Vocal Spring 2024 Updates

AI transparency, platform upgrades, and what's coming coming soon...

By Justin @ VocalPublished 9 days ago 3 min read

It's been too long since our last update, but we've been working hard behind the scenes based on your feedback from Discord chats and Creator Chat sessions, and we've got some exciting new updates to share with you.

First, let's talk about AI content on Vocal...

While it's been mind-blowing to watch the rapid advancements of AI and LLMs, we understand the implications it has for you, our creators, and our platform. We've spent the last few months internally ideating and conversing on how to best address this rapidly evolving technology and its impact on our community.

On one hand, AI is giving more people access to improve their writing, which we think is great. That aligns with our ethos of championing great storytelling. On the other hand, instead of AI being used as a tool to brainstorm and help kickstart ideas that a person can evolve, it has been used by some to circumvent the creative process entirely.

Recognizing the need to uphold the values of our community, we started exploring ways of identifying AI-generated content. We've tested a bunch of third-party tools (IE Copyleaks) that the community suggested, and they have been helpful in identifying unlabelled AI content. Unfortunately, they are very expensive at scale and because they are nascent, they produce too many false positives.

So we started to build our own AI detection system, built on open source and our internal machine learning models. We've been testing these tools in our moderation process over the last few months, and while they are not perfect, they are evolving and continuing to improve. We truly appreciate your patience and support as we continue to improve them.

Our goal is to provide a transparent user experience for our community and to maintain the authenticity of your content on Vocal. That's why we are rolling out a new AI-generated disclosure label on stories over the next few days. These labels will transparently show AI-generated content on stories and story cards.

Additionally, on the story submission screen, you will see the option to label your story as AI-generated. (You'll also see a new label for Content Warnings, but we'll get to that below...)

If you used AI to help generate your story, please disclose it. Stories that are published without this label and are found to be AI-generated will be subject to removal after internal review.

We understand the gravity of this issue for our community, and we want to assure you that we are fully committed to addressing it with the utmost seriousness.

We've also updated our Report Story feature to include a new option for flagging AI-generated content that is not disclosed. If you see a story that hasn't been correctly labeled, please use this feature to report it (shoutout to Judey Kalchik).

AI can be a helpful tool for creators, but we never want it to deceive our audience. We hope that this commitment to transparency and disclosure will help maintain the integrity of this amazing community we've built together.

We've also pushed some minor changes based on your feedback...

Updated Content Warnings: We've streamlined the Content Warning process. Now, when you submit your story for review, you can simply check a box to indicate if your story contains sensitive content. This eliminates the need for tagging stories with "Content Warning." All previously tagged stories will automatically transition to this updated feature next week, and there is no action required on your end. Just like with AI-generated labels, we reserve the right to apply the Content Warning flag to any content that we determine falls into this category.

Story Links Open in a New Window: External links in your stories will now open in new windows. Shoutout to Stephen A. Roddewig for suggesting this feature in a previous Creator Chat.

X / Twitter Auth: We've removed X / Twitter authentication due to changes in their API policies. If you need assistance logging into your account, please reach out to Customer Support.

Creators We’re Loving: Based on your feedback, we've updated our 'Creators We're Loving' algorithm to ensure we are showcasing more active creators.

What’s Next?

Redesigned Homepage: We are working on a complete redesign of the homepage. This update will change the way you engage with content from your favorite creators you are subscribed to.

Enhanced Bookmarking Feature: We're introducing a new bookmarking feature that will allow you to save and organize content more efficiently.

Exclusive Content Offerings: We are developing new functionalities that will enable creators to offer exclusive content to their paid subscribers.

We value your feedback as we continue to grow and improve, so please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments, Creator Chat, and Discord—your input might just inspire our next product update.

product updates

About the Creator

Justin @ Vocal

Founder/CEO of Vocal. COO/President of Creatd ($CRTD), the parent company of the Vocal platform.

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Comments (47)

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  • ROCK 3 days ago

    Honestly, I write from my brain and heart. I am quite naive with what is AI. I assume that using the Upsplash images is allowed as Vocal provides it here but.. should mention it every story? It clearly states it is an Upslash image. What do I do? I also know that friends who are readers are liking my stories with the heart and it's not mentioned Why is that?

  • Ashley Lima4 days ago

    Can there be an option to filter out AI generated content from our feeds? A big reason I have not been as active on this site is because of the mass amounts of AI content present. If it was easily filterable, it would make this website much more enjoyable for myself (and I'm sure many others).

  • Jojo5 days ago

    Hey Justin, It's been a day since I submitted a article, but it's still pending. Please help me

  • Mark Graham5 days ago

    These are all good ideas. I have been getting a lot of likes for my work, but my overall percentage keeps dropping. Is it possible to treat likes as reads especially for work posted on ART and maybe for other very shortform writing. Please let me know.

  • Novel Allen6 days ago

    😺😸😹😻😼Words fail me.

  • Dwayne Chapman7 days ago

    I have mixed feelings on AI. On one hand, I love it. I use it as a soundboard to bounce ideas off of and get ideas for characters, plot, etc. It's amazing when used as a tool for mapping out a story or filling in plot holes with something plausible. What I am disappointed with, is how a lot of people have misused it giving it a bad reputation. Copy/pasting entire stories with it. I'm of the opinion that if it's copy/pasted 100%, then it should be a ban-able offense as it contains none of the "creators" original work. AI is only going to get better, but the people misusing it aren't going to stop. It's just going to get more difficult in telling real and AI material apart.

  • Ameer Bibi8 days ago

    Thanks a lot for this detailed update. I would just add some points about AI writing. If it is used only for assistance particularly it's percentage must be less than 8% in any genuine article, reaserch based or whatever then it is acceptable for publication even in all peer reviewed journals. Being a university professor, we all have to check assignments and writings via Turnitin. It is best software to detect AI writing, but again it warns that less than 8% is not accurate. May be falsely identified. So I will request that after reviewing the story, it must be considered that does this article contains acceptable limit of AI. And then label it. Hope I could be able to convey my thoughts.

  • Bugsy Watts8 days ago

    Is there any way we can change the cover image for stories? Sometimes I'd like to update the look and feel of my profile and this would help immensely

  • M. Lee8 days ago

    Thank you for filling us in on all of these changes. I am with everyone who says that they wish the use of AI content (writing entire pieces, not grammar correcting) should be banned. Honestly, I feel like anyone who uses it to write whole articles/stories/poems to earn money anywhere is cheating. Most of us who love this website are actual humans who have authentic, creative thoughts and ideas of our own. Most of us share our art because we are moved by humanity, nature, and life. When machine writing clogs up our avenues to express ourselves, we suffer because our work gets lost in a sea of unoriginal, nonhuman nonsense. Grateful for a platform to share our work on. Just wanted to add my thoughts.

  • JBaz8 days ago

    Ai is not original or authentic work. It is a way to improve and assist, unfortunately now used by people who have a desire but do not posses the talent to create an original idea, sadly this is the new generation of thought and I do not see it vanishing. I hope to see it used for a benefit not as a tool to be used as an original piece.

  • I agree with True Crime Writer. I too wish any AI-Generated content would be banned. To be honest, I feel they're just spam. There's no substance at all. Like what's even the purpose of letting people post AI-Generated content? This does not include using Grammarly, Pro Writing, etc. I only mean content that are 100% generated by AI.

  • Appreciate the updates!

  • Thank you for the updates . I saw the new feature upon publishing my last story yesterday . I used AI with a few photos plus my own . However, I wrote my own story . So I did not check the AI box.

  • Suzii~9 days ago

    Also, I think it would be tremendously helpful if there would be an option to edit our work after it's been published. I understand only V+ members can access this feature but, at least being able to edit our work maximum once for free would definitely improve the quality of stories/articles on Vocal. Just a suggestion. ^^

  • Suzii~9 days ago

    Appreciate the effort for these new updates, this will definitely enhance usser experience on Vocal. I would like to suggest something. How about awarding writers a badge on their profile based on their contribution to Vocal's community and unlocking certain milestones. For example, top 10/50/100 fiction writer, top 10/50/100 contributor, Busy Bee (for most active users), etc. All the best. ^_^

  • D. D. Lee9 days ago

    Thank you Justin and the collective Vocal team and community for fresh ideas and updates to make the site better for us all!

  • Rare Stories9 days ago

    I love Vocal Media. Keep up the good work guys! The fact that the Vocal team rolls out features based on the users' recommendations is just top-notch.

  • Very exciting changes! Especially when it comes to navigating AI content. It's super refreshing to see people at Vocal listening to the critique of the community.

  • Shirley Belk9 days ago

    Thank you for the updates, Justin!

  • Hurrah! I appreciate the Vocal team's hard work with continuous improvements to the platform. One cautionary note on the "Creators We're Loving' change -- if the algorithm rewards recent activity, this does make it more prone to select AI "creators" since these accounts are able to generate large amounts of content in a short time. Will the AI identifying systems be able to weed them out ahead of the creator showcase algorithms...?

  • Amanda Starks9 days ago

    This is a great step toward the future of vocal. Thank you, Justin and the vocal team, for listening to the community!! ❤️

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Babs Iverson9 days ago

    Dazed and confused waking up is hard to do!!!

  • Gloria Penelope9 days ago

    Great updates, thank you!

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