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Is ATS a conspiracy site, or what?

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posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 06:12 AM
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Grady,

Whilst we have clashed before on this site over some things, I am touched by your Avatar and it's display of support.


Thanks man




posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 06:14 AM
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Oh no.. No consperacy here. You know uh, it not like the ATS is the perfect place for a government plot or anything. Theres no uh, information here. You know? Right?

By the way, have you checked out the thread about how the 9/11 attacks and London bombings were all made by Bush to continue putting his name in History under, "Most champion Terrorist headhunters of all time", well, and oil, and... Money, and power and control. But other than that Bush has no reason. Dam=)it
man i need to go to sleap!



posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 07:30 AM
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A lot of very solid factual topics which don't really qualify as conspiracy in and of themselves make it into ATS, and this provides the credibility that makes ATS so incredibly respectable and popular.

There is a wealth of factual knowledge and well supported opinion on a broad range of issues here which often enough relates indirectly to the actual conspiracies we discuss. We are not alarmists sputtering sentence fragments about little known pieces of esoteric "proof". We are a large community of people with a veritable encyclopedia and a few questions to ask about the official story. In short- we're bloody beautiful (myself excluded- I'm abbrasive to every human sense, as well is in several "intangible" regards.)



posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 06:12 PM
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The Razor's Edge

On ATS, I have seen no shortage of wild speculation, unsubstantiated innuendo and crazy rants regarding the London bombings, so I'm not sure there's a problem with these things being “suppressed”. Indeed, they are multiplying like rabbits, and in no danger of extinction by any means.

I have also seen a lot of reasoned opinions and discussions of what happened, and expect to see a lot more of that in the coming months.

Basically, it is the well-represented presence of reasonable skepticism which explains why I hang out here instead of on Rense.com or similar places.

Not to bag on them (though I routinely do, and, in fairness, there are many fine members of those sites), it's more a matter of being more interested in facts than sensationalism.

On ATS, we have both facts and sensationalism in abundance, and, like most other sites, leave the decisions regarding which is which in the hands of members.

The advantage to ATS, however, is that the culture tends to strongly favor skepticism, and I promise you from the bottom of my heart that healthy and enduring skepticism is the only tool any of us can rely on to have any hope of uncovering truth.

When members express this concept to fellow members, it isn't censorship at all.

It's friendly advice, and it's good advice.



posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 06:28 PM
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I don't really buy that whole "outlandish theories give conspiracy theorists a bad name" mentality. How about instead I offer "truth is usually stranger than fiction"?

I think it's already apparent that there are ATS-sanctioned conspiracy theories, and thus, no surprise that certain other theories are looked down upon by the adminstration of ATS.

And that's fine, after all, this is a private site, but I think if you start deleting threads you don't agree with because you don't agree or because "they might give conspiracy theorists a bad name" then you will probably end up becoming what you are fighting against.

Discussion is key, and as this is a discussion board, i think discussion of "outlandish theories" is much more effective and appropriate than simply deleting threads you don't like.



posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by Jamuhn
I don't really buy that whole "outlandish theories give conspiracy theorists a bad name" mentality.

It is an unfortunate reality.



And that's fine, after all, this is a private site, but I think if you start deleting threads you don't agree with because you don't agree or because "they might give conspiracy theorists a bad name" then you will probably end up becoming what you are fighting against.

There are many things we promote about ATS... our stats, threads, posts, visitors, etc. One of the things we tend not to mention (but perhaps we should) is that the senior ownership/admin staff have more combined experience with these topics than any other site. Many of us have been dealing with "conspiracy" ideas since the 70's. While we have no claim as world-leading conspiracy researchers (not publicly), this experience certainly provides us with fine-tuned BS-filters.
An important attribute of what makes ATS what it is.



posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 07:06 PM
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I certainly cannot claim that kind of experience, but I guess I just have a different philosophy when it comes down to conspiracy theories.

Being sympathetic to the school of Descartes, I am skeptical of just about everything. And thus, just about everything has a chance to be true, though certainly some things have a higher probability of truth than others and these are the things that we generally take to be true on a collective level.

So, while the admistration probably does have a good BS-sensor, I would tend to say that there is only a less likelihood of such "BS" being true. Which is why I feel discussion is much more important and effective than censorship or sponsorship of certain theories or 'anti-theories'.

And seeing that the masses in general are often less open-minded than particular individuals, I am skeptical of how effective it is to cater to their close-mindedness by trying to present them with theories they are more likely to accept, while joining them in their dissention of "outlandish theories."

I think it's more important to remain true to oneself, than care about what the masses may think about outlandish theories that are merely out there for open discussion. You don't have to accept a theory in discussing its merits and its drawbacks. And if by discussing "outlandish theories" on ATS, people think that all members of ATS believe in it, that shows the vices of those who make those presumptions, rather than those discussing it.

BTW, maybe we could change the Drama Alert to a BS Alert?



posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 10:12 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
The Razor's Edge

On ATS, I have seen no shortage of wild speculation, unsubstantiated innuendo and crazy rants regarding the London bombings, so I'm not sure there's a problem with these things being “suppressed”.

...healthy and enduring skepticism is the only tool any of us can rely on to have any hope of uncovering truth.



I agree that skepticism is needed at ATS. In fact, without it this excellent site would be dull. Every thread I read is laced with good common sense, pertinent data from reliable sources and a dollop of personality.

Vagabond said it as well, when he(?) "notes the wealth of factual knowledge"

Majic, however, "sees no shortage of wild speculation" and defends the deletion of some threads. I agree that some threads belong in the trash bin, but that decision must be hard for some of the mods to have to make. I know I would hate to trash something, especially if it was presented well.

To me this sounds like 'is the glass half full or half empty?'

ATS exists because both are represented...the wacky, off the wall stuff people come up with, like hollow earth theories and lizard monarchies fill the boards with exotica which the followers of science fall upon with glee, presenting facts and refuting with evidence.

That's what makes it so great...

SO says that unfortunately the wacky types give conspiracy theorists a bad name...and he's right on this, but it can't be helped.

Seperating the 'wheat from the chaff' is impossible in practice because all conspiracy theorists come from the same mold...they are the ultimate skeptics because they cannot accept the world as the standard thinking says it is. They try to pry open the things that are loose and have a peek into the hidden parts.

There is no real change which has to be made to ATS...we've already done all that needs to be done...discussed it. By talking about it we have made a few hundred aware of this minor situation and in doing so, have more than likely already changed the 'personality' of ATS a smidge.



posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 11:00 PM
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Moderation In All Things


Originally posted by masqua
Majic, however, "sees no shortage of wild speculation" and defends the deletion of some threads. I agree that some threads belong in the trash bin, but that decision must be hard for some of the mods to have to make. I know I would hate to trash something, especially if it was presented well.

Although mods handle gripe/help requests, the Council staff has access to the Complaints forum, where they are deposited by the gripe/help script, so we see how mods deal with these sorts of things.

What has surprised me is how much discussion goes on behind the scenes. When an issue comes up, mods keep each other informed of what's going on, ask other mods for advice when they're not sure of something, and tell their fellow mods when they think they've done something right -- or wrong.

Some threads are easy to trash, because they are trash, plain and simple. Without going into painful detail, you know them when you see them. Some threads are closed or trashed because they cover the same subject as one or more existing threads, or because they violate the T&C, and so forth.

Moderators are the editorial staff of ATS's discussion forums. As such, it's their job to keep ATS from turning into a wasteland of “me too” posts and general garbage.

The definition of what is garbage is drawn from the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use, ATS Etiquette and other articles posted by Simon in the Board Information forum.

Despite all the guidance, moderators constantly have to make judgment calls, and different people tend to see things differently. That's as true of mods as it is of anyone else.

They know this, and stay in touch with one another constantly to make sure everyone's on the same page, but can still differ in their opinions just like the rest of us do. Like all ATSers, the mods don't agree on everything, and are as frank about that as anything else.

The issue of moderator judgment is one of the major sources of drama on ATS, but it doesn't have to be that way. Mods are given authority and discretion to do their jobs because their jobs are vital to the continued operation of ATS.

ATS is extremely open-minded about disputes, and if you don't like a decision a mod makes, you can complain about it. If you have a good point, the mods will make things right with you. But if you try to jerk them around -- a lot of people try to do just that, and pretty much every such case the mods have seen it before a thousand times -- it won't help your cause.

Basically, if you can respect what the mods are there for, remember that they are human, recognize them as your fellow members, not gods or demons, and deal with them in a reasonable manner when you have a problem, they will take good care of you.

If you can't, then odds are good that you already know what to expect.



posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 11:55 PM
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Originally posted by Jamuhn
So, while the admistration probably does have a good BS-sensor, I would tend to say that there is only a less likelihood of such "BS" being true.


Let's take 9/11 as an example. There are so many diverging "conspiracy theories" about the events of that day, that one could almost say there has been a conspiracy to create this massive confusion to hide the real story.

My brother was on the highway as the passenger jet flew over the highway just a few feet away. He saw it, many other people saw it. He described it to me that night. I have no doubt, as do hundreds of others who were there. But the "conspiracy community" is wasting effort and loosing credibility by claiming something else happened. There is a far deeper and more important conspiracy at the core of these events, but hundreds of websites and thousands of posts (on all sites) are unable to get past the minutiae... the trees are in the way of their view of the forest.

Two questions...

1) Do you feel there are important truths as yet uncovered at the core of the 9/11 events?

2) Do you ever wonder if the massive number of "conspiracy theories" is a form of disinformation and counter intelligence?



posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 01:05 AM
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I am glad to see this topic opened back up. For I would love to throw in my 2 cents worth.

I may have a slightly different perspective here. I have had the good fortune to see ATS from both sides. The moderators, supers, admin et al. do an excellent job of keeping ATS from becoming a crackpot site that gets blown off. From the execution of the site itself to Moderation of the forums, to the top notch research etc. that goes on simply keeps this site the place to be for serious discussion of conspiracy and other related topics. Thats why I stayed on this site after wandering in on an Area 51 search.

I have seen a disturbing trend as of late that puts the Mod staff in the cross hairs of members who feel thier individual topics / issues are simply not getting enough "play" Censorship, the loaded word that it is, is drawn like a gun. Or my favorite "Id respond but I do not want to get a warn". Or better yet, the public airing of 'Why was my thread moved". Items like this do nothing to foster out collective goal of denying ignorance.

Moderators do thier jobs because of thier commitment to the site. You can not begin to imagine the problems that they have to deal with on a daily basis. And the bottom line is that the moderators on ATS do an excellent job. I for one have seen many sites degenerate into what amounts to a locker room mentality and have simply had enough of that type of discourse.

As one poster mentioned above, the Moderator staff is not a bunch of loose cannons driving personal agendas. Issues that crop up are discussed. No one operates in a vacuum. People need to move away from personal issues and place thier focus on hard core issues that members and staff can discuss rather than wasting all of our time with the "He said, She said" that is best left for your place of employment.



posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 01:17 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

1) Do you feel there are important truths as yet uncovered at the core of the 9/11 events?

Absolutely. I believe many conspiracys are creating in order to discredit the conspiracy community, especially surrounding the Pentagon attack.
This goes far beyond 9/11. Look at the "UFO community" even many ATSers can't help but to laugh and ridicule these people.



2) Do you ever wonder if the massive number of "conspiracy theories" is a form of disinformation and counter intelligence?


Disinformation is alive and well. On this board and in the 'real' world. It seems there is not a conspiracy on here that isn't muddied by disinfo.



posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 04:28 AM
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1) Do you feel there are important truths as yet uncovered at the core of the 9/11 events?

2) Do you ever wonder if the massive number of "conspiracy theories" is a form of disinformation and counter intelligence?


I think there is one big truth to be examined :

Has Bush at every turn padded the pockets of cronies and supporters and tried to consolidate an agenda of power grabbing and money grabbing.

Yes

Has Bush gone after the real terrorists in force or continued lay back to give Bush more time to complete the real agenda.

Bush has continuously laid back with every excuse in the book. Often performing actions or inactions that might be of help to the terrorists


Have the conspiracist dulled the senses of the general public .

Yes

They play us right into Bush's hand.


Bush should walk away from this time as the most "Golden Boy" in rich people circles that ever was. His name will go down in history among their kind and be spoken w/ pride for generations to come.











[edit on 7/10/2005 by bodebliss]



posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 04:39 AM
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WooHoo!
Nice to see that at least my posts are noticed enough to gripe over.

How to address this issue.....

1. I NEVER SAID anything about censorship. I was concerned about the following...

We are now a major player in Google news, oursite ranks right up there with mainsteam sites on breaking events.

We are no longer the small band of wackos and fruitloops I started out with.

When the bombings started I was concerned that the only information the net would get from us was the thread that i considered ill timed.

Sure go ahead and talk about AQ being a fiction. But on the day that people were dying, on the day my cousin was missing, on the day of stress and uncertianty for many, when many wanted some serious factual analysis, to have this out-on-a-limb fiction as a main thread on our site seemed wrong.

Now i guarentee if this was an event on American soil, this would not be an issue. but because of the emotional distance of another country somehow respect didn't seem to matter so much. I was here for 9/11 (were YOU Manque?) there was heaps of respect, there were personal stories and tragic tales from the members. There was nothing like what happened here the other day.

I felt the thread was nothing short of goulish. I stated it in my anger www.abovetopsecret.com... I stand by every word i wrote there especially as it pans out more and more (news tonight - arabic guy on the bus kept checking his bag just before explosion).

Also this was not undertaken just by me, I consulted with another admin on the board, who agreed, and there were howls of outrage in the mod and counciller forums to have it taken off as well.

In all things I was seeking to maintain a sence of propriety, if others can't see that and want to throw a hissy fit over it then go ahead.

There are always people willing to whine about something, sometimes its only the person with a spine who steps forward.

Maybe the idea is to stop worrying about your RIGHTS and start considering your RESPONSIBILITIES towards others on the board and humanity as a whole.

People wrapped up in their conspiracies can make a very small bundle.

Humanity is far bigger than your pet theory that gives you an ego boost and helps you believe you have some "inside information" in the world. No conspiracy belief is worth losing your humanity over.

[edit on 10-7-2005 by Netchicken]



posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 05:44 AM
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Originally posted by NetchickenI was here for 9/11 (were YOU Manque?)


Actually, I was working in a nuclear facility a few minutes flying time from NYC. It was not a good day for us either, nor were the following years up until my retirement just a week or so ago.

I'm not going to get personal about how 911 impacted me through the effects it had on my life. I just hope you'll believe me that it did.



posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 11:28 AM
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So, SkepticOverlord should we call you Pappy?


masqua, it's probably best to wait a few days before we start saying who we think did it, a lot of people might know someone in London who is missing and/or dead (like I do) and for some people it isn't easy for them to see the Governmeny, Jews, Muslims, Irish, etc, blamed within a few hours of the event happening.

Really it is just a case of common sense on the issue and we shouldn't need the mods to hold our hands.

Edit:

masqua, I think he means the site.

[edit on 10/7/2005 by Odium]



posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Let's take 9/11 as an example. There are so many diverging "conspiracy theories" about the events of that day, that one could almost say there has been a conspiracy to create this massive confusion to hide the real story.


To bring up some ideas from Descartes again, the senses can be very unreliable, even in the most ideal of conditions. But, that's not really what I wanted to say. The question of disinformation and counter intelligence comes down to whether intention is involved to mislead, misinform, or otherwise discredit where a little truth may be involved.

I think it's possible that there are disinformation campaigns, not only aimed at discrediting conspiracy theories, but also in official versions of events such as these as well.

At the same time though, the people that talk about missiles hitting the pentagon, etc. were never present to have witnessed what really happened. All they have to rely on is the official version of events and the eye witnesses. They most likely didn't have a cousin whose senses they could have relied upon. To them, these eye-witnesses are nothing but faceless strangers whispering in the dark. Thus, for many, I believe they don't even take the eye-witnesses into account, and question the credibility of the government instead and when the question of eye-witnesses is involved refer to ideas such as Descartes.

I can sympathize with your assessment that people are getting hung up on what actually hit the pentagon, etc., but something did hit it. But, if a missile did hit the pentagon, or if the twin towers were blown up from the bottom, then surely this would have wider implications than merely a minute detail of the event.

There are obviously some people on the board who lean towards a missile hitting the pentagon instead of a 757, and i will admit that there are many holes in such theories, but that's not the point. It's my humble opinion that when ATS as a singular entity starts accepting or denying certain conspiracy theories, you start alienating many members of the board. Rather than explaining to them or discussing with them the merits and drawbacks of what they think, it feels to me that you are saying is, "we have already decided you are wrong and we are right."

Example:

Humanity is far bigger than your pet theory that gives you an ego boost and helps you believe you have some "inside information" in the world. No conspiracy belief is worth losing your humanity over.


I know the intentions of all the administration of ATS are nothing but honorable. It seems that a fine line is being crossed when you start moving into administering the ideas of individual members, groups of members, or the entire community. And it actually is not so much of the big picture being represented with threads like "A Plane hit the Pentagon", it's the forcefulness of the conclusions. I think a more appropriate thread title and intention would be "Evidence for a plane hitting the pentagon" so it seems more open-ended for discussion rather than something set in stone.

But anyway, to answer the first question, I think there is always truth to be discovered in everything and everyone.

[edit on 10-7-2005 by Jamuhn]



posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by Odiumua, I think he means the site.



My bad...I think he did too...sorry.
In that case...no, I am still learning about ATS, but I gotta admit to some pre-registration lurking.

As to the idea that we must have a period of time where we can assimilate a bit of what happened before posting theories...maybe you're right. My reaction time is a bit quick, maybe because of training. There will always be those who are out of the blocks fast, though, but I'll take your advice and sit back a bit in the future.

I enjoy reading your posts, Odium.

cheers



posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 02:41 PM
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-tips cowboy hat- Thank you, masqua - glad you like reading them.

I myself wanted to jump on the "band-wagon" and starting posting about who did it, etc, as I remember the I.R.A. bombing Coventry while I was a School kid and I should have been in London thursday (luckily?) (but) I woke up late so it really hit home with me so to say.

However, you just need to give people their "moment" of grief. Admins, members, people on the street all need a moment to collect their thoughts and come to terms with what happend.

Take care,
Jayce.



posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 05:28 PM
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Deny Censorship


Originally posted by Jamuhn
It's my humble opinion that when ATS as a singular entity starts accepting or denying certain conspiracy theories, you start alienating many members of the board.

I share this opinion. I think it is vital for ATS to allow all theories and opinions to get an airing, as long as they don't violate the T&C, which are quite liberal as such things go.

Netchicken has explained his reasoning for pulling the thread, and I respect his motives and authority as a moderator, but I personally don't think the thread should have been pulled.

We as members of ATS represent ourselves well. Though Netchicken may have found the thread ghoulish, I did not. There are some very good points made in that thread, and, since its retrieval from the trash bin, it is alive and well, and showcasing the various perspectives we bring to our discussions.

As an ATSer, I am not at all ashamed of that thread.

Obviously, there's some drama surrounding all this, and that's pretty much par for the course. It has been my opinion for quite some time that most ATSers like some drama on the board -- to a point.

Here we are doing some soul-searching over where the line should be drawn with respect to thread content on ATS.

While opinions naturally vary -- which is a healthy sign -- the upshot is that a thread got pulled, members complained, discussion followed, the decision was changed and now the thread is back.

In other words, the system is working.

I can't complain about that.




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