’ policy is dishonest and harmful.
When creators cannot submit their own content openly, they often do so by other means. They create puppet accounts, and they ask friends to submit on their behalf; sometimes they pay for this service. Not only is this behavior wasteful, it normalizes deception, and increases suspicion among the community. Often members spend time trying to expose others for their ties to the content they submitted. At worse, original content becomes suspect when ‘Not Mine’ is perceived to be a safeguard against nefarious influencers with commercial or political interests.
Ostensibly to keep things real, some sites make a distinction between content submitted by commercial and non-commercial creators. However, both individual bloggers and publishing houses can make money from page views, and even non-profit creators hope to increase their readership, perhaps to one day turn a profit. Enforcement of a ‘Not Mine’ policy funnels commercial submitters into established advertising mechanisms, which may be a profit motivation for enforcement, but it provides fewer options for individual content creators. Making matters worse, since the content of large publishers is likely to be submitted by a non-related user anyway, the ‘Not Mine’ policy favors the visibility of commercial content.
A ‘Not Mine’ policy also implicitly equates external validation with value. Methods used to garner attention typically involve a paid or private marketing network, and often involve obfuscation of support. Putting content creators on unequal footing implies that value lies in a content propagation network, rather than in the nature of the content itself. At a fundamental level, ‘Not Mine’ values consumption above creation, and grants undue significance to general acceptance.
There has been a recent increase in publishing platforms that invite content creators under one roof. One advantage for these platforms is that the individual creators do much of the work of content propagation, while keeping the centralized monetization platform at a respectable distance. The ‘Not Mine’ policy buttresses these centralized content platforms.
The need for a ‘Not Mine’ policy is a matter of design. When users have the tools to avoid unwanted content, open submission of personal content actually decreases the need for global moderation and anti-spamming mechanisms.
Hubski doesn’t have a ‘Not Mine’ policy, not even an implicit one. Submit your own content. The community will be the judge of its merits.