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Member "picklewalsh" banned

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posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:19 PM
I'm going to make a statement here, something I hope the moderators and administrations review, and atleast consider my words. I've been here as a registered member since the first months of 2003, and been lurking since the beginning of 2002.

In that time, I've seen many people come and go, get banned, leave on theyre own will.

Some people did bad things are were forgivven.

Netchicken, as an example, was a supermoderator, who had pranked people on several occasions, causing strife and issue within the site.

Because he wasa super moderator, and contributed greatly to the site, he was given a second chance, and a third. He was given a three strike policy.

Now, Skeptic, Springer, you all say things like we all make the site.

Our contributions to ATS, our support, and our thoughts and ideas help make the site.

In many ways, I'm protesting this judgement because Pickle represents us, regular contributors to the site.

I've contributed alot to this site, if I made a human error, a mistake of stupidity in the moment, and I apologized and corrected it, would I also be banned? and not just banned, but IP banned?

Is that fair, that you give special priviledges to a person who knowingly lied and decieved to the community, on three occasions, before he was finally banned?

Is it right to be strict on members for making a mistake, and not on moderators?

You say that we all contribute and make ATS the way it is, but from your actions, you believe differently then, right?

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:20 PM
Just looking at the info on this thread and taking it at face value, I'd say well done to the Big Three for spotting this. It's always a shame when members get banned, but in this case it seems like fair treatment to me.

Makes you wonder how much more ATS stuff is out there without due credit.

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:21 PM
I have to agree with the ATS Mods on this one - Intellectual Property IS an issue and it gets horribly abused on the web. I've quit posting personal photos and decline to make a site because I don't want any of my photos, stories or artwork being used without permission or credit.

Pickle and I have had some good chats in the past, but I don't agree with what he has done in this case.

The ATS "COC" took time to compose, and a simple "point, click, copy, paste" just threw eggs in the face of the person who put their time into it's manifestation.

He's claiming credit for work he himself did not do.

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:21 PM

Originally posted by Marto_Bagg

Ooops, I apologize...sorry, I didn't mean to do that. That was stupid of me.

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:24 PM
This is a terrible thing to happen for all the parties involved.

I understand that some people think this is heavy handed but think of all the members who have put hard work into writing threads and preparing their posts only to have it lifted onto another site.

This is bigger than the protection of an ATS brand, it's about protecting the posts of our members who join our community and post in an atmosphere that is well managed, free and extremely lenient on it's members.

You can post just about anything here (within reason) and we'll protect the threads from turning into quagmires. You get discussion and input from thousands of well mannered and polite members, and the occassional fruitloop who challenges you. Overall I'd say that this site is a pretty sweet deal.

I'm sorry to see him go, I really am, but "he's a nice guy" isn't a defence.

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:34 PM
I can certainly appreciate the efforts of those requesting a "second chance" and asking that the decision be reconsidered, BUT there are obviously certain aspects that require some clarity.

1) This was NOT a case of "improper quoting" nor was it a matter of "not knowing any better". It WAS plagiarism, plain and simple, it WAS theft of content with NO attribution, and it WAS done with the full knowledge and understanding of potential repercussions, by HIS own admission.

2) There ARE certain infractions that WILL NOT be afforded the consideration of a "second chance", with blatant and willful theft/plagiarism being one of them.

3) As for this being the "first offense" regarding PW and/or his board, NO, it was not.

4) There seem to be a few members who feel this decision was made in haste and without "necessary" considerations. My response to those who've mentioned such is this, when it comes to banning ANY member you can rest assured it has been discussed at great length by the Entirety of moderators, staff and admins prior to said ban.

While I speak only for myself, here, and Not on behalf of the admins nor anyone else, I did feel the need to provide some clarity regarding several questions and misconceptions that were posted.

I hold no ill-intent or bad feelings towards Picklewalsh, whatsoever, and am actually saddened by this Entire situation, BUT there ARE times when rules must be followed "to the T", if only to avoid potential legal issues which could ultimately have a negative impact on the ATS Community. When a member makes a post on these boards they hold the rights to that material, as does ATS by way of the T&C and Creative Commons agreements. However, without proper attribution in accordance with the Creative Commons guidelines, NO ONE is allowed to use said content or attempt to pass it off as their own works, which was the case in this instance. PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

Again, I speak only for myself, here, nothing more nothing less.

p.s. If this seems a "defining moment" as to "how" ATS is run or "what" ATS is all about then perhaps those who think so should take a moment to refresh themselves with the Terms and Conditions, as well as the Creative Commons agreement and guidelines. If you feel this is a case of action being taken prior to considering ALL aspects and options then you are sadly mistaken. It just doesn't happen that way.


posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:35 PM

Originally posted by WolfofWar
I'm going to make a statement here, something I hope the moderators and administrations review, and atleast consider my words. I've been here as a registered member since the first months of 2003, and been lurking since the beginning of 2002.

In that time, I've seen many people come and go, get banned, leave on theyre own will.

Some people did bad things are were forgivven.

Netchicken, as an example, was a supermoderator, who had pranked people on several occasions, causing strife and issue within the site.

Because he wasa super moderator, and contributed greatly to the site, he was given a second chance, and a third. He was given a three strike policy.

I'm sure your words will be considered, that doesn't mean granted though.

I have been here for quite some time as well and have seen another supermod banned, a couple of mods too. Then there are numerous others that were demodded, so this analogy of NC isn't the issue imo. Upper management has taken action on staff members when necessary. This is not an issue of PW NOT being a staff member.

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:40 PM
Hmm... No wonder you don't speak publicly of banning. It seems to stir up quite a bit of emotion and drama.

I, too am sorry to see PW go.

However, we all know it's wrong to copy the T&C of a board for use on another board without permission. We all know it's wrong (not to mention against those very T&Cs) to take whole threads and post them as our own on other boards. I'm afraid if PW hadn't been 'caught' the threads would still be there. I don't think he deleted them because he discovered it was wrong. He deleted them because he got caught.

He said he knew it was wrong but did it anyway. That's total disrespect not to mention against the T&C he agreed to.

I support the staff in their difficult decision 100%. Sadly, there's simply no other fair way to handle it.

[edit on 20-8-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:43 PM
and all this time i thought his name was picklewash.

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:44 PM
I've stayed quiet here, as I have chatted and became friends with Pickle and this makes me sad to see this,

But taken content which was not his is... Wrong, using it as his own is ...wrong,

How would you feel if you had worked so hard on something and someone else took it and claimed it was there's,

Its a sad situation, and I really do hope something is learned from this,

Saying the staff here have an agenda or whatever, makes me very unhappy, We work hard to make ATS stand out, and we protect our users to the best of our ability,

We all work hard here and as do our members in the quality of our posts, so nobody has the right to take them as there own, its unfair and more upsetting as this is someone I regard as a mate,

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:58 PM
random thought;

What if;

Asala changed her name to Salsa?

I'd enjoy it...

consider it!!!!!!!!!!

[edit on 20-8-2006 by Lysergic]

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 02:18 PM
As some one who takes a considerable amount of time in preparing my posts for this site(always with links and credit) I am proud of the staff for catching this premeditated transgression. To think that it may have been some of my sweat and tears that he boasted for his own is somewhat infuriating.
I can forgive honest mistakes... even when repeated a couple times. But premeditation and intent make a HUGE difference.

And as "nice" as this person was.. it is moot given the predertermined actions that he committed. How "nice" is that person really, when they smile to your face and steal from your back.

And, there is no way in the world that the Staff would even think about posting something like this UNLESS they have already discussed EVERY possible avenue.
Really should give these guys some credit here. This site is huge and has been running for years now. These are not a bunch of weekend amateurs.

The T&C is the same as it has been in the year Ive been a member and for 2 years prior as a visitor. They make it blatantly clear exactly what those rules are. and what disiplinary action will be taken in light of a violation of said rules. Severity of Displ. action is relegated to the severity of the infraction. This guy took the time to erase all the source info and post it as his own.. that is premeditation.. that is unacceptable. Thats like saying well he only burgled the house and stole everything in it once... yes we had him as a guest. To me makes it even worse that he was here and signed the legal binding agreement; which he either ignored or never read in the first place. And ignorance of it makes no difference since he signed it.
It is a shame in the end.. for we all have lost today.

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 02:36 PM

Originally posted by WyrdeOne
What's so hard about posting a link, and giving credit to the people who write the content, and the site that pays to keep it up and available? What's so freakin' hard about that?

This right here is the main reason I fully agree with the decision. I've never chatted with PW at all, but I've seen more than a couple of his threads, enough to be surprised when I saw that he'd been banned. But honestly, how difficult could it be to add a line of HTML or bbCode to the copied thread? Just "This info was from ATS, click here to see it."

An extra 30 seconds of work would've avoided all of this drama, PW would still be here, and the time spent by members reading and replying to this thread could've been used thinking up new proofs for Reptilian involvement in 9/11 or what the weather's going to be like Dec 22nd 2012.

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 02:51 PM
If Picklewash had been one of the members who break the T&C and are gone in a flash, no one would have much noticed.

But, PW was a contributing member and apparently a friend to many ATSers.
That makes it all the more disappointing.
Basically, he stole from his friends.

It's hard to accept when a friend goes bad, but maybe it's just that we didn't know that friend as well as we thought.

EDIT to add:
Actually, as a member of the ATS community, the more I think on it, I feel used and abused.
He had to be planning this for awhile.

[edit on 20-8-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 03:42 PM
The Part Of The Job I Hate

Up front, let's make sure something's clear: I liked and still like picklewalsh.

I think he's a great guy, which might seem odd in this context, but I don't see a conflict. We don't ban people because we don't like them. That's not what this is about.

This is also not a case of us just going along without a care in the world, suddenly discovering something amiss out of the blue and reacting by saying "Ah ha! A T&C violation! Just the excuse we were looking for! We have you now! Banned! Buahahahaaaa!"

Nope, that's not how we operate either.

If anything, this went on as long as it did because we weren't out to get him. Ironically, if we would have been more suspicious and zealous about it when the "Order of Watchers" appeared (recruiting on ATS in violation of the T&C, by the way), maybe it wouldn't have come to this.

I note that some members suggest that if we stand by this decision, we should ban every member for any T&C violation.

But again, that's not the way we do things. We don't ban people for minor infractions any more than cops shoot people for jaywalking. That would itself be a crime, and ATS would quickly die as a community if we abused our members so callously.

This is also not a case of being "holier-than-thou". Nobody's perfect. I've violated the T&C plenty of times, and so have many other members. We don't ban people for honest mistakes -- or even dishonest mistakes, if they're not truly serious.

This is truly serious, and it wasn't an honest mistake.

Community Watch

You don't "accidentally" copy entire threads from ATS onto your board without attribution, nor should anyone reasonably be expected to think that's "okay". It's not, and though ATSers hail from many different places around the world with different moral codes and customs, this is something I think we can all agree on.

Also, for anyone wondering, this is not a decision the Amigos just whipped out off the cuff on an idle whim. They consult the moderator staff constantly about issues like this, and weigh our opinions carefully when making decisions.

We're a team. I think of it as the "ATS staff tribe" approach, and I am so fond of it that I have used this model for the PTS Forum Subject Matter Experts (FSMEs), whom I consult for opinions and suggestions on matters affecting PTS.

Not every staff member is online or is aware of this situation (we all have lives and log in when we're able and feel like it, not because we must), and we don't talk about what's said behind the scenes (what's said in Cosmic stays in Cosmic), but I will volunteer that every staff member who has commented on this behind the scenes (and I assure you we're not shy about disagreeing on things) has supported this decision.

That includes me.

Discretion And Valor

There are many good reasons why we don't usually discuss account bans publicly, and while I think it's healthy and cathartic to discuss this particular case (did I mention I think picklewalsh is a great guy?), this is also a reminder of why we normally don't.

It hurts.

Yes, this is just the Internet and ATS is just a discussion forum where we talk smack about this and that, but it's more than that.

ATS really is a community, and admit it or deny it, like it or not, for good or ill, we get to know each other over time, and meaningful relationships develop here.

So when we have to ban someone, it hurts, because we're losing someone. No, we're not "killing" someone -- they can go on their merry way, travel the entire Rest Of The Internet and do what they please.

But it still hurts, especially when it's someone we know and care about.

Law, Man

I've permanently banned many accounts since I became a super mod. It's one of my duties.

But even in cases of new members who are clearly here to disrupt discussion, I always wonder if there could be a way to bring them around so they could see what we have to offer and decide to abandon their trollish ways and choose to stay -- and share their opinions with us.

Each ban, no matter the circumstances, feels like another loss in the battle to Deny Ignorance, and I'm always looking for other alternatives, other ways to get members to understand that the T&C are less of a restriction than a license to share candid opinions on the issues that matter.

The T&C are our social contract. They are neutral on the issues. Whatever you may be pro- or anti- about, if you're posting in accordance with the T&C, you're protected here.

That's why I keep pushing them and linking to them. A member who understands and honors them can post damn near anything on this site, and that is a powerful foundation for meaningful discussion.

But some things cannot be tolerated, and plagiarism is one of them.

And that's why -- though I'm definitely not happy about it -- I agree wholeheartedly with this decision and support it without reservation.

This is the part of the job I hate, but it's still part of the job.

I hope my fellow members can understand.

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 05:39 PM
Pickle was probably one of the first members I met after registering with ATS, I have chatted with him on occasion ever since. Great guy, was a great member of ATS and contributed everything he could. I have read Wolf's posts and I do agree with what he says, but at the same time I understand where the Staff is coming from on this one.

Its unfortunate to see a friend banned, especially one who always seemed to abide by the code of conduct. Countless times I have seen Pickle providing help for those whom required it.

I understand where the staff comes from on this one but I really believe ATS has lost a good member. I think we can all agree to that.

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 06:15 PM
I was very upset to learn what had happened with pw, i knew him and classed him as a friend, but what he did was so underhand that this was really the only course of action.

A sad day

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 06:40 PM
my opinion doesnt matter, but ill give it anyways

i fully support ats and the ban. what pickle did is WAY over the line. ive seen post from pickle in the past and i thought he was a very amusing person and i liked his post, BUT he freaking plagiarized ats material. not just ats material, but the members material.

that shows NO respect to the great people who give us this site, and the intelligent members who use it and make it what it is.
there should be no discussion left to it.

time for dinner

may peace be with us all

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 07:39 PM

Originally posted by Marto_Bagg
And if somone as good as PW can get banned from this site .. i do not know what the world is coming to

I think you are turning a blind eye to the content of this thread and completely disregarding how strongly we feel about plagiarism.

The Creative Commons Licence is in place to protect not only ATS, but the writings of ATS' members! Not only was this a violation of our website, but of all the people who spend time preparing their thoughts to make contributive posts.

In the world of publication, plagiarism is a hugely destructive act to the personal pride of authors. Hence a reason why ONE single act of plagiarism will turn tens of thousands of pounds/dollars of invested spending on university education into humiliation for the offender and a swift kick out of the establishment's course.

Originally posted by Marto_Bagg
Jesus christ what happend to the ATS i knew

Okay, what happened to it? Of all the people on this website, I think I'm more than qualified to hear what you have to say....

[edit on 20-8-2006 by SimonGray]

posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 08:14 PM
Like Asala, I too knew PickleWalsh through the ATS chatroom... We chatted a fair bit, and I liked the guy. He was pretty level headed most of the time, and I got so much fun out of calling him Pickle.

I can't say that I agree with the ban, though I can agree with the terms supporting it. Perhaps this is because I'm "innocent" or I believe in the value of people so much, coming from websites that I've helped create and having to have dealt with both poor forum turnout, or people getting upset and having to leave.

Pickle knew what he did was wrong, that much is certain. He's too intelligent a guy not to have known. However, perhaps he didn't realize the extent of how wrong it was. Myself, had I found out he had copied me, I'd've given him a slap on the wrist, told him to either delete the stuff or edit it to give me credit for it, and told him to not do it again because then I would've gotten upset.

For those who type responses to this thread simply by hearing the news and saying "I agree, he broke the rules", let me tell you this; you didn't know him at all. You're shooting bullets without seeing the face of your enemy. If you did, then perhaps you would have seen that perhaps this judgement was a bit too harsh.

I say let him back, if now he wants to come back, with the warning that should he do it again it will be a permanent ban. His absence will be too sorely missed.

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