Disclaimer: I'd like to not point at any posts or link examples of the kind of posts that I'm talking about. I don't want to blame/mock/be mean to any of the authors.
Edit: I'm in the process of writing a post that will gather all the ideas in your comments and then classify them so that we can discuss their pros and cons together. Thank you all so very much for your time and effort in coming up with all kinds of ideas :)
I've finally had enough! The quality of posts in dev is seriously deteriorating, my feed is almost always polluted with posts that have near-clickbait titles or copy-paste tutorials that I've either seen on other platforms by different authors or just a cobbled-together mess of the top searches on Google, and sometimes it's a 1 to 1 match too! The author has not changed a single word.
The worst part of this nightmare is that some of these posts lack research effort. Dev is growing at a rapid rate, which means obviously a lot of new and aspiring developers hear about it. Eventually, they'll visit the platform, read a few posts, and then become regular readers or may end up contributing by writing about their journey. This is one of the best things about this platform, the fact that it is completely open for any developer no matter what their experience level is, to express themselves and their journey.
What's so nightmarish about all of this? The fact that these new and fresh minds will read content that is either outdated or just inaccurate. They'll build their foundations on these incorrect fundamentals and eventually end up having to correct themselves down the line. If you've ever had a bad habit, you know how difficult it is to get rid of it. You could say that this is an over-exaggeration of a trivial situation, one that exists across a lot of platforms, but that's how all problems start. Platforms that start out from being great and just pure awesome eventually end up turning into parasitic manipulative poison-breeders.
Now you might think that nobody should use a single source to base their foundations like that, but quite often that's how it works. When someone sufficiently influential says that something is good, large numbers of people will also think that particular thing is good. In the case of dev, because credible authors write brilliant posts, it may be difficult for a sufficiently inexperienced developer to distinguish what is correct from what is wrong simply because they don't know enough to make that judgment call and the fact that bad posts are mingled in the good posts.
I'd say I'm an avid reader, and I comment on a lot of such posts in dev particularly, pleading the authors to put more effort into doing research and developing their content structure but often times it just never ends up reaching the author.
So the question is, how do we solve this? Do we mock/demean/be rude to authors that make posts like that? The answer is and always will be NO. This is what happens over at Stackoverflow quite frequently (not all the time, and by no means am I saying that STO shouldn't be used), new developers feel intimated to participate in such communities because existing participants of the community retaliate pretty harshly when said individual in their opinion does not demonstrate that they're "worthy".
Most importantly, it does not solve the problem. What is the problem? Quite often, I believe that a lot of authors actually do put effort into their posts but the final product may not be up-to-par because:
- The author does not have enough experience either in the topic that they're attempting to discuss or writing a post to properly express themselves or the idea behind the post. As a result, may use similar content to patch the holes by reading the top Google results.
- The author does not know how to structure and deliver the content properly, due to a lack of inspiration or research effort.
- The author is reposting an old post, without making the necessary updates.
- The author does not have sufficient English proficiency to properly deliver key points.
And so on. However posts that represent an organization can not be excused, at least the author can not be excused. The author is at that point representing the organization. Regardless, I believe that posts that display any of these symptoms can still be salvaged with a little more effort and experience. How do we do so?
- Direct the author to credible sources of information like documentation or well-received and up-to-date posts. When you do, please make sure you navigate them in such a way that they can find the content in question.
- If you believe that you have the required experience to explain certain things that the post has got wrong, do so but without trying to sound condescending or mean. We do not want to discourage authors. We want to make them better!
- If you feel like the post in question is a repost and lacks up-to-date information, outline the inconsistencies so that any new developer knows what's changed.
Among them, however, are ones that can not be salvaged and clearly demonstrate a pure lack of effort. At that point, it is possible and clearly evident that the goal is not to contribute but to just spit out content. These posts may be but aren't limited to:
- Posts that have straight-up plagiarized content. There are quite a lot of these and it's an absolutely horrible thing. You're just stealing someone else's work to look good.
- Posts that clearly "tease" content and make the reader navigate to a different platform to read the rest. This is no better than Medium's paywall.
- Posts that include nothing but a video link, with no or little explanation or summary of what the link is about.
- Posts that include a whole bunch of links or lines of text without explanations. You could call them resource lists. Resource lists are great, but ONLY when whatever it is, is explained well.
- Improperly structured help or "do this thing for me pls" requests. Posts like this are thankfully rare but I've seen them.
And so on, I believe that posts like this should either be hidden from readers or it should be possible to calibrate the feed settings in such a way that those who are fine which such posts can see them. Plagiarization is a pretty serious thing, so I'd rather see authors just straight out not be able to post for a while to learn from their mistakes.
In addition to this, I believe that after a while on dev, I've been seeing repetitive posts on certain topics. I don't see anything wrong with it but when I drop off work, just sit back and relax to read something it kind of annoys me because I'm almost done with my tea by the time I've found something that is interesting enough. I feel like it should be possible for readers to calibrate their feed in such a way that they can just opt-out of such content so I can opt-in to read such topics and help someone out when I feel like it.
I am aware that you could prioritize the tags you want to follow, but for example, I can't opt-out of seeing posts for the #100DaysOfCode tag (again, not trying to be mean, there are just times I wanna learn something new and I'm also not saying that you can't learn anything new from posts with that particular tag). Maybe a blacklist of tags would do well for a situation like this.
Finally, I'd like to end this rant by asking any potential commenters to this post to have civil discussions. Criticize the idea, not the person. Share any of your thoughts, experiences, and what you think could be done to change/solve the problem or if you don't see it as a problem!
Top comments (123)
Open my feed
—> 7 best VS code extensions you should install (Eslint, prettier)
—> 25 ideas for personal projects (Todo app)
—> How to become developer in a month (You should code)
Close my feed.
Every goddamns day same and same articles. I used to think people just want to show in theirs CVs that they are "making tech articles" or something like this, so they just copy-paste same and same no-brain stuff. Thaks for bringing that up. This is really going under control.
I was about to make the same post as OP for the same reason. Seing Bootstrap in Top 5 CSS framework 2020 is a distressingly high point of non-information—like, Everest high.
Now how do we encourage people to write something different, more personal? Is just cultural, like make it known that these are lame posts? Do we need to change the game, like not showing the counter? Do we need curators?
The problem is, people like this stuff. Just look at the top post of the month and all time: thousands of likes for implement a glorified to-do list and not even 10% of for
Observables, Reactive Programming, and Regret
Ben Lesh ・ Jun 29 '20 ・ 6 min read
I can see how that can give incentive to a lot of people, and combine this with people that are in it purely for content marketing, you have double the noise. I'm sorry to hear that your experience has been frustrating. Have you tried calibrating your tag priority?
I'm facing this same issue daily on my feeds as well. :p
I've been thinking this lately as well. There are TONS of listicles and "How To Be A ROCKSTAR [emojis here]" articles that are pretty much link dumps, 99 Extensions You NEED, or the same 5-10 pieces of advice that we have all seen before (i.e. get enough sleep, ask questions, etc).
There's definitely been a downward trend in new and interesting high quality content and the discussions that come with it.
Glad to see that spam posts are more under control than last month, though.
I've also noted that. and that prompted me to write this post where I basically make fun of it and add some - hopefully valuable content with a plot twist.
but yes. i also found that content is slowing degrading.
still loving this platform. and all the amazing contributors
That post is funny! What's going on in the comment section??? CSS breakage - or over-our head joke about huge social icons?
I don't think the concept behind such posts are all that bad because they highlight a few interesting points, but the way they're tackled/the execution is terrible in most situations. Regardless, even if the post is properly done, after a while of seeing the same stuff again and again it can get very annoying so I agree.
Sadly, I haven't seen a decrease in spam posts, each month it just gets worse in my feed. I used to report at least 5 posts a week, but since there's no follow up I just stopped after a while.
The world is full of beginners and it will always be with the current rate of increase in Dev positions. It is understandable that people are doing everything about views.
Nowadays I feel that even business even promote such behaviour in a sense. Last week a colleague was told that his team should stop using c++ as it is really hard to recruit new Devs with sufficient c++ experience. I disagreed but I am already banned from using Rust in my team for the same reason (more understandable) and switch to Go if possible.
is a hard sell. You can't train an entire generation to have "class" in the way that you prefer. They aren't teaching that. They teach React... not "common sense"
Personally, I've given up posting on dev.to as it is extremely demoralizing constantly having articles I spend 30-40 hours on immediately drowned underneath a wave of low-quality posts.
I wonder if there is a feedback loop in progress where the authors willing to spend the time on their articles are leaving the platform, and all we're left with are the low-quality spam posts that have nowhere else to go.
That is also another alarming side-effect. If authors that actually put in effort don't get the feedback they hope for time after time they will just feel that the platform is not for them. Sadly, this is also a problem in many other blog platforms.
The goal for a lot of such authors is to use their follower count or other such metrics as a means of demonstrating credibility in professional environments.
Taking one of my posts from earlier this year as an example,
views on dev.to - 43
views on medium - 17200
Now, I know that I'm still improving my writing abilities and I'm not expecting to get heaps of views, but it's very difficult to get meaningful feedback when I can't even crack 50 views on a given platform.
I understand the frustration myself, the whole point of writing something is mostly to get some feedback and then grow on it. Really sorry to hear about that. It's surprising that your article performed better on Medium, thought the platform is dead when it comes to dev-related content? Older posts still do good though afaik.
Could be bots. I mean - the comments are really what matters. how-are-you-paying-it-forward-as-a...
from the whole community? There's not back and forth.. just "hey look at my thing... don't interact with me though...."
It would be interesting to have a feedback loop where people helped get articles up to A+
I have recently seen the same, very low engagement and discussion. Compared to other platforms like medium.com or hackernoon
Thanks Mydrax for bring this up. I have found those problematic posts too, specially the one that cuts in the middle of the post and asks you to go somewhere else. A bit annoying. Maybe some sort of curation would be handy.
I would take your post as a personal invitation to write more valuable content. Happy coding!
That's the spirit, Cesar! :)
It's difficult to make a way of intentional discriminating or ranking posts by quality, without also creating a side effect of un-intentional discrimination based on mere popularity or whether people happen to agree with the conclusion of a given sentiment in a circle...hug.
Many well intentioned efforts at making tools for quality control become, rather, control of mere agreement, and can devolve into "groupthink" and a "Mutual Admiration Society," a pompous, self-congratulatory discussion where little to no material progress is made, as in the well documented cases of social media and the continued decline of the Humanities in the public university system.
Lesswrong.org, overcomingbias.com, thinkspot, g0v, the Heterodox foundation, and OpenBazaar have done some research on ways to deal with this, but it's a pernicious problem.
There is kind of time-proven solution to create good quality feed - karma-system. But the problem with this system is that it tends to create quite unwelcoming communities. Examples: hacker news, stack overflow. I wonder if it's possible to create karma-system without hostile community
StackOverflow is misunderstood. It has clear rules. If you don't know them... it's a problem. "Why my code didn't work" - isn't' an answerable question.
That's completely different than an article of "value" or not...
That's their messaging problem / and not really the karma system.
Stackoverflow is misunderstood, yes but I'm saying this as someone that's used it for a pretty long time, some people just get all defensive or rude to people that are just trying to learn. The "elitist" mindset is very common in a lot of those communities.
For example, if someone has clearly violated the rules, you don't have to be rude, you can just ask them to take a look at the rules instead and adjust the post accordingly or flag it for review.
Yes. Some people are just jerks.
I was making a nod to Reddit when I mentioned the circle-hug. Karma systems make echo chambers where anyone who disagrees is presumed to be acting in bad faith.
Let us hope that dev.to does not follow too far down the path of reddit.com, in that regard, at least.
I get what you mean, but don't you think that granting the user the necessary configuration options to personalize their experience is fundamentally sound? I too think that attempting to discriminate or adding features that can introduce segregation will end up being the wrong path.
I think a combination of the community encouraging authors to become better with personalized feeds might make a difference, but as you say it's not feasible at a large scale to not have unintentional side-effects. Regardless, there is a big chunk of the problem that can be solved through moderation efforts I feel.
I think this is sort of what I was getting at with the echo chamber effect so commonly attributed to karma or "winning internet points" types of systems.
Rather than rating an idea based on the quality of its presentation and effort, people simply decide whether they disagree or agree with it.
I think this inability to discriminate between someone who's playing the game well & by the rules and whether they're someone playing for your team is similar to the stuff I read sometimes from self-appointed moral crusaders, with gotcha games like, "Oh, you disagree with this anti-poverty idea, you must be a fat-cat capitalist." Or "I think ______ and anyone who disagrees with me is automatically a secret -ist or (-phobe) acting in bad faith!" or "You used the wrong word!" or "But of course the communists will never agree with this."
Basically, the karma system only works if high quality consensus building ideas are the most likely to be selected for, rather than ideas with which people agree. And quality control mechanisms that rely on simple up or down votes or "I didn't like this" reports end up getting gamed to suppress ideas with which the user of that QC tool disagrees.
What little I've studied of Ricardian Contracts, Markov Chains, Sybil Attacks, and all the other obtusely named concepts in the game theory of adversarial systems design doesn't suggest to me that this is a problem that can be resolved without resorting to PEBKAC hypotheses.
But some of those hypotheses have been developed, and there's hope. New research has uncovered that morality, as used today, has little to do with higher order cognitive processes. It may not sound like good news, but a biological proclivity that is known is a lot easier to deal with than a cultural issue whose cause is unknown.
Initial Groundbreaking Paper: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2...
Further Work: jordanbpeterson.com/docs/230/2014/...
I don't know what g0v are doing, but it looks like it's working:
And some of the intergenerational conflict and external pressure Taiwan has dwarfs the issues that loom large in the mind of US Citizens.
The University was, once upon a time, a way to winnow out high quality ideas rather than those that are merely vogue or popular.
But, with the research above, there may be a way, a narrow path, for Social Media to suck less at this too.
Companies that don't take this new research seriously will be left behind by their competitors who can actually make Social Media less anti-social.
If there was a way to really highlight some fantastic articles - that could serve as an example. Maybe in each 'tag', there's a way to identify highly valuable articles - without being rude. But "hearts" aren't going to do it - because no one will see 99% of things (is what it seems like)
As I was writing a response to this post, I discovered the week, month, and infinity buttons on the top of the homepage. I'm going to start making more use of those features since the way I use DEV is to get a heartbeat on new trends, new ideas, new technologies, and new frameworks. If a new framework receives high praise on this site for a sustained amount of time, I think about learning / adopting it.
Before finding those features, I was running into problems where I couldn't feel that heartbeat just from visiting the homepage and had a hard time find the posts that really resonate well with the community. In the past, all it took was one visit to the homepage to find great articles, but the feed does seem to contain a bit more clutter these days.
Why do you think that you didn't use dev for anything other than catching on to new trends? Also, I recommend daily.dev for catching on new trends, it's a pretty cool browser extension that aggregates all kinds of cool new trends. I get to learn something new every day :)
Edit: tbh I think that some really cool features of dev are just hidden/not presented properly and hence aren't used often, like the feed configuration feature. A few of my friends didn't know about it until I showed them how to do it.
Browsing DEV the first 5-10 minutes was a weekday ritual where I take a look at the cool things people were doing. If something really caught my idea, I would dig a bit deeper into it. To be honest, I never really thought of the different ways I could use DEV. Thanks for recommending daily.dev; I'll check it out! ^^
If I may make a meta-recommendation: I think you should break this blog post out into a series of separate discussions. I say this because you've brought up a number of good points that merit in-depth discussions. A few of my own thoughts:
I wholeheartedly support the idea of blacklisting a tag.
I haven't noticed the plagiarized content. My initial thought is that we need a better reporting system to account for this kind of thing.
I do find video-posts annoying. It would be cool if videos were required to have some kind of "video" tag so that I know before I waste my time trying to read it.
On teasing content and redirecting--Honestly, while I don't engage in this practice myself, I think it's fair game. Maybe I'd rather read it on Dev.to, but if I see an article worth clicking on, it's probably also worth a second click. I'd rather have to click through than see quality blogs decide not to post to our Dev.to feeds anymore. A good compromise solution would be to allow users to create external-link-only posts that have visual indicators to leave the site, similar to Reddit.
I posted my first (mostly) video-only article today, and I didn't use any particular way of indicating that, but I hope it was reasonably apparent from the heading.
I agree that in general I close posts immediately if I find they're just an embedded video or a link off to somewhere else.
I don't think that video-based articles are a bad thing, just that most of the time it lacks context. I took a look at your post, and for example, it would make me actually want to watch the video if you described what the accessibility awards are. The clue is mostly in the name, and I'm not talking about anything shallow like that, maybe how someone could participate or why you think it's cool.
Thank you for your comment and your recommendations, after reading the other comments I feel like there is a grave necessity to identify the roots of the problems. I might just do series like you mentioned, where I can explain my findings to fellow authors.
These are definitely the worst! I hate "articles" that give nothing but a link somewhere else; that's not an article.
I'm less worried about the feed... Would it be nice if it was a row of well researched, executed, and thought provoking pieces? Yep. But to allow the things that are more important to me (being newcomer friendly, allowing all voices an equal platform, etc.) I understand that necessarily means the feed will be mostly low-quality/uninteresting posts.
I accept this; enjoy finding the few gems in the general crush (and make sure to follow those authors to get a better feed of winning posts).
You can "follow" a tag but give it a negative weight; and the tag should appear less in your feed.
I feel like you're just describing the feed, but in a different layout orientation and higher quality, but yeah that's kind of the idea of what I'm trying to say. Allow readers to calibrate their feed accordingly so they can opt-in/out of things as they want to. To do that posts have to be classified properly, not by the author but by an unbiased party.
Totally agree on following people! There are so many cool authors out there that I absolutely love!
Re: negative weight. I didn't know about this. Afaik it's not even mentioned on that page. I'll definitely try it out! Thanks :)
Not totally convinced on the 'tease' problem. Sometimes - for sure... but if you wrote a post --- and it said,
That would have lots of value for us... because we can't subscribe to every blog - and this can act like an index.
Spam is spam... but "links" are THE INTERNET
Thanks for the negative weight tip!
First of all, thank you for writing this post. I wanted to write something similar, but I was thinking that it was only me and that my content is not as good as it was before.
I completely agree. From August 2019 up until somewhere around March or April 2020, I've enjoyed both reading the articles on DEV and writing them. My posts did well, mostly and I knew that if I put time (about a dozen hours) and effort, they'll do well on the site. I was even one of the top 500 authors of 2019.
But for the past 3-4 months, I've noticed the shift happening. I've lost motivation to put any significant effort and time into writing as I did before. The articles that I've put more effort and time into wouldn't perform well anymore. They would get buried under the piles of posts you've mentioned in your own post. The success of my posts was totally random if I had the luck not to get buried too fast.
The same can be said for reading the posts. I've completely stopped reading DEV due to the low quality, low effort articles. I've shifted my focus onto more curated websites where I know I'll get high-quality content that is fact-checked. I still check it every now and then, but I close it after a few seconds of scrolling.
I love DEV, the community, and how it affected my career. It was a real game-changer. I hope to see a significant change for the better in terms of content quality and quantity.
Thank you once again for writing this. I feel like someone needed to stand up and say it.
My impression since joining dev less than a year ago has always been that most of its articles are basically "fast food". There's the occasional in-depth article that is well-written and well-researched or where the author is actually very knowledgeable on some very niche topic. However, the vast majority, seems to be rather low-quality.
I find it specially amusing how many "tutorials" I usually find that are just the most basic of things and more often than not, about technologies that are widely used and already have hundreds of tutorials explaining the exact same thing.
Most of these articles just add no value to the internet. Kinda feels on the same level as reddit content, if I'm being honest.
This is in contrast to hackernews, which I also visit almost daily.
I think a lot of new programmers like making basic tutorials because they have to start somewhere, and why not. Being able to explain something to others is a good skill to have, and it's kind of like rubber-ducking anyway.
Yes, to those of us who've seen it before it's noise, but it's a little like the "welcome threads". People pop up and say "hello world" like it's never been thought of before but we should still encourage them rather than dismiss them.
Not everyone's in it for the clicks and likes. Being able to look at something and say, "I wrote that, that's MY voice and MY style" is really valuable, especially early on.
Ben's right on the money on that. At all times, we shouldn't discourage new developers or shun them for making that kind of content. With DEV growing, I feel like the platform is starting to feel heavier towards beginners, and the people that just don't want to read such content feel frustrated. Then they try to make content for people like them, and when those posts don't receive feedback, they leave the platform or just slowly stop reading/contributing.
I'd honestly find it much easier to go about it like that if the posts had more of an "look what I learned today" sort of feel, which many do, and those ones I find much less noisy.
You make some very good points here. I especially want to point out that while you're frustrated with the content you are seeing, you agree that berating users/bashing does not fix the problem (and really, it's rude and not cool). I also frustrated with a lot of the same/similar, click-bait content I see, but it also seems to do well, so I kind of get it.
I do want to add if something is clearly plagiarized, a "click here to see the rest of the content on my blog" type post, etc, these are against the terms and those posts can be flagged, reported, downvoted, etc. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can also leave a comment asking the author to elaborate, etc.
I too want to see the content on DEV get better, but I'm at a loss on how to do it myself. It does get frustrating when the posts I put a lot of time, effort, research, and editing into get buried under yet another listicale.
I've also noticed quite a bit people using this platform to promote their own blogs and simply just cross-post. I get why they do it, but I don't think Dev should be a landing platform but rather a genuine content and technical resource.
IMO: cross-posting is ok as long it is interesting content. The problem is that it is not interesting
In this case, what is the draw? Why would someone choose to put 10 hours into crafting a piece to put here vs. substack, or a personal website, or whatever else? (curious)
I guess I just don’t like the idea of using this (or any other platform) for personal gains. I get if you or someone wants to link to your other site, blog or whatever but most of the time it’s just dripping a link in here and taking advantage of the user base for their own gains. Put the work into the platform you participate in.
What isn't for personal gain? Isn't your own personal enjoyment of reading posts - for your own personal gain? Should everyone write for magazines and create videos and write tutorials with the specific goal of 'not gaining anything?' We get your sentiment. But - also - it seems like the tables have turned and no one has noticed. You're creating the content - and the companies are selling your content - and the eyes that are on that content / to the highest bidder.
You are working for the advertisers.
Linking to your work - and sharing your thoughts and strategies AND your business - is NORMAL. That's the normal way of life. If you're saying that we should never do anything that would bring any attention or money back to us / and that we should do all of that - in a system that specifically brings attention and money to the highest bidder... then it sounds like the culture is going to be over a lot faster than we are comfortable with.
It seems like the people who are the least confident about what value they have to provide - are the ones shouting down the people with honest value and honest intentions. Assuming that someone isn't "putting in the time" and really having an honest conversation and relationship with the people on a platform - is a lazy type of gatekeeping. We help people on SO, Discord, Here, Quora - and all over the web - and trust us - 90% of that is never reciprocated - and certainly doesn't generate any money.
This is a sad state of affairs when "coders" beg for positions at Google so they can exploit people for a living - and then hang around judging people for just trying to be human. It's worth a second thought here ---
To reach people. You post on your site and cross-post here with canonical link to you site. You will get all SEO-points and the discussion on the platform you cross-posted to.
Yes. In theory - if anyone ever saw your post here, but that seems relatively unlikely. There are plenty of nearly web-celebrities around here with great content and no views.
I wanted to write similar post.
I think there are still interesting posts on dev, but for some reasons they don't show up on mine timeline.
Authors how have been producing quality content, to which I subscribed, mostly stopped posting (I guess pandemic is also part of the problem).
We get to dev - and see a post that looks really interesting ... and then - might sign in or who knows... and then the posts filter are changed !!!! and we can basically NEVER find that post again. That's not a fun interaction.
Haha you must have read the post about the cheating wife. Lately tons of posts with just the title. @ben empty posts should probably not be allowed.
I think perhaps new users less than 3 months should not be allowed to post until the post is moderated. Moderated posts would also bring spam down for newly created accounts.
An ML based quality rating attribute during drafting perhaps? The plagiarism is particularly weird tbh. If the canonical link isn't specified, it should be flagged/marked so a mod can review it, that's definitely something that's up to Dev as a community to have as a policy tho.
Dev kinda attempts to achieve the final goal of providing a quality rating by allowing the author to set a value between 1 to 10 (new to senior experienced devs) when making the post (you have to click on manage) so that the appropriate readers get targetted but idk how as a reader I can set this value. Regardless, giving the author this privilege kinda defeats the point from a reader's perspective.
I'd say a quality rating like that not just based on the draft but based on stuff like how many posts the author has written, how well they're received etc. can go a long way. But if it's publicly visible it might cause segregation, or new authors might not get the ability to grow. It can be private, and the readers can silently subscribe to a particular range too but the problem might still stand.
Dev afaik doesn't have a report abuse option for plagiarized content, and the code of conduct doesn't mention anything either.
Thanks for stating how an author can set the experience level for his article: "Dashboard" -> "Manage" on the article entry. I was looking for that function for ages.
And to answer your question: a reader can set his own experience level via "Settings" -> "Customization" -> scroll down to "Content"
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