08
Aug
07

Is Helium.com a fraud?

Two days ago I posted a short essay, also published on Helium.com. For those not familiar with Helium, it is a website for writers and provides many categories to publish everything from short stories to essays and book excerpts. Also, if an author’s submission’s are ranked high enough, they are paid by Helium via a PayPal account. So far, so good.

Stories are rated by other members of Helium. Two stories in the same category appear side by side without displaying the author’s name. The reader rates which story is better and by how much. When you first submit, your story goes to the middle of the pack and then moves up or down from there.

I began to suspect problems when I looked at the stories ranked highest in the categories I’d submitted in. I wanted to learn what readers liked and thought maybe the highest ranked stories would have something to teach me. I was appalled at what I found. Not only did these stories exhibit a lack of even basic grammar on the author’s part, but the arguments and story lines were both inept and juvenile on many occasions. There were some very good stories admittedly, but not nearly enough.

So I Googled Helium to try to see if others noticed any problems. It seems that this is a severe and ongoing problem with Helium. First, people who rate large numbers of stories can make money, so many are simply rating the stories without reading them. Also, who’s to say a person can’t create multiple accounts and jack his own ratings? To show you what I’m talking about, here’s an article rated 2 out of 31 articles in the debate question: “Should the US continue to be the leader in world politics.” It’s author is Duane Kuehn. He wrote the article in the “yes” response, implying that the US should remain the world’s political leader. Here’s the link to his story: http://www.helium.com/tm/500449/united-states-should-continue

If this is 2 out of 31 articles, our nation sorely lacks 1) Critical thinkers 2) Good writers

Let’s rip this sucker apart. First Kuehn states that we should remain the leader in world politics, but that we should not have taken the role in the first place. A tenuous line of thinking at best. Kuehn then goes on to deconstruct his own argument that the US should remain the world’s leader.

Here we go. He says that if America demands to lead, many future problems await. Sir, you just stated that that we SHOULD remain as world leader! Then he calls us a bully for unilaterally invading Iraq (it was not unilateral), but then says we were the good guys for unilaterally invading Afghanistan.

Deep Breath. Here’s the glory of bad thinking and writing: In the final sentence, Kuehn says that the US should step down as world leader, at once contradicting his opening argument and disagreeing with the very category he submitted to! I don’t ask him to prove any of his dictates really. I didn’t prove that the US is good and moral as I contended in my article. But there must be a consistent argument and stream of thought. Sentences must flow a little, if not like music, at least like a reliable toilet.

Helium will get no more of my fiction, as the rating system has proven to be of little use in judging it’s quality. It is difficult though for me to keep my big mouth shut when it comes to a good political debate, so maybe I’ll give that a shot again.

UPDATE: I take back everything I said about Helium. My story is #1, Kuehn is #7. (4:07 est) 🙂

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34 Responses to “Is Helium.com a fraud?”


  1. 1 Kernunos
    August 13, 2007 at 2:19 am

    If you don’t get #1 then build a weapon platform in orbit and firebomb their headquarters(server in a guy’s closet in his momma’s basement) until they submit.

  2. 2 Douglas Moore
    August 13, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    I’m working on the platform. while that’s under construction though, I think I’ll put dog-doo in a flaming paper sack and leave it on their door step.

  3. 3 Dave
    September 5, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Duane’s article is now rated 26 of 39, which proves a natural progression of poor writing on Helium. How you would feel if someone posted your name in a blog and provided a link to one of your less than stellar articles?

    It’s one thing to point out the inequities of Helium rating, and quite another to single out a writer who may simply be trying to improve. Please consider editing your post to show more compassion to the individual and direct your criticism more appropriately.

  4. September 6, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Dave,

    I almost considered removing my Helium article, considering I’ve received multiple flames because of it. Many of the insurgent comments seemed to be made by employees of Helium. I could be wrong on that, but that’s the way they spoke.

    So I went back and read Duane’s profile, the one in which he states he has tons of opinions. Fine. So do I. And by posting things on Helium and on this blog, I submit myself to possible attack, both personal and professional.

    I have no problems with Duane. I don’t know him, other then from what he wrote about himself. I have big problems with that article. I also have problems with some of the things that go on at Helium, though I don’t really know how to fix them.

    Duane has submitted over 200 articles to Helium.com. He has a writing star which means he has some articles out there that people like. This particular one did not measure up.

    So, my article about Helium stays.

    By the way–people have said far worse things about me in the blogosphere then I ever said about Duane.

  5. 5 thehardcorefreelancer
    October 28, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I had a really hard time with them. I made about $0.20 from their site and decided that I wanted to use my articles somewhere else (magazine wants to pay me $50-$100 for one of them) but I couldn’t have them posted anywhere else. I emailed helium (at help@helium.com and at content@helium.com) 3-4 times and never received a response. In an (immature) attempt to get my profile deleted I purposefuly published inappropriate content then reported my inappropriate article thinking they might pay attention to that.

    Well instead of deleting my articles and my profile, they made me one of their premier writers giving the articles that I want to use elsewhere even more exposure. Not only that, but they have locked me out of my own account so I can’t post new work or edit my existing work and profiles. I’m absolutely livid. They don’t have rights to my work (by their own admission) and it’s to the point where if they don’t comply to my request in 48 hours I already have a lawyer lined up to help me take them to court.

    I recommend that you stay away from helium.com. They have absolutely no respect for writers and their artistic rights.

    Not only that but writers should be getting anywhere from $10-$25 per page for their work. Why would you work that hard and not get paid fairly for it? Rankings on Helium don’t pay the bills!

    I DO recommend going to websites like http://www.oDesk.com, http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com, associatedcontent.com or even craigslist.org where writers can find fair-paying gigs.

  6. 6 Anon
    October 30, 2008 at 2:26 am

    Thanks for your post. For me, the jury is still out on the “are they a fraud” question, but I’m starting to lean toward the negative. Anytime a company obfuscates its inner workings and dealings such as its real-time rating statistics and revenue generated via its advertisers (which the authors are suppose to be getting a cut), then it’s only natural to be skeptical of its operation.

    I’ve just started posting articles on the Helium site, but immediately became skeptical after submitting an article for a contest. It took several days for my article to climb to 2nd place and just before the contest ended, my article fell to 10th place. After the contest was over and the winners were selected, my article made it to 1st place. This indicates that someone or some folks know how to game the rating system.

    So, I told myself…self, maybe it was just a fluke, give it another shot. So I did. And to my amazement (NOT!), it happened again! But this time, it happened while I was actually watching it in real-time. My article was in 2nd place and within 5 minutes an article that was in 9th place jumped to 2nd place and my article fell to 10th place. It happened that fast, while I was clicking my mouse to refresh the screen.

    An article I submitted for a Journalism award made it to 1st place and remained in first place, yet the article that was selected was in 7th place. Of course, I read the “winning” article and to my surprise (NOT!), it sucked. However, I suspect my article remained in 1st place because no money was involved.

    So, like you, I set out to explore other complaints against Helium and wound up here. I believe Helium founders had honorable intentions when they launched the site, but like any venture where the possibility to earn money exist, there will always be scumbags that will find ways to game the system.

    If the owners or executive management team aren’t behind the fraudulent activity, then they should be working diligently to implement the appropriate security controls to prevent the fraud.

    I have a couple of articles “pending” in the Marketplace, so I am going to wait to see what happens with them. I don’t plan to post anymore articles to Helium or to any other website like it.

    If this blog is a “honey-pot” for Helium, then so be it.

  7. October 30, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Since I posted the negative article above, a story of mine that has been ranked number 1 out of 300+ suddendly dropped to 22nd. It hasn’t moved much. It was number one for almost 6 months.

    Oh well–burn and learn. 🙂

    thanks for the comments and keep coming back!

  8. 8 Jean
    December 26, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    like Miami Herald humour columnist Dave Barry says, “Hardy-har-har”. I wrote some articles for Helium – my profile may be viewed at http://www.helium.com/user/show/89941 – and believe me, in no timer at all it became clear that I was surrounded by morons, and a little later it became clear that Helium was as crooked as a dogs hind leg (and my apologies to dogs’ hind legs). But I managed to achieve some desired results from my profile by e-mailing it to the right people.

  9. 9 Wisdom
    January 4, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Regarding earning inconsistencies, lack of payment or rating star, ranking, transparency, etc…

    People who have not been paid, or believe that Helium is a scam, can and should complain to the state attorney generals office of consumer complaint in the state where Helium does business. I believe this is Massachusetts.

    Also, complain to the fair trade commission and various scam alert sites or the US government’s own scam alert divisions. You can also send copies of the complaint to a congressman asking them legislate against unethical writer sites. You can write one letter and send copies to all the agencies.

    If enough people complain, Helium will be investigated, if the charges are true, Helium may have to compensate unpaid fees or face disciplinary action.

    Even if the site is not doing something totally illegal but just skimming by and operating in an unethical manner, it can still be disciplined, particularly if enough people complain. Similar to the unethical behavior of the credit card industry, and recent legislative mandates to improve their behavior.

    These agencies need to be alerted to scams before they can investigate.

  10. February 20, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    hi i am so glad i found this. i have a friend who writes for helium and i should tell her about it. thnak u for the info! i will write my friend right away to let her know because she is recruitment so many of our friends but she is honest and doesn’t know she’s being scammed.

  11. February 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Helium is the largest writing community in the world, with a supportive and responsive staff. Because there are five different ways to earn at Helium, and because of the unique nature of our patented democratic rating process, new members sometimes need to learn more before they understand fully our multifaceted publishing platform.

    It also helps if you get connected at Helium, so you can have your questions answered. My door is always open: bwhitlock@helium.com.

    While the Internet makes it easy for anyone to yell fire in that proverbial theatre, readers beware. Check out the facts: Helium pays out hundreds of thousands of dollars to writers, and we pay on the 10th of every month. Helium’s Freelance Marketplace has become the central square where magazine, web and — increasingly — newspaper publishers meet our high quality writers to meet their content needs. Helium is based on a competitive writing and rating structure. Not all members succeed when they compete, but better writers will.

    It’s natural for people to approach something new with skepticism; the virtual medium increases that. But if you dig in a little, learn more and get connected, I’m confident you’ll find Helium one of the most trusted publishing platforms you can find. We’re also emerging as a leader in this industry. In fact, I suspect you’ll enjoy the addictive fun of writing, rating, earning and networking which makes most of our writers simply delighted to call themselves freelance writers at Helium.com.

    Barbara Whitlock
    Community Development Manager
    Helium.com, Inc.
    bwhitlock@helium.com
    http://www.helium.com/users/13060

  12. 12 Fred
    March 27, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Helium is very concerned about their image even though their reputation is being slammed over and over by the same complaints. Maybe they should start listening to their writers instead of being dismissive. The standard response to the writers on their board is that if you don’t like it you can leave. writers who disagree are sanctioned. Their articles take a dive on the ratings, their comments erased from the community board, and frequently writers are banned from the site for being too outspoken. Even if you are banned, you can not have your articles removed.

  13. March 28, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Fred,

    You’re right. When I posted this article, my rating began to move lower. I got several comments, which I quickly dumped, from helium employees telling me how wrong I was for doing this. It felt as though I’d spoken out against Scientology or something. I mean, there was a real cult mentality by those at the core or Helium. I’ve written over 20 articles for them. Almost all of them were rated about the 75th percentile until I wrote this. After I wrote this, they removed my writing star, which signified a high level of reader approval. I have no way of deleting all of that work so that I ccould possibly sell some of the short stories to another publishing comapany. Helium owns it. My fault for being naive.

    I guess all we can do is keep warning people. They’re making their own bed. My guess is that Helium is run by a bunch of younger people, right out of college.

  14. April 15, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    David Arthur Walters to Barbara
    April 15, 2009

    Barbara, I see that Helium Inc has locked me out of “my” account because I objected to its one-sided terms and insisted that my property be removed from the Helium Inc site. This refusal of access emphasizes that there is really no contract, and that Helium Inc and its officers, directors, and agents are engaged in the theft of property i.e. violation of copyrights. David

    We’re sorry your account is in a state that cannot be altered.
    Login: REFUSED
    We’re sorry your account is in a state that cannot be altered.
    Login: REFUSED

    David Arthur Walters to Barbara
    April 15, 2009

    Barbara: You have been very helpful with one exception, and I hope you are being well paid for your sacrifices. The Help Desk is unhelpful. My request is very simple: remove my work from the Helium site immediately. David

    On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 7:18 AM, Barbara Whitlock wrote:

    I’m sorry for any frustrations, but I hope you’ve tried to work with the help desk folks. My part in this is simply to offer you the help and support to help encourage you to stay and get the most out of writing for Helium. I really can’t help on the issues you’ve raised here.

    Best wishes,

    Barbara

    Barbara Whitlock
    Community Development Manager
    Helium.com
    bwhitlock@helium.com
    http://www.helium.com/users/13060

    From: David Arthur Walters
    Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7:15 AM

    To: Barbara Whitlock
    Subject: Re: Please delete my account immediately

    Barbara, I had not invested much time in Helium, and I was really shocked when I read some of the unconscionable terms of the adhesion TOS – which appeared to have changed somewhat since I last saw them – but what really set me off was the scads of complaints from relatively innocent Helium writers, and the fact that Helium’s top executive is unwilling to politely delete the account of someone who has received absolutely no financial consideration at all, consideration being a sine qua non of a valid contract. Some complaints out there claim that Helium is not paying its bills, for example suddenly marking an account down from $30 to $4 in earnings so it will not have to pay, and is otherwise fraudulently manipulating the numbers; of course these claims may be unfounded, which will be determined after the records are subpoenaed. I recall one promotion where I adopted an orphan title and my account was not credited nor was my inquiry about it responded to – not that such a picayune event was world shaking. Anyway, I am beginning to receive quite a bit of information on this issue, and perhaps I will get some nice tidbits from insiders via blind email etc. I hope you had a few nice days off, and are actually getting paid for your good services. David

    On Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 8:15 AM, Barbara Whitlock wrote:

    I’m not sure what you’re asking on this one? David, I’m hoping you’ll stay with Helium and I can create a title to which you can resubmit your radical love article. Any chance or do you still want your account disabled?

    From: David Arthur Walters
    Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2009 1:06 PM

    To: Barbara Whitlock
    Subject: Re: Please delete my account immediately

    Dear Barbara,

    To what address may service of process by delivered to Helium?

    Thanks,

    David

    On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 6:23 PM, David Arthur Walters wrote:

    Thank you, Barbara, I’ll examine Helium’s TOS for more info on that subject, and get back to you on an ideal title (my title is RADICAL LOVE). I am an advertiser too, and do not like to have good links broken, especially on highly ranked goods. BTW, I encountered a peculiar situation four years ago or so – the editor of an ezine had phony identities that he was awarding writing prizes to (he was charging entry fees), and when I uncovered his scam, he locked me out of the site and refused to remove my material, which he proceeded to negatively criticize in the body of the text itself. Eventually the authorities dealt with him, for the investigation revealed he was wanted on a warrant for child abuse – he catered to children on his site too. What a world! Have a great weekend. David

    On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 6:34 AM, Barbara Whitlock wrote:

    Let’s just make a custom fit title for this. Send me suggestions, I’ll seed it and send you the URL. Then you can resubmit.

    Thoughtful piece!
    Barbara

    From: David Arthur Walters
    Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 6:29 PM

    To: Barbara Whitlock
    Subject: Re: Please delete my account immediately

    I think someone on your staff took political or religious offense, perhaps at this, just for instance:

    “I have neither religious nor political sermon to preach, as I am an optimistic skeptic who places his blind faith in Nothing. Nevertheless, I confess that Jesus’ name has been repeatedly bandied about and abused. I admit he was a radical reformer who was tried twice: once in the ecclesiastical court, where he was apparently adjudged innocent of spiritual offenses, of blasphemy and the like, that carried a penalty of death by stoning, and once in the political court, where he was tried and convicted of a trumped up-political charge, of treason, that warranted a penalty of death by crucifixion. I admit he was an advocate of genuine love instead of empty ritual. I deny that he invented love. I opine that he inherited love, as the son of the originally good part of humanity, if he was not Love incarnated as the gnostic son of that god who was once called the Stranger because he was previously unknown on the plane presided over by the selfish god of the Garden of Eden, the jealous and wrathful god who was hell bent on punishing mankind forever for stealing a few apples from his orchard. We might expound on any religion that liberates the individual from selfishness, and still speak of love. I personally view religion as the love of absolute power, the power of life that would endure forever if it could, and politics as the relative or mundane distribution of that power. The so-called original sin is the accident of individuality, but the sin is forgiven in the universality of the category of one, the unity enjoyed by everyone despite their differences. I see at the center of every religion the celebration of the natural sacrifice of the individual for the common good, by which love the individual is made even stronger radical religion is, in a manner of speaking, virtual suicide, by means of which the glorious hereafter is made present now.” FROM RADICAL LOVE

    On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 5:23 PM, David Arthur Walters wrote:

    Barbara: Thanks for getting back to me. When I get a moment, I’ll dig up a copy and send it to you -. What I’ve always wondered – if you cannot get into the account, why cannot I delete all the articles in my account instead of asking you to do so? David

    On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 7:39 AM, Barbara Whitlock wrote:

    I can’t view a deleted article. Is it on the site still? If not, can you copy and paste into an email so I can look at it?

    It may be that the title was not very effective. If you can think of a good title for your piece I’ll just create one and send it to you, and then you can resubmit.

    Sorry for the frustrations,

    Barbara

    From: David Arthur Walters
    Sent: Saturday, April 04, 2009 12:56 PM

    To: Barbara Whitlock
    Subject: Re: Please delete my account immediately

    This was the link to the article:

    Four great ideas in history – by David Arthur Walters – Helium
    by David Arthur Walters. On Love, perhaps the greatest idea in history! … For instance, when President Barrack Obama, during the latest bust phase of the …
    http://www.helium.com/items/1367383-revolutionary-love – 36k – Cached – Similar pages

    I recall it was highly regarded – when people click on it, they discover they have wasted their time, and I do not need that kind of “advertising.” I believe Helium has some sort of clique of insiders such as I have encountered elsewhere. Anyway, I am very hurried right now as the dead line approaches. Catch you later. David

    On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 8:16 AM, Barbara Whitlock wrote:

    Do you have the article you could share with me, and perhaps I could craft a very focused title to it, and you could resubmit. Would this interest you, or am I just delaying what you really want, which is to disable your account? I hope not, and I apologize if my appeals are tiresome.

    Just let me know and I’ll proceed how you choose.

    Warm regards,

    Barbara

    From: David Arthur Walters
    Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 6:44 PM
    To: Barbara Whitlock
    Subject: Re: Please delete my account immediately

    Oh, I had one piece on the subject of Love deleted with a recommendation to put it elsewhere, which I did, in four great ideas in history, which is was actually about, but then it was deleted again with a message to the effect that Love is not one of the four or whatever – and mine was on RADICAL love, i.e. one of the most revolutionary ideas of all time. Anyway, working as I am 60 hours a week, and getting such email, I just don’t have time to fool around with it – I figured perhaps some reader complained, as how could Helium be so absurd? I noticed that a couple of deletions said to be off subject were actually ranked in the top quartile, so what does that mean? That Helium is top-down subjectivity instead of bottom-up subjectivity? Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend. Ciao. David

    On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 8:14 AM, Barbara Whitlock wrote:

    Hi David,

    I’m shock to hear this. Can you tell me what happened or forward the email to me so I can investigate?

    I’m afraid, as per the User Agreement, when we disable a member’s account it merely blocks their access to their content. The content does stay on the site. I hope we can find some solutions instead of seeing you go. I’m out for the mid chunk of the day, but I’ll be back later in the afternoon to follow up.

    Warm regards and apologies,

    Barbara

    From: David Arthur Walters [mailto:davidarthurwalters@gmail.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 6:26 PM
    To: Barbara Whitlock
    Subject: Please delete my account immediately

    Hi, Barbara!

    No offense, but I can no longer tolerate Helium’s nonsensical content modeling. Every couple of weeks or so, I receive a rejection notice that is usually so absurd that anyone except a complete idiot would find it annoying. Not that I don’t wish you all well. Just remove all my content, immediately, please.

    Thanks!

    David Arthur Walters

    # #

    Sat, 11 Apr 2009 5:24 PM
    From “David Arthur Walters”
    To “Mark Ranalli”
    Subject Versus Helium, Inc. et al

    Dear Mark,

    Yes, I am the “guy” who did not threaten legal action until my request for deletion of my account was greeted with prevarication. I asked very politely to begin with, and my request was not honored and the point was ignored. Your adhesion TOS is invalid. I would have went my merry way with due consideration, but absent that, I took some time to actually read the TOS and the many complaints against Helium out there, and was astonished. Since it is clear that you are indeed the person responsible, and you have decided to continue to display my work against my wishes, behavior that may be in violation not only of civil law but the computer crimes statute, I shall conduct a background investigation and proceed accordingly against your firm and its officers and agents. That is not a “threat” but a promise.

    If on the other hand you can settle this matter amicably, by removing my property from your site, let me know, and in any event, have a Happy Holiday, if Easter is your observance.

    David Arthur Walters

    Sat, 11 Apr 2009 11:09 AM
    From “Mark Ranalli”
    To davidarthurwalters@fastmail.fm
    Subject FW: Is this the correct info? (from guy threatening legal action)

    David:

    I’m sorry to hear that you wish to cancel your account with Helium. Helium’s user guide and terms are very clear regarding your rights to your content and the rights that you grant Helium when you submit your content. These terms are the same for all of our members. Our terms are clear, valid, legal, and consistent with the norm of web publishing sites. I’m sorry that you don’t like the terms of service.

    Best,

    Mark Ranalli

    Mark Ranalli | President & CEO
    mranalli@helium.com

    Date Sat, 11 Apr 2009 10:21 AM
    From “David Arthur Walters”
    To aressler@helium.com
    Subject Legal action versus Helium for copyright violation

    Mr. Ressler,

    I am considering taking legal action against Helium, Inc. in connection with its refusal to remove my work from its Internet site. I believe that Helium’s adhesion contract is invalid and that it and its officers are intentionally violating my copyright for commercial reasons, which may be a criminal as well as a civil offense.

    Please advise if the information below is accurate for service of process.

    Thank you!

    David Arthur Walters

    Contact: Andrew Ressler
    aressler@helium.com
    Company Address: 300 Brickstone Square, Andover, MA 01810
    Primary Phone: 978-474-5074 Primary Fax: 978-474-6435
    URL: http://www.Helium.com
    Corporate Officers: Mark Ranalli, CEO and Andrew Ressler, Vice President, Sales & Marketing and Martha Collins, Vice President, Advertising

  15. April 25, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Does anyone at all remember reading the last sentence of the Helium “Writers Agreement” below in reference to deletion? Or is the sentence a recent addition? Please let me know asap:

    Helium Writers Agreement
    By checking this box I agree to:
    This article is my own creation and not copied from anyone else’s work nor is it a duplicate of another article of mine on Helium. I certify that I own all rights to this material and grant Helium™ a license to publish it according to the terms of the Helium User Agreement. I understand that my account will be deleted if I copy another member’s article or if I am found guilty of plagiarizing any content. I also understand that I will not be able to delete the article after it is posted.

  16. April 28, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    David,

    I’m not sure if it was there when I was publishing. I don’t remember seeing it, though.

  17. May 3, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Magus71,

    Various studies have found that very few people, estimated at 1/1,000, read adhesion (adhere to OUR terms or get lost) agreements – including the click-wrap and browse-wrap “agreements” or “terms of service” on the internet. Not even LAWYERS read them.

    David Arthur Walters

  18. May 5, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    It appears Helium is a very devious organization. An investigative journalist has uncovered evidence in archived Helium pages that the so-called writers agreement has been changed to say articles cannot be deleted once posted – it did NOT say that before. Plus Helium has now launched a Title on the subject. See the comments and links at:

    http://ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=23310

  19. May 5, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Here is a link to the reporter who discovered the archived pages.

    http://antihelium.wordpress.com

  20. 20 sander
    September 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Warning be aware of Ravi Singh, he is a thief.
    These guys are spamming on sites over the whole world en are claming to be bonafide but they are crooks.
    I did order for 350 Euro’s sometings never got it and now they are not reply any mail or phonecall.
    Be warned don’t order anyting at their websites.
    They also copy products photosfrom other websites and claim that they have it in stock.
    After you make payment you will never hear something from them.

    This are the formalities of the imposter
    http://www.alibaba.com/product-free/105607170/Cats_Chord_Billi_Ki_Naal_Billi.html

    Company Name: Black Magic Spiritual Tantric Products
    Street Address: New Goldennest
    City: Mumbai
    Province/State: Maharashtra
    Country/Region: India
    Zip: 401105
    Telephone: 91-022-9892745771
    Mobile Phone: 91 9892745771
    Fax: 91
    Website: http://www.blackmagichealer.blogspot.com

    rshopup@hotmail.com ravi_hhh50@hotmail.com

  21. 21 Harry
    October 19, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    The most Indian healers and guru’s are thiefs.
    They use internet to offer ritual items or tantric items to costumers.
    This is not okay because they are fraud!
    Why they are fraud ?
    Let me tell you this:
    They buy items on the local market for about 200 Rupees the piece, well that’s a few dollar lets say 4 dollar they put in online in their online spiritual shop for between 100 and 200 dollars the piece.
    There are a lot Indians from out of Indian who were brought up with this supernatural tales and so.
    That they will buy these items that knowledge is by these fake gurus and healers.
    Also there is a guy In India Who is taking advantage of people with problems.
    This guy Ravi Singh so called Balck magic healer is offering his service online to everyone who want’s it or not.
    He scammed a lot of people also by not sending the paid items.
    This guy is a real big scam he is spamming world wide and is also replying on blog with solutions and after wards he scammes the most NRI’s ( not recidential Indians )
    Google and you see : Ravi Singh fraud black magic healer.
    Also a notice if there is something like a real guru or healer who is offering solutions against poverty, Then why he is not helping his own country because India is a land full of beggars , scammers , thiefs and a hand full of honest people.
    If you visit India you will see this text on the most carnumberplates: out of the 100 there are 80 not reliable still is my India very sacred.
    So the Indians self now it.
    But this is a waning for everybody else.
    Watch out for fake gurus And so called black magic healer Ravi Singh fraud !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. 22 Anna
    January 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Hi all

    I agree with all the posters and particularly this post below:

    (Helium is very concerned about their image even though their reputation is being slammed over and over by the same complaints. Maybe they should start listening to their writers instead of being dismissive. The standard response to the writers on their board is that if you don’t like it you can leave. writers who disagree are sanctioned. Their articles take a dive on the ratings, their comments erased from the community board, and frequently writers are banned from the site for being too outspoken. Even if you are banned, you can not have your articles removed.)

    Helium is engaging in many activities that appear to be illegal. They need to have their records exposed in a trial or an investigation.

    If enough people complain to the the FTC and state attorney generals office they will be investigated.

  23. 23 Concerned
    February 17, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    I have had similar problems to everyone here. My account was suspended, and apparently closed, over a few harmless links I had included in my content. They claimed they constituted “personally identifying information” or “self-promotion.” Even Helium couldn’t seem to make up their minds which rule I was breaking (the second rule against “self-promotion” doesn’t seem to even exist.)

    Based on what I have experienced and what others have said, I believe that Helium’s actions are unethical and that they are maltreating their writers. I’m not sure whether it qualifies as fraud or a scam, but it what they are doing is definitely wrong. Even if they did reinstate my account at this point, I would never post another article on the site. I am in the process of moving my articles to other sites. This whole thing has been traumatic, especially since they accosted me about the issue on a national holiday. I want nothing further to do with them.

    I’m trying to get the word out about their wrongful actions towards their site members. And I have filed a complaint with the FTC, but they have not responded.

  24. 24 Sylvana
    February 23, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Helium’s statement that authors retain ownership is an absolute farce. Not only are authors not allowed to delete their work if they wish, they are restricted in their capacity to EDIT their articles. An author who needs to make a change to an article, perhaps to correct a mistake or to update information on a topic, has to go through a process called “leapfrogging”. This sets the new version against the old version. It only goes through if Helium’s raters accept the new version in preference. There is major frustration on the Helium forums at the moment because so many leapfrogs are rejected.

    Going by comments around the web, many raters don’t bother to read the articles they rate, which is hardly surprising given the tediousness of the majority of topics and poor quality of the writing submitted to them. People rate only because they would otherwise forfeit all earnings. 500 ratings over the previous 90 days at a rating percentage of at least 75% (i.e. the extent to which the rater agrees with Helium’s secret algorithm and with other raters) gives 5 rating stars, which will add $3 each month to the paltry cents most writers otherwise earn. I’ve learned from others that it is possible to use a rating system which only requires a very briefest scan of the articles and no actual reading. This takes a few seconds per article pair and will result in a very high rating percentage. I restrict myself to a few pairs at a time so as not to be penalised for binge rating. I do a couple of minutes first thing in the morning while still not awake enough to do real work, last thing at night when too tired to work and during the odd break for coffee in the day. Raters who take the trouble to read articles and rate them on perceived quality often complain they cannot retain any rating stars, so it really is in no one’s interest to rate honestly.

    I personally use Helium merely for recycling. I write an article the way I want to write it and at the length I think appropriate and publish it on a decent writing site. I then spend about 10 minutes rewriting 3-4 paragraphs from it into bland Helium style and dump it into a vaguely relevant Helium title. I see no difference in revenue from those articles and the ones I spent hours crafting in my naive first weeks on Helium. The earnings are rubbish, but since I’m only spending a few minutes per article now, I view them as true passive income.

  25. 25 TLD
    February 27, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Mmmm… Helium is not as great as it makes out. I have recently had my account suspended due to appparent plagarism! The offending articles, were fact related articles. Genuine plagarism articles, yes by all means, remove the article and send the writer to coventry! But when it comes down to factual articles, you can’t be blamed for plagarism surely? If you write the facts you’re accused of plagarism, and if you make it up you’re accused of being factually incorrect… and still have your account cancelled, no win situation then! I had only been with the sight for ten days, I had two writing stars, two rating stars, a silver creative writing medal and an approved writers medal, and then out of the blue this crops up! On checking up on the title that one of my articles, had been accused of plagarism in, the number two article of ten, was written word for word, paragraph by paragraph, from the same source in which I recieved my information. I could have kicked up a fuss, I could have screamed with rage, but in the end I decided it just wasn’t worth it… I’ve put it down to experience, got on with my life and I warn anybody that may be thinking of joining Helium, to join with caution.
    The thing that really has got up my nose, is how much time and effort I put in to writing for Helium, and then on googling Helium, I find all these other people with Helium Grievences!
    Moral of the story… It pays to do some research before signing up!

  26. 26 Francina Parks
    May 11, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    One of my articles was deleted for plagiarism. My article was up against one other on the same subject matter. I sent an email to help@helium and explained to them – the article i wrote and submitted was a study of dental health: fruits and vegetables, I wrote almost two years while working with nutritional programs for child care facilities.. They have locked me out of my account with statements like: We’re sorry your account is in a state that cannot be allowed.
    Are we talking about professionals? I had the nerve to disagree with them. My friend write for the local newspaper here, she looked at both articles and could not see that they were even remotely the same. Needless to say I am no longer interested in Helium – thanks to their sneaky dishonestly – shame shame- shame on you.

  27. 27 Star
    July 11, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I regret that I ever got involve with Helium.com. I have many publications before I joined Helium.com! The worst part about Helium.com is that they are simply abusive, psychotic, toxic, unreasonable, unethical, unprofessional, oppressive, and inhumane! For example, they love to accuse writers for something that the writers did not and have not committed. As a result, Helium.com’s actions and words are intentionally inflicting unnecessary pain and torments to the writers (ones that decided not to write for Helium.com anymore.) writers have rights to be respected, espeically we have rights for our authentic work to be removed!

    Another “bad” thing about Helium.com is that when you confronted the staff that they ought to pay more attention to the details, they will end up distorted the truths and facts and made you feel you are responsible for the harms, damages, and wounds that they have directly, indirectly, consciously, unconsciously, and intentionally caused due to their “psychotic, abusive, and oppressive mentality!” After that, the staff will find B.S. excuses to trash you down such as “Do you ever wonder why your rating dropped so much since your voiced your opinions to the staff!” One of my articles was rated in the 1st place, then it dropped to 9th place. The truth, the rapid changes in the rating within a short amount of time proves that there is something “fishy or B.S.” about the rating system.

    Later on, after I carefully thought about everything that have happened to me from the first issue I encountered until the most recent issues I encountered with Helium.com, I informed Helium.com that I am no longer interested to writer for Helium.com anymore. I also kindly requested the Help@helium.com and Content@helium.com to remove all of my work since I no longer give them permission to publish my work and since they are the reasons I had to disassociate myself from Helium.com!

    Please check out the blog on “Writer’s Review on Helium.com: Is it Worth It?”

    To all incoming or new writers for Helium.com, if you want save yourself from having headaches and heartaches, “Please Do Not Get Involve with Helium.com at all!” Since so many of us (the former Helium.com writers) have encountered incidents with Helium.com, what makes you think you would not encounter issues with Helium.com?

    The attorney’s office really need to act on behalf of us, otherwise, Helium.com will just continue to commit harms, damages, and violations toward writers and innocent human beings!

    Sincerely,

    Star

  28. 28 werner
    June 9, 2012 at 5:50 am

    All posts are placed, read and have commercial value somewhere on the net. I think they get sold of somewhere else…. What a great way to collect writings to sell. Pay one dollar, sell for 75 dollars.

  29. June 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I think with writing on-line- I enjoy the fact that Helium will send me an email describing if & why my article was deleted. Also, if they did publish it but found something wrong (like typos) they will tell me what it is I’m doing that is wrong. This feedback helps me. Of-course I’d like to get into a magazine; however, I need constructive feedback 1st.

  30. June 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    When you publish an article for Helium now it states: ” They have the exclusive right to have it for (1) year, and then you are free to publish anywhere.” This means it is always your article forever. With Yahoo.Voices many of their up-front payments are exclusive. Many are Display only. I don’t mind selling something exclusive as I am trying to make it; however, I would not sell exclusive rights to what I consider my best work for $5.00 bucks.

  31. August 13, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Hello! I saved it to my laptop:) Useful post.

  32. November 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    I am really glad that people are making a point of commenting on the things that are wrong.

    In 2010 my computer broke down and I did not get another one until this year 2013 and I was not able to get on line due to moving and not having a home and the cost of the replacement and the cost of being on line. Finally I am back on track and find out that I can’t get into my account as I have over time lost my password and I don’t know what I have earned if anything at all. Also, I find that my articles submitted to Helium that were to help me advance in my writing are now all copyrighted and have been put into Esine9 for competition. I am so upset and I can’t reach anyone at Helium to discuss what has happen and I feel so horrible! I am not dead and 7 years has not passed and I cannot even be presumed dead.

    How can this happen?

  33. May 3, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    @Brenda, you made the same mistake most of us did – not reading the user agreement thoroughly when we joined! There was some nasty fine print on there, which allows Helium to keep our articles forever (even if we want to leave the site), and also allows them to republish our work in anthologies and ebooks without paying us a cent. They can’t take your copyright, but they do have “first rights” which in today’s online world has virtually the same effect.

    Helium recently changed its setup radically, so each subject area has its own separate website. It seems to have been a disaster, with traffic tanking, and occasionally I Google to see what people have to say about it. The answer seems to be “nothing”, which is perhaps some indication of how their membership has dropped off, too. In fact, there is so little buzz about Helium that when I Googled it, this old post came up!


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