Policy And Polity
Originally posted by Resinveins
Politeness was not the driving issue there.
Actually, even in the case of the recent big drug dramafest, politeness was the ultimate deciding factor, at least with the bans I was involved in.
Calling us Nazis or otherwise insulting us doesn't go over well, drugs or not, and bashing us for enforcing ATS policy despite our repeated warnings
not to isn't exactly courteous, or particularly bright, for that matter.
Traditionally, we've been fairly tolerant of that, tried to be understanding when members send us nasty U2Us after being
dinged for something
, appreciate that all of us have bad days and
understand that members of a conspiracy site will naturally tend to be antagonistic toward any sort of authority. We are, after all, members ourselves
and came here for the same reasons other members do.
What we've learned over the years, however, is the more we tolerate obnoxious, abusive behavior, the more of it we see, and the more it discourages
good people from posting. And people who have no problem cussing out a mod also (surprise!) tend to have no problem cussing out other members. So
ultimately, people who behave that way really don't belong here, keeping them around only hurts the community as a whole, and that's the way we've
decided to approach it.
And let's look at the community as a whole. We are constantly accused of pushing various agendas and playing favorites, but all the different
opinions you can find in any thread in any forum say otherwise. They are their own proof.
ATSers have different points of view on just about everything imaginable, and sharing them is only possible in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
That's all it really boils down to in the end: mutual respect.
As Bill pointed out, there are a lot of rules, and it's totally understandable that members won't read them all or know them all. Most don't.
Yet most members don't run into any trouble on ATS. I know some members worry about being banned for making an honest mistake, but we try very hard
not to do that, and when problems do occur, members who deal with us politely get -- and deserve -- the best we can give them.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is getting a lot of press these days, and one of their central themes is the 99% versus 1%. We see a similar ratio on
ATS, in which 99% of the problems us mods have to deal with are caused by 1% of the membership. If that estimate is off, it's off in that it's
probably closer to 99.9% versus 0.1 percent. I see the warnings and complaints that come through. It's not an exaggeration.
But even for that 1% or so, we do try to give them every opportunity to come around and "get it". And what "it" is amounts to nothing more than
realizing that, barring some notable exceptions spelled out in the terms &
, we are all free to express our honest opinions on just about everything imaginable, provided we do so without insulting,
mischaracterizing or ridiculing other members.
Even in the case of drugs, now and then members will mention personal use in a thread, or start a thread about drugs or a drug-related subject that we
will remove. Opinions vary about how policies should be applied, we may see things differently, and as long as they're cool about it, aren't doing
it deliberately and don't make a career out of it, it's really not a big deal.
Self-styled "activists", however, who choose to make a point of violating the rules, fighting us by reposting things we remove and giving us grief
about it are, like any other brand of troll, late for the door, and our tolerance for that has gone way down.
The bottom line is that, on a practical level, the Golden Rule is the only rule ATSers really need to follow. If a member does break some technical
rule we try to be cool about it, and if they're cool about it back, no worries.
It's not hard. Honest.