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ETHICS...

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posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 06:21 AM
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It is so great to read viewpoints which state that ethics do in fact exist.
I am a firm believer in ethics, as opposed to morals, which vary from culture to culture and over time.
Ethics is eternal.
Good is good and bad is bad, period.
Thank you for affirming that for me.
This site is setting a great example of ethical conduct. Granted, the copy paste copywrite infringement comment is valid, and can be improved, but overall, I am very impressed.




posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 06:44 AM
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You have a great site. I've been well and truly sucked in. You can often find me reading about some crazy left field topic when I should be doing something more constructive. I wholeheartedly support your standpoint on ethics, I feel it is a shame that people are out to exploit others hard work, but I'm not surprised in the least. I can only speak for myself, and I support you 100% I suspect that I am in the overwhelming majority. All the best for what is to come.



posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 07:10 AM
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Springer started a thread on ethics, because I gave him a heads up on my "what the Overlord thinks" and wanted to steal my thunder... how unethical!


And as it turned out, I didn't have enough time to commit to a podcast, so I'll hammer my thoughts out here... bear with me... this is from my podcast notes:


The Ethics of Conspiracy Theorists



One thing thing that has always concerned me is not just ethics in general, but especially the "ethics" of online conspiracy theorists. I'm certain everyone reading this will know exactly what I'm talking about, if you don't, you're in denial.

How many times have we seen slip-shod ideas tossed together with half-truths (or outright lies), sprinkled with plagiarized snippets, and highlighted by irresponsible conclusions that are aggressively presented as "in your face truth" by a highly vocal author? It "feels" like this happens in online conspiracy theory circles more often than not. We have a problem.

We've seen this often enough here on ATS. Also, many of the sites you find through a simple google search on "9/11 conspiracy" brings up an overwhelming amount of material that falls into this category. Lots of suspect websites... gobs of bad research... mountains of bad science... terrabytes of plagiarism... the list goes on. And that's just one (recent) conspiracy theory topic.

And that's too bad, because I'm certain that somewhere, deep in all those links, there are some singularly important kernels of information that might make a difference... but are getting lost either because of the impossible amount of bad information, or because of the laughable ethics of a significant percentage of authors.

This thread is inspired because we've recently experienced our content being improperly used by a group with high suspect motives and ethics. Our creative commons deed clearly states that you have the freedom to display or use our material, as long as you provide proper reference, don't create a derivative work, and don't use it in a commercial venture. These people followed none of the simple methods for using our content, clearly linked on everywhere on ATS.

In the universe of conspiracy theory and conspiracy theorists, the longest standing issue we have is credibility. We're often scoffed at by the general public, mainstream media, stock brokers, lawyers, loan sharks, mafia hit men, con artists, guys who steal balloons from children, and a long list I could recite all night. There are a wide range of reasons "our" credibility suffers. Sometimes, our poor credibility stems from the style of presentation and the mind-numbingly broad range of conflicting topics I eluded to. But I firmly believe the single-most important contributing factor is the alarming lack of ethical standards across a broad range of so-called "conspiracy theorists". If an author has demonstrated a lack of ethics in the development of an article, all their material is suddenly suspect.

If we don't have an obviously ethical approach to creating our theories, collaborating with each other, and publishing our results we will never gain a degree of credibility that will break through and get the attention of joe armchair.

On top of all of this, here's the "slap-your-forehead" stupid thing, nothing is more simple that being ethical. if you're using the work of someone else, give them credit and link to them. Some one else has a brilliant theory? Celebrate their brilliant contribution by ensure credit. It doesn't matter where a great idea comes from, what matters is that we have it!

Being ethical is the easiest thing in the world to do... far easier than researching conspiracies.

The ethics of sharing and the culture of collaboration are at the heart of the internet. When these two attributes are running smoothly, the heart of an Internet community beats with a strong undeniable rhythm. When any one of these falter, even a little bit, the vital arteries of an online community clog up with chaotic irrelevance.

This culture of collaboration and the ethics of sharing is the crux of our decision to move to the legally tested and highly regarded creative commons deed for all the content appearing on ATS. To encourage sharing and collaboration, our content is free to use, under some simple guidelines. But, to protect the stellar intellectual property created by our members, we will take action when we notice the guidelines being ignored. Is it too much to simply expect anyone using our content to use it under the same ethical standards we would use theirs?

It's ironic that before this soon before this event happened to us, we began a more serious effort to encourage our members to do just that, be more ethical in sourcing external content. We want to ensure that we make it obvious and clear when we're using the material of someone else in our posts. This not only gives credit to the person who created it, but it sends traffic and attention to the site that is hosting it. Such a sourcing strategy isn't just about ethics, it's about being a "quality Internet citizen". (not to mention it's just plain nice)

So let's make an overt effort to step up and show how an ethical conspiracy theory website operates. It's not hard. And trust me, you'll feel better for it.



(Thanks for hanging in on this rambling long rant converted from notes for a podcast. I received advice on creating long posts from Majic so hopefully it worked out.)



posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Springer started a thread on ethics, because I gave him a heads up on my "what the Overlord thinks" and wanted to steal my thunder... how unethical!



umm yeah... SkepticOverlord I am going to need you to go ahead and come in on Saturday too... Did you get the memo on the t-59 cover sheets?


I wake up this morning and start my coffee only to see the "Lady of the Lake" who is the ONLY non cointelpro psychopath on the planet, according to herself at least, has regurgitated several other people's work on her blog now...


This lass knows NO BOUNDS to what she will simply take for her own. One wonders what the limits of self exposure are. How far will she go before her "followers" start smelling it?

I guess it really doesn't matter how far she will go, when the EU legal system knocks on her door I assume the limits will be set by them.

Back to the matter at hand this morning.

S.O. has illuminated, very eloquently one of the biggest reasons for ethics to be at the core of what we do here, CREDIBILITY. It's real easy to illustrate right here.

After reading this thread[/] on this site and reading "that Lass' diatribe on that site which site/group of people are you more likely to trust?

When dealing in circumstantial evidence, eye witness reports, and the like (darn little or no physical evidence) credibility is really ALL you have. ATS' ownership has never tried to "sell" a product to its membership (sans the few shirts at the gear store but you know what I mean), the ONLY thing we have ever tried to "sell" is the opportunity to get your version of reality "out there" to collaborate with others. Our price for this? Common Decency.

That's right, all we ask is our members act with common decency toward one another.

Bottom line of this mess is we are pursuing legal action. This will not stand as it is. Our acceptable remedy will be: they adjust the presentation of the content to meet the Creative Commons rules we sent them in the first emails and they remove the nasty slander and outright lies against Simon Gray, SkepticOverlord and myself in their blog.

We don't want any damages, we don't want anything but them to follow the rules. If they would've been decent in the beginning we wouldn't have to deal with this now. They weren't, so deal with it we will.

Our hope is in the future when someone wants to use our content they wil follow the simple requirements laid out in the CC license knowing if they choose not to they will be brought to justice. There is much precedence in our favor and the EU is very good about these dealings.


EDIT: One other thing we have going for us is the LLP (AboveTopSecret.com, LLP) is a British Company registered with Company House in the U.K. This gives us status as a European Union Entity which will come in handy pursuing someone in France.


Springer...

[edit on 1-11-2006 by Springer]



posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 10:35 AM
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donate them to a relevent charity, like a watchdog organization, or human rights group like Amnesty International.
It is not my goal to seek damages as punishment per se, but to make it exceedingly clear how important it is to avoid lying about people, and slandering them. It is a very serious, and potentially damaging act that is totally unnecessary at best, and downright malicious at worst.
If these people get off with just a reprimand and need only apologize and remove the posting, they are apt to conclude that character assassination is not that big of a deal. They need to learn that it is.
I had to get that out. This site is very helpful for me. I have learned a lot, and been thanked for sharing things with others here. It is typical that a good community like this, which is so useful to so many people, ends up the target of an attack like that. The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.



posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
donate them to a relevent charity, like a watchdog organization, or human rights group like Amnesty International.


That's an excellent point.

We tend not to be vindictive by nature, and would rather show (by example) how a successful collaborative environment should operate.

We're discussing things right now with an experienced IP attorney. We'll see what he recommends as far as demands and compensation.



posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
donate them to a relevent charity, like a watchdog organization, or human rights group like Amnesty International.
.


We don't want money, we want justice. We want the message to go out to the internet that people who have nefarious goals will NOT meet them.

Taking money is a trivial and usually untenable outcome (they simply go bankrupt and disolve assets) to something like this. While forcing them to follow the rules or GO TO JAIL is an exceedingly REASONABLE request.

Our goals are NOT MONETARY, be it for charity or otherwise. Our goals are the free exchange of information. The free exchange of information within the guidelines of Creative Commons Licensure and common decency/respect.

This is a case of right and wrong. These people are wrong, have been getting away with being wrong for years. Every time they've been called down to answer they have pointed their "psychopathic" fingers at everyone else. "It's the 'cointelpro' hounds NOT US. It's the psychopaths NOT US."

Well when we bring them to court to answer for this one, AND the Judge sees all we want is them to follow the LAW, he or she will most likely hand down a severe sentence.

The BEST part will be we will enter into the PUBLIC RECORD these people's entire history of shams and dishonest activities. We will do so to prove intent and past behavior.

Don't you imagine this will be THE TRIAL of the DECADE covered by every interested web entity on the internet?
Money doesn't enter into this.

Our E.U. membership and our impeccable record of ethically managing this site combined with the reality of the opposition's history will win the day for sure.

Springer...



[edit on 1-11-2006 by Springer]



posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 11:13 AM
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I believe you're not in this for money, and always have felt that was the case. I apologize for the outburst, it was not my place to say anything. I have faced defamatory and totally false accusations and it was pretty traumatic for me. Why people do this is beyond me, I wish you well in your battle.



posted on Jan, 12 2006 @ 09:43 AM
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May want to get in contact with Jay Weidner and Vincent Bridges, I am certain that they would make most excellent character and practical ethics application witnesses against Laura Knight Jadczyk and Dr. Ark.






seekerof

[edit on 12-1-2006 by Seekerof]



posted on Jan, 12 2006 @ 10:37 AM
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The Long And Winding Post


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
(Thanks for hanging in on this rambling long rant converted from notes for a podcast. I received advice on creating long posts from Majic so hopefully it worked out.)

You're doing great!


Of course, I would be a poor mentor if I didn't have some criticism for you. Double the post length and the per-word syllable count and you may well be ready to advance from Padawan to Apprentice.


The People's Court


Originally posted by Springer
Bottom line of this mess is we are pursuing legal action. This will not stand as it is. Our acceptable remedy will be: they adjust the presentation of the content to meet the Creative Commons rules we sent them in the first emails and they remove the nasty slander and outright lies against Simon Gray, SkepticOverlord and myself in their blog.

We don't want any damages, we don't want anything but them to follow the rules. If they would've been decent in the beginning we wouldn't have to deal with this now. They weren't, so deal with it we will.

While it's regrettable that this has become necessary, and I hold out hope that a settlement may yet be reached in lieu of trial, I am proud to see the ATS staff stand up for our community.

It's easy to think of this as a staff-only matter, but it's not. What SOTT is doing is not just wrong, it's an offense to every member of ATS.

They haven't just stolen from us, but they have insulted us on top of that.

These things can be forgiven, but not until they decide to do the right thing, comply with the law and make reasonable amends for their wrongful deeds.

If that requires legal action, then so be it, and god speed.

Mad Dogs And Englishmen


Originally posted by Springer
EDIT: One other thing we have going for us is the LLP (AboveTopSecret.com, LLP) is a British Company registered with Company House in the U.K. This gives us status as a European Union Entity which will come in handy pursuing someone in France.

Jolly good show old chap, and whatnot.


Shill Game

Some readers of my posts may wonder why the hell I'm such a cheerleader for the ATS staff, especially after having been a Councilor for only a single session.

Any good conspiracy theorist would ask: Am I a shill?

No, I'm not. My only association with the staff has been as a member, Councilor representing my fellow members and as a member of the Deny Ignorance Steering Committee (DISC), which leverages the opinions and expertise of certain members for certain projects as needed.

Ironically, it is my access to the DISC forum in particular which has had possibly the strong influence on my opinion.

The DISC forum contains a lot of information, including “behind the scenes” threads, which document many things that went on before I ever became a member here.

ATS Secrets: Revealed!

When I first gained access to DISC, I took it upon myself to read through much of the older threads and see what sort of “dirt” I could dig up. I mean hey, wouldn't you, given the chance?


It's natural and in-character for conspiracy theorists to assume that the veil of secrecy which surrounds ATS is there to cover up sinister plots and evil deeds. After all, our curious and suspicious nature is what leads most of us to ATS in the first place.

What I found, however, in looking back through what amounts to a sampling of the “archives”, was a surprise – a pleasant surprise.

I discovered that there's really no difference (that I could see, anyway) between how the senior staff behaves “behind closed doors” and how they conduct themselves publicly. Sure, there's stuff they won't mention publicly, but it's always for good reason.

Granted, I haven't been privy to moderators-only forums such as Cosmic or the Trash Bin (where I must imagine some REAL juicy tidbits may be found), but based on what I have had access to, when it comes to the ATS staff, what you see is what you get.

SOTT accuses ATS of being some sort of government-run COINTELPRO operation. Nothing I have seen at any time nor in any place even remotely suggests this is true.

My respect for the ATS staff goes up as my knowledge of them goes up.

Folks, that is a very good thing, and one of the reasons I'm such a loyal ATS fanboi now.

The ATS staff may not be perfect, but they ARE ethical.

They practice what they preach, and that has earned my utmost respect.

Can I Get A Witness

Of course, maybe I really am just a shill, and a COINTELPRO agent to boot, right? A “sock puppet” for The Man, perhaps?

Well, if I am, then I would be a fool to publicly say what I'm about to say.

Public Deposition

I am not an employee, contractor, agent, representative, proxy, functionary or surrogate for any government organization. I am also not an employee or contractor of any corporation or business entity of which I do not have complete control.

I speak, write and act of my own free will and represent the interests of no one but myself.

My association with the ownership and staff of ATS is solely as a member of the website and community, and at no time has any member of the ATS staff ever coached me to say any of what I have said about ATS.

I have no financial, personal, legal or any other connection with any member of the ATS staff except for those stated here and a small number of private communications via U2U, and in a couple of cases via Skype (Skype rox!).

My experiences with the ATS staff as a member, Councilor and Deny Ignorance Steering Committee member have established to me beyond doubt the exemplary character and integrity of the ATS ownership and staff.

They have earned my respect and I am not at all ashamed to say it whenever I can.

I am also willing to assert these facts in a sworn deposition if called upon to do so in any legal proceeding at the request of the ownership of ATS.

I would prefer not to, however, because doing so would reveal my true identity, and I prefer to keep that off the public record.

However, I would do so if the ATS ownership asked me to.

Handling The Truth

I have seen many accusations leveled against the ATS staff and membership that I know for an irrefutable fact are false.

And not just false, but slanderous and defamatory as well.

The ATS staff is gracious and forbearing, but I caution that it would be foolish to mistake their good nature for stupidity.

Here's hoping that those who have made this distressing mistake will be inspired to correct it soon.

Very sincerely,

Majic
Proud ATS Member



posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by Springer
 



"I remember when unscrupulous was shameful - now it's a lifestyle choice."




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