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Please Stay On Topic

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posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 10:27 AM
This is by far the most common request I and other moderators make in the course of our duties, so I thought it would be nice to offer some perspectives on why this is so important, and invite discussion on the topic of, well... staying on topic.

As with all things moderators do, there is a foundation for our actions in the Terms And Conditions Of Use:

Originally posted by SimonGray

1f.) Relevant Content: You will not post messages that are clearly outside of the stated topic of any forums nor disrupt a forum by deliberately posting repeated irrelevant messages or copies of identical messages (also known as "flooding").
5b) Cooperation: You will, if asked by myself or a moderator, cease posting any content, and/or links to content, deemed offensive, objectionable, or in poor taste by the representatives of the message board.

In particular, insults, abuse, threats, harassment or any form of personal attacks are never on topic in any forum, are contrary to the very purpose of our forums and are strictly prohibited.

Moderation In All Things

Naturally, opinions will vary as to what is on topic and what is not, but determining that is one of the primary responsibilities of forum moderators. Our decisions may not always be perfect, but we do ask that members cooperate with us when we make requests and take action to keep threads on topic.

If you should disagree with a moderator decision, do not argue about it in the public forums. Doing so is off-topic itself, rude to other members, disruptive to the discussion and a very quick way to be post-banned. :shk:

Rather, it is always better to send a U2U to the moderator in question or submit a Complaint asking for a staff review (please include a link to the post with your complaint), which will ensure that several members of the senior staff investigate the matter and, if necessary, take action to achieve a fair and reasonable outcome.

On behalf of the ATS staff, I ask for your help in maintaining an environment conducive to topical discussion by, well... staying on topic.

To the extent we accomplish this, we will be rewarded with discussions consistent with the high standards our community is famous for.

[edit on 11/29/2006 by Majic]

posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 09:47 PM
Hm, this reminds me of this one time, at band camp, there was
a UFO, and a reptillian ghost dressed like the queen was on it,
and it was spraying chemtrails...

Sorry, I could'nt resist.

Anyways, I do notice that happening alot, and it does annoy me,
so I'm glad you've created this thread to remind people not to
do that.

posted on Dec, 19 2006 @ 12:02 AM
This is an issue that seems to be a problem. God knows I have had problems with it.
:shk: I think it beomes a problem mostly when we decide to respond to what individual posters have posted. I know that's a big reason why some of my posts are off topic.

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 10:29 AM
reply to post by Majic

thanks for the warning------not sure if you saw the previous avatar and signature that simius dei had on there that my responce was to before he/she changed it to this one thats on now------------the avatar was of a smoker and the signature was to the effect that if we didnt like the smoke we could go and have sex with ourselves----------i'm trying to be polite in saying it this way----------why would other peoples smoking bother me?it wouldnt if they made sure they were not so generous in sharing that health hazard with the rest of us that dont want it and myself i am suffering health problems-----shortness of breath---------directly because of 2nd. hand smokers habits-----------i dont hate the guy/girl but sad to say if smokers dont care about killing me-----why should i care if they kill themselves doing it ?idont have a gun to their heads making them live an unhealthy life style.----------------i shall try to stay on topic---------and make more use of u2u's in future.

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 10:46 AM
When does one idea leading to another become off topic?

Let us say that e are in the Aliens section and discussing a UFO video by poster A. Poster B points out that a shot also shows a building from Area 51. Poster C then tells of how that particular building can only be seen from hill XYZ. Poster A then asks poster C how this is known, and poster C goes into an explanation of how he went to hill XYZ, and saw that same building back in '89.

At this point a new poster, D, points out that the military stopped using that style of building because of health hazards in '77, and proves it with a DOD memo stating that all such buildings be torn down within two years and the material hauled off for proper disposal.

Now all of this conversation is enlightening, and in some way does relate to the original video. However, we are no longer discussing a particular UFO, but we are denying ignorance. Sometimes rocks are turned over in the course of discussion that produce other worms to dissect.

Is this a judgment call about remaining on topic, or are we bound by a hard and fast rule here? Does it depend on the amount of interest shown by those in the thread, and the tone of civility, if it's a judgment call?

I'm only wanting to know for future reference.

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 05:30 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

In your hypothetical situation, I'm guessing that it would be clearly of topic if suddenly Poster E responded to Poster D's point by talking about how the government cannot be trusted and is responsible for 9/11, baiting other people to respond to a clearly off-topic discussion that's rather emotional.

If the other posters ignore that statement... it's probably tolerated to a degree. But if Poster E comes in again to draw the conversation away from the main topic, I'd say the fella is clearly a disruptive element and should be slapped with a warning.

That's how I interpret Majic's OP.

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 05:43 PM
I just hate the trolls that come in the forums just to say your lying or you are crazy or this is a stupid post. They do nothing to contribute to the conversation. I agree with NGC about rocks being overturned and a diamond actually being found in the rubble. As long as people are being considerate and respectful to everyone then I see no problem. But if they're being annoying and ignorant then something needs to be done.

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 01:35 AM

Originally posted by Majic
Naturally, opinions will vary as to what is on topic and what is not, but determining that is one of the primary responsibilities of forum moderators. Our decisions may not always be perfect, but we do ask that members cooperate with us when we make requests and take action to keep threads on topic.

Speaking of which, why are you so girly?

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 10:24 AM
Divine Intervention

Originally posted by RANT
Speaking of which, why are you so girly?

I blame the haibane. Now, what were we talking about?

posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 06:17 AM
Say, for instance I take the time to search for a problem I'm having and start reading the first page only to find the topic was changed at the end of said page and on into the next. How am I to feel about posting back on the topic in order to ask my query.

And when I try to search Etiquette here only to find the post void of any thing to do with staying on topic, even though it alludes to it in it's description.

ATS Etiquette
A good general guide as to how we attempt to manage the flow of discussion.
General ATS discussion etiquette

I am forced to type in another query that finds me here which is fine but would be better added to the sticky.
Do I sound bitter? Actually I am feeling not my usual happy go lucky self because my friend of 16 years has been diagnosed with ALS. I should just lock my self in a closet and scream my head off for a while and get it over with.

posted on Jun, 25 2009 @ 08:35 PM
With the staying on topic issue, I imagine that a moderator should tally the amount of a users 'off topic posts' and clearly give a warning to the user of the problem they are causing. I would not say 3 strikes your out type of thing, though I would make a penalty of users making too many off topic posts.

Are certain members making more off topic posts than others? Or if that member did not exist anymore would it help the message board in general?

I say do not be afraid to ban the members to keep making the off topic posts ,because if that is not done, then members will only treat the 'RULE' as slap on the wrist just being technical sort of thing.

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