NEW: Civility and Decorum are Required

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posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 01:45 PM
howdy. i dont know what ave done or said but i thought that we were all adults here and could take things as adults not wrapped up in cotton wool. a lot of the subjects on here are emotionally charged and bring out responses that people may not like BUT its people opinions. policing them is besically doing the old NWO work for them. i thought this was the HOME OF FREE SPEECH. SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE SYSTEM TYPE STUFF.

but still saying that i would like to know what i have said or done so i can apologise to those offended.

posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 02:22 PM
reply to post by Animal

I like your attitude.

And as someone that sometimes has a sting to their posts, I'll admit that it is hard to keep it toned down all the time. But there is the ability to disagree and yet not fall to name calling. I have had some things said to me on this site and others that would warrant a right hook in real life. I try not to be that rude myself, and 90% of the other people on ATS are not that rude.

Animal, you're a civilized critter, compared to some. And I'm proud that you feel you have found some personal growth here on ATS. A tip of the hat to you.

posted on Jan, 8 2008 @ 11:19 PM

Originally posted by darktim

Ok i have to ask, so what is your idea of free speech? As far as i am concerned we have free speech but there is a difference of how people use or abuse this privilege or right. For example someone says something you disagree with and you can come back with a civil response or you can swear and curse you way through your responding post. Both are free speech but one does not conform to civility and the required decorum of the site. Look at it like this - this is an example and NOT aimed at you; your mother tells you to stop playing in the sand and you say "but mom, i like it here in the sand". BUT, your minder says the same things and you say "go F... yourself, i will do what i like". Same idea but different wording. It doesn't change what you want to say but is a disagreement to the request. Hope i made sense.

Now i can't see how requiring proper civility and decorum can stunt your freedom of speech?

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 06:09 AM
reply to post by darktim

I'm not sure I understand.

Civility and decorum are not barriers to free speech.

IMO you are more likely to find out more and reach a concensus and also learn more if the discussion is civil.

Speaking as one who has been guilty of a lack of civility and decorum, I can honestly say that nothing, absolutely NOTHING, kills a thread quicker than members who don't agree flaming each other.

The object of the exercise is to discuss contentious, emotive issues in a calm and rational manner.

If you are having a discussion "in the real world" do you find that shouting and insulting the opposing side of the discussion makes for a mature and interesting argument?

One thing I dislike is people who think that shouting the loudest makes them right - and in my view, there is no place for it on ATS.
This is why ATS has such a good reputation and so many visitors and members.

posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 03:57 AM
Love the punitive imagery you guys have been cooking up.

posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 07:08 AM
reply to post by IgnoranceIsntBlisss

I find it's a very good way of practicing my civility and decorum

I'd also like to say that taking a minute to stop, take a deep breath and read what I've written when engaged in a discussion with someone who has used some of the more devious tactics I see on a regular basis, has certainly helped me maintain at least a modicum of civility.

I haven't usualy changed the meat of my reply, but I have sometimes worded it differently, and that, to me,is the key.

It's all in the wording - you can disagree without being nasty.

posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 10:09 AM
The moral of the story......

Some may think me a hypocrite as I now have a warn sign on my avatar, but allow me to explain.

In a thread today, things got a bit heated and in an attempt to calm things down I made a joke (which was taken as such) and took a diplomatic kind of stance, which was appreciated by the member in question and the heat went out of the thread to a large degree - we buried the hatchet and things progressed nicely, if a bit warily (on my part, my opponent is very passionate about the subject so I was careful with my P's & Q's and we also have a bit of history - plus I wanted to assure them on certain points)

Problem was, the joke got misconstrued and it was taken as an insult by a mod, who gave me a warn (no names, no pack drill).

I asked the mod about it and it transpired that he hadn't seen the rest of the conversation between me and the other member.
We had a bit of a conversation about it and everything was fine and dandy, with no recriminations, and an admission from the mod that he hadn't read the rest of the thread.
No problem - mods are busy people, can't expect them to trawl through a whole thread, "just in case"

The moral of the story is this,
play the ball, not the player. Too often, a joke or comment can be misconstrued even if it is not meant that way, not just by mods, but by everyone.
Stick to the topic at hand and all will be well.

Before anyone asks, or takes this as an opportunity to denigrate the mods, let me say that I completely accept the decision because I was the one who made the joke that was misconstrued.
This is not about having a whine, this is about sharing an educational experience.

Anyone wants to know the thread then they can u2u me, on condition that they don't start a drama about it.

The irony has not escaped me

[edit on 10/1/2008 by budski]

posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 02:43 PM
hey was a turn of fraze. you can say what you want yes thats free speach i was using it as an example. as if to say you say what you want and you get your hand slapped. tis no biggy. still not been told what i said so i cant apolgise to those offended by it. which i'd happily do

posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 10:29 PM

Originally posted by darktim
...still not been told what i said so i cant apolgise to those offended by it. which i'd happily do

I personally don't know what you said. In fact, i don't think it matters now. The fact is that you acknowledge that you perhaps said something and intend to apologies. ALSO, you are aware of the requirement for civility and required decorum. That, in itself, is a big win for you AND the site (not patronizing) and i am sure you will have a great "stay" at ATS.

Peace bud.

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 11:47 PM
Thank you for your time, but as another person also in the world, I doubt if certain people will change my mind since I am older and just appear to be senile when sometimes I am joking and not joking at all. If I took things seriously, I would remind anyone that with certain other people who asked on another forum what to do, when 911 first happened, that we did call the FBI and two websites were eventually shut down by the FBI later. One of the websites twice. Since then although I am not contending Civility or Decorum, I find that I just simply have my own opinion of what some other people have done or do in this Country. I donot infer to alter anyone's elses opinion, but then I just point out that I have learned many things about some of the people in the USA. I guess in the end other people have started up their own website like or some of the other ones lately. I am sure that there will be a good use for the Internet and hope that I certainly do not seem not to be Civil or false of Decorum.

Thank you,

posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 10:18 AM
Thanks, Bill.

Have pondered this issue a fair amount.

I come from intense Tavistock sorts of group experiences . . . lots of rude behavior was the norm as long as the individual was essentially given the freedm to be themselves and as long as they didn't wholesale trash another individual. But "telling it like it is" was given wide range. And I enjoyed the intensity of such a context and set of rules.

Sometimes I've imagined . . . reading ATS stuff about such issues . . . a kind of Monty Python skit . . . Where the utmost in decorum and civility are maintained excessively to the letter while everyone in the room is politely stabbing each other to death, cutting of fingers and ears . . . and the like.

Sometimes it SEEMS like some Brits "'polite' relationship right out of existence."

NEVERTHELESS, I have come to respect greatly your standards hereon and the goals related to those standards.

I have seen newcomer experiencers etc. trashed within 3-10 posts of a new thread and that fairly haughtily, ruthlessly, . . . welllll . . . trashily. It has been disturbing, disgusting and off-putting.

It seems that the Mods have shaped themselves up a bit. I don't see so many mods haughtily trashing posters as I used to. That REALLY irked me.

In terms of shaping the behvior of the forum folks in general . . . I suspect it will be a constant battle . . . at least for many months.

Behavior shaping tends to go best [psychologist talking here] when it is in bite-sized increments. Teaching a pigeon to play pin-pong involves incredibly tiny increments painstakingly over quite a period of tiem.

Not sure how that would best applly here. Maybe not very practically unless there were paid mods bird-dogging every hint of offense within minutes, if not seconds. I doubt that's practical.

Short of that, it seems to me the mileu, culture of ATS has to TRULY BECOME THOSE VALUES. And that's no small trick.

Seems to me that major forces against such a CULTURE OF CIVILITY is the dreadfully poor child-rearing that has been more the norm than not for too many years, if not decades.

We have vast proportions of the population who were reared with REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER . . . who were NOT convinced at the first 6-8 years of life that they were truly loved and cherished as the individuals they were regardless of their performance.

Consequently, such folks as older blokes tend to be quite given at grabbing whatever attention, fanfare, even merely noise and turmoil as they can as some semblence of evidence that they are ALIVE and therefore worth breathing air and taking up space.

I think this more or less hurt and angry 'snotty-nosed-rug-rat' immaturity, mentality is very hard to deal with in a context such as ATS. Folks tend to overcome ATTACHMENT DISORDER dynamics slowly, if at all. And it takes a lot of loving and thought discipline even then. Both tend to be in scarce supply.

I would like to see . . . Mods . . . maybe trained . . . and other members given to such as well . . . to use the point system but also merely straight forward affirmations . . . reinforcing GROWTH toward civility.

I think this could be done by vividly, clearly, affirming folks who

1. go out of their way to be civil in the face of considerable provocation;

2. demonstrate models of civility as a matter of course and personality, maturity;

3. are demonstrating growthful steps at becoming more civil out of a track record of the opposite.

I'm not pretending that we'll all become one happy teddy-bear-huggy-kissy-poo family. But reinforcing what we want relentlessly and overtly while punishing the offenders would be a good strategy to maximize progress toward the goal, imho.

There are social stars on ATS as there are in every group. The social stars could continue/begin to be more clear and vivid models of civility in areas where they may be lacking on such.

Which brings me to the difference between civility and graciouisness.

I think civility, at some point, can easily be a sham. Graciouisness cannot.

Civility can be a thinly disguised slick pretense while one marshals one's foces and cleverness to slip the knife in more slickly, smoothly, undetectably. I've seen some of that on ATS. I think it degrades the goal of establishing a CULTURE OF CIVILITY. The letter of the law may have been adhered to but the spirit was trashed wholesale. The debris is still quite destructive, imho.

I think GRACIOUSNESS is not just an art as civility can be. GRACIOUSNESS is a manner of traveling; a way of being in the world. I think it's a more lofty standard than civility. I'm not proposing it as THE STANDARD of ATS. I don't know how realistic that would be. But it might be realistic for the senior staff to reinforce GRACIOUSNESS on the part of the mods and at least the social stars. Implementing a top tier of ROUTINE DEMONSTRATED GRACIOUSNESS would be a great way to challenge the rest of ATS to AT LEAST BE CIVIL. I think the fruits of such modelilng could well out weigh and outperform the punishments aspect of shaping ATS behaviors.

Thanks for reading this far.

Blessings to you and yours in the New Year . . .

my 2 cents.

posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 11:18 AM

Originally posted by interestedalways

Originally posted by intrepid
Only you can control those emotions. No one else can.

If you can't control yourself, don't read the thread.

That was really funny Intrepid. Managing humans is a really tough job I can only imagine what it is like to try to moderate a site like this.

It is good that such emphasis is being placed on this issue because I think there are alot of members here who would like to share more on a personal experience level yet are scared of being ripped apart by the more "aggresive" members and the "debunking squads".

I do see it time and time again people apologizing and fearing about how their post will be recieved. I felt this somewhat when I first started posting here, very inferior compared to the other members posts that I perceived as wiser and more intellectual than my own style of posting.

One of the most common forms of rudeness I see here are people being made fun of for their contribution.

I am happy to say that ATS and the members and staff here have treated me well and fairly. And even though I am not overly educated nor polished up I have been allowed to express myself in the manner that I know how, by feelings, intuition, and personal perception.

Awesome that you have attached a consequence to this annoying behavior of being rude for the sake of rudeness.

I strongly agree.

I have seen this most frequently vis a vis Christianity.

Religion seems to include strong emotions on all sides.

But Christians are blunted and intimidated into silence hereon in at least 2 ways:

1. They see the hostility routinely dished out to those of their persuasion by the 95% of the rest of the foum and by a majority of the mods and just refrain from posting rather than put up with that. Maybe they can be faulted for being wiimpy on such scores but IF IT WERE ANY OTHER VALUE ORIENTATION, THEY WOULD BE DEFENDED AS A CAUSE CELEBRE BY VIRTUALLY ONE AND ALL.

2. The leadership has noted that the mods are overwhelmingly (percentage-wise) made up of atheists/agnostics. Christians see the evidence of this routinely including the thinly veiled (if that) hostility said mods have toward their value orientation.

3. Given that Christianity is an all encompasing world view perspective, Christians are censured for matter of fact perspectives about virtually anything because they dared to give their input from their cosmology and view point that automatically includes some aspect of their Christianity as a routine matter of course. But OH, NO! NOT HEREON! VERBOTTEN to breathe, think, drink water like a CHRISTIAN! Horrors! Any HINT of ANY Christianity HAS to be in the religion forum. Oh, sure, EVERY OTHER VALUE ORIENTATION CAN include THEIR values in their posts about ANYTHING with wide acclaim. But not a Christian--they can get banned, fined, etc. just for expressing their comments on a wide variety of topics in a way that discloses any hint of their Christianity. That DOUBLE STANDARD is for the birds . . . the bottom of the cage.

But it's not just the mods . . . the majority of the whole forum dogpiles on top of any Christian who dares to stick even the tip of a pinky finger up above the fray enough to comment meaningfully and significantly about anything. Often, any post at all by a Christian is a lightening rod for folks to gather around the new whipping post. Sheesh.

posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 02:44 PM
Let me just add that sometimes the words seem to come out wrong or the meaning is not communicated as clearly as perhaps what should be done.

I only infer that the FBI shut down those two websites I posted about, because in reality I really do not know. However, one was so bold in all capital letters that it really just seemed to be obvious that the website was leaving a message about 911 when 911 happened. The other website as far as I was able to determine was a website where anyone who could hook up to it, may receive a death threat and probably by the very forces this Country the USA is fighting. So much for the Civility and Decorum there at the time which again was not any such website such as AboveTopSecret.

But at the same time I just do not think that I am going to beat my head against the wall about anything anymore.

I have certain other instances on the Internet at other websites that I have just given up with now. Sometimes I have stated why I think the way that I do, and hope it would help out, and perhaps open up the mind to possibilites even if I am wrong.

An example perhaps, would be the UFO category, of which sorry to say that I have no first-hand knowledge of except in the category of one who proclaimed himself (herself?) as a time traveller and that was John Titor. Of course, info had to be looked up on the matter and I tried to give both sides of it, but again in my opinion even the Wikipedia still can not give both sides to the issue. Strong beliefs are one thing, but believing is not the issue with a subject such as John Titor. Simply a person in my opinion can not believe in the first place, because it has not or will not be invented if ever invented until the year that John Titor stated, I guess. So leaning one way or another to so strongly agree or disagree is really not the question. I think websites providing information about the subject is a good thing, however all the opinions about that person is just that -- another opinion - even if the person is a physicist working or teaching in the field of endeavor.

Even at that even when the thread that is started up is decidely one way or another in the belief system, it as set up a decision already made by the person in the first place, and only a limited viewpoint may in my opinion be presented. Therefore in another thread not really knowing for sure what I stated, I would have to save all my posts that I have written and review those postings. But then the rub persay, the time given to such endeavors leaves a person not really having all the time to pursue perhaps all the work it all involves then. It then becomes like reading any News source and whether a person should be reading the News in the first place. If the News Source is not accurate and actually is in reality expressing an opinion mainly also with the News, then to me it should be an edited opinion column and not an actual News Story. Then in my opinion, a belief system comes out of the person who actually wrote the story in the first place in my opinion. Many 'sayings' have probably been said about such writings in the Past and most of it becomes the street-talk of the day then. Perhaps then, other people and I certainly should at least also be aware of what I write in posts can only give the impression that those people and not all people are in a sense trying to control another person's opinion and mind on the subject.

However though I hope that all people have his/her own mind and brain to decide with how the journey goes along even in the future with any subject or thread or posting brought up.

A person could only conclude then as such a person posted on an origina John Titor thread then - let the computer type what is meant and not what has been written.

Just an example of some of the misgivings perhaps more associated with posting anything then in this small world across the Internet.

Let's hope that Civility and Decorum does succeed then, and let's hope that the computer types what is meant and sometimes what is not typed as communications become then in my opinion distorted over 'time' which is seemingly relative.

Thanks for your time, I do not expect to be long-winded on such communications, because afterall, all the street-talk then may become gibberish to some other people. Let's us assume (or me) that we may not be here to hold each other's hand in the process but only maybe sometimes.

posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 03:21 PM
reply to post by AmoebaSized has been around for 11 years, that's 4 years before 9/11 happened.


posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 07:45 AM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

hey, I understand where you and your mods are comming from,
and I know this wont change anything,
but after receiving the 1k point deduction AND having my post removed,
instead of just having it changed at the rude parts, I am a bit P'O'ed.

sooo, I just want to say,
back at the end of this thread where no one will read it (or so I thought).


I hate you, and, your prudish FCC ways.

This World Houses, and, This Life Subjects us to:
Sex, murder, rape, evil, and etcetera!
It all exists on this planet.... this life...
YOUR KIDS, and your emotionally fragile minds WILL experience these things...

and here...
all I had done was insult an OP with words,
words that were already censored by me and moted by miles of earth!


(a bunch of insults here , to whoever gave me the 1k deduction)


IT IS nice, to have a clean forum,

where the intelligent as well as the Ignorant can ruin threads and spew their insinuations and disinformation,

~without worry~

but when someone tries to not hide their hate and ridicule through,
big words, hidden meanings, and whatever other ways the intelligent use,
and that person just goes ahead and spills the truth
they are messed over!


(well, I am an idiot and can not express thoughts clearly, what-so-ever, and on top of that even the best arguement would not change things I will sum this up through this edit at the request of some person who was very kind and helpful. I am sorry for the harshe comments and I do understand this "clean and clear" policy....and I will respect it)

[edit on 26-1-2008 by WishI]

posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 08:58 PM
Could someone tell me what i did. I only posted once there and do not remember posting anything that I would get in trouble for. I like coming here. I wouldn't have known anything was wrong if that other member had not U2U me. He asked a question I did not understand and when I went Back to see what he was talking about I saw the post gone. Can you please at least tell me what it said?

posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 05:38 PM
reply to post by EntitySeed

You could maybe u2u a mod, and ask nicely

I'm sure they will be glad to point you to the relevant section of the terms and conditions.

Apart from that, I've found that if you keep it clean, civil, and play the ball not the player, you will have a nice hassle free time here.


Forget I mentioned it on second thoughts.

[edit on 30/1/2008 by budski]

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:37 AM
reply to post by budski


I think you and I are a perfect example of civility! We couldn't be further apart on the subject of God but we often find common ground on other issues. I'm sure it would be easy for us to just disregard each other or worse, get into a nasty knock down drag out but instead we have had some great conversations.

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 12:37 PM
reply to post by EntitySeed

Please u2u the mod in question. Staff action such as the kind you experienced always generates a u2u that includes the name of the mod in question that initiated the action. The instructions includes instructions on how to contact that person.

To find your u2u's please follow this link:

Mod Note: You Have An Urgent U2U- Click Here.

If you want to submit a question for the staff as a whole follow this link:
Mod Note: ATS Complain / Suggestion– Please Use This Link.

Thank you
FredT, moderator

posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 01:30 PM
reply to post by jbondo

Very true jbondo,
I think that this is because we approach each other with respect, rather than just getting in each others faces.

I don't always agree, but I have enough respect for your opinion to treat it with the respect it deserves, due in no small part to other common ground and conversations we've had.

Despite differences of opinion on certain subjects, you're on my friends list, simply because of the admirable restraint and respect I usually observe from you.

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