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Transparency On The Future of ATS

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posted on Jul, 3 2020 @ 04:27 AM
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originally posted by: SkepticOverlord
There's a lot of "blame politics" going on in this and other threads that lament the "decline" of ATS.

As someone who has seen "it all," I can say with absolute certainty that 9/11 conspiracy theories, UFOology, and Secret Societies have been responsible for more aggressively impudent behavior than politics.

During a span of roughly 2006 - 2009, we were overrun with "9/11 Truth" activists who took issue with our general collective inability to believe their fictions. Scores of bannings resulted in aggressive retaliation in the form of hacking attempts and repeated denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. There were (unsuccessful) attempts to DOX owners. Downright mean-spirited fictional stories were created about me and Springer on another popular 9/11 conspiracy website. They aggressively promoted it and sent people here to spread the lies.

Competing UFO factions (Aviary -v- can't remember) battled it out here. Resulting in bannings and more attempts to discredit ATS and its owners.

But among those topics mentioned above, none compared to the site-wide chaos from Sandy Hook discussions. There were several orchestrated attacks on ATS from bad actors promoting extreme fictions. Two (to my memory) took us down for days and required an expensive response. We even had a few moderators resign because of the actions of members.


So compared to the more popular conspiracy topics, political discussions are tame.


That being said, every so-called conspiracy has its roots in the political machinations of governments. Ignoring politics and the influence of political clandestine tactics ignores the root source of what we call conspiracy theories.

Politics is important.


Of course “politics” are behind everything. But the manufactured political divide and the subsequent reaction from Americans is what’s undermining ATS.

“My team is better than your team”

“Libtards strike again”

“Conservaturds ruining America”

An increasingly uneducated America blinded by the MSM they say they hate but constantly regurgitating what they see on their teams news station without researching conspiracy issues, or any issues for that matter, on their own. (For sure a run on sentence there). It is so easy for TPTB to disseminate false information to the public to further the divide; it should be obvious for people to want to look behind the curtain and see who’s creating this. But we’re blind as bats and dumb as rocks. We feed into it.

Then we run online and point fingers at the other team and say “it’s your fault dummy for voting for the other team”. We spread blatantly false information as fact. We say the two party system is what’s killing America but few have the balls to vote with a free and independent mind. Most are to afraid leave their tribe.

I’ve had the conversation on this site more times than I can count and I get blasted everytime, always by the conservatives too. They refuse to accept the fact that they’re just as guilty as the liberals in all this. They spread more bull*** than anyone right now. They refuse to accept the fact that there is intrinsic racism deep within their ranks. And they come on here and spam the living hell out of your site with all their propaganda. That’s what’s killed it for a lot of us. Those specific types of users who attack free thought and independent thinking.

It’s nobodies fault other than those who want to create divide, and those who refuse see through it all. The internet has killed free thought. Rather than being a place of free flowing information that was supposed to make us all smarter and more informed and connected, it has been the tool used to weaken us and turn us against ourselves. I’m sorry to say but I feel like ATS became collateral damage through because of it all.




posted on Jul, 3 2020 @ 10:06 AM
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a reply to: loveguy

Go ahead.



posted on Jul, 3 2020 @ 11:02 AM
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I'm nobody, but I felt like sharing a few thoughts:

I began lurking ATS nearly 20 years ago, though my account is probably only 10 years old at most. And in those 10 years, I've only replied to 10 threads, mostly because of an epiphany I had many years ago: Life is way too short to argue with people on the internet. Which is inevitably what happens when you start posting a lot.

But even if I rarely posted, I still enjoyed much of what this site had to offer. And if it goes away, I will miss it. But at the same time, I also recognize that ATS doesn't seem like what it once was. While looking at my own post history, I noticed that my most recent reply up until now was 5(!) years ago. Even for an infrequent poster, that's a long time.

That got me to thinking about what exactly changed in the past 5 years. To me, it felt like there was a lot more activity in the political threads than anywhere else, pushing those topics to the front page, which in turn reduced the amount of activity in other topics. I'll admit to being lazy myself, a lot of times I'd just check the topics on the front page, and that was it. I suspect I wasn't alone in this.

The fact is, I used ATS as fun escapism. I used to suffer from frequent insomnia, and the only thing that worked was reading until my eyes were too tired. But I couldn't sit down in bed with a great novel, or it would have the opposite effect and I wouldn't put it down all night! I needed something interesting, but not so well written that it would keep me turning pages all night. With that in mind, I started out with bad creepypasta and other internet ghost stories, which led me to more paranormal-themed sites, and eventually I found ATS. I loved reading about wild conspiracies, aliens, and all manner of high strangeness. There was a little bit of everything here, which was great.

But I have no interest in politics, and that seems to be where the action is now. Just glancing at the front page right now, it's mostly Trump and Biden, with a side of Epstein etc. Not saying these topics aren't important and worthy of discussion, they just don't interest me personally. Which makes the whole thing feel like partly my fault as well, perhaps I should have contributed more, and been the change I wanted to see?

I certainly hope a resolution can be found and the site can be saved, but it reminds me of that old saying about how you can never step in the same river twice. Things change, and maybe the time of ATS has passed, much as we might regret it.
edit on 3-7-2020 by subarujump because: Added missing word.



posted on Jul, 3 2020 @ 11:03 AM
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is there an ATS discord?



posted on Jul, 3 2020 @ 11:13 AM
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a reply to: Lysergic

Link



posted on Jul, 3 2020 @ 11:42 AM
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a reply to: Hefficide




posted on Jul, 3 2020 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: galaga

I've been a Mod here for over ten years. So, in answer to your accusation. BS.

That may be the story put out by disgruntled former members, but is that the truth...let's just say, it's unlikely.



posted on Jul, 4 2020 @ 07:33 PM
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I decided to take a different look at the statistics and, instead of comparing the "weight" of the political forums with other forums in the past and now I decided to look at how many posts have been made by year on the most active forums, and this is what I got.

(click for full size)



On the above chart we can see that the forums with most posts during 2019 (in fact, between July 2019 and July 2020) were:

1 -Political Mud-Pit;
2 - US Political Madness;
3 - General Chit Chat;
4 - Social Issues and Civil Unrest;
5 - Aliens and UFOs;
6 - Breaking Political News;
7 - Other Current Events;
8 - General Conspiracies;
9 - Breaking Alternative News;
10 - Science & Technology;
11 - Religion, Faith, And Theology;
12 - Fragile Earth;
13 - Introductions;
14 - War On Terrorism;

Not only is the Political Mud-Pit the forum with most posts, it now (in the last 12 months) has more than five times more posts than the second most active forum and almost as much new posts as the other 9 forums that make up the top ten together.

Five years ago the top 14 was like this:

1 - Social Issues and Civil Unrest;
2 - General Chit Chat;
3 - Other Current Events;
4 - US Political Madness;
5 - Aliens and UFOs;
6 - Religion, Faith, And Theology;
7 - Breaking Alternative News;
8 - General Conspiracies;
9 - Science & Technology;
10 - Fragile Earth;
11 - Breaking Political News;
12 - Political Mud-Pit;
13 - War On Terrorism;
14 - Introductions;

PS: we can see that the big rise in political posts was in 2016, and it's interesting to see that after that huge spike in 2016 the two forums with more posts then had a similar reduction in posts, while the Other Current Events forum had an increase.

PPS: the numbers may not be exact, as I used the number of posts on the forums page, but that page didn't always had the number of posts for each forum, so, for those years I used the statistics page.



posted on Jul, 4 2020 @ 07:43 PM
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a reply to: ArMaP

A general decline in post counts since 2009 or so (more pronounced after 2012)? With the Mudpit being the exception.

Great.


(a "stacked" chart might be helpful)
edit on 7/4/2020 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2020 @ 08:25 PM
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a reply to: Phage

Like this?

(click for full size)



posted on Jul, 4 2020 @ 08:36 PM
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a reply to: ArMaP

Yes. Thank you. It demonstrates the proportion of posts for each forum. Very interesting.

Whatever it was, the change seems to have started about 10 years ago (I think it had to with the rise in "device" use and facebook type stuff) then fell off dramatically right after 2012 . While the MudPit did provide a boost, it didn't last long due to the decline in other forums. It looks about like the same overall slope as 2010-2012.

In 2019 about half of all posts were in the MudPit. That's sort of horrifying. Prior to its arrival, no particular forum dominated.


I just noticed the vertical axis values. Wow. That's a whole lot of posts. Almost 1.4 million in 2010?
edit on 7/4/2020 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2020 @ 09:43 PM
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originally posted by: galaga

originally posted by: seagull
a reply to: galaga

The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

So, by all appearances, you can't discuss an issue without swearing?? Really? That sounds like a you problem to me, not an ATS problem.

SO has explained the whys of it all.

Not swearing is, shall we say, way, way down the list of reasons.

I swear like a drunken sailor on a six day pass, yet can have perfectly civil conversations in real life, and on line, without doing so.

Banning is never petty, irregardless of what you may think. Do you honestly think that ATS likes to ban people who contribute to the site??

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.


I think back in the day, when mods didn't agree with your opinion, they would ban you. Ask anyone that has been here for over a decade. It drove alot of people away.


That's not the way it goes on ATS.
I've been a moderator here since about 2005....so that is like 15 years....well over a decade.

Banning is done by staff consensus. Anyone who gets banned basically bans themselves....usually not an easy thing to do.
I'd go so far as to say most bannings here actually keep good members from leaving.



posted on Jul, 4 2020 @ 11:46 PM
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a reply to: ArMaP

I'm sure you do realize that your graph is a heavily skewed and inaccurate graph, right????

Mud Pit didn't even exist for the first half of your graph. So it completely misrepresents the post distribution both before and after this point. To compare the two sides of the graph is like comparing apples and Yugos.

And, then what happened in 2016? (when Mud Pit skyrockets)??

So, who is it exactly that you think contributed to all of that...the republicans??? LOL!!!

I think the answer is pretty clear.

ETA - Also notice how General Conspiracies and Breaking dropped off to nearly nothing after Mud Pit's creation. Those posts just moved. This whole business of politics destroying everything on ATS is just noise and dust in the wind.

ETA2 - And let's keep going...Notice ATS posts dropped nearly 45% from 1.1m to just over 600k in 2013. I wonder why? FailBook went public in May of 2012, and really gained momentum in '14 (another drop in aggregate posts), yet Mud Pit wasn't even a factor then (according to your graph).

Personally, I just think all this 'whah..politics brought down ATS' is just a bunch of butt-hurt talk. And the people whining the most about it, are the very same ones who are talking about it the most on ATS.

It was FailBook and other social media which made people feel think they were "relevant" and "important" (when they really weren't) which took down forums like ATS and many others.
edit on 7/5/2020 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2020 @ 05:28 AM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
I'm sure you do realize that your graph is a heavily skewed and inaccurate graph, right????

It's not inaccurate because it shows the number of posts per year in the more active forums.


Mud Pit didn't even exist for the first half of your graph. So it completely misrepresents the post distribution both before and after this point. To compare the two sides of the graph is like comparing apples and Yugos.

I know that, but the US Political Madness forum existed before the Political Mud-Pit and saw a big increase in posts. The Breaking Political News also had an increase, and those were the only forums with an increase in posts in 2016.


And, then what happened in 2016? (when Mud Pit skyrockets)??

I'm sure you know what happened in 2016, the US elections.


So, who is it exactly that you think contributed to all of that...the republicans??? LOL!!!

I think the answer is pretty clear.

I don't know the answer, I only know what the numbers show, I'm not trying to guess why it happened.


ETA - Also notice how General Conspiracies and Breaking dropped off to nearly nothing after Mud Pit's creation. Those posts just moved. This whole business of politics destroying everything on ATS is just noise and dust in the wind.

Yes, many posts were moved from the news forums to the newly created Political Mud-Pit forum, but you can see that in 2015 almost all forums had more posts, so the Political Mud-Pit didn't "kill" the other forums.


ETA2 - And let's keep going...Notice ATS posts dropped nearly 45% from 1.1m to just over 600k in 2013. I wonder why? FailBook went public in May of 2012, and really gained momentum in '14 (another drop in aggregate posts), yet Mud Pit wasn't even a factor then (according to your graph).

I joined Facebook in 2010, so it was already public then.


It was FailBook and other social media which made people feel think they were "relevant" and "important" (when they really weren't) which took down forums like ATS and many others.

That's what I said a few pages back, so it looks like we agree on that.

As for the "politics brought down ATS", I think politics were just the "tool" people used, in different circumstances it could have been any other topic, but I'm sure it would have happened too, maybe not as fast, as politics is one of the best sources of discussion.



posted on Jul, 5 2020 @ 05:46 AM
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originally posted by: ArMaP
a reply to: Phage

Like this?

(click for full size)




Its almost as if that graph provides evidence of the effect trump has on the population, his manner of speaking winds people up and it plays out in the pit.



posted on Jul, 5 2020 @ 06:24 AM
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We’re missing a trick by not having an ATS mobile app.
I’m late 50’s and even for me an iPhone is now the main way that I’ll read news and content.

For example, I’ve just been on my phone using the Reddit app which linked me to the New Yorker and a spectacularly good article about a palaeontologist and his discoveries at the KT Boundary. A good half hour reading that ... all on my phone. And human nature being what it is, it’ll be Reddit I visit again later today.

It could’ve been here. That story possibly is, somewhere, buried away like one of the guy’s fossils.

The way we access the internet has radically changed. 20 years ago I was reading ATS on a bizarre dialup keyboard TV contraption the phone company gave me, then a tower pc, then another, then a laptop, then a better laptop and another, then an ipad too. But smartphones are just so damn convenient.

And that’s where ATS has really dropped the ball, especially for younger people who should be here but aren’t.



posted on Jul, 5 2020 @ 07:29 AM
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a reply to: ArMaP

My point wasn't that FB didn't exist before 2012, it was that FB went "Public" (as in, publicly traded on the NYSE) in 2012, after which point FB users skyrocketed. Much of this was due to all the hype surrounding their IPO (which, in my opinion, was one of the most laughable things in stock market history, but that's another thread). Prior to that point in time FB was really just more of a novelty.



posted on Jul, 5 2020 @ 07:46 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

OK, I understand it now.
I'm not used to use of the word "public" with that meaning, so I forgot about that possibility.



posted on Jul, 5 2020 @ 08:49 AM
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a reply to: ArMaP

No worries. I suspected that may have been the misunderstanding.

Your chart does bear out some really interesting trends though.

You can see the general apathy trend following the 2012 elections. People just gave up, and this is particularly evident in 2014 with a large contraction of all types of posts. You can see this really well in your first graph.

Probably shouldn't go much further than that else I risk turning this into a political debate, but there are all sorts of other lessons to be gleaned from those graphs. Very telling indeed.

BTW...I disagree completely with 'hopenotfear's conclusions above, but I'll just save that for another day, in another life.

Great graphics though! Thanks!



posted on Jul, 5 2020 @ 11:18 AM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
You can see the general apathy trend following the 2012 elections. People just gave up, and this is particularly evident in 2014 with a large contraction of all types of posts. You can see this really well in your first graph.

Don't forget the World "ended" in 2012, that may have had some influence that year.


Probably shouldn't go much further than that else I risk turning this into a political debate, but there are all sorts of other lessons to be gleaned from those graphs. Very telling indeed.

To look at it politically we would need to read all the posts, but I'm sure Google already did that, as they at least have the means to do it.



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