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The ATS Issues Thread

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posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 03:17 PM

So, I saw the thread recently titled "Whats up with ATSWatch?"

Personally, I belive skeptic overlord should not have closed that thread, as there was much more to speak of there, and the ATSWatch discussion could very well get diluted on this one thread.

Also, Even though I want to talk about the ATSWatch site, I have no issue with ATS, so I'm not sure why it should be moved here.

But whatever, ... here is my opinion

The guys at ATSWatchs have two issues

1. They believe that ATS's policy is to enforce ignorance
2. They feel that the ATS owners are somehow "questionable"

I can't speak to #2 at all. I have no idea what they mean, and I have no knowledge of anything which I might assume they are speaking of.

[Edit here after looking more closely at ATS Watch]. It appears one of the issues is that folks like John Lear, Who I personally think has no business on any site which would seek to maintain any credibility, is a nutcase, yet other hoaxers get booted. I'd have to say that I understand where Springer is coming from; namely that although Lear is clearly a nutjob, he's not a pre-meditated hoaxer.

That aside I personally think Lear has no place on a forum such as ATS, unless... And this is the crux of the ATSWatch principles, the Owners of ATS (OATS) only reason to keep him around is due to his attraction of users; crazy, unbelievable, hit-increasing, eye-ball having, ad impression generating users.

What I REALLY want to talk about though is this concept of what ATS is.

ATS is exactly what the "About ATS" page says, which they ATSWatch site links to. It is not a definitive source of truth, but a place where people can go to get a feeling of what people THINK truth might be.

Now before someone says "Well, everyone "thinks" what they know is truth", let me say this. ATS's expressed purpose is not to come to any conclusions, but let the readers come to conclusions. Although... to be honest, ATS promotes a lot of nutjobs who have zero credibility, such as John Lear.

Evidently, the folks at ATSWatch wanted a system whereby they wouldn't hash over the same misinformation over and over again. They want a memory. They want that memory to be conclusive, and then they want to move onto the next thread.

This intention of theirs is very admirable, and I support *that* kind of forum if it is agreeable to me, if not, then I might support another forum which has a different concept of what the TRUTH might be.

ATS Watch says this

But what if you are only seeking the TRUTH?

And what if, in seeking that TRUTH you stumble across something that seems to discredit ATS? Are you now 'ignorant'?

They go on, but I have to stop them right here.

How could you ever discredit ATS? I mean, for that to happen, ATS would have to have the ability of comming to some conclusion on a topic and then registering that conclusion in a "archive of facts" some place.

But that is not what ATS does at all. It NEVER comes to a conclusion. ITS NOT SUPPOSED TO!

The whole point of ATS, which is descirbed in the About ATS link, is a conspiracy marketplace of sorts. The concept is that the truth will "probably" be someplace in between the extremes of any topic. And ATS is like a giant honeypot meant to attract the extremes so that the middle ground can be divined by the initiated.

And before someone says "Hey! Mr Elitist... who are these initiates?"

They are the people who have learned to read between the lines of ATS, nothing more.

So with that, I think the difference between ATS and ATSWatch can be summed up as follows:

ATS == A forum which attracts both crack pots and anti-crack pots. The result is the ability to see a range of opinions on any topic and hopefully come away more informed than you arrived.

ATSWatch == A group of people who believe that once something has been debunked, it should be remembered as such. Also that doesn't support the promotion of nutjobs such as John Lear.

[edit on 18-7-2008 by Quazga]

posted on Jul, 19 2008 @ 03:19 PM

Originally posted by Quazga
The guys at ATSWatchs have two issues

Just to follow up on your excellent post...

We've made contact with the owner of the site and have officially requested a slight modification of the terminology they're using. As it stands, they're apparently attempting to establish "unethical behavior" as a statement of fact, not opinion.

We have no desire to make an effort to limit anyone's ability to freely express themselves, however, if they want to make definitive statements about us, I'd prefer to see factual evidence. I have no problem with people expressing opinion, and clearly qualifying it as such, and we have a long history of not just tolerance, but supporting that here on ATS.

If someone believes that agents of our site and/or company have acted in an unethical way, there are several methods that may provide satisfactory results other than grousing about it on online forums.
1) Your state's attorney general (we are an LLC with a strict privacy policy)
2) The Internet Advertising Bureau (we are a member and must adhere to an ethical code)
3) TRUSTe... we are under review for certification
4) The U.S. SEC -- if you believe we're not factual about our corporate structure

So far, to my knowledge, no one has taken any initiate other than complain via postings on other online forums.

posted on Jul, 19 2008 @ 07:12 PM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

When the topic came up as a thread,curiosity bit me,so I went and had a look to see what all the fuss could be,now I`m left with a bad taste in my mouth for having done so.

If anyone on ats has every been suspicious or disgruntled about a thread/post disappearing etc for the reasons of board drama,go take a gander at ATSwatch and hopefully you will understand as I do now,why its not welcome.

I read a few threads there with SO being open and up front to no avail,these people made their minds up a long time ago for what ever reason that there`s a conspiracy against them and no amount of answers or explanations will change their minds and why would they? they have their little atswatch community where they feel they`re safe and belong,take that away and they would have to get a life.

I`d welcome ats members to go there and see for yourself and make up your own mind,but if like me you`ll walk out of there with a foul taste in your mouth and a reinforced respect for the people at the helm of ats and its not worth the negative and cost of mouth wash.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 03:16 PM
The Aliens & UFO's board has really gone downhill as of late. Now in no way are the staff or owners of the site responsible for it being that it is all user generated content. As of late there have been more and more threads incorporating baseless claims. These threads re a cancer on the board. They do not promote discussion. The OP's in these threads refuse to provide evidence to back their claims when they say they have evidence. It would just be much easier to close these threads down when the OP refuses to answer or provide the supposed evidence they possess. I believe we may need more stringent posting rules for this forum.

I think the issue here may be one of a few things. 1. people trolling, 2. bored people seeking attention, 3. disgruntled members and/or ex-members trying to undermine the credibility site by posting blatant lies. I know that there is a lot of waaaay out there content on ATS but the bread and butter of this site has always been members contributing their ideas or experiences and people civilly discussing their points and counterpoints. I have been guilty of this too but there are too many threads where everyone is screaming hoax and the OP never presents evidence on their claims.

[edit on 7/20/2008 by ShAuNmAn-X]

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 03:20 PM
reply to post by ShAuNmAn-X

A way to combat this plague is to simply not respond to these threads. But, NO we as members feel the urge to reply to these threads. If we as members didn't reply said threads would quickly fall into the archives. But, like was said: We create the monsters and we have to deal with them.

[edit on 20-7-2008 by jhill76]

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 03:26 PM
reply to post by jhill76

I understand that but I also understand that some members post replies in those threads out of sheer frustration from being flooded with BS over and over. I have been guilty of it as well as many others, just being frustrated with it. Members not posting in them would be a good idea.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 03:39 PM
reply to post by ShAuNmAn-X

I know it's annoying as all get out, and even more frustrating than it is annoying (and that's saying something LOL). Trust me when I say, the staff herein is doin' the best we can. Just bear with us, this sort of thing generally runs in cycles, especially during the summer with younguns out of school. Idle hands and all that...

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 03:51 PM
reply to post by seagull

Thanks for the reply seagull, and I know you guys have your hands full. I feel better just getting it off my chest.

posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 04:06 PM
reply to post by ShAuNmAn-X

Venting can be good
. I'm sure you know that stepping away is always a good thing to do as well, at least until the boil slows to a slow simmer...

Don't let your frustration take away what, in the end, is supposed to be fun.

posted on Jul, 24 2008 @ 06:11 PM

ATSWatch == A group of people who believe that once something has been debunked, it should be remembered as such. Also that doesn't support the promotion of nutjobs such as John Lear.

ATSWatch are not worth the attention or the effort of wasting energy over. The posters prove to 110% accuracy the term "lunatics have taken over the asylum."

According to them, I'm not a member but a controlled puppet of ATS and bullied an ex-member (who made no significant contribution to ATS and claimed we were all "out to get him")

ATSWatch is just another carbon copy of TSC

posted on Jul, 25 2008 @ 12:33 PM
We almost engaged in a lawsuit against our detractors...

In fact, we came so close as to smell the fresh ink on paper.


As many of our members and visitors may know, there are small pockets of people that have taken joy in creating fictitious stories about myself, Mark (Springer), Simon, and various aspects that make up the management and business operations of and The Above Network, LLC. Most often these are people who have been banned from ATS for various reasons and have some deep-seated resentment toward our success.

While it's often frustrating and tedious to encounter new efforts from these types of people, we've grown accustomed to seeing it from time to time. However, recently we've become aware of a proactively malicious attempt that represents a new level of harmful intent we've not seen. Our legal and business advisors agreed, unanimously, that we have an "open-and-shut" case to win an immediate injunction combined with judgement in our favor for damages. The path toward defending our name, our personal reputations, and the honor of our membership was laid out in a clear-cut strategy.

And it remains a well-researched and smart legal response to an overt attack against the people of ATS... and one which we can afford, even if we receive no judgement other than a cessation of hostilities.

There it shall remain.


I bring this to the attention of our members so that you may be aware of the intensely difficult decision we made... the decision to "stand down," and move on.

My gut and heart screams for the opportunity to defend ourselves.

Mark's gut and heart screams for the necessity of drawing a line beyond which our tolerance stops.

Our advisors' and financial partners look forward to successfully establishing a limit on malicious fabrications.

But my brain, steeped in the digital culture of free expression from as far back as 1984, combined with the sober reason of all involved, won the day.

It hurts me personally to see what is being said of myself, my partners, and the business that occupies my daily energy. It hurts me personally to see that someone with nothing to lose would seek to damage all that I've worked on, all the hard work of our staff, all that my partners have worked on, and especially the stunning contributions of our members. It's frustrating beyond words to experience people who purport to have evidence of wrong doing here at ATS, but constantly refuse to offer anything more concrete than error-riddled opinion inspired by deep-seated envy.

If we were to move forward with this legal action, I and all those who work to further the goals of ATS would forever lose a small piece of our soul. And that is a price beyond compare that we cannot endure.


Our decision to "stand down" will be interpreted any number of ways with an infinite variety of misconceptions and speculative stories.

To each and every interpretation, we have the same response. We chose this path, this time. Our decision had nothing to do with money, nothing to do with the inability to recover the legal fees, and nothing to do with chances for success. It had everything to do with morals and ethics and the core ideals of free expression for which we all stand.


Long ago, we made the promise that "ATS" also stands for Altruism, Trust, and Sincerity ( and that this core ethic will be the foundation for how we grow ATS into a business we can be proud of. Being of obvious admirable ethics and upstanding business practices has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of how we operate. It's reflected in our joining the Internet Advertising Bureau and serving on their small publisher committee, and soon to be even more obvious through certification of a leading digital privacy advocacy organization. We take seriously the public trust we ask of our members and visitors.

We offer and enthusiastically tolerate methods for public questions of our operations and tactics here on ATS. The ATS Issues thread is a recent development intended to maintain a single-source and easy to locate place for a broad variety of concerns and questions. We've never shied away from valid questions and never intend to. For anyone who wishes to raise issues, please do so here and you will receive an answer.

Becoming a legal footnote as a company that stopped someone's opinion, even if it's one of vindictive hate focused on harming our efforts, is not a place I intend to go just yet. Some day our hand may be forced, but not this day.

For those who continue to cowardly post lies and stories from the safety of their blogs and forums, have your fun at our expense. We can take it. We will gladly respond to those claims here, on, should the questions arise. We will no longer attempt to answer these claims on the boards where the claims are being made as it has proven, time and again, to be an exercise in futility and we are better served responding to these wild claims and fictional stories on our own site, where a larger audience can be addressed.

posted on Jul, 25 2008 @ 12:43 PM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

This is exactly what makes ATS GREAT.

This is exactly why I have stayed here and intend on staying.

This I understand.



posted on Jul, 25 2008 @ 12:51 PM

It's frustrating beyond words to experience people who purport to have evidence of wrong doing here at ATS, but constantly refuse to offer anything more concrete than error-riddled opinion inspired by deep-seated envy.

If we were to move forward with this legal action, I and all those who work to further the goals of ATS would forever lose a small piece of our soul. And that is a price beyond compare that we cannot endure.

I soundly and loudly applaud you. You show remarkable spirit and endurance, coupled with a love and respect for freedom and tolerance.

This is what makes ATS such an awesome place.

As for me? i thank the stars people like you still make alot of effort for people like me to have some where to post the things that I need help and answers for!

Long, long may it continue to be such a place.

posted on Jul, 25 2008 @ 01:10 PM
Having actually read some of the "pieces" written on other sites (naming no names) I was frankly astounded at the patience shown by both SO and springer in attempting to find a common ground from which to allay certain concerns which had been expressed (I'm in diplomatic mode here

Some of the vitriol which poured forth was a little sickening in its intensity, and I can only admire the restraint shown by SO and springer who maintained an admirable level of civility in the face of very hostile behaviour and unfounded accusations.

That said, I'm glad the high ground was and will be maintained, as it shows the absolute regard for freedom of speech and expression which is the cornerstone of this great community.

SO, I tip my hat to yourself and springer (amongst others) and hold you now in the highest regard for your patience and fortitude in dealing with certain unwarranted and unfounded attacks on your persons and integrity.

posted on Jul, 25 2008 @ 01:50 PM
Blimey. Only just seen this - and wasn't aware of this ATSWatch site .....

Puts some of the problems I've encountered over the years running UKweatherworld and the Mountain Bothies Association forums into perspective!

All I can say is that the 3 Amigos have my full support (and sympathy) - and the Illuminati/Reptilian/NWO agent leaning over my shoulder can take a running jump!

I guess I don't take some of the issues discussed here quite as seriously as some other folk. But IMO what it all comes down to is some folk simply cannot accept that they may be wrong* - and will go to any means to attack those who dare express different views. Whereas on ATS such views are openly tolerated. I do, sadly, see similar stances adopted in the climate change where similar vitrilolic attacks take place.

* 'may be' does not me you are wrong - but I have a personal dislike of omnipotent beings ....

posted on Jul, 25 2008 @ 01:55 PM
I have no doubt that your spirit will prevail.

If you feel the need to enlist help, I'm a hell of a legal analyst, if I do say so myself.

Edit to add:

Or a bunch of us members could just get together and beat the crap out of 'em (j/k of course).

[edit on 25-7-2008 by Maxmars]

posted on Jul, 25 2008 @ 02:15 PM
Well heres a little something for ya. Perhaps people, much like you, mark, simon, the legal wranglers and your financial backers, wouldn't feel so jaded to start an alternate movement against the machine if they hadn't had there account deleted but still show as a member inquiring with no response to numerous inquiries of whats going on. You know, to ignore some one under those terms is asking for trouble. We live in a secretive wired world of self imposed anonyminity where our input has value to the person making a statement.

Eventualy deceptions begin to bite you in that world we so love.

posted on Jul, 25 2008 @ 02:20 PM

Originally posted by seagull
reply to post by hikix

What a whole lot of nonsence... I've seen fire and brimstone threads go for days with nary a moderator in sight, much less the high priests of ATS, the three amigos.
"the 3 amigos", i thought were pres of USA, pres of Mexico and prim of Ganada? which one of the amigos are you referring to?

Being a conspirecy site, this may sound a little odd, but not everything is a conspirecy...really. it's got to be because of all the crap going down or in, ya know, Fema Coffins in Georgia!

i am not going to comment on the issues thread 'cause i learned my lesson.

posted on Jul, 25 2008 @ 02:23 PM
btw I do agree very much with ShAuNmAn-X's comments - indeed there have been times I've thoiugh ATS was turning into GLP! Maybe a case of trying to tighten up on some of the spurious threads?

Having now looked more closely at ATSWatch I find it interesting that they seem to be arguing that ATS has been perpetuating/encouraging hoaxes etc - which surely misses the whole point of ATS? IMO there are lots of hoaxes posted here, but the point of ATS is to provide a forum where such stories can be discussed and the flaws properly exposed - rather than just dismissing them out of hand?

ATS (I think?) is all about someone making a claim and someone else either providing evidence to substantiate the claim or to show that it is erroneous - evidence being the key word

btw I should say I do firmly beleive that not taking legal action is definitely the right thing, easy though it may be to do otherwise (especially in modern society). Rise above!

[edit on 25-7-2008 by Essan]

posted on Jul, 25 2008 @ 02:39 PM

Originally posted by Peepers
Eventualy deceptions begin to bite you in that world we so love.

If you would be more specific and direct in your comment/question, I'd be able to know what you were referring to so that I could provide an answer.

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