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Helium.com

1 reviews & complaints.

Scam Writing Website
Posted by on
I had discovered a few months ago the Helium website where "knowledge rules," a place where writers go to improve their writing and get paid for it. This is the biggest scam out there for a content site.

They are trying to copy off of Wikipedia, but the information that is on their site is absolutely incorrect and possibly life threatening. The site does not have an editorial and almost anything can be published. However, they censor the most important questions and answers that may reflect a negative light on them.

The do not pay their writers, only some of them, and the money earned is reduced or cheated on a daily basis. They owed me money and never paid. They also are a bogus company buying "publishing" websites to make them look legitimate. The marketplace where publishers choose an article is completely bogus. Their rating system, customer service, ethics, and honesty are the worst in the business. They offered the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting and this is bogus too. They make these things sound legitimate by enticing young high schoolers into their program thinking it is the real Pulitzer Prize. It is not!

They use gimmicks to steal work and money from those that work so hard giving them content. They will never allow you to take your work off of the site and let partners and other sister companies make money off of your hard work and time.

In addition, they expose your personal information in the flagging process they have and those people know your email and other personal information. There are several people complaining about being stalked, harassed, and abused by other helium members when they got the other members private information. The site claims to protect the users, but it does not. There are criminals on that site and Helium doesn't care as long as they get your to give them free work and give them money.

Please do not write or give your work away to this site, and do not let a friend, family member, or anyone else to participate on this site!
     
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User Replies:

Thingywhatsit on 2008-05-09:
I have never read such an unfounded and biased point of view before. It really is nonsense. Helium pay very well indeed, in fact their marketplaces pay very well too. Most members that suffer are those that pay no attention to learning how to use the site's facilities. There are facilities for writers to seek help in improving their writing and much, much more.

You purport that there is no editorial staff and this is a complete nonsense. The steward system ensures that quality is always improving as does vigilance from an ever present staff.

You state that they give access to private information and this too is a myth. They do not. In rating if you receive an email critiquing your work, no one is aware of your email address unless you reply, which is clearly stated in the email that reaches you. If you choose not to reply, the member in question has no idea of what your email address is.

The Pulitzer area of the site lets citizen journalists showcase their work on world issues, and is well worthwhile, as witnessed by this report on the BBC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_wgaGcHz8I

Before taking the word of someone with obvious sour grapes, look at the big picture. I have been writing on the internet for over ten years, earn between 300-500 dollars a month from Helium and believe this article does it a misjustice.
enigma2 on 2009-03-04:
You get out of Helium what you put into it. If you are a poor writer with bad grammar, you won't survive or earn money. I think the OP's review speaks volumes about their writing ability.
David Arthur Walters on 2009-04-15:
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
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 ...
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 it 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 gone 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: www.Helium.com
Corporate Officers: Mark Ranalli, CEO and Andrew Ressler, Vice President, Sales & Marketing and Martha Collins, Vice President, Advertising







internetscribe on 2009-09-06:
Thank you for this informative review. Please continue to spread the word. I am gratified to see that you mentioned that they do not edit material before it is published. That is outrageous! You are quite correct when you say that the information published can be dangerous or potentially life threatening. I'm just waiting for someone to follow some non-edited, moronic advice and end up in the hospital or dead.
Please continue to spread the word. Any site that does not edit their material is disreputable. Furthermore, any writer worth their salt should be embarrassed to write for a place that doesn't even bother to check material before posting it.

I am signing my correct name to this post.

Helen Dycha
PepperElf on 2009-09-06:
odd. the review is a year old (even more)


but I see you have two people who "disagreed" with you ... people who only have one post to their account. makes me wonder if the company sent someone in to post against you..
internetscribe on 2009-09-07:
Hi Pepper,

I suppose that it seems odd that I am responding to an old post, but the information is still relevant, and I only had the misfortune to become involved with Helium a month ago.
I think that you're right on regarding the posters who disagree - they are from Helium.
sandj on 2009-09-23:
Thingywhatsit you're deluded
so glad you are enjoying all Helium has to offer to you, perhaps in a few years time you will be able to afford a downpayment on a pencil case, whilst those behind Helium are totting up their ill gotten gains - what a racket this site is, property theft, breach of copyright and plagiarism et al! Nevermind the rather dubious, unresearched material. You know there are a lot of people on Helium that can actually write very well, it is just a pity that those working behind the scenes couldn't even answer an email!

Good Luck
S
PepperElf on 2009-09-23:
Personally I've never really used this Helium.

I'm already well versed in searching credible sites online and don't need that site.

And indeed I still suspect they are sending employees in to bash you for disagreeing.

It's too much of a coincidence that some of the people disagreeing with you have one or two posts *only* - and all of their posts for the sole purpose of disagreeing with you.
MSCANTBEWRONG on 2009-09-23:
Good point Pepper.
helium nightmare on 2009-12-15:
Is helium a scam?

You better believe it. It is more than that; it is a terrorist site that will delete your articles (just because they do not like your point of view, no matter how true or well documented it is).

They will not let you edit your articles (unless their rating community – mostly 4-th grade educated individuals – will approve your editing)

You have no control and no say about deleting your own article; they feel they own it.

Even if you leave the site in disgust they will still MAKE money out of your work while you get NOTHING

Should you ever dare to put on the forum an inconvenient question be prepared; the 5 stars Channel Site Stewards will tear you to pieces.

They will stop at nothing: they will insult you, they will call you names and they will threaten you

Should you be brave enough not to give in the pressure and keep on taking them on, they will cancel the thread and will ban you from the forum.

Are you still not convinced?

Read my articles “Freelance income fantasy” and “Helium Nightmare” published both in Associated Content and Hub pages.
ccutter on 2011-12-02:
I absolutely agree that Helium sucks. As a matter of fact, right before I closed my account from them, I changed my pen name to HELIUMSUX so it's at the top of all of my articles. They advertise themselves as a web site for writers, you do nothing but read and rate and the content that is contained on their website is for the most part, overworded rubbish that some 13 year old kid eating cold pizza and drinking flat code red mountain dew randomly flips through and haphazardly assigns a rating just so that he can get the million or so ratings in to earn the fraction of a percentage of $0.01 for the millions of hits. It's absolutely ridiculous and I simply want my material back so that I can post it to a better web site and get paid for it appropriately. In addition, I do not want any of my material, my pen name, or my pay-pal account associated with Helium. So what did they do? They kept the articles, kept their money, and removed my access to make any further changes to my account. Crooks, criminals, and no-goodniks hiding behind their terms of use which is the only thing that is actually well written on their web site. Raping honest writers out of earned money.
Mitch on 2012-01-23:
they have kept me from my account yet they continue to have the site up with my name... I want it gone.. it seems a violation of writing rights.. I will write to my attorney general and let them take a look.. I want my writings off of their site.. especially since I have been told I cannot alter or change my account and am not allowed on my account they steal your words..and make money
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