posted on Nov, 7 2003 @ 07:53 AM
(caution: rant below)
I've been watching the pissing and moaning about ATS post quality, secrecy of staff, harsh staff, blah-de-blah for far too long now. It's time for
the Skeptic Overlord to have his day in the rant forum. If you're feint of heart, on blood thinning medication, prone to being startled, or are
scared by large dogs, you'd be best warned not to read further. Having said that disclaimer...
I've been "with" ATS for almost 4 years, and nearly 2 of them as staff... many have been around longer. I've seen all manner of MALE BOVINE SHYTE
over the years, and this latest round of me-too complainers is particularly irksome since it is occurring at exactly the same time over 9,000 people
are voting in-favor of ATS by the mere fact of spending an average of 35 minutes looking at 18 pages. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
No one expects that long-time senior staff, or senior members, would receive automatic respect from every new or old member. That's far too much to
anticipate, and frankly unrealistic. However, from members that have come to understand the ATS hierarchy, we do (myself included) expect "benefit of
the doubt". With over 1,300 new posts on some days, it's a significant effort for our current staff to keep things in line. We only average 12 to 14
moderators online during any given day... to expect that we'll review and sanitize every post to baby and coddle every member's sensitivities is
both absurd and naive. If you see a crappy post... here's a freaking thought... move on, don't give it any more attention. Ignored posts tend to
We have a current crop of newly-active members that couldn't give a rats ass about the effort it takes to maintain this very large online community.
It seems as though our newly-active members have no regard for the history of time and effort that has gone into getting ATS to the standard it is
today. This doesn't happen by accident, it takes an effort. For a long time, the solitary effort of Simon Gray. But the actions of some members is
comparable to being invited to someone's house, eating their food, messing their furniture, then pissing on the carpet as you walk out the door. And
then these members still expect to come back tomorrow and do the same thing!
The reason I mentioned my time with ATS was not to impress you, but to establish that I've seen a great deal... and our current crop of newly-active
members (less than 6 months of membership, yet daily posters) seem to be the poorest group yet when it comes to an overall understanding and
appreciation of what ATS is, and what it takes to keep it that way. Far too much is taken for granted because they haven't experienced the tough
periods of constant hack attacks, or slow servers, or outages because ATS exceeded the bandwidth allotment.
So these members too easily over-react to staff action that never before saw this kind of over-reaction. We went through periods where there were
daily bannings or deletion of posts. The response from membership was not harsh at all... but appreciative of the vigilance to keep the board clean.
And now we're to the point were we have threads complaining about a global ignore on a complete troll... what utter crap! And a member starts a
thread designed to incite specific members, and then he becomes enraged when his target responds in-kind. Amazing... carpet pissing!
Are we perfect? No.
Are we trying? Yes.
Because of our effort, should we get some leniency from members? Absolutely.
Are we? Rarely.
Have some mods taken their position too seriously from time to time? Sure. Have I been included in that? Certainly. But I can assure you that each one
of our staff is on the job because the mission of ATS is important to them, not because they love the power-trip of deleting posts and handing out
warnings. Lately, it seems that many of our newly-active members have a mission of simply standing against authority of any kind... even if it means
disrupting the goals of ATS.
In the end, it's not the responsibility of the staff to keep up the quality of posts for you and hold your little hands and lead you to the better
forums with the better posts. ATS is not here to do something for you, make your life better, provide great stuff, or even improve your complexion.
You get out of ATS what you put into it, and if all you put into it is bickering, pissing-and-moaning, complaining, and pissing-on-carpets... that's
exactly what you're going to get out of it.
(end of rant)
[Edited on 7-11-2003 by William]