ATS is not purely a "conspiracy site".
It is a portal to all the other elements including news, politics, and whatever Below Top Secret / Beneath The Sheets is about, and whatever that
other sister site does.
Frankly, I think anything that is designed to draw people to this site that attracts members with little world experience and little research,
analytical and communication ability, but with strong engrained opinions, makes this a lesser site.
So, if it's a games site or a cool place to hang out in Chat and that draws numbers... and that increases advertising revenues... and that fits some
longstanding cost recovery objective (or, heaven forbid, profitability)... then it is impractical to expect the site to continue to be a good
repository for valid and tested research about what has really happened in the world.
The style of argument and the setting of and adherence to standards and protocols of civility are an ongoing challenge for every Forum. ATS is in no
way unique in that.
There are many things that can be done to stop the rot.
The first thing is to cease from saying "we must be doing something right" using mouse clicks as the measure of quality. Because traffic is no way
of measuring what is being discussed here.
The second thing is to define the target audience in a fashion that it has not been defined before. This is a completely different equation if you
want mouse clicks and advertising revenue, in contrast with wanting new contribution to advancing knowledge / "denying ignorance". There is more
ignorance demonstrated daily at ATS than when the motto "Deny Ignorance" was floated.
The third thing is to show some leadership that is aligned to the first thing and the second thing. But if mouse clicks and revenues are what matters,
then, alas, leadership will not direct itself to the first thing and the second thing, and what EWom said will be amplified loudly and more often, and
what Seekerof said on skepticism, beliefs and credos will become harder for him to say.
Traffic is not truth.