Interesting topic, NGC2736.
Personally, I think a lot of the issue lies in the notion of "debunking" itself. Many here pride themselves upon their "debunking skills", but
fail to recognize the definition. To "debunk" is simply to claim
something as being false. Anyone can excoriate a claim as being false, or
exaggerated; however, they generally provide no more evidence than the origional "offending poster". Quite simply, debunking and disproving
This issue (Whistle Blower Protocol) is one that I've considered numerous times in my years here on ATS, and there's really no "easy fix". Skunk
Works was designed to allow for more speculative discussion; however, many members still (wrongly) attach a stigma to anything posted here, and fail
to recognize the opportunities present. I'm not sure of how, or even if
it could be scripted into the system, but one idea that I've
considered is the notion of an automatic "thread lock".
One of the most frustrating things, in an "offending thread", is that you get an OP followed by 6+ pages of torches, pitchforks, and rolley eyes. It
would be nice if the maximum page count was somehow linked to the number of posts by the OP (or staff). If the OP makes one post, then the page would
"auto lock" at the end of one page. If he/she make two posts, then two pages would be allowed. After "locking", the thread would be restricted to
posts by the OP (or staff), which would then allow for another page of member commentary to continue. Such a system would allow for all
to comment (on a first-come-first-serve basis), and avoid notions of "censorship" attached to any "specially appointed" review pannel system. This
would place responsibility upon the membership
to not waste limited page space in the origional thread, and keep the thread more
I'll admit, it's certainly not perfect, but no system is. The greatest "danger" would be an inerrant weakness to page-one-spamming (by forum
gangs), but forum gangs are already against the T&C, and such participants could be dealt with accordingly.
One side effect would be to spurn a "parallel thread" where people could debate the topic freely. This would not be a new phenomenon, and those who
were here for Serpo may recall similar happenings. Ideally
, people could flesh out their questions & concerns in the parallel thread, and then
make concise posts in the OP with any thought-out/well-reasoned concerns.
I can think of a few ways to possibly initiate "whistleblower thread" status. One could simply be a "check here for whistleblower status" box
(during thread creation). Another would be to allow members to vote (like Flags) where X number of member requests would set it in motion. A third
could be Skyfloating's "Lounge" idea. Heck, if it was simply a "check here" box (during creation), it could even initiate the "general
discussion" parallel thread as well, and maybe
even generate cross-referencing links (at the bottom of the OP in each thread) automatically.
I have no idea if "Page Limit" and "OP posts" can be directly linked, and I hate the idea that I may be giving SO scripting nightmares
it's the best idea that I've come up with, so far, to try and tackle the issue.
[edit on 3/30/08 by redmage]