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UPDATE 2009: The Discussion Of "Illegal Activity" On The Above Network Sites (ATS, BTS, AP).

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posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by budski
 


I ask only for your opinion, as another member of the same community. I'm not questioning authority here, just want to get some type of measure of how skewed my perception is. A bit of self guidance if you will.




posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 02:44 PM
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reply to post by Unit541
 


The thread was closed before all this came about.
As the rules are now fully enforced, with no grey area's, it wouldn't have been posted IMO.
As SO said, rules had been somewhat relaxed - if threads were still open, I could have given you many examples of this.
The tightening of the rules to rule out grey area's or things slipping through the net no longer allow this kind of thread, even one's written by mods - I know personally of mod threads which no longer exist due to the rules being applied to the letter.
This is just my understanding of what has transpired.



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 03:02 PM
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Many examples, of open threads, are still available. In fact, a search of the forum, for one term, nets 568 results, the vast majority of which are still in fact open.

Now, how relevant a point that is, I'm not sure, as I understand it's not feasible to sit around searching for, and closing every single one. I take issue, however, that what I was cited for can even be considered "discussion of an illegal substance". I'm going to go ahead and fall out of this one though, as it's been made clear that none of the powers that be, want to even hear me out, let alone discuss the validity of the claims made against me. So be it. I look forward to the repercussions I surely face for being openly critical here.



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by Unit541
So, this leads one to believe that the initial post is deemed compliant with the terms and conditions of ATS.


There have been a few comments about this, but it seems you're looking for a more decisive and concise response from top-tier staff.

The original thread you mentioned was started before my decision to begin interpreting the T&C in a more strict way, with regards to topics such as drug use. However, the intent is to manage new content so as not to see the proportion of drug discussion on ATS rise. There never was any intentions to look at old threads and "prune" potential offenses under the newer stricter policy.

Your reaction here seems to be inspired by the removal of your signature, for which I can understand your concern... but we need to be mindful of the larger initiatives. It would be unfortunate if the automated filtering services suddenly determined that "drug discussion" on ATS suddenly achieved a critical X:Y ratio, and it's time to filter our domain. And indeed, we are close to such a situation.

I would prefer to have a forum dedicated to the discussion of the "war on drugs" and the myriad of known and speculated conspiracies related to the government and law enforcement. Unfortunately, such discussion would place our domain well beyond the critical mass of "drug-related" topics necessary for filtering via a broad range of systems. It sucks. It's not right. It's a form of censor-by-proxy. But it's the sandbox in which we play, and there are countless other important issues discussed on ATS that deserve not to be filtered.

Hopefully, at some point with our many other efforts that do not rely upon our website, we can address these issues with the appropriate dose of ATS style. Until then, we simply do what we can to ensure that 9,999 topics are not denied because of one.



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by budski
reply to post by scientist
 


I reserve the right not to answer - like I said, it's not my place.


oops... sorry, wrong thread! got confused with the "Public Banning" thread

my mistake!



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


SO, thank you so much for your response here. I'm actually feeling quite appeased by it (not that you needed to appease me, but you have done so). As was previously mentioned, perhaps a proxy forum for discussion of these (War on Drugs) matters would succeed in allowing ATS members to participate in related discussions, while keeping ATS sheltered from the caveats you've pointed out.

After all, the majority of the member base, myself included, isn't interested in chit-chatting about drug use. However, given the nature of ATS, topics dealing with the war on drugs have a valid place here, and certainly merit discussion. Please do consider a War on Drugs forum, as there's simply too much to discuss to allow the topic to be left under the rug.

Kind regards,

Unit



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 05:38 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
The original thread you mentioned was started before my decision to begin interpreting the T&C in a more strict way, with regards to topics such as drug use. However, the intent is to manage new content so as not to see the proportion of drug discussion on ATS rise. There never was any intentions to look at old threads and "prune" potential offenses under the newer stricter policy.


In terms of the ATS election does that mean that because I posted elements of my Marijuana plank before the "enforcement" of the T&C I can still discuss the my policy which is legalizing Marijuana ?
Note I have already sent a U2U to a Mod about this matter and I never got a reply.



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 05:55 PM
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My opinion still hasn't changed. Censorship is a bad thing. Bowing down to Censorship is even worse. One of the reasons why I barely post here anymore.



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 11:48 AM
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You know what this makes me think of ...

'The Fountainhead' by Ayn Rand.


I can fully understand the reasoning, but, ATS members hold this site to a high standard. They expect nearly complete freedom of speech minus direct hate attacks.

I suppose that your domains cross-reference? ATS, PTS, BTS? So there would be no way to push for a linked forum to have these discussions?

The reason I ask is, there was a recent thread, dealing with breaking news about a statement a police chief made across the pond. It is relevant, current, and an important topic. This is something that a lot of people feel is passionate, and an unjust law in the first place. If we censor discussion of this topic because it goes against the grain ... then, how does the line not get pushed further if the 'money' decides to work together against another topic they do not care for? You can see what implications it has on the psyche of the member base.

I hope I stated this in a way to protect your interests but still get the idea across ... I don't wish to increase your ratio through discussion of the topic in an intelligent way.


Ok, let's put this as an example ...

What would you do if there was a prohibition on alcohol again? Of course, the public would be raving mad, but, if the advertisers demanded that it was now an illegal drug, and new posts would need to be closed swiftly for them to continue business. Do you listen? or, do you allow your media to be the voice of the members?




But, let me state again, I know sites, domains, servers are not free. You host a large forum with loads of features for free. You need advertising to keep it alive. You must weigh out sacrifices at times.


I would like to live in a world with people that live up to Roark's values, but alas, capitalism controls, and leaves us ultimately with Wynand. I accept this fact, as sad as it is, and do not hold it against those who are felled as prey to the jaws of the system.



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 12:01 PM
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reply to post by FreeThinkerIdealist
 


What advertisers? The "advertisers" (huge networks that don't know what's on this site anyway) have ZERO influence on this site's content.

The three owners of this site decide ALL policy period.

There are loads of sites to discuss drug use on, this is not one of them.

The choice is completely ours, the membership don't want to wade through posts filled with stories of how wasted someone got or the latest in paraphernalia. It's not what this site is here for.

Again, there are thousands of sites on the web for those discussions.


Springer...



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 12:56 PM
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I just had a thread closed: "Police Chief Wants All Drugs Legalised" with a reference to this thread. Now I've read through it, and let me say I wasn't aware of this thread, but I would certainly like to know (if it's not trashed) the thread that has provoced such a tightning up of T&C, as it is refered to in SO's OP in "This became a hot point in a recent thread".

I had my worries excactly concerning what Springer calls 'stonealog' should derail it. With the intensety of replies and their twist it would had got there. I know. So I don't object the closing. Just wanna say, to a Canadian, a Dutch or, like myself, a Dane it does seem a little zealous to have to enforce T&C that strict, but I try my best to respect your motives which I fully understand, because ATS is America ...and it is becoming more and more uptight overthere. Sadly enough.

I do want to say though, it can't be right we cannot discuss a news because its topic is legalising of a substance. What if the police chiefs response (he was asked) to the Home Office on monday leads to preparation of a legislation that will change this stupid ban on what is seen by most as a harmless substance, wouldn't we be able to report on that? And hypothetical, if such a law was passed in UK -but not (yet) in the US- would we then be able to report about it? This could be the important first step to a change. I find it wrong and sad we cannot report about it - a mainstream news.

The cultural differences between America and Europe, a divide widening, sometimes makes it hard for a Euro to get on in these forums. Because what's appropriate or perfectly okay on this side of the pond is not on the other. It has to do with moral issues, hypocrisy takes on quite different clothes on either sides, but it has also to do with humour.

What can be quite offending to a European, may be considered sarcasm or a joke by Americans, and probably the other way around as well. So if your tightning up on drugs and their leglislation, you oughta tighten up on hate-speech as well - it's not all just sarcasm or irony.

Humour is a very national distinct thing. As are moral values, and I mean you have presidents admitted they have tried/taken dope, but still you have to bow down for a moral majority, who imo, are the worst kind of hipocrites on earth. I understand your motives, and like it's been said again and again it is your house. Yeah but it is us who paint it.

What we get for that is the freedom to choose almost any subject to ponder on we wish - except for legalising of drugs. I find that hard to swallow - especially when a core group of members, that coincide with the group who carries the quality of most of the posts, are what I refer to as the flower power generation or the Vietnam genration if you like that term better.

A suggestion: Couldn't such topics not be put in RATS? ..or it has parental filters too?



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 01:01 PM
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I see where you're coming from, from a cultural point of view that is. I'm Canadian and this topic is much more lax here. However I just take it as it is. If I want to discuss it, I go elsewhere. It's that simple really.



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 01:26 PM
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Thanks for your reply, Intrepid.

I respect the motives, but it is kind of dillemma, that we cannot discuss a thing that sooner or later WILL be changed.

But no matter it should be legalised in Europe -or Canada- We cannot discuss it before it also is in The USA. Right?

What about RATS?



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 01:36 PM
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Actually I'd be willing to bet a huuuge portion of those that come to ATS as it is smoke pot.More people smoke pot than they smoke ciggs.

Also what about talking about the legal drug sylvia?I gurantee you won't let people talk about that but it is perfectly legal.



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 02:55 PM
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World Trade


Originally posted by khunmoon
But no matter it should be legalised in Europe -or Canada- We cannot discuss it before it also is in The USA. Right?

Actually, it's not just a "USA" issue, nor even just a "legal" issue.

Our members in Singapore (where possession of illegal drugs is punishable by death), for example, would probably not be happy to be cut off from our forums because some American or European members just can't seem to stop talking about what they like doing on Friday nights.

There are many other nations and jurisdictions that filter or prohibit drug-related content, as well as Internet Service Providers, search engines, businesses and organizations from which members log in, etc.

Typically, those who are subject to such restrictions are also those who would most benefit from access to the many, many non-drug-related topics that ATS provides.

An apt analogy would be pornographic content. There is nothing inherently bad or evil about the human body, yet nonetheless pictures of nude humans are not permitted on ATS, nor on most discussion boards not founded for that purpose.

Agree or disagree, the management of ATS has decided that a category of discussion which was never intended nor has ever been a focus of the site just isn't worth the risks, hassles and harm to the community.

That's basically it, and I don't recommend that anyone seek to subvert the measures we take to protect our community.

For those of my fellow members who (like I do) support the legalization of drugs and the end of the most powerful criminal empire in human history (e.g., the "War on Drugs" drug-lords), I recommend respecting ATS policy and instead discussing the topic on one of the many fine discussion boards already on the Internet for that purpose.

But please, not here. :shk:






(And no, let's not talk about salvia, jimson seeds, sniffing glue or whatever. Work with us on this.)




[edit on 10/12/2007 by Majic]



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 07:25 PM
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My opinion on the matter is, as I have quoted on the complaints forum is:

If our aim is to deny ignorance then surely no topic is taboo...

Surely as free thinkers and free minded, mature people we have the right to discuss such an issue as the 'D' word...

Why?

Well for starters, I think this subject plays a massive part in the global game. Anything from Government Black ops, smugglers and the black market, smugglers, dealers, social attitudes, the variety of said subject matter, the responsibilities and attitude of victims, users and appreciators, the whole conspiracy of certain branches of officials using it to pursue hidden agenda's, the healing and meditative effects of certain substances, the shamanic properties of now illegal substances and how they may or may not have helped us humans to evolve and how the law has asserted certain substances to be more legal yet more damaging to a person (I.E alcohol) and less threatening to a social belt.

All i ask is that we can talk about illegal activities (after all we talk about certain practices of Government, terrorists and other such illegal subject matter - such as rigged votes, inside conspiracies, government betrayals, assasinations, the spinning media and other such stuff)... Why cannot we talk about such a subject matter as drugs?

Are we so immature or irresponsible that even talking about them will drive us to abuse such substances.

The usual remark is 'if you wanna talk about drugs, then go to another forum', but my reply is....

I don't wanna go to another forum, there are enough intelligent people, from all creeds, religions and walks of life here to discuss their own experiences on this subject, for better or worse...

I like this forum and I like the infinite amount of input, I believe it would be a waste for the owners to self censor the community they have created...

Am I right in saying the motto is 'deny ignorance'?

Course it it...

But by censoring a subject, you are ignoring it...

Ignoring = ignorance....

I am denying that...

Peace...



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 10:44 PM
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By denying reality how can we then deny ignorance? to paraphrase Cholton's signature.

I just bring it up for the record.

The leadership has decided that legalisation of drugs is not part of the ATS reality, therefore taboo, I understand that, and stretch myself as far as I can to respect it, but accept it I do not. I perfectly well understand the motives, and they are growth for growth sake. To accomplish them they need to be in accordance with the moral majority -who to me are the rotten core of America, and the sole reason a fascist administration can rule- but I didn't come here to be in compliance with any moral majority. That would be betraying myself and everything I ever fought for. I admit I never really won, except the peace of my mind.

Ever considered the statement Small is Beautiful? It doesn't make as much money as growth for growth sake, but it is sustainable - and it secures peace of mind.

Lately I've become aware ATS is an all American site (75%) and that's fine with me. After all I came here to get a confirmation that not all Americans are mislead bushists, brainwashed by words like 'patriotism' and 'homeland'. To an extended degree I've got that and it makes me grateful to be here.

But to ask me to be in compliance with every tyrany on the planet, to protect the access to the site for members living in those, is a bit to ask.


Originally posted by Majic
Our members in Singapore (where possession of illegal drugs is punishable by death), for example, would probably not be happy to be cut off from our forums...

There are many other nations and jurisdictions that filter or prohibit drug-related content, as well as Internet Service Providers, search engines, businesses and organizations from which members log in, etc.


But it CANNOT be our mission to suit the very entities we are up against. If I find prove that Than Shwe has his drug money in Singapore (which he probably has) I cannot post it, not to jeopardize members there? Again I must say, I don't accept such a reasoning. That is said with myself posting from a vulnerable place like Thailand.

Next to China they have some of the most intense filtering. I have authored a few threads on Thailand, and at least one time it came to a point in the discussion where I had to cut it, because the topic, the royal family, came up and it is the most taboo thing here. No matter how much the subject is on my mind I'll rather desist, than having the risk of ATS closed down in Thailand. Like they did YouTube (btw, it has never reopened, even though they say so). You have to live with lies and concealments to be able to live here.

Just don't tell me the same applies to ATS.


Originally posted by mr-lizard
I don't wanna go to another forum, there are enough intelligent people, from all creeds, religions and walks of life here to discuss their own experiences on this subject, for better or worse...


I can second that. To me, bowing down to any moral majority -no matter the reason- is to invite ignorance.

Thank you for listning. Hope i didn't trample in anyone's personal interests.



posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 05:39 AM
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reply to post by Springer
 


I apologize, I misinterpreted this statement made by SO a couple posts above mine




but we need to be mindful of the larger initiatives. It would be unfortunate if the automated filtering services suddenly determined that "drug discussion" on ATS suddenly achieved a critical X:Y ratio, and it's time to filter our domain. And indeed, we are close to such a situation.

...

Unfortunately, such discussion would place our domain well beyond the critical mass of "drug-related" topics necessary for filtering via a broad range of systems. It sucks. It's not right. It's a form of censor-by-proxy.



I hope you can see the cause of my err, and I am not asking for my mistake to be excused, just understood. My mind jumped to a conclusion and I unintentionally insulted your integrity.


And the post I was referring to vaguely was the one being discussed just above this one ... as well as a few others.


I am just trying to better understand then, what filters ... and why are these particular filters so important.

I am in no way trying to be aggressive. I am in the pursuit of knowledge and better understanding. I am a passionate person, and I suppose sometimes I come off a little more strongly than I ever intend to. I have always been as such. I did try to make it clear I understood the position of the decision from someone needing to make a choice, but I still don't fully understand the whole situation. I am sure it may have been a tough one. I tried to respect it as such that I didn't directly use any words that may make more 'hits' on this filter system. I thought asking why, is what this site is about. That this would be the thread for it. That we are encourage to try to understand things that we do not ... instead of just saying, ok you said so, so there it is. Again, I am not trying to be obstinate ... I just try to express myself fully and explain why I posted in the first place and why I am posting again+.


I am not inquiring about leniancy for people to discuss illegal activities ... I think you got the point I was trying to make wrong. I actually don't do any of it, I don't even have a sip of wine ... I have drank a few margaritas in the past, blame Jimmy Buffet. I meant that current event topics that are about things dealing with the legalization matters, the court systems, across the world. khunmoon's thread was precisely that ... a legal representative's announcement, not what someone does in their spare time.

I know this subject is sensitive to some parties. But so is a lot of topics on this site. I guess it catches some of us off-guard. Please try to take our curiosity as a positive thing.


I hope I cleared up what my original point was. Sorry for the confusion Sir Springer, and others. I apologize for any ill feelings you may have felt. None was intended.


edit:
Majic, I understand your reasoning, it makes sense and is valid. Though, conspiracy in porn is very rare, conspiracy in the these things is quite common. I would like a one-stop shop ... and, I don't care to discuss the topic just to do it. I am not seeking out these topics ... but when it is a news item, I have to be a little stubborn about it. I do respect the policy, and am conforming to it. It is not something I even think about discussing with other people on a public forum too often, though sometimes I think it should, and by a proactive community such as ours.

Seems like your hands are tied in more ways than one. My questions have pretty much been answered, so what more is there to say


[edit on 10/13/07 by FreeThinkerIdealist]



posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 02:36 PM
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Those that are opposing the enforcement of this policy I have to say I find, well, quite selfish. I note that most have been here from 1.5 years to members registering this year. When I came to ATS about 4 years ago, it was a small site, approx 3500 members. We now get almost that online on a busy day.

Policy changes and design changes came along that way to allow ATS to grow, reach more people, including you folks. You must think ATS is a special site if you don't want to go elsewhere to discuss this topic. Why would you now want to possibly limit ATS' exposure to others because of ONE topic? Those that run this site KNOW what they're doing. Just like they knew what they were doing to make the site more accessible back then that made it available for YOU to get here.



posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 04:19 PM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


I was trying to understand it.

I find it quite interesting it is such a touchy subject to call inquisitive people selfish.

The length of time someone is a member, as you know, usually doesn't denote how long the person has frequented the site. Watching, learning, absorbing what it has to offer.

I agree, it should be available to people who have access to the internet.

I find your statements as well as Springer's ... in contrast to SO's:




I would prefer to have a forum dedicated to the discussion of the "war on drugs" and the myriad of known and speculated conspiracies related to the government and law enforcement.

...

Hopefully, at some point with our many other efforts that do not rely upon our website, we can address these issues with the appropriate dose of ATS style. Until then, we simply do what we can to ensure that 9,999 topics are not denied because of one.



I appreciate his sentiment, but wanted to understand the reasoning better, since I didn't understand and I showed the misconception I had, admitted it, and apologized for it.

With Majic's statements, I was able to better understand why and what filters (government filters of other countries) that SO was indirectly talking about.

I can see khumoon was under the initial impression it was usa standards that was the driving reason, when it wasn't the case.


I would think as a staff member, you would understand those comments from members who try to debate intelligently. I will work my best to help you understand where they come from, but I am no longer in disagreement with the rule, and even when I was I respected it.


I can say, if I was in an oppressed nation ... which, no matter how bad some claim usa is, there are many much worse places ... I would find a bit of relief from an open forum with intelligent people and a wide range of topics ... and like SO said, one topic shouldn't take away the rest of them ... because of a silly filter, that Majic cleared up who uses the filter and who would be lost ...


Just because I agree, doesn't take away my hope that one day, things could change and such filters wouldn't be in effect in those countries and all topics would be open once again. I feel SO was making that statement himself.


I think you should be honored to be part of the team of a site that garners so much dedication by members ... those who wish to only come here and not go elsewhere to discuss things. Those who wish to communicate with the staff about the issue and come to an understanding within themselves of why a site they love is doing something that seems against its own motto.

The answer provided satisfied me, I just hope it does to some extent, the others who had a hard time understanding why current, political events of a certain nature could not be discussed.



I just hope next time you try to understand the members a bit more. Curiosity is not insubordination. We may get a little upset about something that confuses us, but that is because we are passionate. We are still here posting, we didn't run away because something bothered us.


btw, I didn't come here because of advertisement, or a search engine. I came here by word of mouth ... by co-moderator of a forum I am now an admin on. If it wasn't for her, I would have never came here, never read, never posted ... it is all because of a member ... and in turn, I have recommended other intelligent people to come. Sometimes you grow because of your members and what they find that is special that you have ... though other efforts do make a grand difference as well. This site is easy on the eyes, rather organized for its size which must be a lot of work, has good intentions ... no one said any less of this place.


How about we tone down the negative feelings a little bit ... put on a little Elvis Costello ... What's wrong with a little peace, love, and understanding? If you don't like that one, well, how about What the world needs now, is love, sweet love, not just for some, but for everyone
... too mellow? ok. War, huh ... what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!


Hope maybe someone smiled. There is no animosity here, hope there isn't for anyone else



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