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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 Dec, 16 2007 @ 03:59 AM
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Dear SkepticOverlord,

Again, thank you for your time, effort and obvious passion.

To clarify, and because I don't want to wear out my welcome here, when you write "There's no need to go further," does that mean you would rather not pursue this issue?

I have several examples of valid news content that's been removed from Breaking Alt News, some within minutes of posting. I'd be glad to give you specifics of these posts that were based on stories from the Washington Post, NY Times and other well established sources. However, it's not my aim to anger you or cause you problems. Actually, it's just the opposite.


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by GreenFloyd
I know your first concern has to be ATS, and I know most members share that concern.

As it will always be. I've explained our position. There's no need to go further.
...




posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 04:10 AM
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reply to post by GreenFloyd
 


I don't mean to put words into SO's mouth here, but I do believe that what he meant was that he has already made his opinions on this topic VERY clear, and figures that most will let it go at that. We don't have to agree with the particular decision, but that's the beauty of the internet; we can find anyplace to put up a soapbox and scream. He just doesn't want that kind of stuff here, as more and more people will be viewing our little abode over time.

We're expanding, and we need to try to keep a certain level of civility about us, so as not to draw unwanted attention. What I mean by unwanted attention are statements from people about using drugs. Using drugs, in most countries, is an illegal act, and ATS cannot support such acts, whether implicitly or explicitly. By allowing people to freely talk about their experiences using said "recreational substances", we indirectly encourage that behavior in others. And we don't want to be associated with people using drugs because someone in a forum told them that it was "fun", do we?

I didn't think so either,
TheBorg



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 08:28 AM
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Originally posted by GreenFloyd
I have several examples of valid news content that's been removed from Breaking Alt News, some within minutes of posting.


GreenFloyd, if you wish to provide examples, I'm sure we would be able to satisfactorily advise why they were removed.

Possible reasons which stand out incude:

1. Double/duplicate post.
2. More suited to a standard discussion forum as opposed to a news forum.
3. Violation of the T&C.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by TheBorg
reply to post by GreenFloyd
 

By allowing people to freely talk about their experiences using said "recreational substances", we indirectly encourage that behavior in others. And we don't want to be associated with people using drugs because someone in a forum told them that it was "fun", do we?


Dear TheBorg,

With all due respect, I did not mention any specific "recreational substances," and I certainly did not suggest drug use be promoted in any forum, here or elsewhere.


(external link removed)



Black Poppy is a non profit making, user run organisation that creates and produces the drug user's health and lifestyle magazine...

remainder of inappropriate external content removed


I'm presenting this link is to dispel the common misconception that this subject cannnot be discussed in a rational, adult manner. Please take the time to explore BP. While, I'm not suggesting anything like BP on ATS, I am suggesting the Drug War itself is one of the biggest conspiracies, (as SkepticOverlord himself pointed out above), and that valid news reports and subsequent member discussion about it should not be censored or subverted by ATS. Even if that discussion does lead to the inevitable conclusion, drug legalization.

Cheers


 

Edit to remove link to inappropriate site.
Edit to remove inappropriate content, sourced from site.

[edit on 16-12-2007 by SkepticOverlord]



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by GreenFloyd
I'm presenting this link is to dispel the common misconception that this subject cannnot be discussed in a rational, adult manner.


While that may or may not be true, our clearly stated rules (that you agreed to when you joined) request that such discussions not happen here. Your link was removed. If you continue to attempt to disregard the rules you agreed to, your account privileges will be terminated.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by GreenFloyd


Dear TheBorg,

With all due respect, I did not mention any specific "recreational substances," and I certainly did not suggest drug use be promoted in any forum, here or elsewhere.


(external link removed)



Black Poppy is a non profit making, user run organisation that creates and produces the drug user's health and lifestyle magazine...

remainder of inappropriate external content removed


I'm presenting this link is to dispel the common misconception that this subject cannnot be discussed in a rational, adult manner. Please take the time to explore BP. While, I'm not suggesting anything like BP on ATS, I am suggesting the Drug War itself is one of the biggest conspiracies, (as SkepticOverlord himself pointed out above), and that valid news reports and subsequent member discussion about it should not be censored or subverted by ATS. Even if that discussion does lead to the inevitable conclusion, drug legalization.

Cheers


 

Edit to remove link to inappropriate site.

[edit on 16-12-2007 by SkepticOverlord]


take a look at your example and read the rules on content. your example backs up the rule more than it does any point you are trying to make.if anything, it is as close to giving the perfect example of what is not to be discussed on this site according to the rules stated lol.

hey, the mods should put this as THE example to cover any "what if's, but's" or other grey areas "naturalists" will inevitably try to hide in and argue.



 

Edit to removed sourced content.

[edit on 16-12-2007 by SkepticOverlord]



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 02:38 PM
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as entertaining as some of these arguments are, they are beginning to become tiresome and nonsensical lol.

"why can't i discuss this, why can't i discuss that " BLAH-BLAH-BLAH

if we didn't read the rules we agreed to, now we know,if we did read them it's too late to whine about it now.follow em or go elsewhere, our choice.

the mods are NOT stepping on your free speech or making up their own rules (they have legal responsibilities that they had to agree to take on when they started this site) the rules are there to protect themselves as well as us.

i'm pretty sure if the site was hauled into court because of something you said, instead of arguing your right to free speech/opinion,you would be the first one to cut a deal and hang the site out to dry even though they gave you free reign to say whatever you wanted.

we agreed to a level of censorship when we signed up.

if you don't like it then start your own site, see how far you get with your arguments when they are directed at lawyers instead of mods lol.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord


While I personally believe there are important conspiratorial issues related to the "War On Drugs" and related government malfeasance, there are four primary reasons we prefer to avoid this topic.



Reason Three: Stoners
This may seem like stereotyping or "stoner profiling", but the all too often inane chatter and personalities attracted by discussion of drug use will end up detracting from our long-standing broader efforts to approach topics that are normally ridiculed with a new level of intelligence and civility. Quality professional writers, researchers, and journalists with important information in our genres are beginning to be attracted by the high-quality of material being exchanged by our members. The direct involvement with our membership if such experts has been a long standing goal of ours. But people such as these will not be attracted to a place where certain types of discussions are known to crop up.


All of these core rationales can easily be applied to topics about illegal drugs, computer hacking, hate crime/racism, and child pornography.


I respect your policy, it is after all your site and i am a member who liked to join, and accepted the terms.

Most of your reasoning i can follow but this particular quote is quite stereo typing a very large group in a very bad way.

You like to attract a "higher quality" of members.
But try to say in the same line that people discussing "illegal drugs, computer hacking, hate crime/racism, and child pornography" are not of this quality, or repel people of this "quality"

I am not trying to change your mind on the topic, but i just like to point out how this statement comes across.

Maybe i could remind you of some great thinkers in our history that admitted using illigal drug, and discussing it in public.



Sigmund Freud, medical doctor, psychologist and father of psychoanalysis, is generally recognized as one of the most influential and authoritative thinkers of the 20th century.

In the early 1880's the coc aine alkaloid was first extracted from coca leaves and some studies were beginning into its medical use. Freud was intrigued by the drug and was among the first to study and use it. "I take very small doses of it regularly and against depression and against indigestion, and with the most brilliant success," wrote Freud.




Another scientific luminary who has been public about the benefits to be gained from mind-expanding drugs is Kary Mullis. Mullis won the 1993 Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a now commonly used technique called the "polymerase chain reaction," which allows scientists to quickly and easily duplicate segments of DNA.


These people seem to be "Quality professional writers, researchers, and journalists with important information in our genres"

So i can understand that you dont want to allow the discussion of drugs use, but not on the basis that it atracts only "stoner profiling" kind of people.

Dont you think you could, on the same basis, ban all ufo discussion, because it attracts the wrong people ?
Or all discussion about terrorism, religion, weapons etc. etc.
Do we have to go to these "other" forums for these discussions to

I hope this post is of high quality enough, so i dont repel these "Quality professional writers"

Respect Jaamaan

[edit: i wanted to post the source link to the [ex] quote but it is to a drug discussion site, so i wont post it]

[edit on 16-12-2007 by jaamaan]



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 08:04 AM
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I’m relatively new here so I can’t say that I am familiar with your past problems. But as a website owner that invites public comments, I can relate to the need to maintain some semblance of control over your product.

Just from reading the opener and a few comments that followed, my only real concern would be the difference between opinion and vocation… or as it were, a major truth.

It’s a fine line.

The final decision is, of course, yours to make. As your guests, we must respect your rights to conduct this website as you see fit. And in that final thought, I will certainly make every effort to abide by your wishes.




posted on Dec, 29 2007 @ 08:15 PM
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Hello everyone,

Over the Christmas holiday, thinking about this discussion it became clear to me it’s not about so-called “illegal activity,” it is about political censorship and its blind acceptance. No matter how hard anyone strains to justify it, it is still wrong, wrong, wrong!

This ATS policy is even more draconian than mainstream media and in effect nullifies any claim of moral high ground between the two. While I understand and appreciate the need to grow ATS, this is not the way to do it. Even as hit counts soar; with this policy in the long run ATS looses more than it gains.

Serious thinkers and writers shun censorship imposed by anyone other than himself or herself. The boss isn’t always right. No one argues against the need to enforce standards and decorum, however, this extreme and highly insulting censorship is over the top. “Bad amigos, bad,” he said with a wry smile.

I know this discussion annoys some of you, but don’t expect me to apologize for challenging censorship. I don’t care if it’s from governments or the amigos; I will stand against it and do everything within my very limited powers of persuasion to overcome it.

Some of you consider me selfish, beyond reason. That’s part right. I enjoy the heck out of ATS, and my opposition to this censorship is intended, believe it or not, to make it even better. Otherwise, I think I’m being perfectly reasonable; and more respectful to the censors than they are to us.

Cheers and Happy New Year…



posted on Dec, 29 2007 @ 09:37 PM
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reply to post by GreenFloyd
 

With all due respect I say to you that you can like it or leave it because you can rant till the cows come home....it isn't going to change anything.

Before I sold my business and retired I was constantly getting advice from my customers on how to better operate my business. I just smiled , said thank you and took their money. Those who gave advice are still working for hourly wages and will be till death or company retirement.

My point is, who are you or who am I to give advice to successful site owners.

If not for the T&C I would not be a member of this forum. I have had some very bad experiences in unregulated forums.



posted on Dec, 29 2007 @ 11:06 PM
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Just a thought...

Is it censorship that my favorite convenience store carries "Brand X" milk when I like "Brand Q"? They are denying me the "Right" to drink "Brand Q" and forcing me to go to another establishment to obtain what I desire.

How dare they!!!!! You would think it was their store and not mine.. Oh yeah wait a minute, it is....

How about the nudist? Why are they not allowed to parade their tanned bodies around in the park? Is that not censorship as well?

Here is one that is important to me... Why can I not buy a car with a headlight dimmer in the floor anymore? Those big car dealers are denying me the "RIGHT" to purchase my new car with a floor dimmer. CENSORSHIP!!!

If you are going to use such a broad brush to define the inability to discuss illegal drug use on ATS as censorship, then you remove any barriers in regards to intelligently discussing censorship at all. This allows us to investigate and even discuss the ridiculous to the sublime much like the milk story... Censorship of the nature ATS is using, is and has been proven to be healthy for the board (As shown by SO and the factual numbers) and not completely unwanted by the members.

I for one have no desire to discuss illegal drug use with dopers, academia's or anyone else. However if I did, there are almost countless sites I may go to in which to achieve that goal. I feel no unexplainable pressing need to do so on here, nor do I understand such a compulsion.

I would also like to point out that after 110 replies, most are in support of the policy and not against it. That would lead me to believe that the majority of members either don't care about the issue, or support ATS's position as I do. So even in relation to a majority, the issue is moot.

I like the board the way it is. Tasteful and Intelligent. Discussions are lively and on par with any one may expect to find in the halls of our greatest institutions. I see no need to sully the water so to speak...

Just my simple thoughts on the subject...

Semper



posted on Dec, 29 2007 @ 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by GreenFloyd
Hello everyone,my opposition to this censorship is intended, believe it or not, to make it even better. Otherwise, I think I’m being perfectly reasonable; and more respectful to the censors than they are to us.

You can split hairs to make your straw man as much as you like, but in the end, our policies are not "censorship" by any stretch of the imagination. The rules and guidelines regarding these topics will not change. Repeated attempts to disrupt this website in regards to these rules will force us to consider the status of your membership.



posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 09:05 PM
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reply to post by dizziedame

My point is, who are you or who am I to give advice to successful site owners.

If not for the T&C I would not be a member of this forum. I have had some very bad experiences in unregulated forums.


Dear dizziedame,
Like you, I am a member of ATS. I support the ATS ideal, and want to make it better. Nonetheless, even “successful site owners,” are not above criticism when it is due.

I am sorry about your “bad experiences,” if they relate to this thread, would you care to elaborate? I am not suggesting, “unregulated forums,” by the way.



posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


Dear semperforits,

I appreciate the effort you took to express your “simple thoughts on the subject.” Please don’t consider me rude if I skip over your dairy dilemma, lack of bare bottoms in the park or your desire to dim bright lights. In my opinion, your analogies, save perhaps the “nudists,” are not relevant to the discussion at hand.


Originally posted by semperfortis
Just a thought...
If you are going to use such a broad brush to define the inability to discuss illegal drug use on ATS as censorship, then you remove any barriers in regards to intelligently discussing censorship at all.


It’s the nature of censorship to impose those barriers. Please don’t confuse the censored, with the censor. Censorship is the antithesis of intelligent discussion. Not only are certain issues out of bounds, attempts to address censorship itself are subject to the censor’s powers and bias. Institutionalized defense of censorship invariably resorts to the use of force and intimidation against those in the community who might challenge it.


Censorship of the nature ATS is using, is and has been proven to be healthy for the board (As shown by SO and the factual numbers) and not completely unwanted by the members.


While I wish the ATS board nothing but the best of health, I do not believe this policy is in the best interests of the ATS community. Since you bring up the fact censorship is “not completely unwanted by the members,” I think it would be interesting to ask all the members what they think.


I for one have no desire to discuss illegal drug use with dopers, academia's or anyone else. However if I did, there are almost countless sites I may go to in which to achieve that goal.


Then please, off the top of your head, name three. I doubt you can. Of course that does not mean you are incorrect; perhaps though you are jumping to a conclusion not based on facts and exaggerating just a tad. However, that’s not the point of this discussion. By the way, I am personally much more interested in the public policy and politics of so-called “illegal activities,” not as you put it, “illegal drug use.” I hope you and everyone else appreciates that important distinction.

Snip…


I like the board the way it is. Tasteful and Intelligent. Discussions are lively and on par with any one may expect to find in the halls of our greatest institutions. I see no need to sully the water so to speak...


I am not suggesting any change to the board. I am suggesting a change to its misguided policy prohibiting valid news content and intelligent discussion of it.

I also enjoy the many tasteful and intelligent discussions on ATS. Nonetheless, censorship has and is sullying the waters at ATS. As it has been repeatedly pointed out, this issue comes up on a near daily basis wasting time and resources, creating animosity between members and staff while making ATS nearly irrelevant on one of the most “expansive” criminal and political conspiracies ever perpetrated.

As I pointed out, your effort Semper is noteworthy, yet I find it curious how someone with “no desire to discuss” a particular subject would want to prevent others from doing so. No one is forced to participate in any discussion on ATS, you even have the option of “ignoring” me or any other member.


Just my simple thoughts on the subject...
Semper



Yes, indeed. Thank you.



posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 09:22 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 



Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
You can split hairs to make your straw man as much as you like, but in the end, our policies are not "censorship" by any stretch of the imagination. The rules and guidelines regarding these topics will not change. Repeated attempts to disrupt this website in regards to these rules will force us to consider the status of your membership.


Dear SkepticOverlord,

With all due respect, I am not making a straw man or splitting hairs. I believe I have made a direct and compelling case against your current policy, and that apparently upsets you. That wasn’t my intention, but then again it’s not my policy causing all this disruption, it’s yours.



posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 09:25 PM
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Hey Floyd, I would direct you toATS and censorship.

There are many sites that discuss the subject matter you want. I can u2u them to you if you wish. It's just not ATS material.

Cool?



posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 09:27 PM
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Originally posted by GreenFloyd
That wasn’t my intention, but then again it’s not my policy causing all this disruption, it’s yours.


So now you want to back out of the contract you have with ATS because we don't cater to what YOU want to post? That wouldn't stand up anywhere.



posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 09:34 PM
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Originally posted by GreenFloyd
but then again it’s not my policy causing all this disruption, it’s yours.


No... it is you.

And since you seem unable to understand our very simple and clearly stated guidelines, and seek to further argue the point fruitlessly, I've applied a posting-ban to your account. Please contact me if you'd like to discover how it might be removed.



posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 09:37 PM
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Originally posted by GreenFloyd
That wasn’t my intention, but then again it’s not my policy causing all this disruption, it’s yours.


Policies do not cause disruption, people do.


Im at a bit of a loss as to what to really say. One of the 3 main site owners has answered AND given justification and rationale for the policy of HIS board. Its really just that cut and dry.

As far as you request to list sites where you are free to discuss these issues I have found this one to be an excellent source to help you with your search:

www.google.com...



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