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Stars & Flags: A popularity contest

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posted on May, 18 2015 @ 04:21 AM
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Abraxas



I post on a LOT of anonymous boards that most wouldn't be familiar with so I'd like us to try and use "4chan" as an example for argument sake. It's a popular anonymous board and most would be vaguely familiar from hearing about it on the news, in articles etc.

ATS is an amazing place, I browsed around here for YEARS before signing up but the thing that kept me away for so long was that I can't seem to shake the feeling that almost every forum which requires a username is chalk full of circle-jerking and high school level attention whoring.

I'm not interested if you agree with the type of stuff 4chan stands for, But they are absolutely right on one fundamental thing....It shouldn't matter WHO you are, you should be judged by the content of your posts. Not based on your gender or any other variable that has absolutely no impact on the discussion at hand, whatever it may be.

Maybe i'm just a loser, or anti-social however you want to slice it.. but I genuinely feel like you have more freedom to be yourself without the fear of looking like a leper with -100 social points.

Thats all folks, sorry if it was poorly structured..it's late and this is a rant after all

edit on 5/18/2015 by tothetenthpower because: -Mod Edit- Please refrain from discussing members, or ATS policy etc in the Rant Forum.




posted on May, 18 2015 @ 04:49 AM
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a reply to: IXIXI




In my opinion he gets a bad wrap from some people on here simply because they think he's a paid shill or some sort of gov agent trying to debunk everyones wild UFO/ET/WTF was that theory. I have no doubt in my mind that if he were to post anonymously, or under a different username, those same people would have no qualms with him.


It could possibly go the other way too!



posted on May, 18 2015 @ 04:59 AM
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a reply to: IXIXI

I have to say, I completely agree with you that the quality of content is more important than who issues it.

However, I would not agree that ATS's star and flag system has devolved into a popularity contest. I receive stars and flags from members with whom I disagree, and they do from me. The crucial aspect is not who utters a thing, but whether that thing is of merit or not. That is not to say that there are not members out there who may take a different view, but I think that demographic is very much in the minority.

This site relies on the quality of user contributions to its total content, in order to maintain itself. Because it is a quality focused site, it is also one of the most externally discussed boards of its kind anywhere in the world. If the quality of discourse here was anything less than high, this would not be the case.

Whether you happen to fall left or right of an issue, or whether you believe or disbelieve in a particular conspiracy or concept, this website is about the discussion itself, not the individuals who take part in it, and as a result, the vast majority of stars and flags are handed out for quality contributions, not for pandering or line toeing, or even saying what one thinks people would like to hear.

Original thinking marks ALL members of this website apart from those who fail to even see the edges of the big picture, and this links us all together as a community, this much is true. But it is a community which functions as a result of collaborative and quality driven activity, not personality cultism, and long may it remain so!



posted on May, 18 2015 @ 05:01 AM
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originally posted by: IXIXI

Abraxas



I post on a LOT of anonymous boards that most wouldn't be familiar with so I'd like us to try and use "4chan" as an example for argument sake. It's a popular anonymous board and most would be vaguely familiar from hearing about it on the news, in articles etc.

ATS is an amazing place, I browsed around here for YEARS before signing up but the thing that kept me away for so long was that I can't seem to shake the feeling that almost every forum which requires a username is chalk full of circle-jerking and high school level attention whoring.

I'm not interested if you agree with the type of stuff 4chan stands for, But they are absolutely right on one fundamental thing....It shouldn't matter WHO you are, you should be judged by the content of your posts. Not based on your gender or any other variable that has absolutely no impact on the discussion at hand, whatever it may be.

Maybe i'm just a loser, or anti-social however you want to slice it.. but I genuinely feel like you have more freedom to be yourself without the fear of looking like a leper with -100 social points.


I'd like to use Phage as my final example...he's one of my favorite posters on here (ironic yes)
In my opinion he gets a bad wrap from some people on here simply because they think he's a paid shill or some sort of gov agent trying to debunk everyones wild UFO/ET/WTF was that theory. I have no doubt in my mind that if he were to post anonymously, or under a different username, those same people would have no qualms with him.


Thats all folks, sorry if it was poorly structured..it's late and this is a rant after all


Absolutely spot on! Excellent post. I have to agree with you, and many times here on ATS I have had to defend myself when posting on a subject that I may not be an expert by putting forward the statement '' Don't worry if I am an expert or not, just focus on the point I am conveying or presenting''

And so anonymity helps play a big role in focusing on the post rather than the poster. You mentioned one specific poster here on ATS, and on that side of the spectrum yes people will see their username and automatically form judgements and opinions before paying attention to the actual point being presented, but on the other side of the spectrum (popularity contest as you put it) you have members that will post outright lies and getting plenty of stars for it only because the sentiments covered in that fabricated post were aligned with their ideals or sentiments.

ATS is a great place for discussion, and while the stars and flag system does have it's merits, it is continually getting abused.



posted on May, 18 2015 @ 12:26 PM
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originally posted by: IXIXI
almost every forum which requires a username is chalk full of circle-jerking and high school level attention whoring.

Unavoidable human nature.



you should be judged by the content of your posts. Not based on your gender or any other variable that has absolutely no impact on the discussion at hand, whatever it may be.

We never set out to be like a "Chan," which isn't a community, we set out to be a community of like-minded people who want to debate important issues. It's impossible to carry a productive debate without some continuity of identity amongst those engaged in the conversation.


But the star and flag system here has an important core function beyond "social rewards" that is critical to the operation of the site, and for the most part, has been exceptionally successful.


Flags

The original, and ongoing, intent of thread-flagging is to create a "score" for threads the community deems to be important. Flag-score of threads is the most important factor for displaying threads on our content aggregation pages like the site home, top topics, and topical breakouts such as Conspiracy Theory Topics.

These are automatically generated pages, using an algorithm based on flags, thread-age, and in some cases, replies.


Stars

While not perfect, as nothing is, the staring of posts is a simple means whereby post authors can receive a simple "Hell Yeah" from their peers, other ATS members. It's a community-based incentive to be on-topic and create posts that contribute to the discussion.



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