The purpose of this paper is to provide a source of information to the community of ATS and to members and non-members of Thread Killers Anonymous. We
like to have fun and joke around but we are also a sincere self-help group, dedicated to finding answers to the phenomenon of post killing.
Before we do that, we shall strive to analyse and categorize the various styles, methods and possible reasons behind thread killing with the aim of
perhaps developing a better grasp and understanding of what we are doing wrong.
You may have noticed the joking camaraderie, light-hearted atmosphere and relaxed air of discussion on ThreadKiller’s Anonymous forum. But despite
the talking, laughing and endless supply of donuts, there are serious and compelling reasons why this thread even exists in the first place. The
reason for this document is to outline our styles, differences and similarities. We want to alert other members that there is a place they can discuss
their problems and post-killing abilities in an understanding and supportive environment.
Purpose of TKA
• To attempt to understand why we have run here in frustration
• To address why we post and get no responses
• To determine why this seems to be a pattern in some of us.
• To accept what may just be our nature
• To learn what we can change
Aims of this document: In this paper we hope to address several themes:
• What is a thread killer?
• What makes a thread killer?
• What characteristics do we have in common?
• Different types of thread killers.
• What is your posting style and why is this important?
• Unique posting styles of members
• The purpose of the TKA thread.
I. What is a thread killer?
Person or persons who unwittingly stops a thread in full discussion, kills a thread in its inception, unknowingly attempts to revive said threads
killing it in the process - or attempts to start a new thread without little or no success.
There are also times when a thread needs to be killed because it is out of control, insulting, biased and too unbearable to read. This will have to be
addressed in another paper elsewhere and should also be handled by Mods and not by us, the TKA group.
II. What makes a thread killer?
The repeated pattern of any or all the above. Thread killing is to be expected from EVERYONE on ATS at some time in their posting careers. But this
chronic serial killing differs from the isolated occurrences; by being the norm rather than the exception.
III. What Characteristics do TKers have in common?
Before I begin my analysis on why we there are as many ways to kill a thread, as there are personality types, I want to begin by listing our
commonalities and similarities. This can also serve as a list to determine if you are a thread killer in the first place. This is not an exhaustive,
all-inclusive list by any means. Nor is it necessarily true for everyone. Instead it lists the more the general characteristics of people our thread
seems to attract.
We are good writers, intelligent, verbal, good communicators, we use paragraphs, formatting and occasionally images and links to embellish our posts.
We occasionally or religiously use spell checkers, we know how to make our points, we aren’t afraid to include humour, we aren't too uptight or
serious, we tend to be slightly to vastly irreverent, we tend to have rebel tendencies, very individual and believe passionately in an anti sheep
mentality. We enjoy and respect the opinion of others, we are diverse and don't (usually) give in to extreme impulses like flaming, insulting or
goading; we try to give balanced unbiased opinion and we don't feel the need to kiss other poster's backsides to get approval or acknowledgement. We
are sensitive (sometimes too much) and like the respect and recognition of our peers. We refuse to limit, change or exaggerate our opinions to
manipulate the outcome. But we are willing to listen to reason in an open-minded way. We also believe in self improvment and we tend to be
perfectionists at heart.
IV. Different types of thread killers
Posting category is usually determined by two things: posting style and posting preference.
a. Posting Styles
Has to do with personality and if you are an extravert, introvert, like conflict, avoid it, like to explain, joke around or be emotional and/or
passionate. I have paired up a posting style with every posting preference. It is not necessarily accurate in all cases and I’ve provided them more
as ‘guidelines’ from my studies and observation. Feel free to mix, match or ignore.
b. Posting Preferences
We think it is important to understand we ALL have unique ways of discussing and writing. This reflects in our thread posting skills, which while
unique, tend to manifest themselves in general patterns.
Please note that falling into a particular category is not the same as a posting style and one can fall into 2, 3 or more categories while having
different personality styles.
For example – You can be a Grandiose poster on both Politics and Research or a Smug Jester. The combinations are endless.
1. The Politician
Can usually find themselves knee-deep in global politics at all times of the day and tend to be opinionated, well-informed and passionate people. Due
to the sensitivity of the material and inflammatory subject matter, these individuals can by turns be frustrated, angry, misunderstood and feel the
need to take political sides, even if the argument doesn’t warrant it or didn’t start off in that manner, such as in this example:
Poster a: I like to eat grapefruits in the morning.
Poster b: Grapefruits? That’s a weenie Liberal breakfast food for Commies.
Poster a: Yeah? Well at least I don’t clean my gun at the table like you Necons.
Pros: passionate, independent, good at debate, up to date on current affairs
Cons: quick to anger, inflammatory, self righteous, don’t like to cede ground
Things to work on or learn: how to be diplomatic, how to remain calm, breathing exercises.
Personality type - The Power poster: likes to argue more than anything. Does NOT like to be wrong. If they are, they will never admit to it. Will do 3
hours of research just to prove someone is barking up the wrong tree. It doesn’t even matter what topic. Likes to pick sides and will go at it until
every point is debated to death. Then, they will find new ones.
Keywords: obtuse, hard-headed, inpatient, stubborn
2. The Researcher
Can usually be found on the medical, education or mason forums. Loves statistics, data and tables and researches with a zeal and tenacity that would
make a grad student blush. Will spend hours reading up on topics of their choice. For them it isn’t as important to be right (although it does have
its merits) as it is to be well informed.
Poster a:. Is it true mandrake root cures smelly toe syndrome?
Poster b: I have read 10 books and 20 online websites about smelly toe syndrome, but not one mentions mandrake root. Hmm, I wonder if it's possible
there is a tiny gap in my knowledge? Well, I’m free for the next 6 hours, I suppose I have enough time to look it up.
Pros: logical, well read, bright, can research like a dream, tends to be driven and familiar with libraries
Cons: like to spout off useless facts, religious about ‘informing’, sometimes sound like robots, don’t look at the ‘big’ picture, regard
Tesla as God.
Things to work on or learn: to be more spontaneous and more forgiving of people who don’t spend hours playing with data. To be more understanding
and patient if people are slow to get the point.
Personality type - Please ‘believe me’ poster: they prefer to influence and teach instead of arguing. They spend hours patiently explaining their
reasons, facts opinions and theories to deaf crowds. They like approval and sometimes give in too quickly just to agree on a point. They don’t like
to be pressured and often make apologies for having opposing opinions. Despite their educated, well made points, they tend to back down when
confronted with hostility. This person hates arguments but hates to be disliked even more.
Keywords: non-confrontational, peace-maker, factual, conciliatory, pacifying, soother
3. The Reporter
Likes to frequent ATSNN, collaborative writing threads, U2U and chat. When not doing that, they hang out on BTS repeatedly posting on any and all
topics from ‘what is your favourite song’, to ‘help, I’m a wiccan stuck in a warlock’s body. Writing is their lifeblood. They fear podcasts
and tend to gravitate toward others people of like mind.
Pros: verbose, witty, educated, well read, can spell and deliver a compelling and influential and moving message when the need strikes them
Cons: long, windy, boring, egotistical, insecure and a lot of times irrelevant, posting a lot of rubbish no one wants to read
Things to work on or learn: How to be brief. How to get the point across in 20 words or less and to stop rambling. How to learn to listen to others
and share in their ideas and words. How to podcast.
Personality type - Grandiose poster: uses 100 words when one will suffice. They revel in the chest puffing out fact that they know they are good
writers and love to to correct other people’s grammar and/or spelling. Highly opinionated on ALL topic, even ones they know little about. They tend
to be frustrated schoolteachers, journalists, librarians, researchers, book readers, artists, musicians, fireeaters and amateur poets. They like the
look of their own words on the page.
Keywords: long, windy, complicated, droning, boring, up their own butts
4. The Conspirator
This person likes to discuss UFOs, ghosts, masons, NWO, ancient sects and chupacabras. Loves a good mystery, drawn to secrets and a tad paranoid in
their own views. Enjoys swapping information with others and is titillated by the shock value of such. Can’t understand why everyone on conspiracies
is not a true believer. Longs for the day the earth will be saved or vapourised by Them.
Poster a: do you believe in life after death?
Poster b: of course not. The Tormillions have taught me that death is overrated.
Poster a: well I know from first hand you are wrong! I died 3 days ago and have come back specifically just to inform ATSers.
Pros: highly contagious, excitable, interesting, different, knowledge of strange websites, knowledge of esoteric handshakes, always has fascinating
titbits and unusual sources
Cons: paranoid, 'out' there, weird, too eager to believe, gullible, tries too hard
Things to work on or learn: facts! Understanding that some things can be reasonably explained, learning that not everything bad is a conspiracy,
accepting that most non believers can still be good people
5. The Prankster
This collegiate type poster revels in pranks and high jinks and is usually found on BTS or on ATS posts that eventually get moved to BTS. They have
countless amounts of energy, vitality and charm. They like to be noticed and LOVE to be the centre of attention. Sometimes they post ‘why doesn’t
anybody love me’ questions just to generate replies because popular as they are, they need to feel loved.
Poster a: Okie, 3 men walk in a bar right? A necon, a leftie and Hugo Chavez
Poster b: what the heck does this have to do with fragile earth?
Poster a: Fragile earth?? I thought this was the oil forum!!
Pros: fun! Life of the party, can liven up a post, wild card, never know what they’ll say next
Cons: fickle, insecure, moody, egotistical, volatile, narcissistic, likes to push bottons, emotional vampire tendencies
Things to work on: moderation, manners, understanding others, how to be quiet and sit still,
Personality type – The Funny poster: weird, witty and irreverent, usually having a surreal, almost Monty Pythonesque sense of humour. Enjoys
lambasting self and others. Like to confuse, baffle, shock and awe. Think irony is god’s underrated gift to humanity
Keywords: oddball, wild, unique, daring, fearless
6. Hard-Headed Know it all
This person knows it all. Everything. They read, listen, write and research and have been doing it for donkey’s years. They are experts. There is no
way you mere mortal will ever be able to tell them anything. They are always right and maybe, just possibly you can add a few facts to that vast
computer they call a brain, but most likely, they have already heard it before. Their knowledge (and power) is scary. They can tend to be a little
cranky so don’t irk them or they will bite your head off and eat your parts for breakfast.
Poster a: Have you read the new data on the PXR2 fighter?
Poster b: What, did you fall off a tree and hit your head? I’ve know about the PXR2 for more years than you’ve been alive, longer even. In fact
*I* was part of the research group that drew the blueprints for the PXR2 fighter. Don’t talk to ME about the PXR2 fighter. I CREATED the PXR2
Pros: smart, quick, experienced, powerful, you can learn a thing or three
Cons: inpatient, doesn’t care about you, egotistical, delusions of grandeur, addicted to power, demands respect at all times
Things to work on: humility, patience, understanding and kindness. Knowing that to ‘not’ know is human and perfectly acceptable.
Personality Type – The Smug Poster: this person doesn’t care what anyone else has to say. They don’t want to argue, debate or make a point,
they are just right. Always.
Keywords: smarmy, vicious, sarcastic, unreasonable
V. Analysis of our own posting styles
This section is written by individual members of the TKA council. Note: if you would like to write up your own description and background, please do
so and send via U2U.
My method is to frame my response and organize it the best way I can, so that it follows a logical progression, going from point to point. I post my
first point, adding images if I have them or relevant links. Then I move on to the next point, following the same progression until I'm through all
my points. If there are responses against what I’ve posted, then I try to find evidence to back up my side, and repeat the process with the new
evidence. I usually try to put as much evidence as I can into my original posts to show my points are valid.
The biggest reason I think I fail in is that I tend to try to put as much information as I can into one single post and I think I overload my
responses. I tend to want to get across what I know as quickly as possible including what I research on the topic.
I either try to get very technical, or put all my facts and arguments in one post. I think that’s sometimes it is too much. If I get too technical,
the people that don't follow tend to get information overload and skip over what I'm saying. When I put intoo much detailed information, people feel
it's too long to read and skip over it.
I need to split my responses, and give out a little bit of information at a time, and make my responses less technical for the people that don't
study the things I do.
When posting, I seem to constantly want to offer the "other" side of the debate; more so (obviously) when it's something I'm passionate about
personally. This isn't so much playing devil's advocate, as it is just a dogged attempt to try and get the other person to see the other side for a
second. It rarely works. My delivery might be the problem - many posters take these posts of mine as me being anti-American, pro-terrorist, whatever.
One thing I can't stand is blanket hatred and/or ignorance and I'll try really bloody hard to get certain points across in such a manner that it's
not threatening (because lord only knows how fragile some of the egos are on this board...).
I have a tendency though to add to this...if another poster has made an unsubstantiated claim, I ask for proof. If they list evidence from a dubious
source (oh, David Icke, for example), I generally don't ridicule the source (unless the poster is Poster A) but instead find opposing evidence from
reliable sources (generally medical journals and the like). The problem seems to be that people don't *like* being asked for proof.
I can give examples - Poster B and I constantly go back and forth about homosexuality (I'm sure you can find threads about this)...the difference is,
s/he/it insults me and I just throw facts in her/his/its face.
I'm pretty good at paraphrasing medical texts; I can put into layman's terms what would usually be defined as "medicalese"; the sad part is these
usually hyperresearched posts go unseen by most as medical topics aren't really so popular here.
In short (because this IS somewhat disjointed), I research before I post, I use reliable sources and I sometimes am guilty of overwhelming the
"opposition" by providing those pesky leetle "facts"
That, and I ask pertinent questions that certain conspiracy believers cannot answer.
That does alienate me somewhat...
My posting style tends to be long and goes past the point of logic heading right toward the highway into oblivion. I can be brief when I need to be,
but I feel sometimes (erroneously) that more is better. I feel people probably read my first paragraph and by the second one they are bored. Maybe I
should do a test and write really trivial things toward the end to see if they spot it. Sometimes I like to cram all of my opinions in one piece and I
come off sounding aloof and like Ms.smarty-pants.
Like most writers I am highly emotionally charged and over-sensitive. In other words… I get carried away. I have posted stupid, thoughtless replies
and sometimes good ones but in the wrong places, the wrong times or the wrong topics. I march to my own beat and my drummer has a strange sense of
rhythm. It seems I can’t logically discern when something is 'too' much. If I am in any way fuelled by a desire to tell others about my
experiences or ideas, I lose all notion of time and space. It saddens me sometimes, as this is not purposeful sabotage. I just have to learn to
address my points in the right forums and to be more concise.
My posting style tends to be wordy but I keep it on topic, mostly. When I am having a disagreement with another member, I don't let myself be led to
on irrelevant discussion designed to muddy the waters. I find the weak spot of an argument and then just hammer on it, until it is addressed. Most of
the time though, I am just trying to ask questions or share some info I found.
I don't know what else to say? I make posts that are well thought out and backed up with links and research. I use too many words and too many large
ones. I took too many English classes in school and worried too much about word counts, and now I can't break the habit. I also hate telling people
they are wrong or idiots, so I try not to. I'm a fairly tolerant person so when I do take a position it is usually the 'can't we all just get along
and mind our own business' kind; which limits conversation.
VI. What can we do about thread killing?
By ourselves, not a lot. This forum was created to address the problems, symptoms and afflictions of those who unwillingly and unwittingly kill their
own posts and that of others. It isn’t one individual’s problem, but the problem of the community. The first step is to recognize you have a
problem with posts the next is finding solutions so you can improve.
So far we have pinpointed the following exercises that can be done: Analyse your background, style and posts. Send us your posts so we can look and
comment. Use the ‘buddy’ system, pair up with a more experienced thread killer. Look around on ATS, note the ‘good’ successful posters, what
are they doing differently to you? Apply for membership to TKA or just lurk and comment occasionally and finally, have an open mind about why your
posts may not be as perfect as you think they are.
Many of us take time out of our busy days to read and post on these forums. When we don’t get replies or the replies die because of something we
said, we tend to feel hurt and unappreciated. We want to learn how to better that.
Humour makes it a little easier to tolerate and this forum is for other people to express themselves with others who share the same affliction. We
hope to learn to post better posts. Simple as that, but hopefully not at the risk of losing our own individuality or personality traits that make us
[edit on 26-9-2005 by nikelbee]