Dear fellow members,
I want to raise awareness of the rules for quoting posts:
ABOUT ATS: Warnings for excessive quoting, and how to quote
These rules, along with others, have been established by the administrators to help ensure a high level of post and content quality on
AboveTopSecret.com, which benefits everyone by making posts and threads easier to read and understand.
I'm focusing on quoting because it's one of the most visible problems I see as a moderator skimming through threads looking for innocent members to
Many of us have become lax about quoting, and many new members may not know that excessive quoting is prohibited. The problem is compounded when new
members see old members using poor quoting form, and the problem quickly gets out of hand.
It's not that members intend to be sloppy or negligent. We're human, we post a lot, and it's natural for us to forget these sorts of things if
we're not reminded about them now and then.
That's why I haven't been handing out quote warnings (which cost points), but instead making edits or -- where there's a lot of excessive quoting
in a thread -- going so far as to make off-topic posts asking members to trim their quotes.
I'm sure some members may get the wrong idea and think of this as some sort of "crackdown", but that is simply not the mentality here.
Think of it as a campaign: I want to encourage my fellow members to clean up those quotes and improve the post quality on ATS, simple as that.
That's where you can help. One by one, with each post, we can do this. Not by handing out massive numbers of quote warns, not by threatening anyone,
but by simply taking note of the quoting policy and saying, "Okay!"
No muss, no fuss, no drama, and no warns.
Regarding warns, please bear in mind that any quote violation is warnable, and you can be docked points by any staff member for any and all violations
Each quote warn isn't too costly, but they can add up, and if you are the subject of repeated and persistent warns, further steps may be taken.
I haven't issued any warnings yet, but members who ignore my repeated requests to clean up their quotes may get them. Before I go "drawing my gun"
on anyone, however, I really, really
want to make sure they know better first.
I don't want to knock points off anyone for an honest mistake, and I will give all members the benefit of the doubt.
when there's doubt.
While we're on the subject of quotes, be sure to use the [ex] and [/ex] tags to quote material from sources external to ATS:
New External Source Tags
These tags are designed to ensure that non-ATS copyrighted material is clearly identified in our discussions, so that it is handled legally and
This is very important to the integrity of our community, so I urge all members to remember to be diligent in using these tags.
I can understand some members -- especially new members -- feeling overwhelmed by the many rules and procedures we must follow, but the benefits come
in the form of a discussion forum second to none and a rich set of features for members to take advantage of.
As with these policies and any ATS policy or staff action, members are encouraged to ask questions and express any concerns they may have.
No, the administrators probably won't go changing a site policy because a single member doesn't like it. But ATS is very focused on what the
membership as a whole wants, and it's the combined feedback of many members that guides the administrators in making their decisions.
If you ever have any questions, comments or concerns about anything on ATS, the staff is committed to helping you. Don't hesitate to U2U a moderator
or Councilor, submit a Suggestion or, in cases that may be of interest to many members, post to the Board Questions & Business forum.
It is unfortunate but common that Us/Them dichotomies can form between members and staff on Internet discussion forums, but I believe ATS is
We are all
members of the best conspiracy community on the Internet, all have a passion for the unknown, and can all help one another to
improve the quality of our contributions and our discussions.
It's a lofty goal, but one that is within our reach, and your ATS staff -- your fellow members -- are here to help.
I encourage anyone who wishes to comment or ask questions about the quoting policy to fire away in this thread.
Discussion is what we do best.