There have been plenty of "bring back the old ATS" threads in the past. I've been a part of that rally cry myself. But this thread isn't meant
to be that. Instead, it's meant to demonstrate how far the pendulum has swung to the right in political topics here on ATS. It's no coincidence to
me that because all the mainstream media and not-so-mainstream media broadcast is non-stop politics, then people who praise the airwaves will
regurgitate that information for their own conversation wherever they roam. Because the site has been overrun with political conversation, and
because the sites content is based on user generated content, then it's fair to say on that popularity of whatever people are posting is going to
generate the most discussion and reaction. Of course, political discourse is nothing new; it's probably about the most consistent conversational
topic in the history of mankind next to religion. The problem here is...balance...or, the lack-thereof.
Wikipedia is certainly not the most reliable source of information. But a quick wiki search for ATS provides the following context:
as of late 2017 Trump supporters have overtaken the forum, having driven off the majority of progressive members. The staff/moderation team exhibits
and posts with a clear alt-right and conservative bias, leading to a slow purge of Democrats and left-leaning members over the past several years. One
staff member has even (on occasion) used a Confederate battle flag, in a clear attempt to advertise their political beliefs.
I don't use this as a way to source my claim...but someone else felt strongly enough about ATS's political placemat to post it to an open source
platform and in all fairness, I don't think that claim can be argued against.
Now, I can confirm some of these things. The site is clearly right leaning now. There are only a few brave liberals left who stand up for their
views left here. I'd assume that most of them got sick of the constant right leaning rhetoric. Most political content gets posted in the mudpit
where it seems the gloves come off and any chance for an intelligent conversation is gone. I know the moderators do their best but it seems like they
can't keep up with the postings. And the users who rely on the mudpit to constantly post their content are using it as a place to release their
internal rage on whatever topic has them stirred up. The owners are pretty much long gone. The only time we see them pop up is when there is a
profit to be made, a documentary to pitch, or a book to be sold. It would be nice for them to reengage to try and help balance the conversation a
little but it's not happening.
Another thing to consider is the overall state of political ideology in America and how it translates here. Everyone is either far left or alt right.
Except they're not. Most people fall in the middle but the fringe is the most vocal. It's fair to assume that those fringe vocalists have found
various places on the internet to dig into to spread their beliefs as best as they can. Reddit, for example, is heavily populated by vocal leftists
spreading a progressive ideology. With Reddit, however, you could choose to ignore certain subreddits and only see content which you choose to see.
You can't really do that here as effectively.
But that's part of the problem...we shouldn't be ignoring opposing viewpoints. Instead we should be embracing them in intelligent dialogue. Most
importantly...we must be willing to accept the fact that sometimes our individual views are wrong, or can be viewed a little differently when
discussed with factual content. By now we have to assume that most of the American media infrastructure is infected with Russian bots and partisan
politics. I'm almost certain this site has had some Russian bots disseminating information but I wouldn't know how to prove it. And with that, we
should be able to recognize that very, very few news outlets and news sources can be trusted with truthful, unbiased content. Yet, most conversation
on here relies on ideological propaganda to back them up.
In doing so, it's become a one-sided conversation around here (for the most part). We're supposed to "Deny Ignorance". We're supposed to be the
ones calling B.S. on corrupt politicians and fraudulent media. Instead ATS has become an echo chamber for one political ideology. Here's another
website which shares that same sentiment:
Factual Reporting: LOW
Notes: Above Top Secret is a right wing bias conspiracy site. It has all the themes you would expect. Mostly though, Above Top Secret, does not like
liberal politics and demonstrates a strong right wing bias in reporting and wording. (D. Van Zandt 1/13/2017)
Now, onto my soapbox for a brief moment. In most subjects where opinion is heavy on both sides, the truth or solution typically lies in the middle.
That's part of what makes American politics actually work. For as much political trash each side throws at each other, we typically get a result
somewhere in the middle. It may sway one way or another from time to time, but the middle ground is where it ends up. When I look around all the
places I've lived and visited, I don't see the U.S.A. that the media wants me to see. I see one of the safest places to live, in one of the best
economies the world has ever seen where 1st world problems are often times as simple as a dead cell phone battery. The chaos and confusion comes from
the news, social media, and online forums where people talk about problems that don't really exist to the level with which they think it does.
People online don't have to deal with face-to-face confrontation and don't have to deal with the direct consequence of not owning up to a mistake or
being wrong. And that, to me, is where the problem with online communication lies. Why try to have a conversation with someone who refuses to open
their mind to alternative viewpoints or factual information?
ATS is by and large Pro-Trump. And more and more the headlines on threads are what I'd expect to see on Conservative Treehouse or FoxNews. Copy and
paste while adding flowing thoughts is much of what we see here. There's nothing wrong with being Pro-Trump...but the conversation here is no longer
conducive to productive dialogue...and it hasn't been that way for some time. Now, I'm certain this thread is going to get bombarded with
disapproval and maybe even a little outrage. That's fine. I didn't write it for stars and flags. I wrote to try and get some of the regular
contributors to open their minds to differing opinions, stop using biased news sources and dig into the information to see if it checks out factually
before you post an emotionally based response to it. Those who represent a differing opinion of yours aren't the enemy...they are a valuable
resource to finding a solution that works for everyone.
Ok...if you made it this far, you deserve a medal and a beer!