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Restoring peace to ATS

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posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 06:31 AM
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I've been lucky to be at ATS for about 5 years. Throughout my time I've experienced many scenarios that have tested the fabric of this site, but we've always overcome it. Sometimes I've felt like walking away and never coming back, but I always returned. Not to seek attention, which I know some people at ATS use to think, but because I enjoy posting on this site and contributing to ATS.

However, I cannot help but notice the lack of respect in debates and the growing canniballistic torturing of any who disagrees with a position. We've all been guilty of it, but this attitude is getting very serious now. Sheep, closed minded, brainwashed, having a agenda, troll are some examples of what members are called when disagreeing with a certain conspiracy or position. I remembr a time at ATS where debates were civil and polite. If it did get heated, someone was a man enough to apologise or "cool down" the thread.

This present militant tendency is damaging the very unique foundations of ATS. We are a family. There are members here who I consider good friends of mine and I've had the pleasure of working with the likes of SkepticOverlord during my interview with George Galloway and the July 7th Truth Movement. Springer has always listened to my advice and ideas for ATS and I've had friendly chats with my fellow citizens SimonGray.

So, why make this thread you ask? Simple, it is about time this issue was raised. This is not infinite on some sort of self righteous power trip. Many members in chat and via U2U have told me how much they respect and admire me, if this is the case, it is probably my duty to hightlight a problem and give some advice [as a senior member].

Showing repsect is not difficult, some of my "foes" at ATS have my up most respect. I'm even good friends with some of them! The moderators are not autocratic nazi's, the 3 Amigos are not operating the evil version of Das Kapital and T&C's are not restricting our ability to engage as members. As I like to tell new members; not everybody here believes everything is a conspiracy. We need to understand this and we have no right in preventing certain groups from posting.

Sadly, this thread may go ignored by some members but I know some will read and think long and hard. Of course, there will always be bad apples, but everyone should not be treated like it.

If I do not agree with some, I ignore the thread. If a poster starts to get under my skin, I click ignore and if it still continues, U2U is sent to the moderators. Before ripping up peace treaties and diplomacy, think twice before entering a flame war.

My ending shall be just truthfully honest, I'll put it as a question. Do you see ATS like me, a place to chat to friends and family or just another internet forum?

Remember, courtesy is mandatory.

Take care, see you guys on the boards!

Peace, love and respect.
God Bless

Daniel x




posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 07:15 AM
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Back in my day, I remember a time when respect was earned, not given.

I remember a day when someone shouted “Wolf” it was fully expected that they better be committing their full reputation behind their claims. And if they were simply crying “Wolf” just to get attention, and some sick twisted gratification from the ordeal, then they were punished severely by being excommunicated (if you will) from the rest of the herd.

Our modern times have seen the almost complete disappearance of credibility and trust.

Trust, and respect, have always been dear and precious commodities of value. They were never meant to be freely given to anyone who had not proved themselves of worth.

But in this politically correct world that we now live in it is more apparent to the so-called enlightened ones that everyone be given the proper respect that they don’t deserve, and the proper trust that they have most assuredly abused.

If I’m not mistaken, I hear members of this forum proudly claim that they seek the truth and deny ignorance. Sadly, most people have no idea what seeking the truth really means. It means that you shun the lies, and therefore, the liars themselves that constantly spread them. For to follow any belief in full is to exclude ideals that are against your beliefs.

My friend, political correctness is just another word for compromise. But be careful that what you are hoping to compromise on is what is actually good and wholesome. If people are not held accountable for their lack of credibility and facts then there are no meaningful discussions that can be made.

Or, perhaps you think it best that we give full respect and consideration to people who make the following claims:

“They're not even [within] 100 miles [of Baghdad]. They are not in any place. They hold no place in Iraq. This is an illusion ... they are trying to sell to the others an illusion.”
Bagdad Bob, Saddam’s Minister of Information

I speak these words in all seriousness, not in a personal attack. I have seen far too many compromises of late for the wrong reasons.


[edit on 23-3-2008 by Hot_Wings]



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 07:49 AM
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reply to post by infinite
 

Hi infinite,
I have to agree with you. I've not been here anywhere near as long as you but even in my relatively short time here, I've seen some ugly stuff happen that has been totally unecessary.

I was drawn into it once shortly after I joined ... and there have been several times since when I have felt unjustly attacked personally. I know it's difficult for others to know what kind of person you are in the real world and that sometimes a post can be taken out of context ... but it is sad when people get attacked just because the 'attacker' doesn't agree with a point being made.

Another thing that troubles me; When someone voices a personal theory that can't be backed-up at this moment in time with hard eveidence ... it is instantly slated by those who can't see beyond what they think they 'know' as an stablished fact. And can be very rude about it.

I have personally backed away from several threads (that I have some interesting views on) simply because I don't want to get dragged into a confontational situation. Even though I'm sure ... in fact I know there are prople at ATS who would be interested to share ideas on these subjects.

I don't know how this problem can be remedied ... but it would be great if it could.
In answer to your question, I think of ATS as a family ... it's so much more than just another site ... that's why I think it's sad that the number to 'naysayers' seems to be increasing daily. And I can't understand why they feel compelled to continue posting on a thread that they obviously consider ridiculous ... and often end up derailing the thread to 'death', in spite of the fact that it could have gone much further with people who were interested in the subject.

In it's present state, I believe if someone presented 100% evidence of any of the matters discussed ... it would unfortunately be debunked before it had chance to be discussed with any intelligence imho ... hell, maybe we've already seen it ... but it's been ripped to shreads and blown away with the favourite put down of the moment 'move along, nothing to see here'


Does anyone have any suggestions to the problem ... I really hope so !

Woody



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 08:21 AM
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The answer is actually quite simple my friend. It is called morality, decency, and accuracy.

Morality in posting concerns the following actions. People of morality don’t do them and people of honesty confront them..

1. It is wrong to lie about what you saw or the information that you have gathered. A recent post title claimed, “Massacre in Tibet” when no massacre had taken place. No one was lined up on a wall and shot by the army. I think over 20 people posted replies hounding the poster for making lies about the event to grandis his post.

2. It is wrong to post the same question 4 different ways because no one replies to your other posts. The 911 posts rehash the same arguments over and over again, but moderators do little to bring credibility back to that board.

Decency in posting is actually trying to follow true logic. It is not posting an obscure fact and then claiming that your obscure fact logically points to the conclusion that you have drawn when it does not. What is this? It is called lying..

1. “Astronauts throw boomerangs in space and they return!" The poster first lied about the actual event and then went on to claim that because the boomerang returned, it meant that some creature or alien had something to do with it.

2. “Science cannot prove God, so God cannot exist” It is funny how posts like this one aren’t deleted ASAP by moderators. Once again, flawed logic. No evidence does not mean contradictory evidence. I cannot count how many times I’ve seen this phrase posted on ATS, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

Accuracy in posting, do I actually need to bore you with this talking about this one?

I would love to respect everyone that I meet, but sadly, most people don’t earn respect. When moderators start holding posters accountable to basic standards in their posts, then and only then, will this forum be a better place than it is. A place of decency, proper logic, accuracy, and morality.

[edit on 23-3-2008 by Hot_Wings]



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 09:14 AM
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*sighs*

This thread was created to get members to end the absurd name calling, not to start debating and attacking the content on ATS. Everyone is entitled to think and post what they, within T&C, without being criticised i.e the message I was trying to get across.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 09:49 AM
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I see exactly what you mean infinite, but some topics just lend themselves to confrontation and with it, the criticizing of the poster that takes the view contrary to your own.

To me, this is what gives ATS the excitement, the edge that sets it apart from the forums where everyone is just stroking the other members.

To me forums are just another form of entertainment and I find it hard to internalize anything said to me or about me on the boards. Perhaps I'm just a callous, unfeeling, thick skinned kind of person but I can still passionately defend my position without being mean spirited. Some here however are mean people and they almost seem to take pride in trying to
demean those they disagree with.

I have never put anyone on "ignore" and If ATS was just a mutual admiration society; I probably wouldn't come.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by infinite
 




Peace, on ATS and within any Internet forum/blog/board is a relative thing. We tend to have higher aspirations here on ATS, and do our best to instill those aspirations amongst our new members, but our DNA is still "just a board on the Internet."

Let me elaborate...


Just A Board On The Internet


We've all experienced other discussion environments. At one end of the spectrum we see free-for-all blogs and boards that unfortunately tend to showcase the worst of people who participate in such environments. And at the other end, we have autocratic boards/forums with heavy-handed topic management that showcase the worst in owners. Such is the environment in which we find ourselves... and we get a broad range of new members who fall somewhere between refugees from these environments, and proponents of such environments.


Peace On The InterWebs...


...is like asking for peace in the mid-east. Long ago we coined the term "Digital Ego" or "D-ego" (pronounced dee-go) here on ATS, and it's responsible for how people loose track of normal social graces when participating in online discussions. The anonymity of these venues fuels the D-ego. The desire to protect your position at all costs fuels the D-ego. Deriving perverse pleasure in "flaming" one another fuels the D-ego. I'm certain that future sociologists and cultural anthropologists will have a field day (in fact, many are right now) with the study of human behavior behind screen and keyboard -- the psychology is complex and difficult to correct.


Victims Of Our Success?


I've been involved in managing online discussion environments since such things existed. One such environment was CompuServe's largest and most popular collection of forums, The Computer Arts Forums back in the early-to-mid 1990's... and never have I witnessed such a horrible collection of flame-happy D-egos rum amuck. Popularity can be bad.

Several years ago, Simon and I decided to see how popular ATS could get if we put some effort into it. The thinking then (and now) was that our members have some exceptionally important opinions, and the world should have the benefit of being aware. We are now among the Internet's top 0.018% most-popular websites, and firmly rank among the top-five most trafficked discussion boards (as ranked by Big-Boards). Not in our wildest imaginations did we dream of such popularity... but with such massive awareness comes a collection of difficult management issues.


The Awkward Balance Of Passion, Freedom, and Civility


We have some very-real challenges of operating within a notoriously ill-mannered environment, where many have grown accustomed to a free-for-all of vulgarities or unsavory topics, and increased numbers of people are finding us every day. As if that didn't seem like long-enough odds against us, toss into the mix that we focus on some of the most provocative and volatile topics found anywhere online. And finally, to further complicate the matter, we want to ensure that all members have complete and utter freedom of expression. Maintaining this fine balance within normal real-world requirements of civil social graces is not just a challenge, it can sometimes seem downright impossible.


Here, There Is An Earnest Effort


We've said it before, we'll say it again, and we'll say it often -- AboveTopSecret.com is not for everyone, nor will we try to be. If slagging-off with poetic flames is your thing, you'll not last more than hours here. If you cannot discuss provocative topics without vulgarities, you'll not last more than a day here. If you're unable to focus on the topics and not each other, your membership may not last more than a week. We make no excuses, this is the way we choose to be.

While there will always be waves of discontent either from batches of new members unable to cope or highly-charged topics that rise in popularity, one thing sets us apart -- we strive to be different. Every day our all-volunteer staff struggles with maintaining decorum and topical neutrality while working hard to help us all aspire to impeccable standards of conduct and relevance.


One Out Of Two


There are generally two types of people who become active in online discussion environments (blogs, boards, forums, chat). Those who simply seek to interact with other people, and those who want to learn more about a range of topics. For the most part, the flamers and trolls rise from the ranks of those seeking interaction -- it's a form of entertainment for them. We want to attract people with a desire to learn more, for within this group is a high percentage of people who understand and appreciate our aspirations to be above the fray.


It Works


Back when we first decided to see how popular this place might get, the most important new tactic was to enforce real-world social graces within the discussions on ATS. There are a number of other tactics and rule changes that evolved over the years, but enforced decorum is by far the most important and often used. This is the "secret sauce" by which we grew. Once people stopped bickering, the topics became the focus and the online world noticed.

There have been bumps along the way, and there will be more in the future. But here on ATS we're constantly focused on being different and making a difference. Hopefully being a member of ATS and playing a part of such an effort smoothes the bumps. And hopefully, the topics upon which we focus provide inspiration to remain part of the effort.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by whaaa
 


True.. what would ATS be without serious heated debates? .. Boring.

Infinite..

Not still mad at me are ya? Hopefully this thread was not inspired by our argument a few weeks ago..

Anyways.. the only problem I see on ATS lately is people signing on, cussing people out, and getting banned a day after they joined.

But hey, they get banned.. the mods do a good job at clearing those people out..

but if your having a debate about topics you and the other person do not agree about.. you cannot get mad that they disagree.. and to remember that this is the internet, and as such you cannot define true emotion in words typed through cyber space..

Something that may seem disrespectful may never have been meant as such.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 10:51 AM
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Ok, so I am not a particularly old timer here, but I do log on at least once a day to see what's up here.

I do seem to notice that you can tell the mindset and (IMHO) aims of a poster by one or two of their posts.

If someone is open minded and willing to take on board ideas - it shows.

If they are here to troll, flame and annoy - it also shows.

I think that all one has to do is ignore the incivility, be a bigger person and get on with what YOU want to get out of, and put into this awesome site.

That's how approach things.

I consider being polite a must in all aspects of daily life - t'interweb is no different.

Take care,

MSP



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 11:00 AM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


Oh that? Nothing to forgive and it is all cool
This thread was created due to feelings I've had for a while.

SkepticOverlord, I believe you don't give yourself enough credit. ATS, in my opinion, is not just another board. I think the community built here is second to none. I'd even bet money on it.

You guys are not autocratic and you have not created a bureaucracy here either. The balance is just right, Rockpuck is right about the group who get banned within a few hours.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 




Something that may seem disrespectful may never have been meant as such


I think you hit the nail on the head Rockpuck. There's so many nationalities here. What's appropriate for one may not be for another
or communications might be misconstrued. It took me a while to figure it out. When I did I realized 'Hey' we're on the same boat. I believe serious debates are important to the ATS. There's been times where I've been stuck in one mode, because of the way I was brought up. After reading other viewpoints I began to question maybe the way I was taught wasn't right.

I think the mods do an excellent job of weeding out the troublemakers and I've never had to put anyone on 'ignore'.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by infinite
*sighs*

This thread was created to get members to end the absurd name calling, not to start debating and attacking the content on ATS. Everyone is entitled to think and post what they, within T&C, without being criticised i.e the message I was trying to get across.


Within reason, my friend.

There are posters on this site who are curteous, intelligent and capable of sustaining measured debate. These people are the reason why ATS still exists, and is the reason why you keep coming back. These are the people whom you should focus your attention on, and discuss with them the issues that interest you.

Conversely there are some posters on here so unintelligent and incapable of reason that a debate with them is impossible. They are prone to dogma and fallacy. There can be no dialogue between people who are are different levels of understanding of an issue, because the one with lower knowledge will be totally beguiled at the concepts presented by the other. These people you pay no attention to, because they are fanatics. You cannot change their mind, and they will not change the subject.

There are additionally posters on here who are malicious in their very thinking, they post to incite responses or to get on others nerves. In such scenarios we must call Trolls what they are : trolls. There is no use reasoning with such people because nothing will give. They will not learn, they will not reason, they will not research. In short, they are unworthy of debate and are more in tune with argument. You must offer a voice of opposition to these people, and break their harsh words with your own harsh argument.

There are scenarios where fire must be fought with fire, for only then will the ignorance be burnt out, and denied.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 01:14 PM
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reply to post by infinite
 


I completely agree with you infinite! I have noticed a surge in disrespectful posters. However, I see a surge pretty much every season. In the fall there was a surge, around Christmas there was a surge, and now entering spring there is a surge.

Those damn surges just don't work
.

As for your question:


Do you see ATS like me, a place to chat to friends and family or just another internet forum?


I do see ATS as a very unique place to discuss a variety of topics. I can't say I frequent any other site anywhere near as much as this one.

ATS has become a home away from home, at least, on the internet. As much of a home as it could ever be.

ATS is a place where I can relieve some stress from the day after reading "bad" news, vent after an argument in real life, or generally "get away" for a while.

I feel much more at home here than anywhere else because of ATS' unique atmosphere. So many different people post here, and there's always something interesting to read.

While I may not agree with a large percentage of the posters here, I do respect their opinion. We are not always right, and I have been completely wrong on multiple occasions.

I actually like being proven wrong and being shown a new way of thinking. That's what makes this place great.

This is a place for open and honest debate. Sometimes I get a bit heated, but soon after, I am cool again. I haven't had many personal problems with members, but like any life situation, there's going to be some issues with others.

Thanks for the thread and I think you had the right idea!

G



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 02:01 PM
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The only thing I don't approve of are the often observed double standards.
Occasionally some poster will emotionally howl at me and if I reply back using his same syntax and verbiage my post is removed, although I'm not being emotional and only implimenting logic with the ver words that said poster decided to bestow. Frustrating at times, yes. It's also frustrating when certain members decide to choose me to be their altar of jealousy worship and they become so entangled in their misguided rage that when we conversate they interpolate meaningless, or maybe quite meaningful at its origin but then lost statements due to lack of perceived interlocuted mutualism; respect goes out the window and all they care about is arguing or looking as if they are more intellectual, as if that is my goal and they are superseding me at such, when in fact it doesn't even matter to me and I only type to and share idealogy to open minds and share concepts.
Oh well!

For those of you that I have held typings of stature and respect with, I thank you deeply.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 02:35 PM
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This thread highlights what I am trying to point out. The "me vs them" or "he said, she said" drama.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 02:42 PM
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Ah..

One thing I have noticed here Lastoutfinite is this..

If someone is rude to you.. and your rude back in retaliation.. your just as guilty IF NOT MORE SO for rising to the bait and sinking to their level..

Instead, though trust me I know its hard not to retaliate in over abusive tones.. use the Alert button.. if its truly warn worthy.. a Mod will warn. Carry on the conversation as normal not inciting further petty squabbling over an abusive troll..

And seeing as you have been around since 2006 there is a certain level of double standards and it should be expected, as a long standing member you are held to higher standards, your not new here, you know the T&C and you know where the limit is.

I have seen very, very rarely an openly biased mod.. so don't think your being singled out because its you personally saying something..

If you get what I am trying to say.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:24 PM
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I understand your logic and I suppose I'll refrain from being perceived as angry and/or retaliating.

I'll attempt to hit the alert button. It's just that various posters insult and put down discretely and some are so myopic to their own sense of self and their own words and those meanings and their multiple applications that it's pointless to even try explaining it in the first place.

Here's an example: Blind to the self

This leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth and feeling sorry for the other person. It also shows me that this poster will continue down this same road and if he/she and when he/she comes across another less fortunately blessed with logic and internal cranial power and expression than himself, he will then overpower and "win" the conversation regardless of if the outcome is true or not. Anyone beyond his/her "level" is immediately ignored and/or cleverly slandered. By the time that cleverness is revealed I suppose it can be me that looks as if I am the "psuedo-intellectual", semantically over-analytical "troll". I assure you that this is not the case, but I feel it unfair to be treated like such. It is all a simple game of reverse psychology and self projection of insecurities. Please do read the few posts by me and my adversary in that thread. That is one of the many problems that I deal with on a daily basis on here; being misunderstood and disliked because of it.

[edit on 23-3-2008 by LastOutfiniteVoiceEternal]



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 04:11 PM
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I agree with the OP however i have to also admit that i believe we have all fallen into the trap here at ATS whereas it has become normal to tolerate such behaviour beyond the normal old style limits that used to be held here on ATS.

I myself never have and never will take part in a personal dispute here on ATS and i only contribute what i merely believe to be an honest comment within a thread. There are too many people and there is one particular person i can think of that has joined recently that has no more to say within a lot of threads than "Seen this before, Crap, Move on" or something to that effect.

I remember the days when ATS was a serious discussion board. All comments were accepted in a proffesional manner purely because any personal view was backed up with a paragraph or two and a decent honest debate. Now it seems to turn into a slanging match and people take things personally.

I would love ATS to be back to the way it used to be. Good honest and proffesional like discussions with lots of courtesy and manners to even the sceptics of your chosen topic.

ATS is slowly turning in a youtube like site with offhand rude and sometimes threatening comments.

I think warnings should be handed out for stupid idiotic comments trying to bring down a thread without any offer of discussion to the said thread.

If you look at a thread and decide you dont like and its not your type of thing then move on and find something else. Dont jump in with a "Crap, seen it all before you losers" type of line. Get a grip and get a life and put all of your energy into a worthy thread whereas you feel you can contribute some decent discussion in the hope of denying ignorance and searching for the truth.

Some people just dont have the respect to understand where this site came from to what it is today and how much hard work and discussion has gone into making ATS what it is today. (Apart from all the hard work by the 3 Amigos of course)



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 04:22 PM
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reply to post by thesaint
 


That's the ATS I remember and loved


Debates back then we brilliant to take part in, the majority of ATS would contribute. There was no insulting comments made to any supporting a particular view. Everything and everyone was respected.

It never was "us vs them".



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 04:26 PM
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I am hopeful that all of the participants in this thread represent a guiding force within the board's 'culture.'

As a newcomer I discovered quickly how people get emotionally 'vested' in the debates and often forget courtesy and respect. But something within this thread has me wondering.

In cases such as the 'Dalai Lama is a nasty this or that', or the 'Tibet massacre' thread (which I am grateful to have missed) the notion of outright lying came up. having studied a bit about propaganda it makes me wonder. what if someone were lying or somehow thought this would be an effective vehicle for disinformation?

I mean, that you or I may recognize it as such is one thing (it is quite possible we might not). How do you challenge it without calling it a lie? Calling someone a liar is obviously rude, but how is it avoidable when you want to call someone out to support their claim or accusation?

Is it really possible to avoid confrontation? Is there a different vehicle for debating with those who directly oppose what you say? Perhaps there should be a channel for that sort of thing - separate from one where conspiracy theorists dissect current issues and illuminate each other through conversation.

At any rate, I believe anyone should be able to pledge themselves to rational constructive arguments, rather than a competition to see who can be wittier.

Oh well, thanks for listening.



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