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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 Jan, 2 2008 @ 09:48 PM
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Are we talking about about plants here like the coca plant, the cannabis plant, and the poppy flower??? Good Lord - Just the name calling of of these natural and innocent life forms as "Drugs"(whatever the powers that be would have you believe that means) is the greatest conspiracy of them all. If this is what you are talking about then shame on you ATS! If not then please clarify!!

I have seen far worse and damaging things discussed here that would make any parent's head spin. There must be a very specific reason for this censorship and because it's not for the kiddies just is not convincing me. Did one of your sponsors threaten to pull out or something??

Now look what you've done. You've gone and created a conspiracy within a conspiracy discussion site. I don't know what to think now!!


[edit on 2-1-2008 by CyberTruth]




posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 09:49 PM
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reply to post by GreenFloyd
 


TOC's, RESPECT for other members, NO PROFANITY, NO ILEGAL discussion RE: drug/substance abuse, et al.

It is for these reasons and MORE, that I choose ATS. Period.

Too many 'loop-holes' at other sites. Too much rigormural.

ATS has been progressively defining itself to allow only 'Flowers of intellect' to grow in OUR garden. 'Weeds' are those individuals who 'imitate intellectual thought, provide only disruption/discord, and need to be pulled out. As much as one individual thinks it should be a 'certain way', I'm willing to bet it was the original intention of our 3 Amigos was to provide a site that would enable Everyone is the entire world, to come to a place, where we can represent our thoughts...without encouraging 'weeds' to grow in anybody's minds.

As with ANY controversial subjects, we must all discern in appropriate ways for all concerned; for all ages.

To NOT discuss inappropriate content - doesn't mean we are NOT denying ignorance. We step back from the situation; with thoughfulness and knowledge, that the next step forward would open Pandora's box - Pandora's 'garden'.

I came from gardens, such as these, and have NEVER..EVER seen positive results. Nadda.

THAT'S WHY I JOINED ATS.


Seeds have been planted; weeds will be pulled.

What makes ATS, the winner?

Good Administration/Moderators/Members

Good Gardeners

~Ducky~



posted on Jan, 2 2008 @ 10:27 PM
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what the duck above me said; i second all of it all the way. guess i didn't really have much of a reason to post on this thread, i just wanted to show my support and agreement with TheDuckster's quacking.



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 02:20 AM
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It's just a crying shame that intelligent discussion is going out of the window. Where people decide what we can and cannot talk about...

I will obviously adhere to ATS rules, but cannot help feeling that other topics like 'computer hacking, abuse, murder, incest, racism, sexism' etc can be freely disussed here without challenge, yet the discussion of drugs is a terrible taboo...

If for example a thread is created about the pentagon hacker, is that not a discussion about illegal activity? In my opinion it is... Yet those posts go unchallenged by the masses.

Also where is the line drawn between drug abuse and drug use?
There's a vast difference, but we have been brainwashed into thinking all drugs are the same and all are bad.

Also, for all the people who say 'well go and talk about it on another forum', I don't think they understand that MAYBE people just want to talk about some topics between the ATS community.

Why not have a secure area JUST for that topic, whereby it is keenly moderated???

Anyway, that's just my opinion, I'm not challenging anybody here and wouldn't want to offend our masters, sorry moderators.


(but for all the people too afraid to discuss this 'terrible' subject, I suggest going out and burning your music collection).



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 04:10 AM
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Wow,

When I first came to ATS - A few years back under another Identity (another story another time - I was not banned) I found it very refreshing to be able to discuss such a wide range of topics and I understood from the get go that much of what was said was speculation & BS. Still I found it highly entertaining & sometimes very informative.

What I really admired was the way the site allowed people talk about such a wide range of topics - some which exposed truthfully bad things in our world and went against the MSM.

As we know good leaders become corrupted by corporations & greed after becoming elected it seems a great off the wall site may fall a notch by becoming more like the MSM corrupted by greed of the need to be liked by everyone and follow the status quo.

While I still find this a great site & I'm greatful to be here to read & post I find this current thread a little disturbing.

Though I don't agree with the owners fully, I do understand it is their site and they have every right to do as they see fit. BTW - I know this isn't a democracy here and I fully respect that & also agree with 99% of your ideas which have made this a great site.

For the remainder of my stay here I will try to respect those rules. However for this one thread I will say my 2 cents. I hope I'm not banned because of it.

Being a conspiracy site though - here we have a conspiracy within the site itself - You could almost say the XXX has taken over the site or is indirectly influencing the content of this site, so no one can expose their dastardly behavior - with the anti-discussable subjects they may be involved with. But hey that's just a conspiracy.

It seems the site owners have become more interested in DISNEYFYING the content of this site in order that children, people from companies and countries that promote censorship in order to attract more visitors and get higher marks on the pop charts? Is that really what this site has become? Watered down in order to take part in a popularity contest - in order to achieve X?

I call that a sell out & lowers the level of credibility of what this site is supposed to be about.

Of course I can agree to no nudies & no open legalization type discussion and I do agree there are plenty enough of that elsewhere. A blanket policy so we can't write about x-organization that used x-substance in order to take advantage of x-population in order to achieve x-conspiracy really stinks.

Again I admire all you have done to get to this point & done well you have. Thank you for the great site & thanks for letting me speak my peace. Good Luck & I hope you achieve your goals to become whatever your dream is for your site.








[edit on 3-1-2008 by verylowfrequency]



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 04:46 AM
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reply to post by verylowfrequency
 


I just wanted to draw your attention to something. SO mentions in his second post here that:



As long as the discussion doesn't contain components that advocate legalizing or using illegal drugs. But even then, we'd ask that members maintain high standards of conduct and avoid "street" or "slang" terminology for the drugs being discussed.


What they are talking about is a member posting their own stories and experiences with said illegal substances. Generally, this would be categorized as "substance abuse". This is something that ATS is wholly against in every way.

Of course we can have constructive discourse on these and any other topics, so long as it's tasteful, and remains above board. It's when it gets lewd or otherwise disturbing that they have to call foul on it.

Just figured that I'd try to clear that up. I'm still wondering something... What's the big deal here? Did I miss something in school? Or is this not the most logical thing ATS could do?

Befuddled,

TheBorg



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 05:35 AM
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reply to post by TheBorg
 


Maybe not such a big deal or maybe it is - only time will tell.


It just has the feeling of their caving into the man in order to maintain their success. As if being successful is the goal rather than it's original concept which created that success in the first place - if that makes sense.

Sometimes though it's better to sneak some of your opinion by those in charge rather than having no voice what so ever and maybe in a way that's what is happening with ATS - either get some of your content out at that location or none at all.

It's not my place to rain on their wonderful parade, but from my point of view I'd had rather see them being popular for standing up against the filters & censors so those censored fight the censors for access rather than ATS adjusting content in order to fit within someone else's parameters.

Another words are they making the rules (as they should) or is someone else or something else (status -money etc.) influencing them making the rules. I find that more important than the rules themselves.

I'm not running the show & I don't understand all that is involved, still I like to share my opinion - they always have the option of erasing it.

I have much respect for what ATS has achieved & more respect for the work it takes to manage such a big monster.

Sometimes things just have to be done a certain way and somewhere a line is drawn, we can accept it with our mouths shut or we can accept it and bitch a bit.






[edit on 3-1-2008 by verylowfrequency]



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 05:55 AM
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I find it amazing that it is possible to discuss all sorts of topics ranging from the downright ridiculous to the outright treasonous but no-one is allowed to discuss the failure of current drug policies and the possible legalisation of drugs.

I will make no attempt here to support either viewpoint but it seems strange that when senior Police Officers are willing to discuss it, news.bbc.co.uk... a conspiracy forum, which encourages discussion and debate, actively censors any such discussion.
I am not even going to attempt to point out the difference between drug use and drug abuse.

What amazes me is that I have seen threads here on ATS where members have openly discussed and, fortunately only a very, very small minority, supported paedophilia without any action being taken by moderators or the site owners.

When writing this post I originally intended to write about GreenFloyd's courteous attempts at trying to express his opinion and the Site Owners response, but that's not for me to comment on.
I genuinely do understand the Site Owners stance and their reasoning behind it. I just don't necessarily wholeheartedly agree with it in this instance.

One thing is certain, prohibition, current drug policies and "the war on drugs" are not working and the continuing failure to even discuss alternative solutions is helping to perpetuate the current situation.

I have absolutely no intention of getting involved in a mud slinging match with anyone and will continue to abide to the T&C at all times, I just had to have my 2 pennorth worth!



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 06:41 AM
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To Verylowfrequency and freeborn

Thankyou that is exactly what I was trying to say...

If a high ranking police officer is willing to discuss it in the public forum, then why should we be restricted on a site with a tag thats states 'Deny Ignorance'

Since when did that mean backing down and shying away from a subject?
This is indeed a possible conspiracy!

I am not going against the rules and regs here, but bowing down to filters and censorship isn't cool is it? Can you see why some people are maybe thinking that even this site is vulnerable

Maybe some neutral ground, for independent thoughts and opinions (not a Pro's vs cons arguement), but maybe a discussion room, for issues regarding legality and historical use etc...

But we don't need patronising into silence.
I too am shocked at this display of 'nannying'...

EDIT - just read the above post and I'm horrified that people are openly supporting paedophilia and nothing is being done about it... yet any post that even mentions the word Drug is thrashed by a mod.

Hmm?







[edit on 3-1-2008 by mr-lizard]



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 07:03 AM
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Originally posted by mr-lizard
Why not have a secure area JUST for that topic, whereby it is keenly moderated???

Those who have recently (past 3-4 weeks) initiate threads that attempt to approach certain topics with serious intent, will have discovered our new unofficial policy of moving such threads to the "Really Above Top Secret" forum where members must use points to purchase access.



Originally posted by verylowfrequency
It seems the site owners have become more interested in DISNEYFYING the content of this site in order that children, people from companies and countries that promote censorship in order to attract more visitors and get higher marks on the pop charts? Is that really what this site has become? Watered down in order to take part in a popularity contest - in order to achieve X?

I call that a sell out & lowers the level of credibility of what this site is supposed to be about.

I'm sorry you see it that way.

Wouldn't it be much easier to simply acquiesce? After all, if we did so, ATS would be a much less popular place... with fewer rules and guidelines, we'd need less staff... with fewer rules and less staff, the site would have much less traffic, and I'd have significantly reduced IT-inspired headaches and expenses.

But let's ask a very serious question (which I think has already been asked somewhere here in this thread, just as my current points have already been made), which would you classify as most important (pick only one):

1) A small site where a few people can free-reign over the most controversial of topics, but no one knows about it and thus never discovers the few important issues.

2) A giant site where thousands can examine important issues (except for a very small handful of topics) where nearly anyone can easily discover the topics and learn things they never before considered.

If you want #2, stick around. If you want #1, there are thousands of other discussion boards that fit that description, and we never claimed ATS is for everyone.

You call it "selling out," I call it "doing it the hard way." And after nearly four years of hard work, and quitting my day-job 14 months ago to devote full-time to this... when someone mentions "selling out," I'm sorry but I take it rather personally.



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 12:36 PM
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Originally posted by TheBorg
reply to post by verylowfrequency
 


I just wanted to draw your attention to something. SO mentions in his second post here that:



As long as the discussion doesn't contain components that advocate legalizing or using illegal drugs. But even then, we'd ask that members maintain high standards of conduct and avoid "street" or "slang" terminology for the drugs being discussed.


first off, thank for the attention to this thread, SO. some things are being cleared up.. however in regards to the quote above, it still seems more vague than anything.

what is it that makes advocating legalization just as bad as advocating drug use? For example, I am not a drinker, but I think people should be able to drink. I don't use opium, but I think people should be able to obtain and use it without dealing with criminals and other dangers.

Also, if I had a list of reasons why legalization would be a good option, it seems that is not allowed to be discussed either... however, someone can post about the exact opposite. They can sit there and bash drug users and legalization advocates without any retaliation or moderation. If anything, people should not be allowed to post opinions one way or the other.

If you let everyone speak out against something, and then censor everyone on the other side of the fence, well that is a prime example of misinformation.

Again, if we aren't allowed to discuss such things on ATS, that should be a blanket statement, otherwise the rules should be changed to say "No discussing illegal activity, unless speaking out against it and bashing advocates."

There should also be heavy moderation on anyone that even jokingly refers to computer hacking or vandalism in a positive light.



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


I like the RATS idea, but I'm still a little confused.

Am I to assume that posting in RATS circumvents the search engine filters? and am I to assume as well, that the T&C apply and that only serious discussion about controlled/illegal substances are allowed - with the legalization trollers still being unable to take over a thread?

If there is a policy change regarding these topics, could you clarify for me what is and isn't deemed acceptable.

I have no real desire to discuss the subject at the moment, but I never know when the mood may take me and it would be nice to have some clear guidance - especially as it was the lack of clarity which got me wound up in the past, and I have no desire to re-visit that particular drama.

Thanks SO



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 05:46 PM
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First of all I understand it is the owners site and they can run it as they please.
This I accept and if I was in their situation I too would run it as I see fit.
As such I will abide by the T&C.

I personally think it detracts from the credibility of the site that it will allow no discussion at all on the legalisation of certain substances when I know there are valid arguements from both sides and the self same discussions are becoming increasingly more common in mainstream forums and areana's.
This is even more curious when other illegal activities, like paedophilia, have been openly discussed without moderator or owner intervention.


This can only lead to perpetuating ignorance; the opposite of the stated aim and goal of the site.

Still, as stated previously, it is the owners site and they do as they see right.

I am a little uncertain about the instruction to use R.A.T.S.
What can be discussed there?
What can't be discussed there?
Who can enter it?
Who can't enter it?



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 06:46 PM
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Originally posted by Freeborn
I am a little uncertain about the instruction to use R.A.T.S.
What can be discussed there?
What can't be discussed there?
Who can enter it?
Who can't enter it?


Can/cannot be disussed? - Anything within the T&C's, but in the case of some drug related threads, apparently those issues related to a conspiracy, not personal experiences, etc. Anything not within the T&C's is not allowed.

Who can/can't enter? - All members can enter, but it requires the use of points. The initial cost is 5000 points, after which there is a 250 points monthly renewal fee.

The Member Center contains a link to the ATS Store, through which the purchase to your access can be gained.

RATS is the place where 'sensitive' research can be done outside of public scrutiny since the posts do not appear on the New Threads page unless you have paid the dues.



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 07:00 PM
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reply to post by masqua
 


So, not everyone can enter RATS.
At the current rate I won't be able to enter RATS for another 3-4 months.
I 've never posted anything with the sole intention of collecting points, to be honest with you, they seem a little egotistical to me.
I would have thought the number of posts or length of membership would be a better reflection of a members contribution to the site.
I don't know, I've honestly never really considered it till now.
I suppose it can reflect the quality of posts and contribution to the site.
Food for thought.

But, still can't openly enter into the pro's and cons of the taboo subject, doesn't really lend itself to adult debate does it.
Still, I understand it's not open to debate with the 3 Amigo's.

I could say so much, but I have no desire to incur the wrath of SO.



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 07:06 PM
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reply to post by masqua
 


Additionally, the threads are not "seen" by the search engine spiders.


Springer...



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 07:08 PM
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The quality of posts is everything.

Members who do the research and create thought-provoking posts get applauds. At 500 points each in ATS/BTS and 1500 points each in AP, it doesn't take long to rack up 5000. RATS is available by using combined points from BTS, AP and ATS.

I know for a fact that staff hand out many more applauds than warns. After all, who wouldn't rather make somebody's day for a nice post than spank them for a T&C infraction. 1-liner or BIG quote?



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 07:45 PM
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reply to post by masqua
 


I can see that the "quality of the post is everything" and I understand that the mods and staff much prefer to award applauds rather than warnings.

it's just that it's quite time consuming for someone like myself who generally prefers to post one-off comments and opinions on thread subjects, rather than offering some Eureka moment, Paul on the road to Damascus like, illuminating post, to acquire the required points to access RATS.
Still, I'm sure the wait will be worthwhile.



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 08:42 PM
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Freeborn I understand where your coming from some of my posts don't consist of more then a couple of paragraphs. Quality not quality can or cannot apply when making a post. Members posting styles differ greatly one member I have a lot respect and time for is incapable of making a post of less then 150 words.

Cheers xpert11.



posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 08:47 PM
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Originally posted by budski
If there is a policy change regarding these topics, could you clarify for me what is and isn't deemed acceptable.

More like an experimental "rule of thumb" to see how it works out.



Originally posted by Freeborn
I personally think it detracts from the credibility of the site that it will allow no discussion at all on the legalisation of certain substances when I know there are valid arguements from both sides and the self same discussions are becoming increasingly more common in mainstream forums and areana's.

Unfortunately, we've yet to experience any such discussion that remained credible on its own (without extensive staff intervention). Credibility rarely has much to do with your chosen topic, and has everything to do with your material and especially the presentation thereof. I sincerely wish that we could maintain an intelligent and productive thread on these issues, but in my experience on ATS and other digital venues, it has never been possible.


The constant questioning of our clearly defined policy is getting rather bothersome... especially when we need to repeat ourselves over, and over again. So I'm going to summarize our position on these issues as succinctly as possible:

1) ATS's Promise To Our Members: We've promised you an advanced environment, that contains superior search engine optimization, within which to post your most important thoughts, ideas, and theories so that the world may know what you have to say.

2) Content Filtering Prevention: Certain topics, such as illicit drug use, rank at the top of automated content filtering systems. We avoid these topics to ensure that our promise (see #1) is kept.

3) Topical Insanity: Certain topics, such as illicit drug use, attract a segment of users with priorities that are incompatible with "Deny Ignorance" as it applies to the broader spectrum of ATS topics. We avoid these topics in order to avoid encounters with those who may turn away serious members with something important to say on the broader spectrum of ATS topics... in an effort to keep our promise (see #1).

4) This Is Not Censorship: We recognize there may be valid points within the realm of the topics we seek to limit. However, we are a privately owned website and we have determined our promise to the overwhelming majority of our members, combined with the significantly broader extent of incredibly important topics, take precedent.

5) Context Is Everything: We've tried, and sometimes continue to try to allow threads that deal with issues such as drug legalization. As soon as someone posts material that discusses or promotes personal use, we're forced to take action.

6) No Room For Discussion: These are our policies and are among the cornerstone policies responsible for the growth that ensure our promise is working, and continues to work well. No amount of banter, pleading, flaming, spamming, cursing, insulting, or hair-splitting will change these policies.

7) Experimental Rule Of Thumb: Currently, topics that deserve discussion, yet must be removed from public display, are being moved to the "Really Above Top Secret" forum as an experiment. The jury remains "out" as to whether or not this is a successful strategy. This does not mean we allow the discussion of personal drug use within the RATS forum.



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