On ATS, Ignorance Is Winning

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posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 04:38 PM
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The Problem As I See It

I became a member of ATS in July, 2004 (not long ago), but had lurked on and off for much longer before that. Many of my visits to ATS were precipitated by links from other websites, which used ATS as a credited source for news that most other websites either didn’t have or wouldn’t carry.

So while it may seem like I’m a relative newcomer to ATS, I have actually been using and watching the development of this site for a while, and I can say that it is, without question, one of the best websites on the Internet. When I criticize ATS, it is with this fact in mind.

Over the recent months, I have been watching as ATS has been hijacked by an increasing number of trolls -- members who repeatedly post in violation of the ATS Terms & Conditions of Use, inject off-topic noise, sloganeering, hatred, bigotry and propaganda into almost every thread and frankly, I have finally had enough.

No this isn’t an “I’m leaving!” drama queen thread, it’s just feedback. The feedback is that I am spending less and less time on any ATS forum because I am sick and tired of being greeted by the same brainless crap in every freaking thread in every freaking forum. But I do intend to keep coming back, even if I must force myself to put on my game face before doing so.

Signal-To-Noise Ratio

It is not the fault of the ATS staff that the board is being flooded with fools, ideologues, mindless drones, children being raised on the Internet, people who can write but apparently can’t read and paid provocateurs. Not even close. My heart goes out to the exceptional, professional and talented staff who have to sort through this garbage day in and day out.

If you are an ATS staff member, please don’t misunderstand my criticism -- it is not directed at you directly, rather, I am hoping that this thread may alert you to a very real problem threatening the future of ATS.

All public discussion forums can be thought of as having a “signal-to-noise ratio” (SNR). Loosely applied, it refers to the percentage of posts that are in line with the purpose of the forum. The rest is generally considered to be a cost of doing business, but when the SNR gets below a certain threshold, the noise tends to take over and dominate the board. I don’t think ATS has reached that point, but I do believe it is coming dangerously close.

Board traffic does not measure SNR, just membership and post volume. Trolls are prolific posters, gaining emotional and sometimes sexual gratification from abusing and annoying others. The more success they have in doing this, the more they post, and the result is a vicious cycle which ultimately can destroy a discussion forum.

I know, because I was a moderator on a forum this happened to. That forum is now long dead, and was never even close to ATS’s popularity or size, but I see the same warning signs on ATS that I saw there, and I could not live with myself if I didn’t warn you. So consider yourself warned.

Suggestions, Anyone?

So what to do about it? That is always the $64,000 question, isn’t it? At first glance, it would seem simple, but I know that it is not. After all, the obvious solution: cracking down on flamers and trolls, often drives legitimate contributors from the board. An overly heavy-handed and authoritarian stance by the staff would probably drive ATS into the ground as fast and as certain as allowing the flamers and trolls to run wild.

I love the ATS “ignore” feature, and wish it weren’t capped at ten entries. However, ignoring one another might curb some flame wars, but still won’t maintain ATS as a world-class source for information on the Internet.

In my humble opinion, if ATS is to survive as a destination website, the content must be diligently policed for compliance with the Terms & Conditions of Use. If this is not workable, then the T&C must be rewritten to make enforcement unambiguous and their fairness indisputable.

Recognizing that my advice comes from a person who was not aware and capable enough to save another forum from being destroyed, and that these suggestions are not new or necessarily even practical to implement, that the staff may already be implementing some of them behind the scenes already and that some or all of these may be too sketchy or impractical to implement as written, I nonetheless offer the following recommendations for cleaning up the board:

Majic’s Recommendations For Cleaning Up ATS

1. Emphasize and Toughen the Terms and Conditions of Use. Heavily over-emphasize them during sign-up. There should be no doubt in the mind of any ATS member as to what the T&C are. While requiring “I accept” for the T&C during sign-up is good, it may be worthwhile to hammer it home with “Are you sure?” buttons and constant reminders. I know ATS has already done some of this, I’m just saying you can’t really overdo it. Ignorance of the T&C cannot be an excuse for misconduct. Whenever the T&C are revised, all members should be greeted by an “I agree” screen for the new T&C when they login. The T&C should always represent the uncompromising and unapologetic requirements for participation on ATS, and should be so written as to make it clear that those not willing to comply should post elsewhere. Period.

2. Enforce the T&C consistently and without exceptions. The T&C should be written in such a way that no one, staff or members, can claim loopholes or capricious enforcement. They should be concrete. Writing concrete T&C is an art in itself, but they are the heart and soul of a discussion forum, so it is worth the effort. If questions about a T&C policy continue to arise, the policy should be clarified. T&C should be both written in stone and constantly evolving -- a classic paradox, perhaps, but such is the world in which we live.

3. Standardize the enforcement process, and publicize it. I imagine the staff already have done this to some extent, but I recommend demystifying the process. All members should know where they stand in the ATS disciplinary process, and if they are banned, it should come as no surprise to anyone. Thus if a member is one warning away from being banned, all members should be aware of it. Yes, this can be abused, but crime and punishment are public affairs in every law-abiding society, so it should be with ours.

4. Ban members only after they have received three public warnings that they are about to be banned. Banning is an important part of being able to manage a discussion forum, but it should be used as a last resort, and should never come as a surprise to anyone. The warning system is a step in this direction, but one member can pile up warnings seemingly without fearing being banned, while another can be banned seemingly for having a bad night. Maybe you already do this in U2U’s (“one more strike and you’re out”), but I think it should be public. I strongly recommend that no members be permanently banned at first, but temporarily so, as follows:

5. Allow temporarily banned members to log in, but not to post in public forums. This may be counterintuitive, but there’s a reason why this makes sense. If a member is banned, it is reasonable to give that member a chance to communicate with the staff and appeal the decision. This policy allows for a progression of temporary bans leading to permanent bans. While this may not seem desirable (who wants banned members coming back?), it builds some justice into the system, and allows staff to use the ban option without hesitation when it is warranted. Communication can be limited to staff members, or perhaps U2U’s can be continued so that banned members can communicate with fellow members. These allowances would only apply to a temporary ban, for the express purpose of giving members a last chance, and nothing more. Also, temporarily banned members should be required to agree to the T&C every time they log in, as both punishment and instruction.

6. Only “perma-ban” members who fail or abuse the appeal process. If a temporarily banned member abuses the staff or fellow members through U2U, then they are perma-banned. Once that decision is made, it can never be reversed, so it should, like every disciplinary action, never come as a surprise. Perma-banned accounts will still exist, but cannot be logged into or modified except by staff.

7. Label temporarily banned or perma-banned members accordingly, but do not obscure their names (unless the name itself violates T&C). All posts should be attributed to the original author. I recommend making a user’s red-letter title read “Temporarily Banned” or “Permanently Banned” depending on their status, so everyone knows the deal. Seeing multiple posts from “(banned member)” is confusing, in my opinion.

All this may seem like more work for the staff, but there is a madness to the method. Staff members have a very tough job, especially in light of how much brainless crap they have to read through every day. While my recommendations may seem to add unnecessary steps to the disciplinary process, each step should require less discretion on the part of a staff member, and thus ultimately reduce the workload by using system design in place of blood, sweat and tears from moderators.

In other words, just spell this stuff out in black and white, and a moderator can deal out justice without having to give it a lot of thought. Having an appeals process allows for mistakes by a busy moderator to be dealt with later, so a mod who might be holding back can “go nuts”, but in a good way. We need to bring trolls and flamers under control, not let them slide.

Discipline And Ignorance Are Not Compatible

There will always be whiners and drama queens who will beat their chests at any attempts to reform or control, and it may seem counterintuitive to call for a system that is seemingly more tolerant to them and cumbersome in an attempt to staunch trollery, but my sense is that staff members do not have enough guidance and options to be able to dish out justice without regret, and that leads to laxity and degradation of the community.

On ATS, the battle to Deny Ignorance continues and is far from over, but I must report to you from the battle front that at this point, it seems that ignorance is winning. I find myself drifting away from ATS, but I don’t want to lose this indispensable resource.

I am hopeful that by recognizing that ignorance is temporarily gaining the upper hand, we might somehow turn the tide and make ATS even better than it is today.

I invite my fellow ATS members and staff to comment on this post’s subject and recommendations, and, as they may see fit, to add recommendations to the staff for improving the quality of discussion and content on ATS.




posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 04:45 PM
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great post !!!
100% agree...

"You have voted Majic for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month".




posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 04:46 PM
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nothing more i can say , i like u have the same feeling and any member who feels the same should realy post and be heard with there opinion , there are too many trolls and like we should all no the net is anonimous and u never no terrorist may come on this and preach false info scare mounger and ppl with nuthing else too do


thanks for bringing this up mate well done



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 04:48 PM
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You have voted Majic for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.

Excellent post.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 04:54 PM
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We could believe in:

1. Quality over quantity.

2. Carrot over stick.

I would rather see something saying "here's a prime example of a member dealing effectively with conflict over a difficult issue" than a vague statement in the political forum like "Decorum will be enforced".

I never heard of enforcable decorum before that.




posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:13 PM
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Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
I never heard of enforcable decorum before that.

While I understand the intent, I agree: how do you enforce something as vague as "decorum"? I can only imagine a mod trying to evaluate a post on its "decorum".

Not too long ago, after the U.S. national 55 MPH speed limit was repealed by Congress, the state of Montana eliminated the daytime speed limit on many of its highways. Drivers could drive as fast as they wanted on highways marked that way, as long as the speed they drove was "reasonable and prudent".

Needless to say, what qualified as "reasonable and prudent" was very different in the minds of drivers versus the minds of the highway patrol, leading to all sorts of disputed citations and legal problems as a consequence. Some time back, Montana quietly repealed that law, and now all Montana highways have well-defined speed limits.

I suppose that this encapsulates my recommendation: let's clear up misunderstandings about what ATS is really all about.

If any member of ATS, or worse, any staff member, is not sure about the ground rules, we're all in big trouble.

The fact that I can't be sure if this is the case one way or another is itself an indication, albeit a relatively benign indication.

Yes, I am calling for reform. More importantly, I am calling for reform that all members can consider fair.

Or, to indulge my penchant for irony, reform that all members can consider "reasonable and prudent".


Edit: I originally cited Wyoming, but it was Montana that had the "unlimited" daytime speed limit (which was fun -- I personally took advantage of it -- 110 MPH to Bozeman, baby!). Apologies to both states and their citizens.


[edit on 11/24/2004 by Majic]



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:19 PM
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I noticed a lot of these problems predominately during the electioneering, with people from both sides of the spectrum attacking other members rather than attacking their stance. It's good for the democratic system for people to be able to attack each others opinions, and that way we get a balance and fair view, but attacking the person holding the opinion is and always should be a no-no.
When finally all the 'We love Bush' Vs 'We hate Bush' rhetoric does down, hopefully we'll be back to the ATS we all know and love.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:30 PM
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I myself try not to get involved in flame fest and pointless arguing. I agree with almost everything you said, all but the allowing of banned persons to log in but not post, not sure i see much point in that.
Really, really excellent post well done!

You have voted Majic for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:47 PM
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Majic noted:


Over the recent months, I have been watching as ATS has been hijacked by an increasing number of trolls -- members who repeatedly post in violation of the ATS Terms & Conditions of Use, inject off-topic noise, sloganeering, hatred, bigotry and propaganda into almost every thread and frankly, I have finally had enough.


It was one thing when it was limited to the political forums but has seemed to spread to Science and Technology, ATSNN as well as others. Thanks for putting into words what many members are feeling right now.

Excellent post - You have voted Majic for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.

B.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:56 PM
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I understand and agree with everything that has been said; I would like to let you know (in regards to Majic's 5th suggestion), that most moderators are open to suggestions / feedback concerning their doings with bannings / warnings / moving threads and such.

I think, out of all that has been said, one of the finer or more delicate issues, would be with flaming versus debate or flaming versus friendly jabs.

I like debates, and enjoy proving myself (even though the other post might not prove their point); I may even have said that on a couple threads... "I proved myself, now what about you?" I thrive on a good arguement; it seems to bring out the better of myself.

Then there are those times, depending who you are posting to, that you might make a comment that others would find unexcuse-able, when in all actuality, all you are doing is making a friendly jab. While the majority of persons might find fault in your statement, does that justify a warning?

I often click the warning flags to see why that member was warned, and have come back mystified or stumped. There are those posts that have been edited AFTER the banning... if a flag was given, lock that post so we can see WHY, and use it as an example. And then there are those flagged posts which don't even warrent a warning. There has to be a guideline for warn flags!

Hold on, lost train of thought...



Train has definite-ly left the station...

Oh, okay! My point is this: In dealing with other members (rude or otherwise), maybe there should be an addition to the Terms and Conditions that says "Treat others the way you would want to be treated". Make it the Golden Rule for ATS... there is no way that could be confused or abused.

Treat others as you would want to be treated.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:59 PM
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Originally posted by Janus
I agree with almost everything you said, all but the allowing of banned persons to log in but not post, not sure i see much point in that.

I know this seems like a step in the wrong direction, but there are -- in my opinion -- very good reasons for building second chances into the disciplinary process.

Chief among them is the fact that we are all human beings and all subject to making mistakes. That includes staff members along with everyone else. I can only imagine what some poor mod's thoughts must be like after spending three hours reading posts in the Political Idealogy forum.


I would expect elevated statistics for suicide, domestic battery and clocktower sniperism among the mods in that forum. Mark my words.


Every enlightened legal system allows for errors in its administration. Yes, this necessarily means there will be overhead, but it also reduces the frequency of injustices committed by those entrusted with bringing justice to society.

To use a real-world example, Oregon has some very strict state traffic laws. You can be fined exorbitant amounts for going just a few miles over the speed limit.

So what has happened? In many areas, Oregon state troopers don't give out as many speeding tickets, because they don't think its fair. Much worse, however, are the areas where they give out more tickets to generate revenue. There is no justice in such a state of affairs.

How does this apply to ATS? If a moderator is given a choice between ignoring a borderline post or invoking the "death penalty", they will either let problems slide, or enforce standards unevenly. Either way, trouble follows. Thus it is important to give mods clear guidance and some coverage when they make mistakes.

On ATS, as post volume increases, the amount of time a moderator can spend evaluating each post is going to decrease. Thus the rules for posting should be as clear-cut and unambiguous as possible. The more judgment a mod is required to apply to each post, the less ground a mod can cover.

I know it may seem crass to look at forum moderation in such mechanical terms, but the truth is that good moderation is not a creative process. It's just hard work, and God bless everyone who steps up to the plate.

So why such an extensive appeals process? Because mods make mistakes, just like everyone else. As a moderator, I know I would do a much better job if I knew that an occasional bad call wasn't the end of the line for what might otherwise be a valuable contributor.

Remember, I am calling for stricter enforcement of the T&C. To help moderators "pull the trigger" when they need to, I propose an appeals process that allows clobbered members a chance to straighten up and fly right, or make their case if they were, in fact, improperly treated.

Building some error-correction into the system allows staff to stamp out problems with less second-guessing and self-doubt. They have enough to deal with already, I think a little slack as they shovel out the barn is a good idea.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 06:02 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
The Problem As I See It


Suggestions, Anyone?

So what to do about it? That is always the $64,000 question, isn’t it? At first glance, it would seem simple, but I know that it is not. After all, the obvious solution: cracking down on flamers and trolls, often drives legitimate contributors from the board. An overly heavy-handed and authoritarian stance by the staff would probably drive ATS into the ground as fast and as certain as allowing the flamers and trolls to run wild.



In my humble opinion, if ATS is to survive as a destination website, the content must be diligently policed for compliance with the Terms & Conditions of Use. If this is not workable, then the T&C must be rewritten to make enforcement unambiguous and their fairness indisputable.




Initially I thought finally a thread a post I could agree with and be for rather than against. After reading a couple of paragraphs that illusion slipped away.
No one answers any questions anymore for a mere 64 grand.! Get up to speed "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" is more like it.
I agree ATS is deteriorating, however, that is about all I agree with in your in your proposal. Oh my my where to begin

How about microcosm-macrocosm, one of my favorites. This wonderful technology has allowed theraputic communities like this one to flourish and
incorporate people from the whole world in them. A true microcosm of the world. Ya follow?

Something has come up gotta run to be continued,

Bear



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 06:07 PM
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Alright, I admit, I have a dark and dry humor. I may even be a wee bit sarcastic at times. But this is a prime example of what I was talking about earlier...

Click on Polar Bear's warning.

Why was that warning given? I see no fault with his comment. To me, it doesn't seem that harsh. Whereas my comments on the thread regarding "Terrorist Attack on November 11" got nothing (not saying I want a warning, mind you, just making a comparison).

And, as a side, I checked Majic's link to "Embracing Ignorance"... why is that thread even in ATSNN? It isn't objective, it doesn't take the report from a neutral point... it isn't news!



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by MajicNeedless to say, what qualified as "reasonable and prudent" was very different in the minds of drivers versus the minds of the highway patrol, leading to all sorts of disputed citations and legal problems as a consequence. Some time back, Wyoming quietly repealed that law, and now all Wyoming highways have well-defined speed limits.

I suppose that this encapsulates my recommendation: let's clear up misunderstandings about what ATS is really all about.

If any member of ATS, or worse, any staff member, is not sure about the ground rules, we're all in big trouble.


The autobahn works great! as fast or as slow as you see fit, everyone is going some where some with lots of passion some with none at all, different color cars different style bodies and transmissions. People even drive tractors on it! We have a great mix here of all different types of people with different ideas and different ways of expressing them selves and everyone gets to be heard. It's a great system, something that may seem ignorant may have a nugget of insight that helps push the topic in another direction. Ignorance is an opinion, it's definition ever changing depending on the subject the time and the level of education of a person. You can have a conversation on quantum physics and the guy who digs ditches for a living may be lost and make comments that aren't up to par with the subject. But when it comes to a conversation about ditch digging the rolls would be reversed. Should we bar the quantum physicist from the topics about ditch digging?

This is a discussion board, yes some of the rules are loose. I think they should stay that way. Once you start dishing out "justice" you open up a whole new can of worms that turns the mods into judges and police officers full time and ATS into just another oppressed discussion where someone else decides how you're aloud to express your opinion. We're all people here and we act like people, why should that be policed? Blatant abuse is one thing, but I actually think they should relax the rules a bit more and bring the mud pit back. Heated over reaction and passionate debate are all factors of discussion and debate and most of all they are parts of the human condition.

Tolerance is one of the keys to understanding, we should all be tolerant. This place would degrade to the point of uselessness if your suggestions were taken. I've seen people use profane language and flame in one thread but in another thread come up with brilliant ideas and really contribute to a topic. Should we deny their intelligence the opportunity to contribute to ATS because on occasion they act like what you call a "drama queen" or a "whiner?"

Your whole thread is a whine about other members on the board and a recommendation for laws to be set and "justice" to be carried out to people who you are calling ignorant, and the stage you set is the inference that ATS may be destroyed? This sounds like a familiar tune. I think you should suck it up son, stick to the things that interest you and maybe learn a little about the things that don't. If someone flames, trolls or other wise acts in a manor you don't like than click ignore if you can't handle it. If you can handle it than talk to them, yeah it might be a waste of your time and it might not be but to come in here with these recommendations won't save ATS because being the #3 conspiracy site on the net (don't quote me here, I think I remember reading that, it's the #1 one in my opinion) they are doing something right.

oh and

Trolls are prolific posters, gaining emotional and sometimes sexual gratification others from abusing and annoying others.
is ummmm, dude ROTFLMAO! Where do you get this stuff!!!! I need a link to where someone was getting sexual gratification from abusing another member, if there was such a thread and it was erased why even bring it up? If it wasn't erased and you don't like the thing that were said than don't read it. Sorry to get on your case here but your call to a more stern ATS will smother the talent in my opinion.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 06:23 PM
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Originally posted by soothsayerClick on Polar Bear's warning.

Why was that warning given? I see no fault with his comment. To me, it doesn't seem that harsh.


Saying another member is using drugs as a false accusation to further a your position or to slam them not only doesn't contribute to the topic but has no constructive value in any way shape or form other than to attempt to discredit another member through insults.


And, as a side, I checked Majic's link to "Embracing Ignorance"... why is that thread even in ATSNN? It isn't objective, it doesn't take the report from a neutral point... it isn't news!


it's not in ATTSN, although it should have been, that was on the front page of the AP, CNN and MSN. It's statistical data, there's no other way to put those numbers together. You ever say Sadam killed 300,000 people? so what he killed 300,000 people and stopped? It's a round about statistic. How many Jewish people died under hitler? You have an exact figure? Did someone count them all? No it's a statistic. To call one true and another a lie would make you a hypocrite. Again I still think they should move that to ATTSN!!

[edit on 24-11-2004 by J0HNSmith]



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 06:31 PM
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Calling someone a whiner does add to the thread?



Don't worry, not flaming or jabbing. Just partaking in a friendly debate to show how content and context can be misread:


Originally posted by J0HNSmith

Heated over reaction and passionate debate are all factors of discussion and debate and most of all they are parts of the human condition.

Your whole thread is a whine about other members on the board and a recommendation for laws to be set and "justice" to be carried out to people who you are calling ignorant, and the stage you set is the inference that ATS may be destroyed? This sounds like a familiar tune. I think you should suck it up


(For all we know, there could be opium smokers here
)



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by soothsayer
Calling someone a whiner does add to the thread?



Don't worry, not flaming or jabbing. Just partaking in a friendly debate to show how content and context can be misread:


Originally posted by J0HNSmith

Heated over reaction and passionate debate are all factors of discussion and debate and most of all they are parts of the human condition.

Your whole thread is a whine about other members on the board and a recommendation for laws to be set and "justice" to be carried out to people who you are calling ignorant, and the stage you set is the inference that ATS may be destroyed? This sounds like a familiar tune. I think you should suck it up


(For all we know, there could be opium smokers here
)


Whine: To complain or protest in a childish fashion.

Nice argument, I must be wrong because I think his complaining is done in a childish fashion and you implied I do drugs. Ummm, it's funny he was just complaining about people like you. Could you try to be a little more constructive than to imply other members use drugs to further your point? Than again what exactly is your point?



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 06:56 PM
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Neither of us are flaming or bashing each other (agreed?), and yet, with subtle quote editing and reading different meanings behind words, to some it may seem as if we were.

But we aren't.

That's why there should be a guideline to warnings (as mentioned in the first post I made). If a comment were directed at an individual, the moderator of that thread should get the opinion from the one being slammed instead of jumping to conclusions.

It kind of blends with what JOHNSmith was saying earlier as well. ATS cannot and should not be made into a thought police. When arguements arise, it does drive other people to justify themselves. If that involves deeper research, or seeing things from a different perspective, so be it. Opinions about another's post should remain as such; opinions. To mistreat another because of another's views is not productive or constructive.

Sure, my point could have been made a bit differently, but at least this way, it shows how human nature works... defensive-ly. I used JOHNSmith's quote in a negative way, and he naturally took the defensive, leading to all this. Was I flaming him? No. Did he believe I was? I cannot say. But to another viewer, it all looked rather bad.

(especially if I finish by saying "I never said you used opium... where'd you get an idea like that?")




posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 11:38 PM
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Originally posted by Polar Bear

Originally posted by Majic
The Problem As I See It


Suggestions, Anyone?

So what to do about it? That is always the $64,000 question, isn’t it? At first glance, it would seem simple, but I know that it is not. After all, the obvious solution: cracking down on flamers and trolls, often drives legitimate contributors from the board. An overly heavy-handed and authoritarian stance by the staff would probably drive ATS into the ground as fast and as certain as allowing the flamers and trolls to run wild.



In my humble opinion, if ATS is to survive as a destination website, the content must be diligently policed for compliance with the Terms & Conditions of Use. If this is not workable, then the T&C must be rewritten to make enforcement unambiguous and their fairness indisputable.




Initially I thought finally a thread a post I could agree with and be for rather than against. After reading a couple of paragraphs that illusion slipped away.
No one answers any questions anymore for a mere 64 grand.! Get up to speed "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" is more like it.
I agree ATS is deteriorating, however, that is about all I agree with in your in your proposal. Oh my my where to begin

How about microcosm-macrocosm, one of my favorites. This wonderful technology has allowed theraputic communities like this one to flourish and
incorporate people from the whole world in them. A true microcosm of the world. Ya follow?

Something has come up gotta run to be continued,

Bear


Where was I? Oh yeah, micro macro! I lost my roll but will plod on. I am new to this board however I was not born yesterday. We are a minaturized reflection of the world. We have leaders and followers, left and right, etc...
and we have an oligarchy. Now the image should be complete.
At first I was impressed with the drama queen a.k.a. majic. Good start but slowed in the last quarter to finish last..
The Brown Nosing of staff is what first caught my eye. They are not doing a wonderful job, they are prejudicial and biased. Case in point. Notice the Red Badge of Courage next to the Bear. I acquired it from two separate mods that were upset because I posted a one liner response, which, I rarely do. If you notice in the beginning of this thread there are several one liners [jazzgurl, otts, soothsayer, i'll let johnsmith and MA pass cause they used a couple of short sentences
] my point being you do not see a Scarlet Badge next to them. Know why, cause mods are human and they are not' fair and balanced'
or elected. Perhaps there is where improvement could be made. Have the population elect mods rather than the oligarchy appointing them. Whoops electronic votes can be fixed with no paper back up

SNR, thats cool. And obviously magic would enjoy deciding what is noise and what is signal. I suggest we appoint him or her as editor of SNR.
This is my favorite and caught both of my eyes!

In my humble opinion, if ATS is to survive as a destination website, the content must be diligently policed for compliance with the Terms & Conditions of Use. If this is not workable, then the T&C must be rewritten to make enforcement unambiguous and their fairness indisputable.

There is no way in HLEL that you have a humble opinion. Wanna know where you can blow that smoke?
Brown Nose.
You must be a Republican, you would like to create more rules to be enforced on the population. We can call these new rules a 'Patriot Act' that would be novel and the sound rings true.


I think I have covered all that does not seem to fit, 'in my humble opinion'!
Earlier I referred to boards as therapeutic and I believe they are. An outlet where individuals can express themselves,relate, and ponder the wisdom of their thoughts and decisions. You would stop this with infringements on thought and free speech
way to go. I realize this is a private board and subject to privater rules. On the other hand if it should be decided by the Oligharcy to adopt your positions I would recommend dropping the motto of deny ignorance to deny objectionary thoughts. The longer I live and the more I realize the intent and ways of governments of all types, the closer I move to anarchy or an oxymoron. A form of anarchy.

I imagine I will proudly wear another Scarlet Letter


POLAR BEAR

p.s. privater was not an oversight



posted on Nov, 25 2004 @ 12:03 AM
link   
As im getting NO responce on another thread concerning this "speech" issue, ill drag it over here
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Bothis post and the one i posted immediatly after it discuss the new "verbal morality" crackdown...

As it would be a violation of ATS rules to cut and paste my entire post
ill give an exerpt and hope you check out the 2posts i mention....it has been almost 2 weeks since i posted those and no responce.

I say incredulously,


Saying "our loftier form of expression is better than your lesser forms of expression, and we will discriminate against those that cant or wont do as we say", just seems like it is clearly "intellectual eliteism" at the least and basic discrimination with no definitions that are clear in practice.

How can denial of ignorance occur if youve limited sources for consideration? (by weeding out the "undesirable types"...define them.)

As a professional communicator, i respect the notion that intelligent discussions are better if a certain level of decorum exists.....

I understand that as a private board, they can set what ever parameters they like for their community.

I just wonder if people see this "intellectual eliteism" i refer to and how they see this as an extension of the "P.C. doctrine". How does this stifle communicaions? Are telling lies (only using PC approved expression) or just being quiet now more important than expressing true thoughts?





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