How To Spot A Disruptor
I know for a fact that there are individuals and groups who make it their business to deliberately disrupt discussion on ATS. I see it all the
They range from your basic Internet trolls and troll gangs (typically bored, mischievous kids) to ideological extremists trying to push their agendas
(racist groups being a classic example) to hucksters trying to make a fast buck by inappropriately using the site for advertising and promotion of
some product or another -- and a small percentage whose motives may well be more sinister.
What makes them all stand out aren't their opinions but the tactics they use: personal attacks, off-topic posts, thread derailment, spamming,
baiting, hit-and-run, etc.
They are easy to spot because they clearly aren't here to discuss the issues, but rather to try to control the discussions with their antics or,
failing that, sabotage the ability of other members to discuss the issues themselves.
They know what they're doing, and for anyone who's familiar with the tricks of their trade, they stand out like sore thumbs.
Rules Of Thumb
Such behavior also happens to run afoul of the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And
Conditions Of Use
, which is one reason why enforcing them is so important.
Please note that no member is a "disruptor" simply because they may have differing views on an issue. If that were the case, we'd all
Rather, bona fide disruption consists of nothing more nor less than behavior which directly interferes with civil, candid topical discussion.
Lately there does seem to be an increase in this, and it needs to stop.
Disrupting The Disruptors
Members can help by alerting us to T&C
violations when they occur, and (of
course) by not violating the rules themselves.
Meanwhile, though we always endeavor to give all members the benefit of the doubt, I'm actively encouraging my fellow moderators to take decisive
action against disruptors once identified.
Members who honor the T&C
and respect the concept of common courtesy have
nothing to worry about.
Those who do not, however, will eventually end up somewhere else, one way or another.