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New process for becoming an ATS/BTS/PTS member

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posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:08 AM
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There has been a fundamental and very significant change in the process of becoming a new member on ATS.

Over the past few months, there has been several laments in various forms over the nature of new members who come here. Some are concerned over spammers registering to post free advertising, others dislike the increasingly politicized agendas of new members, and an ongoing long list of similar issues related to troublemakers and general troll-like behaviour.

Due to our size and popularity, we are not unlike a hugh bright light attracting a flurry of activity from flying insects... we get all kinds. Today, we've started an experiment to hopefully place a layer of control over this process.

ATS content will always remain free to all.

ATS membership will always be free to obtain.

But now, all new membership applications are going to be reviewed by top-tier staff. The new member submission form contains a new text-area where we request that new members provide some information on what they hope to learn on ATS as well as what they hope to contribute. New members will be approved or declined on the merits of this content.

Many large discussion boards on non-commercial topics have taken this approach over the past year or so, we're not new. The goal will not be to limit a certain kind of thinking on ATS, but to ensure thinking people join your ranks. New membership applications should receive an email notice of acceptance or decline within 24 hours. All declined membership applications can be attempted again after 30 days.

Our members have worked hard to build the content of this community into a singularly unique experience of unmatched quality and diversity of opinion. Hopefully, this step will help ensure the quality and diversity are not diluted by our increasing popularity.



JAK

posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:33 AM
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I hold great concern over this. There has obviously been a lot of thought gone into such a decision, yet it is one I feel deserves caution.

Who of us already here could be certain we would be accepted? Would I have been accepted? Could I have penned my desires and hopes clearly enough? Would I be judged because of my poor eloquence and inabilty to state my ideas on paper?

Jack

*sp

[edit on 21/3/05 by JAK]



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:33 AM
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Marvellous! Is there going to be a peer review to be allowed to remain a member? Or will this process only apply to new applicants?

Are you going to need extra staff to handle the additional workload? Will the criteria include writing skills, or will new members simply be accepted based on goals and interests that sync well with what ATS is all about? I mean, I assume you're not holding out for William 'bloody' Shakespeare, but what sort of guidelines would you personally offer to prospective members to increase their chances?

Will banned members have to go through this process, or will they get 'grandfathered' back in?

I'm glad to see that you made a point of saying members will not be rejected for their ideologies, but how will this be monitored, if at all? Will ALL senior staff review each applicant, or will each staff member take turns reviewing multiple submissions alone? Do you think a system of checks and balances is necessary to prevent the unlikely, but possible, chance that a staff member might let personal feelings get in the way of their better judgement?

I'm not insinuating anything about the staff here, they've conducted themselves professionally in my short time here. I am aware however, of some staff who were banned in the past, so it must be considered a possibility, do you agree? I suppose the worst case scenario, where a prejudiced staff member denied an applicant, would be moot in a month, when the applicant would be free to apply again, so I guess it's not a big issue, I ask more out of curiosity as to the process.

I'm sure there will be plenty of ironing out to do, I just had those few questions right off the bat. In general though, I think it will be a very positive change for ATS, and I suspect the improvement of early posts by new members will be a breath of fresh air for many veteran members.

Fortune favors the bold. But the cautious wear a helmet! So what about those checks and balances...


EDIT: JAK, what makes you think they wouldn't have let you in? You're helpful, kind, artistic, and like star wars. That's bonus points you know...


[edit on 21-3-2005 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:34 AM
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This is a great idea, I have seen a couple of spammer on ATS before, but I hope from now on to never seen one again. Nice job SO, I commend you.



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:36 AM
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so the noose tightens yet once again over the 'free' ATS. I appreciate trying to maintain the communities integrity, but at what cost one must ask??

I worry that potentially great members may be shut out or turned off from the site by this system. A probation system would be much more better IMO, 30 days of zero tolerance should do it.



thanks,
drfunk

[edit on 21-3-2005 by drfunk]



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:37 AM
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Yay! Not only am I already a member, but more importantly, NO MORE NAZIS!


Good idea. There are a bunch of spam accounts or simply accounts that aren't used.



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:38 AM
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While the prospect of exterminating the trolls is attractive, I also fear that it will also raise an entry barrier to good posters. So, I'll take a wait and see attitude about this change.



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:38 AM
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Originally posted by drfunk
I worry that potentially great members may be shut out or turned off from the site by this system. A probation system would be much more better IMO, 30 days of zero tolerance should do it.


I don't know if anyone would be turned off by writing a paragraph or two about why they want to join and what their interests are...

I do like your probation idea though.



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:41 AM
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Excellent...............I approve.............Good Show, Old Man...............A Great Idea.............tempted to renounce my membership and apply just to see the process................but won't.



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:41 AM
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Since astute trolls and spammers would obtain clues for getting past our review process by posting the process here, we're not going to get into details.

Rest assured that this new initiative is designed to help ATS return somewhat to our roots of engaging discussion on interesting conspiracy and alternative topics. This will not be a means for filtering undesirable opinions.

A few senior staff have been picked to start the process, and each approval or rejection (after it happens) is available for review by the entire staff.



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:41 AM
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it's not that they write it mate, it's the quality that i'm concerned about. An aspiring member may be very general and not upto a mods standard and may lose out, but if they are welcomed into the community and start growing as a member they may become a beloved member in one field or another.

i just have a few concerns about this that's all.



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:44 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Rest assured that this new initiative is designed to help ATS return somewhat to our roots


ahh the roots sounds good but isnt it interesting how society and ppl as general are always more fond of the past and the 'good ol days' and somehow the present day is when society is down the drain and things are in chaos?

thanks,
drfunk



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:45 AM
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If the policy moves into this direction.

If ATS membership is merited based on 'thinking'

Will banning also be based on 'thinking' in the future?


Will I be banned for thinking something so radical it

doesn't fit with the culture of ATS even though the

thoughts communicated were within bounds of the T&C


This is sad.

Extra Controls only show lack of Control.

Get more staff to do better jobs. Fire old staff that add to problems.
The staff can coach newbies and all should be allowed to enter.

Rejecting applicants based on the merit of their thinking is sad.

I am anti-this policy for one reason, it's not effective.

If anyone wants an account they can get one. They can take the

time to submit a good well thought out application and if theirs is
rejected how do you know they are applying again? IP's don't
tell you anything anymore since most of them are Dynamic not static
plus Anonymous proxy servers.

Lack of Control leads to More Control until Chaos Rules The Board.



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:46 AM
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Originally posted by JAK
Who of us already here could be certain we would be accepted? Would I have been accepted? Could I have penned my desires and hopes clearly enough? Would I be judged because on my poor eloquence and inabilty to state my ideas on paper?

Jack


I'm assuming that what will be required will be something that seems like a genuine interest to contribute and learn . I doubt that anyone will be demanding any sort of literary masterpieces in these requests for membership.



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:46 AM
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'You have voted 00PS for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.'

well said friend!



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:47 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Since astute trolls and spammers would obtain clues for getting past our review process by posting the process here, we're not going to get into details.


Fair enough.


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
A few senior staff have been picked to start the process, and each approval or rejection (after it happens) is available for review by the entire staff.


And fair enough. As long as there is a review process, I don't really have any concerns about the fairness of the process.

I do agree with drfunk though, that there may be potential hidden in some members. I'm sure the staff are willing to give people the benefit of the doubt though, and to search for the possibility of growth in each new candidate. They've proven themselves in the forums, I see no reason why they can't continue to do so within the context of this task.



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:48 AM
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also, what if a child was to try and join, a teen kind of age. some of them are un able to do things like that, dos thatmean they will be turned down? or are they not actually allowed on? i do tihnk it is a good idea, but have some queries, as i am sure many of the members do



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:48 AM
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I think it's a very good idea...and I know of other places that do this....if one can't even write a paragraph explaining what they wish to learn, about themselves a bit, a discussion board is probably not for them to begin with. I don't see how this could have any negativity around it what so ever



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:48 AM
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Originally posted by JAK
I hold great concern over this. There has obviously been a lot of thought gone into such a decision, yet it is one I feel deserves caution.

Who of us already here could be certain we would be accepted? Would I have been accepted? Could I have penned my desires and hopes clearly enough? Would I be judged because of my poor eloquence and inabilty to state my ideas on paper?

Jack

*sp

[edit on 21/3/05 by JAK]


Yeah I have the same concerns. I hope the people doing the process are not too discriminatory on who they let in or not. Yeah having fewer NAZI's would be nice too but at what cost I wonder...



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:48 AM
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all i can say is about time,
i think this new idea is great and should cut down the level of trolling on this board
excellent idea SkepticOverlord



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