Fighting against suicide on Teen Quotes


Teen Quotes lets teenagers share their daily thoughts and feelings. Since people speak their mind, we receive happy quotes about friendship and love, regular life inspiring quotes and sad quotes. And sometimes, unfortunately, really really sad quotes.

At Teen Quotes, we have a very strict publishing policy. Every quote gets reviewed by a human before being published. If we don’t like a quote, we can edit it a little bit to make it publishable or we can refuse it.

How to manage refused quotes

In the past, when we received a quote that we didn’t want to publish, here is what happened:

  • The submitted quote goes through moderation and gets refused. As an immediate result, it will never be published on Teen Quotes.
  • The author of the quote receives an email telling that its quote was refused with a few hints to improve: verify the English, be sure that a similar quote wasn’t published before and try to write an original quote.

This type of email is sent a lot because we refuse around 75 % of the submitted quotes. We would be super happy to explain in every email why this specific quote was refused but it would take too much time during moderation.

But I am convinced that sometimes we should contact the author of the quote, in specific situations. One of the possible situation is described in this post’s title: suicide promotion / suicide thoughts in a quote.

Submitting super sad quotes is a real alarm

As already said, users submit quotes on Teen Quotes to inspire others. Most of our visitors come just to get inspired, to relate to others, to put words on feelings. We deeply think that we shouldn’t publish quotes that promote suicide thoughts. Everyone has ups and downs, but suicide should not be an option. So we protect other members from Teen Quotes by refusing such quotes. And today, we are going one step further.

Trying to help authors that need assistance

In the upcoming major version of Teen Quotes, if a user submits a really sad quote, we will send him a personal email to make sure that everything is right and we will include some useful links if he needs to get help from non-profit organisation around the world. As a software engineer, it is usually difficult to have an impact in someone’s life. Moving a button 2 pixels to the left will not make a huge difference. We deeply hope that we will be able to help people with this feature. It really matters to us.

Laravel package for the recommendation system Easyrec


During a few days in August I have coded a Laravel wrapper for the recommendation system Easyrec. If you want to display most viewed items, best rated items, related items or something like that, a recommendation system is the perfect way to go. If you are familiar with Machine Learning techniques, you now that a recommendation system is something very difficult. If you remember, Netflix offered $ 1,000,000 to improve its collaborative filtering algorithm.

Easyrec provides a REST API that you can call for free. This is something very convenient if don’t have a lot of data and that you still want to use a recommender system for your web service.

Features overview

After registering the service provider and the alias in your app/config/app.php file, it will be super easy to use! Here is a little overview of the available functions:

Easyrec::view(42, 'Post 42', '', 200, null, null, 'POST'); // User #200 has viewed post #42
Easyrec::rate(42, 8, 'Book 42', '', 200, null, null, 'BOOK'); // User #200 has rated 8/10 book #42
Easyrec::mostViewedItems(10, 'WEEK', 'BOOK'); // Retrieves the 10 most viewed books for the last week
Easyrec::bestRatedItems(10, 'MONTH', 'POST'); // Retrieves the 10 best rated posts for the last month

Documentation and download

Of course the package is available via Composer. The full documentation can be found on GitHub:

Do not hesitate to open up an issue if something is not working as expected. Pull-requests are very welcome also!