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posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 07:58 PM
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I just read the T&C again looking for an answer to question I have with no luck. Often in the past and again today, I've opened a thread to see statements like:

This thread is for people who agree with this theory only.

If you don't agree with this theory you should not post on this thread.

...and many other similar statements.

These are usually followed by remarks implying if you don't agree your stupid, a moron or things like that.

To me the attraction of ATS is that there is a lively debate involving all sides and if I want to read only material about one opinion I go to Forums dedicated to that opinion. I learn nothing from these types of threads other than how rude and egotistical some people can be about their own opinions being of more value than anyone else's.

It is the give and take I learn from and base my opinions on. A one sided thread is like a dumbing down situation where for all I know, the idea's are fabricated out of thin air. The participants seem to have a belief that if you don't know everything I know you must be an idiot.

I can not find anything in the T&C that covers this and I'd like to know the real policy according to the owners of the Board? If it is OK to limit the participation in threads I'll live with it but it seems counter to the purpose of ATS in general.




posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 08:08 PM
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reply to post by Blaine91555
 


Oh HECK NO, people can make statements like that in their opening posts (which is a bad idea IMHO since you are asking for limited participation) but that doesn't mean anything.

You won't see the staff enforcing that kind of request.


Springer...



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 08:21 PM
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reply to post by Blaine91555
 

Post away my friend on any thread you wish and you will be denying ignorance.

I generally do not post to threads when the OP doesn't want opinions other than his own. Seems like a waste of a thread and is certainly not denying ignorance.

Dizzie



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 08:34 PM
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It is an interesting evolution of ATS that this (to me anyway) seems to be happening more and more. There is a marked polarisation of people into certain buckets, and rather than discussion and polite dissent, we have these conclusive "100% proof that X is Y!!!!!1!!!!1!!!!" and no correspondence will be entered into. It is almost a trap for the people in the other bucket to enter the thread, because non-conformity means you are a dis-info agent, sheep, idiot, conspiracy theory nut, or any of a number of terms that simply provoke rather than help.

Maybe it is a size thing, but there is such a willingness to blindly accept what has been written in the first post these days that I never noticed before. And then there is such a willingness to take offence when someone disagrees with you. My advice? Stay clear of any thread that claims 100% proof of anything. And get to know your fellow members because you'll quickly work out who's opinion matters (even if it is an opinion different to your own). That way you'll get the most out of ATS - a collaborative community that seeks to understand some pretty difficult subject matter, as opposed to one that presents just a single common point of view.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 08:38 PM
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reply to post by Blaine91555
 


I was just thinking "NOT another person who wants only people who agree with him to stroke his ego"

I'm glad that this thread wasn't that, good job.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 08:41 PM
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reply to post by Springer
 


Thanks Springer. I figured that was the answer but I wanted to make sure of others feelings on this.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 08:43 PM
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reply to post by dizziedame
 


Normally I do the same. What concerns me is if they run their course they are more like a brain washing session than researching a topic or theory.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 08:46 PM
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reply to post by _Phoenix_
 


It seems to be escalating for whatever reason. I can't see any good coming of it. It makes these threads more like someones personal website than a discussion board.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 08:51 PM
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In the same verin, what's up with these new things in some forums? A&U for example-


This forum is dedicated to the discussion of historic and contemporary events related to extraterrestrial encounters, UFO sightings, and speculation about related subjects. Discussion topics and follow-up responses in this forum will likely tend to lean in favor of the existence of extraterrestrials and the related conspiracies, scandals, and cover-ups. Members who would seek to refute such theories should be mindful of AboveTopSecret.com's tradition of supporting the examination of the "extraterrestrial phenomenon" on the related conspiracy theories, cover-ups, and scandals.


It may not be the admins intention, that came off immediately to me as a tacit instruciton to keep your skepticism to yourself. Which is hilarious, because Aliens & UFOs has benefited greatly from skeptics pointing out all the hoaxes :p



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 08:55 PM
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reply to post by Blaine91555
 



It's escalating because the members of AboveTopSecret.com have attracted HUGE ATTENTION and the traffic is off the hook. With over 100 new members joining every day we need to be doing some serious MENTORING around here IMHO.

ATS is getting bigger and bigger, with the numbers comes many who seek attention for personal gain, some who seek it because they are in dire need of vindication but the vast majority just simply don't understand. It's that vast majority I hope we can reach out to and TEACH the "ATS WAY" to.

Collaborative research and discussion, NO PREACHING, NO MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY, etc...


It will even out again, it always does, but do take some pride in the fact that this user generated content community has made huge gains the past year, has been sourced by just about every serious news organization in the "free world" and is on its way to GREATNESS.

Springer...



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 09:19 PM
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I think the mentoring idea is a great point Springer. Maybe I've missed it, but the newbie introduction thread doesn't seem to have been used in quite some time. I also recall there used to be an adopt a member thread where new members could be adopted by more seasoned pro's, and learn the ways of ATS. With such a large new membership each day, this is probably impractical, but maybe as well as post bans, points docking etc, serial offenders could get assigned a mentor to help overcome, shall we say, their youthful enthusiasm? I know the staff try to do this, but there is only so many staff, and their time is probably better suited to managing the board than holding newbie hands. Maybe time for the more senior members of this board to step up to the plate?



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 10:12 PM
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reply to post by Springer
 


Not to worry here. I think ATS Moderation is among the best. I'm glad to hear you have grown. The more information and opinions the better.




posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 10:49 PM
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Hopefully those who only want one sided debates on their threads will tire of the lack of responses. If they are just attention getters then they will leave and the other perhaps will learn and try a more acceptable approach to starting threads.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 11:04 PM
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first off, people need to learn its not THEIR thread.
they do not own it, nor the copyrights to it. if you post in a public forum your info becomes publicly available.
Sure, you should always credit your sources especially if its someone elses work from ATS, but they do not own the thread whatsoever so have no rights to make "only post if you agree" claims.

second, why bother coming to an open public forum and then try deny people the right to a reply?

public forums are for debating and discussing ALL angles of the topic so to close all other doors and only want ppl who agree to post is basically nothing more than a thread full of back patting and "i agree'ers"

its actually the direct opposite of deny ignorance.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 11:37 PM
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I see what you are all saying, but what about this...

Let's say I want to post a topic such as, "How can we find UFOs?"

Inevitably, a bunch of people would come in and post a bunch of stuff talking about how UFOs aren't real, where's the proof, and so on.

The thing is, other threads exist and other threads can be started to debate the reality of UFOs. It is not the topic of the thread in question, however. The topic is how to find them, not "do they exist."

While I understand that everyone is allowed to post what they want within the ToS, there's also the element of staying on topic to consider. If you don't like it when your topics are derailed, why do you want to do it to somebody else's?



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 11:47 PM
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People who do not suffer debate about their beliefs are tacitly admitting that those beliefs have no real defense. Therefore it’s not worth arguing with them because they have already implied that they cannot withstand a criticism. You’ve already won by default!

Unfortunately, this attitude of not considering dissent seems to be spreading in our culture. Persons who really WANT to learn will listen to alternative views ( to a certain extent) and attempt to use them to disregard , modify, adapt or strengthen their original views. That’s the way you build knowledge.



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 01:05 AM
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This sort of thing is especially true of the, dare I say it, 9-11 threads, though not confined to them.

It seems silly that a site with members dedicated to denying ignorance and apathy, would have this issue, but there it is...

...and if you don't agree, don't post here.

Now that made as much sense here, as it does anyother place...not.

I think a program of mentoring is the solution, though with so many new members, it's would be tough to implement, other then in a random manner.

Anyway...very timely post, Blaine.



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 04:43 AM
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This will be an interesting watch. Sociological studies in social networks, anthropology and some other sciences must be watching how this plays out. The creation of "thought police" are a sign of entropy in such systems. If managing wisdom is compiled at a faster rate than the system breaks down, it could survive though. More likely such management of specifics is generally found to not be the prevailing mechanism of survival. Better overall design is the answer.

The host network might find that managing what we might think are small adjustments that when seen as “a day’s work” are actually many small and unique adjustments. I would suspect that moderators would possibly eventually be overwhelmed.

On the one hand there is the operational standard of everyone’s opinion is valid, save for the more sociopathic interlopers and violations of site rules of order.

On the other, as discussions get more interesting and specific, draw in more serious thinkers that disruptions might dismantle the intellectual stability by exasperating the participants not wanting to defend, but simply to stay on topic. A mod might not have the expertise to know what is going down to the extent they can prevent breakdown.

A discussion on stem cells might evolve to some interesting theoretical with science-specific comments. A religious contingent enters in and without giving away it’s group association proceeds to shift conversation by “pulling strings” they know will insult or frustrate. People who do not want to lower their integrity by entering into a heated discussion, bible study or are not interested in defending their ideas will drop off. The “defenders” stay on for a few pages but run out of steam. End of thread.

There are instances where threads can get very specific in technical discussion points, and deeper to the concepts being talked about. They might draw in very talented and well known people in the specific field. Yet if agitators roam free and know they can destroy a thread while still following the rules, yet not the spirit of the rules, they retain a certain power to control. Mods cannot be there all the time.

So I can see how valuable it is in some cases to have areas for those who already agree on a general issue yet want to go deeper without interruption. How can this be done though without exclusory structure that could be seen as violations of free speech?

I have been on a thread where I just want to hear the OP talk about the subject they claim to have insight. As the posts progress however, they spend so much time defending the reality of what they experienced and are attacked so often with insult and flippant remarks that they cannot continue, as this usually will exasperate them, and they bail. Then those who originally where interested in the discussion again stay on for sometimes several more pages.

Without many very knowledgeable mods fielding complaints, kicking agitators, identifying problems and defending their badges like a sheriff in a rowdy boom town, in other words very busy, things might get out of hand. So network size will not be as important than network design.

Threads have slowed in some areas it seems of late. Same areas where heated argumentative activity was active. Could just be natural fluctuations, or could be signs of impending adjustment.

People who are frustrated or disillusioned with attempts at deeper discussion will just go to other networks more specific to the subject, or just give up and go back to talking at the local penny university (*old term for coffee shops where intellectuals sat and talked all day for a few pennies worth of Joe).

As said, this will be an interesting watch.

ZG



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 05:05 AM
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reply to post by Springer
 


This is such a great way of putting it - and of course it evens out, as new members either accept the ATS way or find that they don't want to and go off to other places.

Regarding the "agree with me or don't post" - if someone feels that way, join a chatroom or something that is for people with only a certain point of view.

Otherwise, expect people to disagree.



posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 05:50 AM
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reply to post by ZeroGhost
 


You bring up some interesting points, as do other folks here. But it seems to me there is one serious omission. Member reaction to a troll. You're the people driving the thread, and how you react to those off-topic/troll posters determines the direction and power of the thread.

Let me put it this way, if you respond to the topic, and ignore the trolls, and the OP debates the topic, soon the noise level drops because the attention seekers don't get gratification. They fail to derail a thread when the OP and the real debaters refuse to go off on a tangent. They can't get satisfaction when insults are ignored.

What you cannot reasonably expect on a site this size is for the Moderator team to be hovering by with a sixshooter, protecting the thread you're on. Sooner or later one of us will ride into town, and we will start blowing holes into the offenders. But if you, the solid citizen of ATS, lowered yourself to the fray, then you too will likely get wounded in the battle for civility and topic fidelity.

The alert button is your way to make a 911 call to the staff. Now like any big territory, our response time varies. And our response may not even be visible to you, being done with U2Us or other methods. But the alert button will keep you from becoming part of the problems yourself.

And when I see a thread that starts out warning people off from posting, I keep a close check on it, because I know trouble will develop there almost every time. I feel that anything posted is fair game for civil debate, and once committed to the board, it is the "property" of any mind that cares to consider it.

Think what you like, but post within the T&C. (The T&C that keeps this site from being overrun with garbage posts. The T&C that tries to cover every angle of board management. The T&C that each and every member voluntarily agreed to when joining ATS.) There are always limits to the expression of what you think, such as thinking "I wonder what would happen if I yell FIRE!!! in this crowded theater?" If enforcing common sense and civility makes me the Nazi Thought Police, I guess I'll just get me a shirt with NTP on the back.





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