A Step In The Right Direction
I am among those who have lamented the apparent decline in ATS post quality, and think the staff have made a rational and pragmatic decision in
implementing this new membership screening policy.
As Simon has pointed out, the number of “junk” memberships alone that have already been thwarted is significant, and we can expect that even this
simple step will reduce the volume of fresh grief that finds its way into our midst each day.
This seems, as usual, like a good decision on the part of the staff.
She Turned Me Into A Newt!
As for a witch hunt, hey, don't knock it 'til you've tried it. They can be great fun!
Just kidding (or am
I very strongly believe that the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use
should be more rigorously enforced, but I also respect the patience, tolerance and professionalism shown by the staff in disciplinary matters.
Everyone has a bad day now and then, and the restraint shown by the staff encourages candid discussion where it might otherwise be stifled. To date I
have not witnessed a single banning that I didn't consider well-deserved.
Thus I trust that the new screening process will be reasonable and fair, and will indeed at least reduce the number of junk memberships.
Will Insularity Ensue?
I think the reference by junglejake
to Democratic Underground
was quite poignant as an example
of how a board can become cut off and inbred by being too selective.
I was a member of that board once, long ago, but got kicked for reasons unknown. I must presume that I fell short of the minimum profanity quotient or
perhaps didn't quote enough Marx. The consequence is that they are no longer privy to my opinions, which is, in my
opinion, anyway, their
I won't deny that I had a flash of concern that this new policy might lead ATS in a similar direction, but my concern quickly faded.
Propaganda pits like Democratic Underground
exist to program their members and promote uniformity of
thought. In that particular case, radical left-wing thought -- if mindless parrotry and ideological bullying could properly be considered
ATS, on the other hand, exists for purposes at the diametrical opposite of such sites, and is intrinsically committed to promoting free thought,
rather than suppressing it.
Because of this fundamental difference in motives and philosophies, and its primacy in every action I have seen the staff take, I am confident that
ATS will not devolve into just another Internet cheerleading section populated by brainwashed tools.
Taking Out The Trash
My sense is that there should be some tightening of T&C enforcement, but that simply reducing the influx of new junk memberships may be sufficient to
nudge ATS back to a better place.
Most of the griefers have a way of weeding themselves out over time, and that may very well be enough.
I also think the ATS culture is beginning to police itself in more positive ways.
This “self-policing” does not involve and never has involved demanding agreement with “official” positions, but simply compliance with the
AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use
we all agree to respect by
I urge my fellow members to understand and abide by them, and in so doing, reduce the need for staff intervention in our discussions -- while
simultaneously improving their quality and relevance.
After all, if we don't wish to Deny Ignorance
, then why the hell are we here?