Dealing with 9/11 Madness (argumentum ad hominem veritas)

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posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 07:49 AM
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Unfortunately, many of those who choose to debate the issues surrounding 9/11 conspiracy theories on ATS remain unswayed by our simple rules of civility and decorum and continually seek to skirt the intent of This Thread. Therefore, we are faced with one of two choices... close the forum, or get more strict. In the interest of promoting the civilized debate and discussion of important issues, we're getting more strict.

Ad Hominem


For the most part, the new level of discourteous activity is focused on an amazing amount of ad hominen personality attacks directed toward ATS Members, high-profile 9/11 "Truth" personalities, high-profile 9/11 "Debunker" personalities, and even non-public figures those who have been in the mainstream news as reported witnesses the events on 9/11/2001. This type of activity in the 9/11 Forum on AboveTopSecret.com stops now.

New 9/11 Forum Warning


Beginning at the time of this announcement, if your post contains a personality attack against anyone, no matter if your target is an ATS member or not, within the 9/11 Forum, it will be removed and replaced with this graphic:

You will also receive a warning and points penalty.

IMPORTANT!
If a second infraction is encountered, even if we're applying the warns within seconds of each other and you have not seen the first warning yet, your posting privileges will be removed.

Truthers, Debunkers, CT's, and Skeptics Oh My!


In all my years being involve in various online communities, boards, and forums, as well as conspiracy theorists, I've never experienced the level of vicious personality attacks that I'm currently seeing within the spectrum of debate and discussion defined by "9/11 conspiracy theories and Truth Movement."

We hear over and over again from those in the "truth movement" that there is nothing more important than exposing the "inside job." To you I say, then there is nothing more important than expressing your points with civility and credibility. For both sides of the argument, if you're unable to communicate these issues in a deserving manner, then you are not concerned about the issues at all, you're simply entertaining yourself through insults and you're not welcome here.

We Can't Discuss The Credibility Of Participants?


If you feel compelled to discredit those who espouse 9/11 conspiracies, promote 9/11 activism, engage in 9/11 conspiracy debunking, or tell their first-hand 9/11 stories, then do so with facts and reasoned analysis. Simply stating they're a member of a "sect," a popular debunking site, or any other simplistic "guilt by association" statement will result in a "9/11 Madness" warning.

To be clear, "public figures" such as politicians and policy-makers with a connection to these issues/events are not considered to fall under these new guidelines. Their pre-existing public exposure places them in a position to anticipate scrutiny.


Is It Fair That We Single Out One Forum?


No. Certainly not. But then it's not fair that a limited number of people choose to ignore our long-standing policies of civility and decorum. We choose these policies long ago to enable the important topics to rise up from the typical pointless bickering seen on nearly all other discussion venues. These topics are important, insults are not. The concept is simple.

Yes, this issue happens in other forums on ATS... but with no where near the frequency and intensity seen in the 9/11 forum.

Today, the 9/11 Madness ends on AboveTopSecret.com.



 

Edit to clarify that these guidelines only extend to non-public people who are not ATS members.

[edit on 14-12-2007 by SkepticOverlord]




posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 07:59 AM
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Does this mean that it will be worth returning to the 9/11 Forum?


YES!!!!!


Woohoo!



I may not agree with a lot of the ATS policies, however, I'm behind this one 1000%.






Jasn



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 08:17 AM
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Oh, I please hope this will work. Threads like 'Skepticism of 9/11 Truth is Denial for Comfort Sake' are beginning to get fustrating to read and old.


I look forward to reading the truth.



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 08:22 AM
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reply to post by SimiusDei
 


Not a bad change; not at all. I have been thinking and trying to figure out what it is about 9-11 that generates such profound hostility between both sides?

Going for the throat is common although having a civil discourse - even at complete odds with each other - does happen.

I hope the change promotes meaningful discussion and eliminates the bad actors.



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 08:24 AM
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i dont have the time right now to read the past replies so someone could have told u guyz that that there is a movie on the web that proves that 911 was made up by the so-called americans...if u already know that then sry for annoying/disturbing u...
peace



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 08:24 AM
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Over the course of the last decade or so, I've run three forums. The last forum I made was 100% private. All of them got destroyed by trolling and vicious attacks. I certainly hope you can control some of the madness not only in the 9/11 forum, but throughout this site. It's getting pretty ugly in places. This is one terrific forum and I'd like to be a part of it for a long time.

Thanks for all the steps you're taking.



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 08:27 AM
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well, ive never received a warning for any of my posts though there were a few times even i think maybe i should have. for myself i will humbly take this as a firm but fair reminder to conduct myself as a gentleman at all times. this is yet another reason ats is one of the only websites i visit anymore.



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 08:27 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


not that 9-11 was not a terrible tragedy but the buisness of the 2 planes and the towers has been talked to death here-------------its over----------whoever /however those planes were flown into those buildings we cant undo it now-----------i for one would prefer that thread is dropped completly------------unless ats management comes up with new info they want to show us in the future that the government might have covered up or missed.



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 08:38 AM
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Originally posted by yahn goodeywe cant undo it now-----------


By this reasoning, we should drop most of the topics on ATS that can't be undone, or happened a while ago.

I welcome and strongly support this action taken by SkepticOverlord, and am proud to see them defend free speech, civility and decorum all in one.

This, is what seperates Above Top Secret from the rest, and long may it continue to do so.



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 09:02 AM
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Stop The Insanity!

Don't forget that in the 9/11 Conspiracies forum, as in all forums, if you see a violation of the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use, you can do something about it.

Just hit the ALERT button for the offending post and let us know what's wrong.

Please DO NOT respond to insults with insults. That only makes things worse -- at a geometrically staggering rate in most cases -- and exposes you to punishment for your own misconduct.

We don't want "troll-itis" to be contagious!


Instead, if someone decides to poison the discussion with name-calling or other off-topic personal commentary, just hit the ALERT button and enjoy what comes next.

Bear in mind that it may take a while for us to respond, but once alerted to a T&C violation, we will take action.

To all those who have helped us this way in the past, thank you.

It really helps.


Why We're Here

The 9/11 Conspiracies forum is here for members to share their theories, opinions and information about the 9/11 attacks and related topics, not to serve as a public venue for dysfunctional behavior.

It remains to be seen whether or not the truth about 9/11 will ever come out, but by keeping cool heads and allowing all sides of the issue to be discussed calmly and candidly, we have a much better chance of achieving that goal.

I salute everyone who is sincerely committed to doing so.

You are what makes ATS great.




posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 09:23 AM
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About time.

I've stopped reading threads here because this place became more heated than the Mud Pit (an old ATS board that got removed for similar reasons).


Good job guys



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 09:33 AM
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I love you all here


I stopped going in there too. Nothing like trying to post your opinion and get bashed from all directions. I just believe what I believe from now on when it comes to 9/11, and let the rest fight about it. But I might go in there every now and then to see if I can say a few things and get a descent response. Thanks again.



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by Majic
Stop The Insanity!

Just hit the ALERT button for the offending post and let us know what's wrong.

Please DO NOT respond to insults with insults. That only makes things worse -- at a geometrically staggering rate in most cases -- and exposes you to punishment for your own misconduct.

We don't want "troll-itis" to be contagious!


Instead, if someone decides to poison the discussion with name-calling or other off-topic personal commentary, just hit the ALERT button and enjoy what comes next.



I would have to say this is the proper protocol. I understand the 911 discussion may get heated but from what I have seen many members forget common courtesy and others just like to troll.

It would be truly sad to see 911 forums closed due to trolls or people that can not control their emotions by over-reacting.

A couple of personal rules I practice:

Draft Button Rule,

Think about your response before you hit the post button, in fact, if you are upset hit the draft button and then go back to your post 1 hour later, if it still looks rational post it, if not don't. Many times our Ego's get caught up in the moment and we forget the purpose of the thread.

Trolling Rule,

Granted their are trolls looking for easily manipulated individuals that upset quickly, and I for one do not want to fall under this category. Take your time posting because someone may just be trying to get a rise out of you, so ask yourself is this person baiting me?


[edit on 12-12-2007 by Realtruth]



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 09:49 AM
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As the first to get the dreaded warning for this issue, I say again thank you SO for bringing me back to the ground. that said I hope that the level of checking for this issue is as precise against the OP's as it is against those who respond to threads. It will mean nothing if its not 100% across the board. For what ever side is arguing.


Thx SO you are right, civility should be practiced at all times and personal attacks have no place in constructive discussion.

noted and agreed to.


Thx much and take care



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 10:45 AM
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I have only posted one thread on 9/11, an ATS Premium piece that got a lot of good mileage with 70plus flags, which means there were a lot of people there off and on. I don't recall a single person getting a warning throughout that whole thread.

Don't get me wrong, there were strong feelings. A subject like this one always brings out strong feelings. But the tone and style of the debate can be set, at least to a certain degree, by the OP.I felt that it was my responsibility to try keeping everything as civil as I could. I see some OPs that toss out a thread like a hand grenade, pulling the pin in their opening post.

And I think that those who want strife in the 9/11 discussions have a real or imagined need for the truth to never be found. Progress cannot be made in anger. When we participate in the "anger game", we really just bury the truth a little deeper.

I look forward to learning here, under the new rules.



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 11:01 AM
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I actually can't help but wonder how long it will be before someone throws the first bit of poo in this thread.

While it would be tremendously dumb, the irony would be beautiful.


I believe that the poo flinging that comes from the whole 9/11 "issue" stems from several different things all being brought together in one issue.

1. Ego -- Some just wanting "their" opinion to be the right one.

2. Anger at deception -- Those just being (rightfully) pissed at the deception on all sides of the 9/11 issue.

3. Fear of "truth" -- The people that feel they must fight and name call in order to keep themselves convinced that things couldn't POSSIBLY be "that bad".

4. Loss -- Those that took the losses on 9/11 and afterwards to heart. This is most of us, in some form or fashion anyhow.

5. Prejudice -- Sorry to say this, but there honestly are SOME that absolutely HATE arabs and would LOVE the official story to be true just so they can "rightly" hate the "towel heads".

All of the above are brought together by the whole 9/11 "issue". It's a volatile combination and much ignorance stems from it as a result.

There are more factors than the above. Those just happen to be the ones I see being mainly responsible for the uncalled for behavior.



Jasn



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 11:13 AM
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2 Questions:

Keeping this forum a debate is a goal I am completely behind.

The only thing I need to caution is for the mods to become somewhat overzealous at what people say. Personal attacks are bad. I agree, and unfortunately, I have been a culprit in the past of letting my penchant for witty banter get the best of me.

That being said, I have 2 questions:

1. How will you differentiate "personal attacks" versus legit conspiracy chat regarding members and non-members alike?

Seems to me in the last couple of years, real questions have been raised about the background and former affiliations of some of the truth movement members. Will discussion on this be banned under the premise that they could be viewed as personal attacks? We need to be careful here because this is a slippery slope.
For someone to accuse a person of being a disinfo agent without a shred of evidence, I agree, that doesn't forward the debate whatsoever. But if I point out that Dr. So-and-so has been accepting federal money for years as a CIA consultant, which leaves him open to question of being disinfo agent -- would a comment like that be banned.

2. Legit line of questioning. Will it be overly scrutinized and banned?

Not just on this forum, but on many forums, we often have new members coming in from the cold with wild claims about their knowledge or involvement in the conspiracy. One of the admirable things is that some members ask very tough questions of this member to vette him/her. Often times, I see the response to this questioning from the subject as, "Well, fine, then I'll just take my marbles and go home."

Will tough questioning be banned? And to extrapolate on that, will the mods ban a member expressing an opinion that he believes the person is telling the truth or is a hoaxer? Again, slippery slope.

To me ATS is a collaborative research tool and I believe the site has done more to forward research into a variety of esoteric topics than any one researcher or book as done in the past. To overreact to a few bad apples could potentially stifle the good the site does. I just caution against this.



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 12:34 PM
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SO, to be honest, you have been more than patient with this issue. If I were in your place, I probably would have shut the whole forum down by now..



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 12:44 PM
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A pleasant initiative.
I had become embarrassed to the point where I would not introduce ATS!!!
Keep up the good work.

WIS



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by behindthescenes
1. How will you differentiate "personal attacks" versus legit conspiracy chat regarding members and non-members alike?

Any post that contains commentary that focuses on a person's capabilities or credibility would apply.



Seems to me in the last couple of years, real questions have been raised about the background and former affiliations of some of the truth movement members. Will discussion on this be banned under the premise that they could be viewed as personal attacks?

Not banned. But be very certain your information is presented with back-up factual information and focus your commentary on material that refutes their claims. Do not engage in character assassinations that have no substance. It sucks that we have to go this far in this one forum... but if it's the only way we can ensure there is civil debate, so be it.



2. Legit line of questioning. Will it be overly scrutinized and banned?
>snip<
One of the admirable things is that some members ask very tough questions of this member to vette him/her.
>snip>
Will tough questioning be banned?

Tough questions are never off limits... however, now you need to be more careful about how your present your tough questions (and answer them) to avoid phraseology that could be read as an overt or back-handed insult.



And to extrapolate on that, will the mods ban a member expressing an opinion that he believes the person is telling the truth or is a hoaxer? Again, slippery slope.

Something like a 50-degree angled smooth slide coated with oil. Again... it's all in the presentation...
1) "You're a rat bastard hoaxer" would be a candidate for the warning.
2) "Your facts are contrived and I think you know it" would not be a candidate.
They both say the same thing, but the second one maintains civility and decorum.



To overreact to a few bad apples could potentially stifle the good the site does. I just caution against this.

If we don't react, we will cease being a research tool of any value.





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