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Courtesy Is Mandatory

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posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 09:08 PM
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Majic

Being rude is part of human nature in times of stress unless you are born rude.

Should we sit for tea and cookies now?


[edit on 4-8-2006 by marg6043]




posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 10:43 PM
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The Savage Beast


Originally posted by marg6043
Should we sit for tea and cookies now?

Tea and cookies are optional, but courtesy is not.


Many activities are a part of human nature that are not tolerated in civilized societies, such as theft, murder, rape, assault, etc.

All societies have their norms, customs and laws which, if not observed, can lead to trouble.

On ATS courteous behavior is expected and required by the T&C, and members incapable of it tend to be banned sooner or later.

Obviously since both you and I are still here, the standards aren't impossibly high.


But we do have standards, and we do enforce them.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 11:07 PM
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I have to say, i'm finding it harder to be civil to a certain few who are self-appointed Gods here now.

I've been posting here a long time but lately, some just want to be contrary just to be contrary and their facts are about as far off as one can get.

It's no longer fun here. Too bad there's a few rotten apples...I hope this is a passing thing... I dont have to be right. I can argue with the best of them. Sometimes i get some facts wrong, as others do. But there are a few here now who spoil it for some of us by badgering us and belittleing us. Accusations, etc.

These days i'd rather u2u some of my friends. I no longer post stories because they have no "value".....The tittle is "deceiving"....Too bad. I've never seen such a gathering of pompous arses in one place in awhile.

Oh well, nothing lasts forever...i can only sit and wait to see if things change. BECAUSE, if i start "Splaining" what i really feel, ill be booted out of here faster than you can say Arroz con Pollo.

So- i will just lie low, lurk a little and hope for the best. And btw, i think sticking with the topic of the thread should also be mandatory. Just my 2 cents.

PS....I love most of you.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 11:36 PM
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I haven't been here that long. But, I always try to answer with a source, and even if I quote somebodies post, I don't address them personally or confrontingly (is that a word?).

I'll just give my thoughts (even after a quote from another), give my thoughts on the subject and usually try to back it up with a source.

I HATE, and usually don't end up reading a whole thread when 2 posters are in a pissing match and more or less take the thread over.



posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 01:36 AM
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Well, I'm beginning to learn here that the law of the jungle is part and parcel of PTS. People are brutal here.

It's only in small circles where you find people who are truly kind, considerate and worthwhile to be around. They are posters who see you more than a representative of a topic or an issue. They continue to talk to you no matter what. They also respect you.





[edit on 8-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 06:04 AM
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One more thing, please...

Advise to you all- Do not ever pour your heart out on a subject or all about yourself, where you come from and what you know.

Save yourself some grief.



posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 08:58 AM
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Originally posted by dgtempe
One more thing, please...

Advise to you all- Do not ever pour your heart out on a subject or all about yourself, where you come from and what you know.

Save yourself some grief.


unless your going to put it into RATS tempe


I told the tale of my youth in a thread there and have had nothing but good responses.
thankfully...I would never have posted it on the main boards however.

very personal, and very very real.

The thread is called: My Personal Experience with Organized Crime and Conspiracy

I am glad to have shared this with the RATS peeps.. even though at first I was a bit hesitant.



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 08:51 PM
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Majic
Tone23
Way Above. Thank You Majic for clarifying this issue, we need this place as a safe place and tone I just love your honesty.
Bandit, about a year ago made an almost similar post ( No more Scuffling and Ridicule), perhaps we need some "house cleaning once a year.
WIS



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 04:06 AM
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True Oppression

Lately, in various ways and in various forums, I've seen some members complain about "oppressive" moderators suppressing "free speech".

These complaints usually arise in response to moderators requesting that members stay on topic.

They also arise when moderators ask members to comment on the topics instead of attacking or abusing other members.

True oppression is being unable to express your honest opinions without being shouted down, harassed and attacked by obnoxious trolls.

This form of oppression will not be tolerated on ATS.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 06:02 AM
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Rah Rah'' Majic

Rah Rah'...

It has been my experience that at times the Mods are even too acceptable, but I can see why with the immediate rush to accuse a mod of censorship from some members.

Semper



posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by semperfortis
It has been my experience that at times the Mods are even too acceptable,
Semper


Even though we don't agree with the message, it is essential to ATS. There is a fine line to walk on the subject. What to permit, and what to exclude in my opinion is a tough one to decipher.

Respect, Courtesy & Open-Mindedness

If a member brings up a controversial matter that is going to offend people, these three things are required. If they can do this, ATS should permit the discussion and I believe they have. But if a member tries to discuss the same topic without showing Respect, Courtesy or Open-Mindedness to the other side of the coin than this conversation has no place on ATS. Respect & Courtesy have to be viewed as mandatory, while Open-Mindedness in my opinion is a credit to the author.

This is a place for an intellectual discussion. Denying Ignorance is our purpose here. If we refuse the ignorant the ability to post, how are we going to Deny it?

So too acceptable can easily translate into testing our membership.



posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 03:44 PM
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opinions are like A-holes...everyone has one and most of them stink..

especially yours Majic....lol....jk.(totally kidding majic....so you know.. your tops in my book...
)

Seriously though.
I can totally agree that it is often times that those cartain members get pissed at mods for correcting them. They fail to swallow thier own pride for half a second and say... gee maybe they were right.. maybe me calling this person a "tinfoil freak, retard" or a " neocon nazi" was not staying on topic of the debate. But that almost never happens with those that feel the need to publically debate the MODS on why they were disciplined in the first place. And often times those people tend to have short lived careers on this board.

With the size of this board And the relatively few staff (by comparrison) You guys do a heck of a job trying to keep this board to a higher standard. It is a position that I personally do not envy. Maybe some of those that complain so openly should try their hands at some of the other boards on the net... most are nowhere near as civil as this.

sorry to ramble just had some stuff on the noodle.

have a great day,

TONE23

[edit on 9/18/2006 by TONE23]

[edit on 9/18/2006 by TONE23]



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 06:50 PM
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Yet Another Long-Winded But Heartfelt Monologue On Courtesy (And Timely Thread Bump)

You know, it's kind of funny.

In the Slug-Fest forum, I experimented with relaxing the rules about personal attacks because hey, it's Slug-Fest, right?

Overwhelmingly, members rejected the idea and insisted that -- even in Slug-Fest -- the staff enforce the rules against personal attacks.

Nevertheless, when it comes to everyday discussion, personal attacks are increasingly popular these days, it seems. And with them, we get complaints.

Lots of complaints about personal attacks. We get complaints when we do something about them, and we get complaints when we don't.

'Tis a puzzlement.


Nothing Personal

As usual, I'm going to ask that we avoid personal commentary about each other, and I really do hope we can. But a request repeated too often will tend to lose its novelty and be overlooked.

Such is human nature.

We all do it, and I'm not pointing fingers at anyone in particular -- especially since the majority of our members are, to be blunt, extraordinarily courteous. Admirably so, in fact, and I'll gladly stack our membership up against anyone else's, because we rock.

Still, we ain't perfect. All board cultures have their ebbs and flows, and we all have our bad hair days, sometimes more often than others.

The staff can't change the way people think or post, nor should we be able to or want to, but we can enforce the rules against inappropriate behavior.

In fact, it is our duty to do so.

Warning Signs

So I'll put it this way: we usually ask nicely first and try to keep the peace without hitting skittles any more than necessary, but if any member gets hit with a warning flag "out of the blue", it isn't really "out of the blue".

It's spelled out clearly in the T&C and there is certainly no shortage of public reminders about ATS standards for courtesy, including this thread.

If you post any kind of insult against any member for any reason (yes, even if they started it), you can be warned. And not just once, but multiple times at the sole discretion of the staff.

You can also be post-banned and even permanently banned for just one nasty post, also at the sole discretion of the staff.

So the only way to guarantee not to suffer such woeful consequences is to avoid posting personal attacks.

Common Defense

For those who receive a warning and respond by complaining about some other member not receiving a warning, please be reminded that we issue warnings at our sole discretion, and are usually aware of circumstances other members might not be aware of.

Often we'll try U2Us instead of warning flags to see if we can bring a member around without punitive action. We also consider things such as post history, prior offenses, time on the board (new members sometimes need time to adjust to our ways), the circumstances in the thread and yes, even the "gut instincts" of the moderator in question, because we actively encourage our mods to follow their hearts when dealing with fellow members.

If you receive a warning, please don't berate us for trying to avoid giving out warnings to others. I don't think most members would like it if we hit the warning skittle for every T&C violation without exception. We'd be doing that a lot and there wouldn't be many of us left.


More to the point, misconduct on the part of one member does not excuse misconduct on the part of another member. If you earn a warning and receive one, remember: you earned it.

By way of example, the next time a traffic cop pulls you over to give you a speeding ticket, try pointing out the fact that other people were speeding but he didn't pull all of them over, too. See what that gets you.


We get "moderator ____ warned me but not ____" complaints fairly often. Such complaints are usually politely ignored, though we reserve the right to ridicule them mercilessly behind your back.

Mods need to blow off steam too, you know.


Fair Warning

I think we go out of our way to avoid giving warnings without, well... fair warning, and I'm personally a big fan of cutting members as much slack as possible in that department, because we're only human.

However, at some point being too lax about enforcing our courtesy standards becomes dereliction of duty on our part, and here's the kicker: when that happens, you let us know.

Based on what I'm seeing in the forums lately, including the Complaints forum, you're letting us know.

So I hope I can be forgiven for posting such a long diatribe yet again to this thread, but I want you to know: we're listening.

We don't like handing out warnings, but the feedback from the community -- you -- is overwhelming.

So please, be courteous, and if you should slip up and get a warning flag under your avatar, please accept it graciously.

As always, if you think you were warned in error, don't hesitate to submit a Complaint/Suggestion and let us know. We'll look into it, and if we screwed up, we'll try to make things right. That hasn't changed and will never change.

But if you were warned for insulting another member for any reason and you really did, don't bother.

It may be painful, but it's for our own good.





Edit: Fixed an inadvertent double title.


[edit on 3/5/2007 by Majic]



posted on Apr, 25 2007 @ 02:36 PM
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Thanks Majic for that timely thread bump.

I was just in a H2H with a member where we could not possibly agree with each other in our views, however we did not have to resort to child like name calling or flaming to put our views across. We instead resorted to mutual respect for our different opinions and it made for one heck of a debate.

Respect peoples opinions, and ignore peoples personal attacks. If a member is getting way too out of hand and personally attacks me regularly there is the option of just ignoring them. The great thing about the ignore feature on this board is you no longer see the posts from the person that is being offensive.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 03:18 PM
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Not to be contentious but I'd like to offer my viewpoints on this topic as it's something my attention has been drawn to already.

Is there a "Professionalism Is Mandatory" thread in the mods-only forum? One of the largest negatives I've observed about ATS is the inconsistent modding.

The OP has mentioned "discretion" several times in explaining how those in power here utilize their authority, and truthfully it does seem that discretion plays 95% of the role in modding while perhaps 5% accounts for equal and unbiased judgment of the members in holding everyone equally accountable for the T&S.

I've seen warnings handed out for extremely trivial things where leniency would have been most appropriate, and I've seen unprovoked, offensive insults and degradation toward others be blatantly ignored. I've also observed members receive chastisement for simply retaliating against the insults of another member, despite acting under deliberate provocation.

Strictly speaking from the viewpoint of an observer with still relatively new impressions of ATS, I am not impressed in the slightest with ATS modding. An iron hand seems to rule here and it is clearly apparent to me that not all members are held equally accountable for T&S infractions.

I've been involved as both an observer and participant of many various forums through the years and in my opinion, if ATS aspires to set the bar in competent, professional modding of an online community... there is much work to be done. As it stands, I see no reason to believe ATS modding is carried out with any less bias or absurdity than the modding I've observed on other forums.

Again this isn't contentiousness but a viewpoint.

Regards,
see



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 06:42 PM
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Setting The Bar


Originally posted by seeingevil
I've been involved as both an observer and participant of many various forums through the years and in my opinion, if ATS aspires to set the bar in competent, professional modding of an online community... there is much work to be done. As it stands, I see no reason to believe ATS modding is carried out with any less bias or absurdity than the modding I've observed on other forums.

Of course there's nothing at all contentious about this viewpoint.


I don't think anyone has represented the ATS staff as being perfect, but we do strive very hard to be the best, and the foundation for that is respect for and service to our fellow members.

To be sure, there is indeed much work to be done, day in and day out, and much room for improvement, as there will always be.

One of the biggest challenges we face stems from the fact that ATS is so huge and moves so fast that it can be difficult - if not impossible -- to keep up. With thousands of active threads to keep track of, it's not uncommon for a flame war to break out in one of them, for example, and get extremely ugly in a matter of minutes. It happens all the time, as I'm sure you're aware.

We've recently increased the number of moderators and will continue to do so as necessary, but I don't anticipate we'll ever see "a cop on every corner" for many good reasons. Even the nature of the discussion forum format itself imposes practical limits on what moderators can do.

Also, the nature of our community is such that ATSers tend to take a dim view of excessive scrutiny of their actions, and we're sensitive to that concern.

Our members expect and deserve a certain degree of latitude when they share their opinions here. Heavy-handed and excessive moderation would kill our community, and we know it.

Rather, I think it's better to encourage good behavior on the part of all members and handle the exceptions as best we can. Additionally, we consider our members to be essential partners in managing the forums, and are always grateful when a helpful member alerts us to a problem.

Ironically, despite your assertion that "an iron hand seems to rule here", the bulk of your complaint apparently arises from the fact that we don't run the boards with an iron hand.

If we did, you might have less to complain about, but I'm sure our community would be much, much smaller.


Requiem For Robocop

You are absolutely correct in pointing out that moderators rely heavily on personal discretion.

We do NOT slap warns on members for every violation, nor do we edit out every T&C violation we find, nor do we permanently ban every member even for egregious violations.

If that was our goal, I imagine SkepticOverlord could probably have written a clever script to handle those tasks and we could dispense with human moderators altogether.

By analogy, traffic cops don't -- and can't -- issue citations to every motorist who breaks the speed limit, and it would be irrational to expect them to. Conversely, it would also be irrational to expect traffic cops to refrain from issuing citations merely because they can't cite everyone equally, either.

And worst of all would be a world in which there was such totalitarian control that drivers wouldn't even be allowed to control their own vehicles.

Rather, the rational thing to do is voluntarily avoid breaking the law and thereby avoid citations altogether.


The Personal Touch

Our staff consists of volunteer ATSers who have agreed to support the membership by impartially and faithfully enforcing the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use.

We are not perfect, and each of us has bad days like anyone else. Occasionally we'll get a "bad apple" in the staff barrel as well.

With full awareness of this, we encourage any member who sees misconduct on the part of any moderator to let us know by submitting a complaint about it.

As we've pointed out many times, how we handle such complaints may not be obvious, but I can assure you that we have little patience for abusive staff members.

It's also important to bear in mind that much of what we do as moderators involves private U2Us to members and other actions taken behind the scenes. We prefer to deal with members as individuals.

Each member is unique. What is appropriate for one member may not be appropriate for another. As moderators, we try to use the best strategy for achieving a positive outcome in each case.

To an outside observer, that may look like uneven enforcement. To an inside observer, there's no better way to do it.

I'm hopeful that perhaps someday, with the benefit of more than three days of membership, you may come to appreciate the wisdom of this approach.

Manners Of Support

I'm aware that none of what I say may convince you of anything. I'm used to it.


By design, ATS is moderated by human beings who are imperfect and will make mistakes. The result may not be perfect, but I'm convinced it's the best result possible.

And hey, we really do appreciate constructive criticism, so if you have a better idea, we're listening (although if it isn't about courtesy, you should probably start a different thread so we can keep this one on topic).

However, I think it's important to bear in mind that the quality of our forums depends much less on the staff than the membership as a whole, because without good members ATS would be nothing.

It's not our place as moderators to put words in the mouths of our members. Our role is to help provide members the best possible environment in which to express their own opinions.

I firmly believe we've got the best membership on the Internet. If I thought there was a better place to be, I'd be there.

It is because we are convinced of the superior quality of our community that we as staff members strive to give it service worthy of that distinction.

We may fall short in some ways, but we always do our best.

Knowing that, I hope you and every member reading this may be willing to help make ATS the best it can possibly be, and -- hearkening back to the topic of this thread -- a good place to start is by simply being courteous to one another.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 06:55 PM
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Originally posted by seeingevil
One of the largest negatives I've observed about ATS is the inconsistent modding.



Perception.

One of the largest positives i have observed about ATS is the even handed approach to problem resolution by all the ATS staff since i've been here.
This aint a suck up post, the volunteer staff here do an awesome job imo.
Sure i havent had a lot to do with other forums, i dont need to, i've found a place that is comfortable, thought provoking and fun.
All you need to do is follow the T&C and you need never run foul of any of the staff.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 07:25 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
Our staff consists of volunteer ATSers who have agreed to support the membership by impartially and faithfully enforcing the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use.


That isn't happening though and that is precisely the point of my previous post.

In any case, thank you for allowing me to voice my observations and conerns; Hopefully those in positions of authority who need to be more aware of themselves and their actions will benefit.

Mods aren't the only ones who are watching...

.....

Have a good day Majic, I've nothing further to add
.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 07:39 PM
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A Common Goal


Originally posted by seeingevil
That isn't happening though and that is precisely the point of my previous post.

I think it might be somewhat extreme to say it "isn't happening", but I hope all the verbiage didn't obscure my point that we know there's always room for improvement.

And believe me, we know mods aren't the only ones watching.


To the extent you or any member can help, you can count on my gratitude.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 07:47 PM
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Yep, what Majic said.

Imagine if your car was wired to the hilt, knew everything you did, and the minute you ran a red light, hit 56 miles in a 55 zone, or had an equipment failure, a ticket printed out right on your dash board without discussion.

Personally, I'd want to deal with a traffic cop. If I just finished doing my brakes, and I go out and have a problem, and I end up choosing to run a light when its close instead of stopping hard, I want a cop to come up to my window and hear me out, and weigh the circumstances instead of going by the hard and fast letter of the law, because he might see things my way and give me a fix it ticket on the brakes.


That's part of what the staff does here. A lot of weighing circumstances and hearing people out and encouraging them to fix it themselves goes on behind the scenes, because publically shaming people for every mistake is just going to drive away people who can generate good content for all of us to enjoy.





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