Helium, some time in mid-2009, purged members who are not located in primarily English speaking countries. I had over 70 articles posted then and 2 were plagiarized. The star rating for both writing and rating articles given to me were at the upper level and a featured article writer at auto repair category quite often. My son who was also a member was purged. They were ethical in informing us about it (being sent to purgatory - lol), gave us time to download our articles before closing down our page.
Just last November 2010, we found out that they were again accepting members from all over the globe. To cut it short, I am a member again with some recruits and almost 40 articles posted. The current star rating I have is 3 Stars both for writing and rating articles.
Suddenly a member friend who recently joined, who unfortunately did not fall under my recruit, was no longer allowed to log in to her account. I tried to help her with it unsuccessfully until I suggested contacting Helium about it. She copy furnished me the email response of Helium that I copy/pasted below: (I have intentionally removed the name of my friend for privacy purposes)
"From: Helium Help
To: I R <@yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2011 12:25:31 PM
Subject: RE: New He:0098952
Greetings I R,
Thanks for your ongoing interest in the Helium site.
Unfortunately, Helium.com is not set up to provide an optimal experience for writers from every country. At present, our audience is predominantly US-focused. To prevent frustrations from all writers and to limit staff time spent trying to accommodate, we are not accepting submissions from some locations at this time.
Readers from around the world are welcome to enjoy Helium’s articles. In the future, we are hoping to offer different versions of Helium that will attract and best suit all writers. We are currently evaluating the impact this has on a few existing members, and we will settle with them on an individual basis in the coming weeks. There are no specifics on new sites at this time.
All the best,
Helium Help / Technical Support / Customer Service
W: 978.474.5074 x 230
So to all Helium members who are not located in primarily English speaking countries, the "Sword of Damocles" once again hangs over our heads. Those at Helium are supposed to realize the effort we do just to make the articles land at the top of the titles! For me, I hardly research on the topics much more read the articles posted ahead of mine. I write based purely on raw experience, wisdom and knowledge. There are many articles posted at Helium with so many references they researched! How sure are they that those references are good?
It seems that there are some writers at Helium who are from primarily English speaking countries insecure or envious on our knowledge and how we write. Maybe some of them are even admin of Helium. Readers please take a look at my profile page. My location shows there and I had to choose from the scroll down list the site offered. I had no option but to choose 'Bengquet' which should be correctly spelled as Benguet!
My question to Helium now is: What if an American, Englishman or Australian lives in a non-primarily English speaking country, does not state it in his profile but instead puts the country, state and city he is from?
Helium might see this post as a blog against them. Read well and it is not. It is against those who are biased and even maybe lingual racists who have difficulty outdoing us! (Funny thing about this is, my son tried to check on previous article titles we wrote on once before and he was surprised that there were pratically re-writes of our old articles on our previous stint with them). What a subtle way to 'plagiarize' but not considered to be as such!
This blog post could make Helium remove me as writer-member. Makes the job of purging easier for them.