Genius.com Forums - Where shitty music taste and autism compose a cacophony of retardation

longerdonger

kiwifarms.net
Genius.com is a crowdsourced lyrics website that attempts to set itself apart from every other lyric website by allowing its autistic teenage users to annotate Cardi B lyrics (as if anyone needed clarification on what a "wet-ass pussy" is).
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Background

Genius was originally founded as "Rap Genius" by three undergrads at Yale - Tom Lehman, Ilan Zechory, and Mahbod Moghadam - and focused exclusively on rap lyrics. Of the three founders, Tom is currently CEO, Ilan resigned some time ago, and Mahbod (perhaps a lolcow in his own right) was unceremoniously kicked out of the company after acting like a retard and annotating Elliot Rodger's manifesto. In 2014, the website was rebranded as "Genius" and expanded to be inclusive of all genres and even non-musical content (as long as it's not too far right of center, of course.)

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Unfortunately, I don't know how to archive the forums and threads since you need to be logged into an account to view them. If anyone knows how to do it, I'll gladly update this with actual links to the threads.

At a glance, Genius appears to be a fairly unremarkable lyrics website. They have decent SEO, as it's usually one of the first websites to pop up when you search for song lyrics; however, they have a turbulent relationship with Google since they were embroiled in a lawsuit due to the latter scraping lyrics from their site - which Genius summarily lost because they don't own the copyright to the fucking songs they host. The main draw, as mentioned earlier, is that users can annotate lyrics to give more context or interpretation. This is an interesting premise, but the problem is that the barrier to entry for this website is far too low, and any schmuck can leave a one-line "explanation" for any song they want, resulting in quality content such as:
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The main incentive for adding content to Genius is IQ, which is a points-based system that rewards you for adding song pages, annotations, and other content to the site. It serves no purpose outside of being being a number on your profile and getting you on the daily leaderboard on the front page of the site. Of course, the IQ system is stupidly easy to game, since all you have to do is go on bandcamp and find some instrumental field recordings and dump them onto the site.

Users also have "roles" on the site such as staff (actual employees of Genius), moderators, editors (a role allowing the user to edit other user's annotations and song pages, as well as accept or reject annotations), contributors (regular users), and verified artists (essentially the same thing as a blue checkmark on Twitter). Different roles allow you to perform different actions on the site, with moderators and editors performing most of the janitorial work such as cleaning up spam and rejecting shitty annotations. Editors who don't meet the guidelines for editorial standards (e.g. writing subpar annotations or using gamer language) will usually get their hard-earned role revoked, resulting in drama.

Failed expansions

Genius, being a start-up funded almost entirely on venture capital, is always looking for new avenues to expand for additional income. The first was "Annotate the Web," essentially allowing other websites to have embeddable annotations on their own pages. It never took off and is now a dead project. More recently, they've started working on Genius Live, a Twitch knock-off for artists to hold virtual performances to receive gibs from simps fans. The site is currently under construction and looks like an abortion, not at least due to frequent restructuring and diversity hires.

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Their "Genius Verified" series, where artists explain the lyrics to their own songs, is also hilariously bad.
Jacob Sartorius


Gabbie Hanna


Backpack Kid


The Forums/Community
Without a doubt, the most cancerous part of the site is its forums. Aside from the forums looking like a steaming pile of horseshit that hasn't had a revamp in ten years, most of the threads in the most popular boards are brainless trite shat out by teenagers and mentally ill people who voluntarily spend hours a day adding lyrics to a website for imaginary points.
Sample threads from the Rap Genius board
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The moderation and editorial boards are almost constantly filled with drama, usually stemming from users getting banned or demoted, Genius staff's general lack of transparency with the community, or international infighting between communities. As with all inclusive communities, homophobia, transphobia, and political sentiments farther right than "orange man bad" will net you a ban, demotion, downvotes, or possibly all three. In fact, a longtime moderator was nearly demoted for posting a meme with the word "kung-flu," causing a shitstorm (unfortunately, the thread was deleted, but I do have a local backup of the thread somewhere).

"Moderator proposal" threads are also wont to create drama, as nearly everyone on the site has beef with another person (or country), such as in this thread where an Italian mod (the only active one on the site) proposes another Italian user for the moderator role:

Italian moderator proposal highlights


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Genius's Italian community summarily went on strike after getting dunked on.

Greetings everyone,

It’s Genius Italia here. The reason we’re here writing this post is to bring some attention to an ongoing issue regarding @distorted’s promotion to the Moderator role.

As many of you might have noticed, Genius Italia has grown a lot over the last couple of years, especially over the last one, making the need for new Mods pretty urgent in order to ensure safety and provide more efficiency to the community.

Lately, when our only Mod @Simonga proposed distorted for the role on the forum, many Mods opposed to his promotion for two main reasons: @Nanoinfame’s ban situation, and apparently “barely meeting the criteria of what it means to be an Editor”. We’d like to express our thoughts on both of these reasons.

First of all, Nanoinfame’s ban. Nano was a pretty well-known user of our community, mainly for his aggressive behavior towards us Eds, and being the biggest Italian IQ farmer. He has been harassing most of us Italian Editors for the longest time, getting so mad at us for rejecting his tates, and being overly obsessed by wanting to become an Editor. He has been non-stop messaging and harassing us for years, and we have always been as clear and polite as possible with him, even if he was really hard to deal with.

Every time we discussed with him why he was not ready for the role and why his tates would get often rejected, he would calm down and promise he would put the work into becoming a better Contributor. We have all probably made the same three-day long conversation with him a dozen times this year.

Since he would always promise to change for the better and his behavior was horrible only towards us Eds, we thought that banning him would have not had any impact on the community, and therefore we always ended up giving him another chance. What’s more, his work pretty much only consisted in creating instrumental pages, so he wasn’t even relevant in the Italian community whatsoever.

After coming back for another time, once again harassing us for the same reasons as usual, what made us realize that maybe it was best to ban him was the fact that now we knew he was spreading false accusations regarding our editorial team, especially about distorted. When we brought up his behavior in our group chat, a few Contributors told us they would often be told how bad we were and how poorly we treated him (we’ll attach here a few screenshots of the messages he sent us and other members of our community, both the original ones in Italian and the translated versions—thanks to @Monnoh, @Leotardo, @realrager and @onlycarra_ongod). That’s when we decided we had enough and understood that his behavior was toxic and could damage our community and image as the editorial team.

Opposing to distorted’s promotion because of the suspiciousness of this “late” ban is absurd, and how all of the Mods jumped to conclusions this fast, supporting each other without knowing anything about the situation, is really scary to us. Every case is different, and I’m sure you all have given second chances to people.

Secondly, “barely meeting the criteria of what it means to be an editor”. We won’t even start by asking how 16,000 annotations and 3,000 transcriptions in a language Mods of other communities can’t speak got judged, but we’ll reply to what has been said.

Yes, we as the Italian community tend to write one-line artist bios when the artist is unknown, just to let the people know at least what’s its real name, birth date and origin. If that’s so uncomfortable for you we’ll stop, but we don’t get how leaving those bios blank would help anyone, nor how this could be used to say he’s below editorial standards since, we’ll say it again, he created over 16,000 tates, and one-line bios are an insignificant fraction of them.

Since someone touched on his “subpar” contributions to English pages, we’d like you to check his profile more closely: in our opinion, his contributions to non-Italian pages is so little they were not even worth to mention.

distorted not only meets the criteria of what it means to be an Editor: he’s the best one of our community. Countless people have been contacted soon after joining and got mentored by him, who has BY FAR been the most impactful user of Genius Italia. He has been providing knowledge and mentoring people for over four years now, putting an unprecedented amount of effort both on the site and into bringing the community together. In fact, a few months ago he created our community’s Telegram group chat, something he has been wanting to do for the longest time that allowed us all to become a lot closer, other than obviously making managing problems and new releases a lot easier.

This lack of acknowledgment of his efforts and this opposition to his promotion it’s so unfair that it hit really hard Genius Italia’s morale as a whole. As soon as we explained the situation to our community, everyone started sharing their thoughts and feelings, showing an incredible support towards him. To be honest, it would not be that unlikely if he decided to leave the platform after being treated this poorly by the international community, and I’m sure most of Genius Italia would do the same, especially the editorial team.

Looking forward to hearing any feedback, the Italian community decided to indefinitely stop contributing to the site to show closeness to him.

#GeniusItaliaStops

Screenshots of the italia sperging

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As mentioned before, tensions between the Genius staff and community have been rising due to a lack of transparency and staff giving priority to their next shitty project instead of doing things for the site like - for example - updating their forums or addressing community concerns. This rift is due at least in part to the firing of EwokABDevito and Brian Erwin, two community staff members who acted as mentors and proxies between staff and community (Ewok's firing was especially lulzy due to his actual autism and sexual harassment allegations, but unfortunately the thread was deleted over a year ago). The following post written by a German mod summarizes the situation fairly well.

Greetings Genius Family,

I am probably writing this mostly out of despair. Several weeks ago, we had a chat in the Genius Slack where we discussed significant changes to the community within the last two years. We did touch on the following positive adjustments: the Apple partnership, on-site music player, Verified series, and perhaps some changes to the homepage and iOS app. Nevertheless, there were a lot of negative changes, too. IIRC, two years ago we had four Community Staffers: @Michael, @Empath, @ewokABdevito, and @streetlights. Nowadays, we have two remaining—Stephen and Sam—who are both primarily preoccupied with non-Community tasks, according to the Jobs at Genius page. Their focus is on lyric quality. It is no secret that, while they do great work and are appreciated, they have not been as involved as the previous line-up. Community projects like Genius of The Month, Glorious IQ Bonus or IQ Milestones of the Week have been dead for months now, and there’s no sign that we have a chance to get them back.

We currently have 8 staff people who work on transcriptions (Lyric Associates). The only ones I was familiar with are @WriteNProppa and @killersnowtiger from their previous experience as Editors/Moderators. The only time I’ve encountered another lyric staffer (without searching for them) was when someone locked some lyrics, but I never received a response to my message.

While there were new lyric staffers hired within the last 2 years, we’ve lost every staff member that was community-focused within the last 5 years. Let’s rewind to Genius in 2015. We’ve had like 4 or 5 (not sure, sorry) U.S. Community Staff plus a lot of International Community Staff. Then, in 2017, Genius decided to make some “staffing changes” which was brand-conform language for firing 7 community staffers; including all international ones (which AFAIK included German, French, and Polish staff). That was definitely a tough moment for everyone and it has impacted the community to this day. It was the first time that Genius publicly decided to move away from the community. We were forced to acknowledge that Genius is a company, and as Tom mentioned in his BLM statement recently, Genius is not as financially stable as it could be. So, we have had no choice but to accept the termination of dedicated Community Staffers as a result. Let’s continue.

In 2019, Genius decided to fire Ewok, thereby firing the most community-dedicated person to ever grace the internet.

Just four months ago, Genius decided to give Colby another job and fire @BrianErwin as well. Now, two staff people who already have a bunch of work to do are the only remaining connection between users and HQ. The point that I’m trying to make is: The impact that a single dedicated Staffer has on the community, and their overall influence on lyrics & annotation quality/quantity, will sadly never be replicated even by an entire team of Lyric Associates. If Genius is struggling financially, why do you have the ability to hire 8 professional transcribers, but not even a SINGLE community manager?

I want to quote @Aenex from our Slack chat:

I don’t think I would be exaggerating if I were to say the site is falling apart without dedicated community staff…
And that’s the problem. It’s a very slow process, but the community is currently dying and there’s nothing we can do about it. Personally, I am genuinely trying my best to use all my time, power, and creativity to hold the German community together and build it from the ground up. After @Tobias_the_explicator was fired, there was a big gap left there, and that gap has yet to be filled properly. Almost every “old” editor has either left the site or remains fairly inactive. We’ve lost a bunch of users, the forums are dead, and everything needs to be rebuilt. I’m trying to re-build it, but honestly that’s not my job. I won’t be able to do this forever, and I doubt that there’ll always be a person who can use their free time to build a community which isn’t fully appreciated by the company they voluntarily work for.

Everyone from the moderation and editorial team puts in so much time to make Genius a better and more accurate platform. That’s not really possible without neglecting other parts of their life. With every decision HQ makes, you impact the lives of those who put forth invaluable time and effort for the greater good (and for worthless Genius IQ).

While that’s a big problem for me, I don’t even think that Genius did well from a business perspective. The future of lyrics is rooted in streaming services. Currently, Spotify is starting their partnership with MusixMatch, and will feature time-synced lyrics in their app. Additionally, the lyric catalogue on MusixMatch is becoming much bigger, because they’ve invested money into internationalizing their site. When I go on MusixMatch, I have access to a site that is in my own language (that should be standard) and I actually receive money for adding lyrics. Genius is mostly geared toward English, with no international staff and a ton of underage volunteers. Great! Why don’t we have a technical translations feature? Translations need to be a built-in feature, side-by-side with the original text—but I bet that they’ll keep the same inadequate interface after the redesign. This failure to include more international users, in my opinion, is not only bad for community morale, but also a missed opportunity for significant ad revenue.

The biggest advantage that Genius always had was their dedicated community. That is most likely the main reason many people work here for free, instead of receiving compensation elsewhere. But the community is dying, and I predict that will be Genius’s downfall in the long run. Maybe Genius will still go on as a semi-competitive news/media outlet—but at the expense of burning innumerable bridges. With the right decision-making, I believe it is possible not only to retain both, but to excel at both. What I want to ask Genius Staff: Am I wasting my time pouring energy into re-building communities? Is my attempt at improving Genius a losing battle? I’m not even sure if the community will be here in the long run, or if it’s just another victim to be sacrificed in the name of making money…

In other words: Are there any plans to hire new dedicated Community Staffers, and especially employees who appreciate the countless international users waiting in the wings? Is there a chance that we, as Genius enthusiasts, will receive more support? Is there a chance that the international communities can build up a real social media presence, that isn’t limited by tons of restrictions? Is there a chance that Genius users who voluntarily put in time from a tech perspective (see larsbutnotleast.xyz/genius by @homesweethole, or people like @Alkalynity, @TheZuri, @bemoty, @nnmrts, @definitelynotlxender, and many others who have developed tools for Genius) will be included on a deeper level? They can provide invaluable insight, yet why doesn’t HQ consider the opinions of long-time Genius-heads when making decisions about the future of the platform? Why must we be kept in the dark?

I think that, considering the time and effort we all put into Genius, we genuinely deserve an answer to all these questions. Give us transparency. Tell us what we can expect. Don’t make it even harder for us. The worst part of last year’s change is that communication between community and staff has reduced drastically. Please—recall the days when Genius Staff frequented the forums, delivering firsthand information and working closely with users. Nowadays, it feels like everything is done in secrecy and we are told nothing.

If you’re going to burn the last bridge we had to Genius (the company), can you at least tell us what to expect next, from Genius-the-community?

In the thread about Brian’s firing and Colby’s job change, @TheScrivener wrote this:

[…] but with the new design of the Lyrics and Community team and the company, his role was no longer a fit.
Can you please tell us about this “new design of the Lyrics and Community team and the company”?


I want to leave on this last plea: I would love to see a staff member at the top provide answers to these questions; someone who actually makes decisions. We don’t need a conciliatory statement, such as “We understand your frustration and while cancelling our Community Staff was a difficult decision, we won’t be revealing anything about our future plans, sorry.” These are the types of statements that we have come to expect, and the more that they are made, the less trust we are able to place in staff.

Please note that the above-linked threads about staff changes were posted by people like @LEMON or @TheScrivener. Tom, it was great to see you in the forums back then. When Genius made their last redesign, from Mecha to Bagon, you were the one to post about it. I don’t know if you wrote it yourself, but at least you showed up here and made us feel like we were valued. When International Staffers were fired, you came here to tell us, and even replied to us in the comment section. That’s how a leader leads; even in difficult times. It’s sad that we never see you here.

How about changing that now? I unfortunately can’t find it anymore, but I definitely remember reading a forum post where you made a New Year’s Resolution to post more in the forums (back in 2017). That would be great! The company that I work for has a weekly meeting every Monday morning. In this 30-minute briefing, the CEO provides updates and leaves themselves open for questions from the team. It works wonders for our morale! Why don’t we have a semi-weekly/monthly or even annual group chat where HQ can provide us with at least some news about what’s going on at Genius?

Please, we are begging you for a genuine, personal response to these concerns. We’ve taken hundreds, no, thousands of hours to voluntarily contribute to this website. All we’re looking for is an honest answer about the future of the community that we hold so dear.

Thank you, sincerely,

@Crackar

Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, you need an account to view most of the forums. There's also an invite-only Slack channel. However, it takes mere seconds to make an account since they don't have email verification for some reason. Mods also have a difficult time banning alts because only staff have IP ban privileges (again, for whatever fucking reason).

Of course, like any good tech company, they also bend the knee for George.

Links
 

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longerdonger

kiwifarms.net
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KimCoppolaAficionado

The most underrated actor of the 21st century
kiwifarms.net
Off the topic of the thread, but I've noticed that too. Why does the hip-hop and the black community fucking love Dragon Ball like they do?
Bootleg anime tapes, a view of masculinity that involves throwing down with anyone who steps to you, and the well known Blaxploitation-Hong-Kong movie double-billing meant that the melanated community already had an appreciation for Asian martial arts shit. The Black Weeb was inevitable.
 

Boris Blank's glass eye

And just for you I have a spoon
kiwifarms.net
The site is mostly usable on desktop, but fucking broken on mobile. Their search algorithm seems to be promoting certain kinds of music and burying others. I've had partial hits promoted when searching for certain tracks or albums.

Being a community edited site, it's rife with gems like these:
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People who need this explained to them are genuinely retarded. It's Judas Priest, not some subtle allegory for whatever abstract concept.
 

Wheezy Asthmatic

Don't forget, you're here forever
Local Moderator
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Spoilers aren't necessary for small quantities of images. Not sure what the text dump is either. If you pulled it from somewhere, just screenshot, archive, and post it here. Posting it via text eats up characters and OP's are usually limited to around 32K. It sounds like a lot but it really isn't in the long run.

Otherwise, good job. I'll go ahead and move this out to Community Watch
 

Dave.

We can’t expect god to do all the work
kiwifarms.net
The site is mostly usable on desktop, but fucking broken on mobile. Their search algorithm seems to be promoting certain kinds of music and burying others. I've had partial hits promoted when searching for certain tracks or albums.

Being a community edited site, it's rife with gems like these:
View attachment 1840885
People who need this explained to them are genuinely retarded. It's Judas Priest, not some subtle allegory for whatever abstract concept.
Seems like someone's looking for easy points so he goes for the lowest hanging fruit.
 

RMQualtrough

kiwifarms.net
I actually like using Genius to read annotated lyrics and their meanings. I didn't notice the community was autistic. I thought it was just par to the course.
IME 99.9% of ALL online communities are autistic. I'm not sure normal people know how to register for forums lmao.

Tennis forums are the most autistic on the entire internet, worse than MyLittlePony forums. It would even be worth a write-up tbh. Members on there are like deranged borderline women who had a son with a tranny man, and holds in pee as a fetish while fantasizing about her underage son (who she shares a bed with) and sister. That is an actual member I'm describing.

Tennis forum autism and fucked-up-ness is INSANE.
 

longerdonger

kiwifarms.net
Spoilers aren't necessary for small quantities of images. Not sure what the text dump is either. If you pulled it from somewhere, just screenshot, archive, and post it here. Posting it via text eats up characters and OP's are usually limited to around 32K. It sounds like a lot but it really isn't in the long run.
My bad, I'll update the OP. just realized I can't edit. sorry for being a newfag

I dumped the text because the posts would have needed to be split into screenshots because I couldn't figure out how to archive the forum posts (since they're only viewable if you have an account). The first spoilered text is the Genius Italian community going on strike because the rest of the moderation team rejected their latest proposal for a moderator. International infighting happens a lot for one reason or another, partly due to language barriers, and partly due to the smaller communities developing their own culture and breaking away from the rest of the site (e.g. I think the Brazilians started their own discord server because they were sick of posting on the forums).

The second one was a community letter to staff (written by a German moderator) because no one in the community knows what the fuck the Genius staff is doing or what direction they're taking the site in. There are parts of the site that very clearly need work like the forums, but they'd rather funnel their money, devs, and resources into making a Twitch copycat that no one in their right minds would ever use instead of Twitch.

As an aside, if anyone wants to be able to view the forums (or until they can be archived besides screenshots), you need to have 300 IQ on the site. Thankfully, this is really easy because all you have to do is:
  1. Create an account (don't even need to use a real email because there's no verification)
  2. Add a profile picture (gives you +100 IQ)
  3. Go on bandcamp and find any instrumental album (instrumental/lo-fi hip hop, field recordings, harshnoise wall, etc.)
  4. Add an album or two to the site until you hit 300 IQ.
When you hit 300 IQ, you get a little white triangle by your name and you're able to view the forums. I'm not sure why they make it such a bitch to do, probably to cut down on spam.

There's also an official discord server here, but to view it you have to verify your account by posting in a forum thread. It's mostly filled with euros, teenagers, and gays.
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Boris Blank's glass eye

And just for you I have a spoon
kiwifarms.net
Seems like someone's looking for easy points so he goes for the lowest hanging fruit.
I distinctly remember reading a geniunely, extremely retarded take on the "One Night in Bangkok" page: someone made the obvious connection between "tea girls, warm and sweet" and "t-girls", since, you know, "if you're lucky then the god's a she" and "the queens we use would not excite you". I wanted to archive it while the 'Farms had the weekend downtime, but it's been deleted since.
 

longerdonger

kiwifarms.net
I distinctly remember reading a geniunely, extremely retarded take on the "One Night in Bangkok" page: someone made the obvious connection between "tea girls, warm and sweet" and "t-girls", since, you know, "if you're lucky then the god's a she" and "the queens we use would not excite you". I wanted to archive it while the 'Farms had the weekend downtime, but it's been deleted since.
"Unreviewed" annotations on popular songs get removed by editors pretty quickly. On songs with less traffic, however, you'll have shitty/autistic annotations sit around for months or years, like this one:

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