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Whistle Blower Protocol for ATS

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posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 06:14 PM
reply to post by Skyfloating

So far I like this idea the best.The key element is that the OP must have something substantial to provide.
I really don't want to read "Grampa's friend of a sister who has a boyfriend knows a guy who........"

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 06:15 PM
you kinda got my thought pattern there, Springer.

What I think the OP was trying to get at is what if someone comes here with something so mind blowing and with enought evidence that it would melt skunkworks' posters' minds (am I right)

I think he means is there any way to get some things verified before putting it into the bear pit so we dont have the usual.... I really do think it means 'earth shaking disclosure' though.

I may be wrong. I usually am - just order a pizza that was too big for example...

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 06:26 PM
That's why I like ATS with members keeping an eye out for everyone. You have members that look at spelling and if it looks like a banned members spelling then they let everyone know. If they write their paragraphs the same then we'll know from someone paying attention. Then you have mods and administrators doing the same. I've learned alot here and I'm still learning. I have confidence that ATS members are truth seekers and if a bad apple gets through the radar it's not for long.

[edit on 3/30/2008 by Solarskye]

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 06:37 PM
I'll weigh in here.

Whistleblower type threads need a separate forum. "Proof" should not be the standard by which these are allowed. No matter how hard you try, anything short of that approach will leave the site vulnerable to accusations of "censorship".

I say let the chips fall where they may. If aggregated in a single place, these posts are no more damaging to the site's credibility than "an alien ate my homework" type threads.

One final (though not necessary) detail might also serve as a deterrent to hoaxes. Mask the thread creator's member-name in the thread so that it is not publicly viewable. In other words, take some of the 'fame' out of it.

[edit on 30-3-2008 by loam]

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 06:40 PM
reply to post by loam

Love the idea...

Seriously, sir.

Worth writing a crimp over, in fact.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 06:41 PM
reply to post by more_serotonin_pls

You know...

There is an existing way to instantly get the attention of the owners of this site. It's the "Contact Us" button on the bottom of every page.

It sends an email directly to S.O., Simon and myself. While I have to admit that we get so many BIZARRE
emails a day that it would take an exceptional one to really get us to commit any time to it. But a genuine whistle blower would be an articulate, well educated person methinks so it's possible.

Actually, now that I am thinking about it, we've had a few that we responded to in the past. They were very compelling.

That may be a stop gap solution, when someone starts a "I have been working with aliens" thread, someone alert the staff and I'll jump in (soon as I can, patience is a virtue
) and instruct the poster to send their "evidence" (i.e. security badge with the name blacked out, pay check stub, etc...) to us via the Contact ATS button.

Assuming they don't, they get post banned until they do. It's not perfect but until we get something better it's a start and I am willing to deal with it.

Keep the ideas coming, this is what separates ATS from the rest, well this and all those millions of eyeballs!


posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 06:46 PM
reply to post by Springer

That idea works for me, buddy.

I don't know if it would be a headache for your staff folk, but it certainly would stop some people from posting rubbish. I have, on a few occaisions had to hit the 'alert' button and have always noticed positive action, so perhaps if we do that it may be worth a blast.

Articulate writing and thought is a rarity on the internet, generally, these days, so I guess you're right.

I don't think it's a daily occurence but it's sure worth thinking about for those situations where staff/mods and members know there's likely to be an issue.

That's my tuppence worth anyway. Just trying to think of how to create a smoother ATS.

Edited for lack of being articulate...

[edit on 30-3-2008 by more_serotonin_pls]

[edit on 30-3-2008 by more_serotonin_pls]

[edit on 30-3-2008 by more_serotonin_pls]

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 06:54 PM

Originally posted by Springer
...instruct the poster to send their "evidence" (i.e. security badge with the name blacked out, pay check stub, etc...) to us via the Contact ATS button.

I'm sorry, Springer, but it amazes me you subscribe to this position. Do you really think most whistleblowers would do that? I wouldn't.

Now, if you asked for this behind the scenes, and someone did comply, that would be a different story. Perhaps you could engineer an approach that would disclose a poster's compliance with this optional 'extra step', lending additional credibility to the poster's assertions.

Make compliance a positive thing, not a negative one resulting in a ban.

Just my $0.02.

[edit on 30-3-2008 by loam]

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 06:55 PM
If my idea was censorship(whichI think that word is abused)than what is letting a few "elite"site owners or sr.staff look at at before its posted called?

edit to add:Well maybe we should just keep the system already in place,we always find the hoaxers anyways.

[edit on 3/30/2008 by jkrog08]

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 06:58 PM
reply to post by Springer

That's a good idea.
And thank you for the compliment earlier. I have been amazed by some of the members ideas and knowledge since joining ATS and that's why I feel we're very important to finding the truth and denying ignorance. I just hope people don't start contacting you all just because a member was mean or upsetting the OP. That should be for mods to handle. Anyway, good idea.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:01 PM
reply to post by jkrog08
I dont think our pencil nebula loving mod was talking about censorship here.

I feel that the issue being discussed was how to handle folk with serious claims which they feel they can back up with credentials (correct me if I'm wrong).

I also think that what Springer was suggesting would take place behind the scenes - as it did with Jose Escamilla - before he got himself banned.

It's a case of checking 'serious' backstories in a way that will not expose the whistleblower, but in a way that us members can put faith in.

Am I making my thoughts clear? I hope so.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:13 PM
Yep,thoughts are clear.Well maybe the whistle blower button would work I dont know,sounds good,but will it be good is the question.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:20 PM
Well, here's an idea, maybe. Sky's idea of a "lounge" is good; as in a separate place. But what if it was a forum that only they and staff could post in, but anyone could read? Mods and admin could ask the respectful questions needed asking, everyone could see the answers, and the whistleblower would have all the free speech he wanted without the distraction of being hounded by the people that want to yell hoax right off.

Mr. X posts the start of an amazing tale, a member alerts on it through the existing alert system (Only adding a note that this is a whistleblower post), and a mod investigates before posters get him spooked or angry, moves him to what is essentially a soundproof booth where members can see him, but he can't see them.

Then, within a couple of days, through back channels if need be, he gives enough evidence to convince ATS. He either gets moved to a General Conspiracy or UFO or whatever forum, or he's moved to SW and ripped apart by the now frothing mob. (Actually as a hoaxer he would be banned, sorry about building your hopes for a mob lynching.

This would not be censoring, as any interested member could watch the proceedings openly, and it would protect the new poster/whistleblower from ridicule and pestering distractions.

I don't know how much technical work this would entail to set up, but it would cover most problems, I think.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:23 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

Lovely idea, but is that fair - tempting the mob with a victim only to snatch it away if it proves to be false?

That's just teasing...


posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:29 PM
reply to post by jkrog08

How in the world do you consider the vetting of EVIDENCE as censorship?!

Us "elite" owners have some contacts that can reliably tell me if a badge or a paycheck stub is legit or not.

At the end of the day WE are responsible for this site, sorry if you think it's "elitist" to want to vet the evidence mate, but I could swear it was you crying out for just that a page ago.


posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:31 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

I like this idea the best so far, but I have a couple of questions.

Is this only going to apply to certain forums?

For example, what if somebody from the Conspiracies in Religion forum says they work for God, and have inside information?

How are you going to get them to send evidence or proof of that?

I highly doubt they are going to have an employee ID.

I just picture a lot of alerts sent in from all over the place on this, unless there are only certain people who are allowed to do it.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:35 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

Yea,that sounds like a really good idea,but maybe people mis read what my idea was.It wasnt to only let a commity of 7 or whatever read it,everyone could read it,but the commity would work w/ the sr. staff and come to a quick conclusion about if its a hoax or not,by looking for "hoax"signs in the OP or other following post.That way the staff wouldnt be swamped and any sensitive material could be handed over to the sr.staff while the commity does the less sensitive things(like scan for tell tale hoax signs)that in no way is "censoring"

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:41 PM
reply to post by Springer

I think you mis read what I was trying to say.You said that a commity "vetting" the evidence was censorship,how is the "responsible owners"vetting the evidence any different?Because you own the site?That would be like the President deciding who we can listen to speak cause he is the "President"(I know it happens anyways but I think my point is clear)

[edit on 3/30/2008 by jkrog08]

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:47 PM
reply to post by jkrog08

Yes, but why not let everyone interested speak their piece, instead of a set number. The mods could see everyone's posts, relay relevant question on to Mr.X, and coordinate any need for documentation, while maintaining complete calm around the OP. The mods could also U2U some member to post, out of site of the OP, when a decision was pending due to validation, such as "we'll have the results on such and such in two days", so that the whole board would know where we stood.

And trust me, if some guy is giving up the good stuff, I'll drink coffee and stay right with him, so you don't need to worry that there wouldn't be a mod handy. On the other hand, if he says "I'll be back tomorrow afternoon", then the member side of the thread could go on as usual.

[edit on 30-3-2008 by NGC2736]

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 07:54 PM
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 are not one-and-the-same.

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 members 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 "informationally dense".

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
, but 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]

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