I see it's time for the latest round of "ATS ain't what it used to be"...
Originally posted by Ezekiel
When I joined this site back in 2002 it was a much different place.
Yes it was.
Intelligent people gathered for civil discussion on a wide variety of topics.
Really? No offense to you and others that have this memory, but have you gone back to look at the posts from that era? People tend to have a fondness
for the nostalgia of "what was". While there were certainly gems on ATS in the early years, the percentage of distractions was no less than it is
today... there just more of everything
Lately however, the number of people posting ridiculous, ignorant and often offensive threads has increased to a level that has seriously
ruined my enjoyment of this site.
That's unfortunate, really... and let me assure you this is indeed something staff has discussed and is discussing, and will always discuss.
However... let me rant for a moment...
(I've made this rant before) If members with these types of issues/complaints diverted the time they spent lamenting the decreased quality to
creating quality posts, we'd have much less of an issue wouldn't we? But I digress, and that rant does little to address your issue doesn't it?
Part of the problem is of our own making -- (1) We work hard at making sure we are not perceived as taking "sides" on any issue, while encouraging
free and open discussion of nearly any issue; and (2) People are essentially somewhat lazy, preferring to respond to a great post, rather than
creating one themselves (oops, a little of my rant again).
People like our pirate friend coming on here and making very offensive comments about Freemasons and some of the truly ridiculous posts
regarding people "being in contact with Alien overlords in the center of the earth" are reducing this site to little more than a regular trashy
internet forum with all of the immature postings and ridiculous stories that go with it.
Again I don't think the crap-to-quality ratio is any different than it ever was, it's just easier to notice thinks like that due to our size. "Back
in the day" when you joined ATS, we were little more than a dingy conspiracy cafe in a little-traveled corner of an out of the way storefront. Now,
we're a massive conspiracy buffet with 2001 menu items and 100 daily specials in a gleaming high-end strip-mall with overflow parking across the
street. While that small cafe may have been a better overall experience for some conspiracy-minded individuals, it does nothing to spread our topics
out to people that will benefit from reading your posts.
Is it worth it?
Let me ask you a very serious question... I believe you think some of the items we discuss here on ATS are very important (as do I), and deserve
exposure. Is it worth learning how to deal with these issues (and crap) in an effort to ensure nearly 2 million people a month are exposed to what we
discuss? I think it is... I would venture all our staff do as well. It's a trade-off, and it's not easy... but then, nothing worthwhile is ever
I sincerely hope that the moderators do some more to lift the level of discussion in some of the threads I have seen in the last few months. I
am referring mostly to the offensive comments made by a few members who seem intent on starting arguments in the Secret Society board through ignorant
comments regarding Freemasons.
The secret societies forum has always attracted this, and unfortunately, likely always will. There are a segment of people with terrible experiences
with Freemasons, just as there are excellent Freemasons who hope to use their membership for general good.
We Are Doing Something...
But yes, there are at least two topics of discussion currently among staff to examine how to increase the overall quality of our core topics. Here are
Springer's Pet Project:
We've been working at bringing a group who can provide first-hand experience about a serious, deep, and confirmed
government cover-up from the Vietnam era that has indications of reoccurring today in regards to the Iraq war. Stay tuned.
This dedicated site was delayed because of the server upgrades, but will soon be back on track. Only "Conspiracy Masters"
will be able to create new threads in the forum, and participation will be allowed only for members who have more than 200 posts. When we launch,
we'll have the means for members to nominate other members to become a Conspiracy Master.
New Member Database:
The core member database (that stores all your crap) has been completely rebuilt into a new structure specifically to
accommodate new attributes for improved systems of rewarding and recognizing quality contributions. It's one thing to make a great post, it's
another to make sure it gets seen.
ATS Is What You Make It
We've stayed far away from promoting causes and singular-topic-focus for one consistently clear reason, ATS is a member-driven website... it is
purely what you make it. And at the same time you've made this complaint, we've been getting more private compliments for the quality of this
discussion board... but those always come from new members.
You see, it's natural for experienced members to have these feelings. Usually, six months is a defining moment in any active member. It takes that
long to fully absorb ATS. And after they're finished, they either grow bored because of many of your reasons (having found a familiarity with the
topics), or begin to make an effort to make quality contributions.
"Something" is working correctly. We've done little more than search-engine optimize our site technology, and the demand for our topics has grown
in leaps-and-bounds. Your posts (good, bad, or ugly) are attracting visitors at such a phenomenal level we're one of the most actively visited
discussion boards on the Internet, with a need for monstrous technology. That kind of demand is for a reason... people want to learn more about what
Sure, there have been and always will be poor quality posts, and we're constantly trying to promote better quality within the boundaries of how ATS
is managed. But where else can you post your theories on a conspiracy that can be exposed to nearly 2 million people a month? That's a powerful tool.
And that's good reason to be in the gleaming strip-mall and not the dingy corner cafe.