Course creators need to be allowed to delete mems! What do you all think?

I am a course contributor for the four-part course, “8,000+ Most Common Swedish Words”, originally created by a guy called “sehiralti”, who seems to have pretty much moved on, from what I can see (the number of points he has racked up occasionally moves upwards, so I know he uses memrise from time to time.

Anyway, this is my problem: when sehiralti originally created the course, he used a database called the Kelly list (“SweWac”) as his source and created four individual courses using this data. At some point, a memrise user on the forum pointed out that one of the entries in the most popular course (11.7K have signed up for it) was incorrect, namely that “att andra” should have been “att ändra”. This prompted me to finally get round to printing out the database at home so I could check for myself. I began the laborious task of comparing the entries in the course and those in the database and found that a number of changes had been made, some deliberate and some just typos (like the above one, that an “ä” had been seen as an “a”).

By this time (last year sometime), I was into my third year of learning Swedish and was in a position to judge what had happened in some cases, which was this: for a number of seemingly “duplicate” entries, “sehiralti” had replaced the duplicates with words from another database, many of which were numerals.

So I began to replace the incorrect entries with the correct ones from the original frequency database, “SweWac”.

As a result, we now have entries with inconsistent mems. To give you an example, one incorrect entry was “femton” (Swedish for fifteen), so there a bunch of mems featuring the number fifteen at that point, which are just clogging up the course and don’t serve any useful purpose any more.

I have tried “flagging” them, but that is a complete waste of time and has never resulted in any changes as far as I can tell: the same old irrelevant mems still come up :frowning:

The other problem with some of the mems is that, due to the single-word definitions which were originally offered for the most part (an understandable solution, I hasten to add, given the size of the project that sehiralti tackled), some learners misunderstood which meaning was required.

A case in point would be this one: the word “en kull” had been translated as “a litter” and a number of learners had understood it in the sense of “trash, garbage” etc and made their mems accordingly, choosing pictures of trash cans and so on. Later, I discovered that the word refers to a litter of baby animals :slight_smile:

Here’s another kind of unnecessary mem that I see all the time: the person in question merely duplicates the definition of the word - and nothing else - and makes a “mem”. Obviously, these are really of no use to anyone and the people who make them have no clue what mems are supposed to be about. These could also be removed.

Another kind of unnecessary mem I can think of are the ones that came about when memrise was only available as a web version and images were offered. As a result, for some words, there are multiple versions of the same image, sometimes with text, sometimes without.

Finally, there are all the mems that contain misspellings and incorrect grammar. Those could also be removed or improved if we course creators had the permission to do so.

It would be great to have permission granted to course creators to remove mems so that these kinds of unnecessary and misleading mems could be removed.


I would understand if the memrise team didn’t want to give every single course creator this privilege, but some of us here must have already earned some kind of “trust level” and shown that they are competent and trustworthy.

I was wondering about setting up some kind of poll - like a petition, I suppose - to show that there is support for the idea.

What do you think about that idea?

Although I share your views on the quantity of poor quality mems that ‘clutter’ many courses, I think you may be…


Sorry! :blush:

You may remember that there was a full and frank discussion about what, if anything could (or should) be done last year (here), although views may have changed since then.

My view remains that mems are a personal thing and what has meaning and usefulness to the originator may be lost on other people. Conversely, before Memrise introduced a limited ‘memstream’, I came across many excellent and inspirational mems that had been created by other people and was only too happy to select and keep them.

I don’t much care for what may be seen as censorship or selective control of mems that are created and may be useful to the people who went to the trouble of making them. But I agree that it’s not helpful to the majority of users to keep seeing poor/lazy mems which, for example, simply repeat the word or show an image of a car as a mem for “car”! So what is to be done?

The “Go without a mem” feature is one option but that prevents you adding your own mem. Blocking the ‘memstream’ and just seeing mems that you created for yourself could be one option but that would stop you seeing those excellent/inspirational mems that other people sometimes create and that would be a shame. If there were to be some form of ‘removal tool’, I think that the originator of the mem should be allowed to retain it for their own use.


Thanks very much for taking the time to reply and to post a link to a previous thread.

I posted in a thread on a similar subject a good while ago and wrote many similar things to some of the things you write above. The original poster of the other thread was complaining that people were posting mems in languages other than English on his course, to which I replied that just because these mems were not relevant to him, it didn’t mean that they were not relevant to others.

Here is the thread I posted in:

am also aware of the dangers of censorship and the possibility of people removing mems with flimsy reasons.

I really only want to remove the following kinds of mem:

  • irrelevant (because the entry has been changed)
  • pointless (because they are just a repetition of the definition)
  • multiple image mems (how many pictures of a car do you need for the word “car”, for example?)
  • misleading and incorrect mems (where the hint is at the wrong word, or where there are grammatical and spelling errors in the mems in the target language, such as wrong articles and so on).

Removing the above time-consuming clutter would surely do learners here on memrise a favour, don’t you think?

i agree
see title

Back when it was still possible to rate mems (sigh), I would almost always find the one I like among the couple of top rated mems. Therefore as far as I see it, there would not be much point in being able to delete anything had that functionality stayed in place.

Besides all that, do you expect them to ADD something? Give me a break. It’s been a feature-removing bonanza for the past 2 years (the mem rating and ordering is an excellent example). I wonder what kind of motives their product manager had…

P.S. On second thought, I shouldn’t have bothered saying anything since I cannot even use mems Mems disassociated


Rating of mems so they bubble up top is indeed a better solution.


I entirely agree. I’ve created a lot of courses for my students which have worked extremely well but the mem function is now pretty much useless as it has been so clogged up with the kind of things mentioned by you as well as attempts at “humour” totally unrelated to the words being learned. I would love to have control over the mems so that I could delete the stuff which is obvious rubbish. I’ve posted about this several times but so far nothing has changed.

I’ve just noticed how old this thread is!

There definitely should be a rating system for Memes, so the best rise to the top and crap is hidden. It might also be useful if Meme creators could tag Memes as “Adult” or “racy” or “NSFW” or something like that, if they might be offensive. This way, people who are easily offended could “opt out” of NSFW memes. Many of the best Memes (the ones that helped me remember the best) I have seen are hilarious but definitely not safe for work.

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A workaround I’ve used a few times is to go into course edit mode, delete the entry that contains unwanted junk-mems, then add a “new” item that’s actually identical to the item just deleted. Also, any corresponding audio clips would have to be uploaded again.

Note that doing this has the effect of removing all mems associated with the item, and that the process could be quite time consuming in the case of a course polluted with a lot of junk-mems. Also, from the learner’s perspective, each item treated this way would have to be re-learned from scratch, which could be irritating.

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I have noticed another major problem with memes. Previously, these memes were incredibly useful in helping me to remember vocabulary, mostly through word or image association. I would argue, perhaps, that the memes themselves are THE most useful facet of Memrise.

Lately I notice that many of my favorite German courses are being overrun with Arabic “Memes”, which are not memes at all, but are rather direct translations to Arabic. Basically, these learners are trying to convert English-to-German decks to Arabic-to-German Decks by hijacking the memes, instead of putting in the hard work to make their own Arabic-to-German decks. This means that instead of seeing a helpful image or meme to reinforce my learning of a word, every new word I see has nothing but a direct Arabic translation in the meme area. This makes learning far less efficient. Memes should be used for their original purpose, not by lazy people trying to hijack decks/courses for themselves.

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agreed, as most, if not all people here think so too. There should be a rating system not an outright censorship but maybe, if you create a course, yea actually, I think, the individual should be able to remove useless memes if they have created the course.

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but then we get onto the debate of, define useless and impartialiaty etc which is why a rating system makes sense but everything doesn’t have to be a free speech democracy especially if you create something, full control should be in the hands of the creator.

Yes, either or both seem fine by me. The person who created the course put in the effort to make it, so they should have a say. But probably 90%+ of these problems could be eliminated by a rating system.

agreed, somebody said in a thread once that this was the way it once was but when they changed something, it no longer was the same.

Rating systems online are, eh, overrated due to misuse and manipulation. Having a corresponding forum – doable already today – is much better for reading and responding to feedback.

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plus one for the no democracy model then and full control for the creator. Yea. I am solid on that being my stance now. Will it ever happen though??? Doubtful but anything is possible.

There used to be a rating system for mems :frowning: