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Censored U2Us and Staff Response - 2 Threads in one!

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posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 06:37 PM
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Why are U2Us censored? Is this an effort to prevent personal attacks from getting too nasty, or is this an unintended side effect of having censors operating on the forums? It's not a big deal, but I happen to like expletives, especially for humorous and emotional subjects, and I think they have a dignified place in the english language. I could go into the subject in depth, but it wouldn't be very enjoyable or entertaining if it contained a bunch of blank spaces, now would it?

Words themselves cannot cause harm, they are not weapons, and should not be controlled. Hate speech is one thing, if it is used to incite violence, but that's a whole different ball game. In a conversation between two adults in the real world, expletives are used, and to good effect for many different reasons and ends.

I would like to know members' thoughts on this as well.

My second question has to do with staff response times to U2Us. Is there no guarantee of a response from top tier staff/admin? I only ask because I haven't seen any statement made to the effect of "all messages will be replied to as time permits", nor have I seen any comments like "we get too many U2Us and so will only respond to urgent business." I want to know what level of communication should a board member expect from the, admittedly, busy staff?

Nobody sensible wants to be a pest (it's counterproductive and annoying, not to mention time consuming), but we do want to know that our comments, questions, and concerns aren't falling on deaf ears.

So in a nutshell, what does a guy have to do to get a response from the community director? Is it a lost cause, if not, how many attempts are required? The saying goes, a prayer unanswered is an answer in itself. Is that pretty much the case here? What sort of conclusions do members come to in this case?

Do comments and complains motivate the staff to ignore members, or treat them differently in any way? Some measure of frustration is unavoidable, because any comment or criticism is going to be taken personally by those who make this board's welfare their business.

Oh, and by the way, it appears as though complaints can be tied to the members who sent them regardless of whether or not they included their user name in the complaint form. There was a thread stating the opposite, or at least it said, if you want a reply, include your name.

I've tried it both ways, and both times the admin knew who had filed the complaint and responded to it.




posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 06:39 PM
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Can't you turn this off by buying the 'Turn off censors' option in the store?



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 06:41 PM
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Interesting question dj, I'm not sure. I turned off my censors, and the party I was talking to was unable to send an expletive through U2U, so I would think that no, you can't override it.

I'm not sure though, maybe we can get some clarification from somebody in the know.



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 06:53 PM
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In response to the "My second question has to do with staff response times to U2Us."

Please remember that Staff positions are voluntary at ATS WyrdeOne: the "staff" are unpaid - they do a brilliant job (IMO) but obviously have to prioritise their time.

I actually moderate a University CMC board - for which I am paid - but even so, this is a part-time post, and I do not guarantee 24/7 coverage, as I also have a fulltime post, not related t my University position.

IF you were a Moderator of ATS, would you guarantee you would be there 24/7 to answer U2U's etc??

Just my 2 cents...



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 07:11 PM
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Originally posted by AlfredENewman
Please remember that Staff positions are voluntary at ATS WyrdeOne: the "staff" are unpaid - they do a brilliant job (IMO) but obviously have to prioritise their time.


I understand that perfectly, I'm just looking for some sort of clarification on the procedures for answering U2Us by the staff. It wasn't an attack, and it wasn't in the least bit inflamatory. I understand the demands of modhood, believe me. However, it's in everybody's best interest to know what the procedure is, so we the members can have reasonable expectations, and so they, the mods, can have a break from the incessant U2Us they receive asking whether such and such U2U was received.


Originally posted by AlfredENewman
IF you were a Moderator of ATS, would you guarantee you would be there 24/7 to answer U2U's etc??


I wouldn't guarantee same day service no, but I would guarantee a response to every U2U sent to me. I personally see that as common courtesy, and I dutifully respond to each piece of personal mail sent to me, each U2U, every letter, and every vocalized question within earshot. Like I said, that's just common courtesy.

It's also common courtesy not to bombard people with messages when they're not going to answer them, which is why I started this thread - I want to know what reasonable expectations can be commonly understood to save everyone a lot of hassle.



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 07:23 PM
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"the "staff" are unpaid" is incorrect. Some staff are paid a token amount for their time.



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 07:28 PM
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We have no argument really: I wasn't trying to "flame" or score "points" beleive me WyrdeOne!! Apologies if I came across as rude, or in some way insensitive.
As I wote before, I know the limitations of CMC, as you do yourself - basic Netiquette is what we should all aspire to!

As a newbie to ATS, what do Iknow? I would definitely agree, however, that a U2U ought to be answered at some stage, whether it was sent from (or to) a fellow member, or from (or to) a member of staff - I try to do the same - a common courtesy indeed!
Is there evidence to suggest the contrary??



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 07:29 PM
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U2Us are part of the board posting system, they aren't seperate from posting in a thread or participating in chit chat. The board can censor it just like they can censor posts, both thru automation and actually personally reading them and making a subjective decision. They're not email, they're part of the board messaging system.



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 07:30 PM
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Originally posted by ktprktpr
"the "staff" are unpaid" is incorrect. Some staff are paid a token amount for their time.


What? I never heard of this.


When you look at the numbers of members, 36000+ to staff, 33, it's not always possible to get back in a timely fashion. I try, others do as well but we have a lot to do and has been said, it's voluntary. We also have lives. Personally, I work 2 jobs= 7 days a week. I hope that puts things into perspective.


BTW, the first querry? I don't know.



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 07:34 PM
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Originally posted by ktprktpr
"the "staff" are unpaid" is incorrect. Some staff are paid a token amount for their time.


I stand corrected Sir!! Apologies for my misunderstanding and assumptions: I thought ATS was a "voluntary" discussion board - how wrong can one be?



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 07:56 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I happen to like expletives, especially for humorous and emotional subjects, and I think they have a dignified place in the english language.


I agree wholeheartedly. I well placed F-bomb adds a certain emphasis no other word in the english language can.

That's why I turned off my censors.



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 08:30 PM
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PistolPete
Absolutely, and that's why I turned off my censors, I'm an adult, and words are words, they're all good or all bad, entirely dependant on context. Problem is..the fact that I turned them off didn't stop another members post from being censored en-route. So I'm wondering why that was, and what the deal is?

Intrepid
The mod to member ratio is certainly daunting...

But as I said before, I understand completely the position the staff are in, especially top level staff. What I'm trying to elicit with this thread is a statement to the tune of "ATS will respond to all U2Us as time permits" or "ATS does not guarantee a response to all messages" either one would clear up my question nicely. It's not a case of me seeking one answer over the other, I'd be happy with either one. I'm starting to assume it's the latter, but I hate assuming, and so this thread was designed to seek clarification.

See...I don't mind being ignored...especially when it's not something serious, but I want to KNOW one way or another what the policy is. I understand time constraints, I understand lost in the shuffle, and I understand "sorry I'm too busy to reply, maybe tommorow." I also understand silence...but I don't want to draw conclusions without a good basis, and if my U2Us aren't getting replied to, it's impossible to seek clarification.

Hence, I'm seeking clarification of the policy. I know my message was read, and most likely forgotten five minutes later when more important business reared its ugly head. Understandable, and I certainly take no offense.

Alfred
No offense taken, honest.
I try to give respect to everyone right off the bat, and I demand the same in return - fair trade = no robbery.


I don't think you are trying to gain points, I don't think that's even possible. People will accuse you of being a suck up just for being respectful, and that's disgraceful. I have been called modlover several times for doing nothing more than speaking my mind and being respectful in doing so. It's not about 'respecting your betters', and it's not about brownie points or teachers pets, it's about common courtesy, and efficient human interactions, simple as that.

This isn't middle school, there are no grades. There is no benefit to sucking up, there is no cause, no reward. The problem is, most people don't know a damned thing about respect, because they've never had their ass handed to them, they've never been compelled to respect their fellow men. Disrespect is a way of life in our world today, and it causes untold misery.

I do what I can to end that disturbing trend, by initiating dialogue respectfuly and responding in kind to those people who show respect towards me..and for doing that, I get insulted and called a suck up. It feels so good to buck the trend, because to be called a loser or a low life or a suck up or an idiot, by those who have proven themselves part of the above mentioned groups, is like a gold star - a badge of honor. That's the kind of praise I appreciate.
They say you can judge a man's character better by studying his enemies than studying his friends.

nygdan
Thanks for that information, I didn't know the two systems were synonymous.
I was under the impression that U2Us were not censored, and indeed, more like IM than the forums. When I first got to this place, I was under the impression that U2Us were private (a notion that was quickly dispelled by some other members' drama) and for a while I was under the impression they were uncensored.

If they were getting screened, why have some members been allowed to attack me personally in that medium? It seems to me that if these U2Us were being actively monitored, then somebody would have seen that certain people were sending rubbish into my box and simply deleted it. That wasn't the case. I had to request an intervention. Why then was this intervention (edit) done without my request? Is it all about the four letter words, or are there other parameters?

When I sent my fiction to several mods for approval before posting, nothing was censored to the best of my knowledge.

So I would appreciate some official clarification on this topic as well.



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 09:41 PM
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Originally posted by ktprktpr
Some staff are paid a token amount for their time.

I'm not sure where you heard that, but it is completely false.

WyrdeOne, your u2u appeared to be related to a thread for which it seemed as though you already had an answer from others by the time I read the u2u. Don't take it hard at all, there are times when I even neglect u2u's from staff... as of logging in from 3 hours ago, I have 13 new unread U2U's.



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 09:43 PM
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The monitoring of u2u's would seem to me to have a number of things in common with WW2 codebreaking.

When the British broke the Shark enigma code, they couldn't just go straight to all the U Boats and bomb them- that would have tipped off the Germans and they would have changed their codes.

And so it would seem here. I would suggest that any u2u's be sent in PGP encryption- it might not stop the government reading it but it sure would any Staff.



If they were getting screened, why have some members been allowed to attack me personally in that medium? It seems to me that if these U2Us were being actively monitored, then somebody would have seen that certain people were sending rubbish into my box and simply deleted it. That wasn't the case. I had to request an intervention. Why then was this intervention (edit) done without my request? Is it all about the four letter words, or are there other parameters?



posted on Mar, 26 2005 @ 09:43 PM
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As for your concerns about automatic language censors, This ATS Policy should explain everything. The decision was never arbitrary.



posted on Mar, 27 2005 @ 02:26 AM
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Originally posted by ktprktpr
"the "staff" are unpaid" is incorrect. Some staff are paid a token amount for their time.


Where the heck are my tokens?

Are the Supermods withholding our tokens for drinking money again?

To be honest we are paid a lavish salary and given our own personal numbered swiss bank account and UFO when we sign up.

I hardly ever post anymore as a matter of fact my Butler is typing this while I lounge around the pool with a group of super models.

Paid



posted on Mar, 27 2005 @ 02:56 AM
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In case anyone is wondering what type of tokens are used to pay the mods with, here they are




Each token is worth three supermodels or a bottle of Cornish Cider.



posted on Mar, 27 2005 @ 02:58 AM
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Why don't ATS pay their mods??



posted on Mar, 27 2005 @ 09:40 AM
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SkepticOverlord
Thanks very much for the clarification. I actually remember reading that message about the search engines excluding profanity (some time ago), but I promptly forgot it.


As far as the U2U, like I said, it was no big deal, moreso wanted clarification as to the policy, which, if I'm understanding it right is, "We will get back to you as time and circumstance allows." That's just fine with me.
I just didn't want to be a pest, since I figured the reason it went unreplied to in the first place was because of your workload.

Well, this thread has served its purpose. It was a good little thread..I sure will miss it.

Okay, enough of the maudlin crap, bring in the wrecking crew, strike this thread for resources.




posted on Mar, 27 2005 @ 10:13 AM
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Originally posted by mickmeaney
Why don't ATS pay their mods??


All money goes to keeping ATS running. Nobody is making a profit off of what we do (except the ad companies).

And, pisky, 3 models=one bottle? Either some good cider or some butt-ugly models...



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