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posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 08:02 PM
As long as i pay for my ISP out of my own pocket i have every right to control what bandwidth gets used. ATS is trying to pull some crap like rome is burning when maybe they need to look at other avenues to generate income. if their product is so good it should stand on its own 2 feet in the free market. till then they can pound salt. we create the content for free which brings more people here so they can generate their ad revenue. without us they are nothing. also its kinda interesting how this popped up on dozens of websites across the web on the same day. so who is the one behind the scenes pushing this agenda?
edit on 3-3-2016 by TheScale because: more content

posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 08:13 PM

originally posted by: steamiron
a reply to: EmpathicBandit

Gone are the days of intelligent conversation and reasonable debates.

133 comments in "ten years" of ATS. What part have YOU played? Y'all should of said "i miss watching intelligent members have reasonable debates." Y'all should of said "I sure enjoyed the harvest when I did not help plant the seeds or grow the crops. now I'm hungry and you guys need to feed me"

Y'all shouda said "Thank you all for keeping me interested when i was doing nothing. Thank you!"

You put more time and effort in that post to complain than YOU have EVER put in to adding quality

I won't ever understansd WHY people cant find time to post and then they find the time to bitch about the site. Lazyass, helplessness.

You'll notice that my join date says since 2011, and i haven't signed in since 2014, so your math is off a bit. 133/3 years is 44 posts per year or 3-4 posts a month. I'm certain you can do basic arithmetic, but compared to your 32.5 posts per year, you have no ground to stand on. Furthermore, unless you have gone through all my posts then how could you possibly know the content of them?

I do miss those things, its true. Unfortunately I can't say i've ever seen one of your 65 posts and therefor cannot comment on the content of them beyond that which i see in this thread.

Of that, i can say with certainty that you are one of the members to whom i am referring.

The content of this post and your use of the english language do nothing to refute the points i have i have made and, in fact, confirm many of my comments. Thanks for that.

originally posted by: steamiron
a reply to: StallionDuck

Whoa there 2013! Not aiming to ruffle your feathers

Truth is I've been in and out of ATS for years.. One or two accounts came to an end and I was an ass more than once.

Your buddy up there wants "ZERO TOLERANCE" for everything.

One line posts? Banned

Y'all ever made a one liner?? Retrograded ZERO TOLERANCE?

Have you read the T&C's?

What makes you think you're the only one with multiple accounts? 10 years is an awfully long time.

originally posted by: StallionDuck
a reply to: steamiron

Sorry, but your 60 replies in a year and a few months doesn't really hold much weight either.

Did you actually read his post? You summed up exactly what he was saying in your own short flame about his contributions. He's made very valid points and I stand by his post as my own concerns.

I'm certain there are MANY that would say the same. Those same points we, here at ATS, have complained about for so long, including people with thousands of posts. I mean, if I really wanted to get picky about stuff, I could go back and see how much those 60 posts of yours added to this site in any way, shape or form.

Glad to see i'm not alone in my concerns. Cheers.

originally posted by: stargatetravels

Great post and really sums up most of the points people have made.
I'd pay $10 a month without thinking if ATS was anything like the site it used to be.
Sadly owners and staff are in denial and will tell members constantly that nothing has changed and it's all in our minds and the site is as good and there is no hate speech blah blah.
It's pure BS.

Likewise. I shortened the quote to save space, but i agree with everything you've said. Obviously.

Hear, hear!

originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
a reply to: EmpathicBandit

ZERO TOLERANCE for the things outlined in the T&C's

Like the use of AdBlockers you mean?

Yes. However, as a non-logged-in member without the ability to post, i am not bound by the T&C's; i disabled it the moment i logged in to my account.

If anyone else would like to challenge my position - by all means feel free - i would, however, request it be done with civility and a moderate understanding of grammar and the english language that we all know so well. (unless of course it is your second language)

You know who you are.
edit on 3-3-2016 by EmpathicBandit because: formatting

edit to add: I'd like to say, incase there is confusion on this matter, that i have the utmost respect for the operators of this site; its no small task, and i can not refute or challenge their need for funding in any way. I am merely voicing things that i assume they wish to hear - feedback from those who rarely sign in and participate, as well as those who use adblockers. This is a user-generated-content database after all, most of the information here can be found elsewhere quite readily. It is those that have become diamonds in the rough that i so sorely miss, articles written by astute members of intelligence that don't simply link to an off-site source, but put in research on their own time and contribute it knowing that it becomes the property of the community. Selfless seekers of truth and spreaders of knowledge are the lifeblood of this place.
edit on 3-3-2016 by EmpathicBandit because: added ending

edit on 3-3-2016 by EmpathicBandit because: italics

posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 08:49 PM

originally posted by: TrueAmerican
Is that what you want? No ATS?

Given a large number of recent threads, I don't think it would be that missed...

It's a shadow of its former self, when threads like 'all roads lead to rome' were de rigeur...

posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 08:51 PM

originally posted by: caterpillage

originally posted by: stargatetravels
I have an ad along the top for Russian Brides and one along the right hand side for a website called

I have no idea - is this aimed at me or random?
Pretty sure I haven't looked at anything like this.

Hmm, the one on my right side says that dishwashers are threatening to bring about the apocalypse.

Someone really needs to make a thread on that, that is some scary stuff

We wonder how long before a mod tosses that thread into the dust bin.

Being an adventurous one, how about "Screenshots of Offensive ads on AboveTopSecret"

edit on 3/3/2016 by thorfourwinds because: duke of earle

posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 09:05 PM
Op, thanks for the thread I fully agree as well as would gladly accept the ads to show again to help out on my account. Also, thanks for your contributions as a member which is so sorely missed in an ever changing site where complaining, but not contributing is the norm.

originally posted by: aorAki

originally posted by: TrueAmerican
Is that what you want? No ATS?

Given a large number of recent threads, I don't think it would be that missed...

It's a shadow of its former self, when threads like 'all roads lead to rome' were de rigeur...

Ah, how the times have changed. This political season as well as the shift in membership is hitting hard on sanity.

posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 09:13 PM
I don't turn my ad blocker off for much but I will for ATS. I respect the site and the ads aren't intrusive. Matter of fact since I turned it off I haven't noticed many ads at all.

posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 09:20 PM
I guess my final position for the time being is: ATS doesn't owe me anything.

It's a free service. (I don't regard having to see ads as me "paying" for the service, except perhaps in momentary distraction or time.) A recently closed topic asked, "What is ATS going to do for us?" in recompense for its insistence that we not use Ad Blockers. My response is, "ATS already does enough for me, given that I'm paying exactly $0.00 to use it."

I know not everyone will agree with that and, as always, I respect those opinions, and I encourage everyone to continue posting their criticisms, feedback, and complaints about ATS and where they believe it can improve. But that's my stance.

If there were a subscription fee, I would feel a bit more entitled to such "demands." But as it stands, ATS pays for infrastructure, hardware, coding, maintenance, what I believe is a sincere (if not entirely successful) effort to curate ads such that they are minimally intrusive, and all associated costs, while providing a huge database of information, research, cogent discussions (and many not so cogent, but that's the internet in 2016 sadly,) and other resources which - for one with a sincere yet largely silent interest in UFOlogy, has been indispensable - to say nothing of a simple place to discuss and communicate and - frankly - not feel quite so lonely and miserable from time to time.

What I pay for this? The mere pittance consisting of thought, time, and words. Monetarily, nothing. That's a good deal as far as I'm concerned. ATS doesn't owe me anything. Even if I donated money to the site... that's not a fee. It's a voluntary charitable contribution in support of a site I value. All they owe me is a thank-you. Nothing more. I'm entitled to critique, yes. But not to demand.

Has the site's content changed? Yes. But I've been here since 2004, and in my personal opinion with which I'm sure people will disagree... not as much as some seem to feel it has. It reflects the internet as a whole, with the rise of social media, the ubiquitous e-persona/e-presence, the increased propensity for hostility and trolling, etc. etc. The entirety of the internet suffers from this at the moment sadly, and I don't see a good way to insulate ATS from it without making it a far more restrictive, far more elitist web space.

Despite this, ATS is one of the most well moderated and mandatorily civil places to discuss anything under the sun I've ever found on the internet. It's far from perfect, but having frequented places like GLP, IGN, GameFAQs (never again,) NeoGAF (NEVER again,) possibly hundreds of IRC channels (yes they still exist lol,) PrisonPlanet (never EVER again,) and Reddit... ATS is the most civilized and courteous by an enormous margin at least in my direct experience, as far as large, mainstream (or increasingly mainstream) websites go. Smaller websites with more shared, less disparate focus are definitely even better in this regard, but ATS doesn't match that description anymore.

Moreover, even the small attempts at heightening the decorum and improving content on this website through moderator actions have met with cries of censorship, conspiracy, and suppression. ATS is caught in a catch 22 born of its nature, premise, and intent.


It is an alternative discussion & news website, buckling under the weight of its own paradoxical mainstream success (conspiracy theory is no longer as niche as it once was,) and torn between those who want it to be a free for all, and those who want it to be more controlled and curated in terms of its content quality. Meanwhile, it is also being buffeted by the suspicious and zealously independent natures of much of its membership (as conspiracy theorists and researchers, we look at any form of "authority" with suspicion, and we demand sovereignty when it comes to things like whether or not we see ads or feel "tracked" etc. even when that might not be warranted by the underlying realities necessarily.) All while still trying to stay afloat financially. This is simply an unavoidable consequence of its nature, and I don't envy its owners this predicament.

So they're damned if they do, and they're damned if they don't. Enforcing decorum and civility turns people off. Letting it be a free for all turns people off. The website being free but ad based turns people off. A subscription fee will likely turn many off. They have to choose whatever they deem to be the lesser of several evils, if the site is to continue existing, and we are to continue benefiting from it.

At the end of the day, I'm not entitled to anything other than an opinion. ATS is a privilege, not a right. There's nothing saying I have a right to be here or participate here at all. I am here because ATS is a free, and to me valuable, resource. And SO has already addressed costs and traffic particulars several times, refuting claims that the site can be run for a low monthly amount... so... yeah. Unless one wishes to accuse owners of lying... which is a person's prerogative I suppose... I don't know what else can be said.

I would pay up to a certain amount a year for that privilege, and then, yes, I would feel a little more entitled to slightly more vocal critiques and complaints. But until and unless that happens, ATS owes me nothing. And honestly? I feel like the site being free, is more important than the site being precisely what I wish it was.

Just my opinion, as always. That's my final two cents (or several hundred cents given the verbosity - sorry) on this matter for the moment. I respect everyone's differing opinions and right to express them.

edit on 3/3/2016 by AceWombat04 because: Edit

posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 09:37 PM
We already had that discussion a year ago. But the owner of this side decided to invest time in fancy CSS changes, while critical bugfixes are floating in the air. I provided extensive help when I delivered several bugfixes last summer. For example the side breaking "millionstarbug". But instead of writing quality code or even care about discovered bugs (plus how to fix them), let alone fixing them, it was decided to work on a new style and play around with the texteditor. This site is poorly coded and again can be run under 75€ a month with enough space for the future.

Another real dumb move is to block people from uploading pictures. Yeah, nice idea preventing people delivering content wich in return you need to get visitors wich in return give revenue.

People are ATS not the staff and not the owner. I keep my adblocker ON especially with the invasive flashing ads.

I will keep my adblocker on as long as the ads are so invasive, ban me if you need to and loose another member, I can read without an account. Make it mandatory to have an account to be able to read and loose even more members.
I know, someone from the staff will explain to me that there are few ads if you contribute.

Oh and before I forget it: If the way the post are processed, stored and querried would be how it´s supposed to be, the load could be cut in half at least. But if you save dirty posts and filter/clean them every god damn time it´s accessed from the database, well I do not wonder if the load and traffic is three to fourfold of what it could be.

I wonder that the generally more paranoid crowd here does not even care one bit about the bug that exposes your ISPs gateway location completely with hostname. Well done.

Let´s see if there is this particular bug that hides text if you type the right things < chars in the right combination your geolocation and hostname can be exposed for the whole of ATS to see.
edit on 3-3-2016 by verschickter because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 10:03 PM
I only block ads on sites when they become intrusive...slide on the screen...slow my laptop with extensive flash animation or video, take over the screen, playback audio without asking, hijack clicks on the page to launch new windows, load slowly, or dynamically change the size of the page while I'm trying to read - thereby making it difficult to continue normal use.

I think those things are what have driven a lot of people to use ad blockers. If I were a web venture owner, I'd take such feedback and select advertisers that don't push my users to use ad-blockers.

edit on 3-3-2016 by okachobi because: typo

posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 10:41 PM
unfortunately, people do not go back whitelistening now and then to check if the ads have been become "less intrusive". unfortunately for ATS, this is also the case with me when suddenly animated ads slided around my screen I just blacklisted. Simply as that and many people will think the same / are lazy.

posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 11:20 PM
they made it so you cant click links with adblock enabled anyway... rather crafty if i do say so myself... so members you have no choice you have to see the god awful ads! deal with it!
edit on 3-3-2016 by JourneymanWelder because: spelling

posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 11:44 PM
LMAO is this a serious thread.... NO way in hell will I turn ad blocker off, how about find a suitable way to run a business instead of bombard members with ads?! Did they ever think of that...?

I used to be a regular here, but was driven away by many things.... ads being one of them... moderator abuse being another.

No wonder this forum has become what it has...

edit on 3-3-2016 by xX aFTeRm4Th Xx because: because I wanted to

posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 12:06 AM
a reply to: xX aFTeRm4Th Xx
If SO and his pals want to make a buck with ATS, in general I have no problem with it. Around 15 months ago I posted a mock up of the ATS screen and added even more ads with photoshop. Really, I used every inch of the screen for ads and posted the picture in a serious tone how ATS can be improofed. Not one, not one single member in that thread over the course of 2-3 pages got the sarcasm.

It was around the time when the whole content of ATS was lined with linked NLBS banners that would open a new tab loading the youtube-video in the background (I suppose it was to get the views up on YT). That´s when I started to use adblocker on ATS and also blocked custom images by hand. Because if you wanted to refocus the tab and clicked on the side, you got screamed at in the new tab by that guy running the NLBS show.

A feedback to the staff.

a reply to: JourneymanWelder
No problem with the links, what do you mean?
edit on 4-3-2016 by verschickter because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 12:07 AM
a reply to: JourneymanWelder

right-click open tab in new window
edit on 4-3-2016 by TheScale because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-3-2016 by TheScale because: cause putting a period after window turns the word into an underscore. go figure

posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 12:22 AM
a reply to: TheScale
Exactly! Saw your post above just now, could have saved some text on my own if I did in time

And even if the intrusive ads are gone, I expect from ATS, whose staff and owners claim to be "the best staff on the internet" or so, to thoroughly check WHAT ads are displayed. All the scam, clickbait # ads acting like they´re part of the site. Not that I fall for it but it´s not serious. It also has to do with some sense for quality and respect towards the intelligence of the users. Because we won´t fall for it so just keep them out of our eyes.

posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 12:33 AM
Well, I think this has been covered nicely.

posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 12:36 AM
Are we now tagged who´s using an adblocker depending if you are a "Member" or a "member"? Anybody noticed above the avatars?

posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 01:02 AM
ATS forums isn't going anywhere. The site owner not going to take his cash cow to the slaughterhouse. It's the other projects ATS has going that will suffer. The forums more than pays for itself (10x over). We can't say the same about NLBS, it's nothing but a leach on the forums ad revenue tit. Over 70% of NLBS videos on youtube have under 5k views.

posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 01:26 AM
a reply to: Echo007

And you are qualified to speak for the ATS owners? Because you write like your numbers are fact (ignoring the 70% and 5k) and act like you know stuff.

BTW, I have no problem if NLBS is no more. Really not. Expect 5% of the total views are from me clicking the side (where now the blue "deny ignorance" sits) and landing on NLBS. It happened a ton of times until I found a way to get rid of the links, too.
edit on 4-3-2016 by verschickter because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 02:03 AM
a reply to: AceWombat04

I guess my final position for the time being is: ATS doesn't owe me anything.

A well written and clearly thought out response.

Certainly nothing financial or tangible is owed, however, as we can see below, there are certain things agreed upon by all members, and presumably the enforcement of which, is agreed upon by staff that are well within the realm of appropriate conduct and consequence; that consistency, I feel, is something we are all owed as members of this site, paying or not. (but certainly more-so, were we paying subscribers)

ATS pays for infrastructure

While this is literally true, in that they physically pay the bills, its not entirely accurate.. we are being led to believe that the advertisements are paying the bills, well, without the content and the traffic, there would be no advertisements, and hence there would be no revenue for said bills. The revenue generated by the content provided by membership is what pays the bills (as far as we are told) and with that in mind, i feel that members are entitled to, at the very least, a little more detail and transparency on what i've outlined below.

It would be different if all the articles were written and posted by journalists on the ATS payroll, but what a monumental task that would be.

I encourage everyone to continue posting their criticisms, feedback, and complaints about ATS and where they believe it can improve.

I largely agree with everything you have said, particularly this ->

ATS is caught in a catch 22 born of its nature, premise, and intent.

and the remainder of this post is not directed at you but meant merely to point out discrepancies and further the conversation on what exactly it is that some people may feel is in need of a bit more stringent control.

NOT censorship, but only upholding those T&C's which we are supposedly meant to hold as gospel, and to which we have all agreed to be subject to.

Doing so, IMO, would restore much of the civility that members other than yourself find lacking.

(emphasis mine)

15f.) Relevant Content: You will not Post messages that are clearly outside of the stated topic of any forums or disrupt a forum by deliberately posting repeated irrelevant messages or copies of identical messages (also known as "flooding").

15g.) Political Baiting: You will not engage in politically-charged rhetoric, politically-inspired name-calling, and related right-versus-left political bickering while Posting in any topical forum or discussion thread on the Websites. You will not alter political candidate names or party affiliations in order to insult or deride the opposition.

15h.) Spamming: You will not Post identical content, or snippets of identical content, to multiple threads in the discussion forums. You will also not create more than one thread for your topic, or create multiple "slightly different" threads for a single topic.

The above bolded points occur all too frequently with little or no consequence. Particularly the political baiting and off-topic posting.

16) Behavior: You will not behave in an abusive, libelous, defamatory, hateful, intolerant, bigoted and/or racist manner, and will not harass, threaten, nor attack anyone.

Again, we've all witnessed this go by regularly without so much as a whisper. (of course then there are those comments we can no longer read after being deleted, and for those of us who missed it, we are left to wonder what it contained and why it was removed, a tricky position to be in.. and i propose rather than outright deletion and/or banning for first offence in a thread, perhaps a moderator could change the colour of the inappropriate text and give the guilty party a chance to continue respectfully, while at the same time warning others of zero tolerance? an "everybody gets one kind of thing".)

16d.) Forum Gangs And Topic Control: You will not engage in an organized collaboration with other members to disrupt thread topics or interrupt the flow of normal collaborative discussion. You will not attempt to control or otherwise shutdown valid conversation on a topic through the use of prolific posting of an unpopular viewpoint or other single-purpose standpoint. Doing so will result in removal of your Post(s) and immediate termination of your account.

Sounds an awful lot like when someone writes a thread to discuss their religious beliefs (or lack thereof) and they are immediately swooped upon by members of an opposing view-point who bring nothing to the table of discussion except for their vehement and often disrespectful disagreement. Again, little to no consequence, even for repeat offenders who offer nothing relevant.

21b) Cooperation: You will, if asked by TAN, cease to Post any content, and/or links to content, deemed offensive, objectionable, or in poor taste by TAN, in its sole discretion.

Given this quote on cooperation, its not unreasonable for the former T&C points to be enforced with a "warning leading to zero tolerance" policy.

24) Right of Community Management. This is a privately owned discussion board community. TAN reserves the right to take action against any member, or member Posting, which is deemed to be devoted purely to disruption, represents behavior contrary to community building, or in cases where the content is contrary to the core ideals of the Websites. This action may include removal of your Posting and/or complete banning of your username and IP address. TAN reserves the right to eliminate or edit any content deemed inappropriate for the discussion boards, news network or any affiliated sites. TAN reserves the right to establish limits on topics that may be discussed if, in their opinion, the discussion of those topics attract an audience that is counterproductive to maintaining the ideals set forth in the Terms and Conditions of Use and the Terms and Conditions of Membership.

At the end of the day, we are all subject to the whims of the operators and staff, for we are, "in their house" so to speak.

However, by their own terms, we are not permitted to disrupt a thread or act in contrary to an environment of community building while there are countless posts and threads that run contrary to the "core ideal" of the website, which, as we all know, is:

Deny Ignorance

To Conclude:

A little respect goes a long way; if the staff don't respect the membership enough to uphold their end of the bargain when members fall out of line, then where is the motivation for the abiding members to generate worthwhile content or abide by the T&C's, never mind donate, pay a subscription, or turn off their adblockers?

It surely is a fine line to tread, and while it seems as tho whats good for the goose is not good for the gander, even with the criticism of the moderation above, it is at least partially, up to us as the members to better ourselves and our content, put our best foot forward and restore the community that we wish to be a part of.

The responsibility is not solely that of the staff; my intention is to point out where we could, perhaps, all make a better effort.

Apologies for the novel.

edit on 4-3-2016 by EmpathicBandit because: missed a word

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