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The ATS Issues Thread

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posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 04:15 PM
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Originally posted by yeahright
reply to post by groingrinder
 


As WorldWatcher explained in the last post of the closed thread,


1 e.) Recruitment/Solicitation:

i) You will not use your membership at The Above Network, LLC site(s) for any type of recruitment to any causes whatsoever. You will not post, use the chat feature or use the private message system to disseminate advertisements, chain letters, petitions, pyramid schemes, or any kind of solicitation for political action, social action, letter campaigns, or related online and/or offline coordinated actions of any kind.


Hope that helps.



Are you kidding us?

ALLOWED:

Here's how you contact your representative to stop this bail-out!!



To contact your Congressional Representative: (go here and put your address and it will provide you with his/her name and how to contact them.)



New Hampshire Defining Actions by which they can FIRE the U.S. Government

first sentence pg1:


Now THIS is protesting! Contact your State government and ask if they are doing anything like this.



www.abovetopsecret.com...




Texans make sure you contact your Senator / Representative and tell them to support this!! Who Represents you in Texas?



FORBIDDEN:

Support the Marijuana Tax in California




Please urge your state legislators to support this bold legislation!


__________________________________________________________


I think you owe us an answer, please no ostrich-tactic, it's long overdue that we as members of this community get a serious answer. I understand this site is about making money, but at least be honest to those that make this business profitable. The "family oriented" arguement isn't gonna work here. We get dozens of "spam" U2U's about every little issue here, but this gets swept under the carpet again and again and again and [...].

I appreciate a sincer and honest answer from the owners or whoever made this policy (and not from those that only have to "obey those orders" aka moderators - no offense)


SiONiX




posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 04:15 PM
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Originally posted by SiONiX

WHY DO YOU CONSTANTLY AVOID THOSE CONCERNS?!? You close those threads and tell us to write about it here, and you obviously avoid those concerns!



Can we open a thread to discuss those issues? Is the motive for the ATS drug policy personally motivated (ie family drug problems), so they censor it?



It's such an important issue in fact that the owners of the site have addressed it several times in my six months here. For the latest information, check out SkepticOverlord's update to the The Discussion of Illegal Activity thread, which was posted I think yesterday.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 04:37 PM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


From the update you just mentioned:




There are logical exceptions that will require judgement calls on the part of our staff.

1) News stories about legalization of certain drugs will be inevitable as even political figures are talking about this. We will allow coverage of such stories, but no posts that discuss personal use will be tolerated, and such posts will be deleted without warning.


All we want is to discuss an important piece of legislation. Nobody wants support drugs, I don't even smoke myself. I just feel slightly offended that the thread was closed with the excuse of attempted recruiting, while you can appearently "recruit" members concerning other legislation.

It's an important piece of legislation, and if not here, where do you think should this discussed? In some drug forums? It's about the legislation and its benefits, not the subject of drugs itself, just the implications of such a legislation. The thread I complain about wasn't about the war on drugs, no pro/contra drugs, no "personal use", no "stoners", no experiences, just plain old politics and discussion of legislation!!

I think this discussion is valid, and the community demands it. We've got three threads in the top5 the last 2-3 days, all vanished without valid reasoning (as outlined above).

[edit on 24.2.2009 by SiONiX]



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 04:44 PM
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reply to post by SiONiX
 


DUDE. Your whiny complaints don't look any better in BIG TYPE than they do in regular type. Sorry.

If you could READ as well as you can COMPLAIN, you'd see where this has been addressed over and over and over and over again.

It's about EVERYONE being able to have access to ATS, as I explained in this post some time ago.

Ultimately, they own the site, you don't. Their house, their rules. If you don't like it go somewhere else.

If you want a "drink" with your dinner, do you go into a "family" restaurant and demand they start serving alcohol? No, you go to a restaurant that already has a bar. Same difference.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 04:49 PM
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I have an issue, so I consider this the right place to "whine about" it.

UPDATE: T&C valid and "Illegal Activity" conform thread about MJ legislation in Cali just hit Top1 in the most flagged threads, and.... swooosh, DELETED.

Third time in a row the last 2-3 days. Without comment. Ostrich tactict.




If you want a "drink" with your dinner, do you go into a "family" restaurant and demand they start serving alcohol? No, you go to a restaurant that already has a bar. Same difference.


You have "family restaurants" where you're not allowed to have a beer to your meal? America, land of the free. What a joke....
(sorry for being offtopic, but stuff like this always suprises me again... maybe I'm really too European for boards like those)

[edit on 24.2.2009 by SiONiX]



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by SiONiX
UPDATE: T&C valid and "Illegal Activity" conform thread about MJ legislation in Cali just hit Top1 in the most flagged threads, and.... swooosh, DELETED.

Third time in a row the last 2-3 days. Without comment. Ostrich tactict.


The Kernel has to ask because I'm not getting it. Who is the "ostrich"? ATS for not allowing this topic or the morons that continue to post that topic after they've been told numerous times that this topic isn't for ATS? Does ostrich shampoo cost more than human?



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 05:00 PM
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reply to post by Kernel Korn
 


I guess you didn't read my posts. A member linked an update from a site owner which clearly states (amongst other points).




There are logical exceptions that will require judgement calls on the part of our staff.

1) News stories about legalization of certain drugs will be inevitable as even political figures are talking about this. We will allow coverage of such stories, but no posts that discuss personal use will be tolerated, and such posts will be deleted without warning.


Discussing legislation is perfectly valid in this case, at least in my personal interpretation of the above paragraph.

And don't you think my first post on this page shows a certain amount of stereotype-policy here?

Oh, and please cut the ad hominem attacks against members who have issues with this staff behaviour, I haven't got a problem with personal attacks, but you know, there's a little something called T&C


[edit on 24.2.2009 by SiONiX]



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by SiONiX
I appreciate a sincer and honest answer from the owners or whoever made this policy


As I expressed, we tried to relax our rules... and now have madness to thank for doing so.

We are now, and always have been a freeform and open discussion venue for a long lights of highly provocative topics. It doesn't take much logic to argue that supporting discussion of intensely anti-government rhetoric is much more "antisocial" than supporting discussion of the merits of various mind altering substances.

However, in the history of ATS (and my personal experiences in managing online forums before ATS), there three topics that invariably attract an audience that will be counterproductive to civil and adult discussion. They are --
Drugs -- the stoners will swarm
Hacking -- the crackers will share
Sex -- the pedophiles will congregate

As I've mentioned repeatedly in older threads on the subject of drug-related topics, the type of audience these discussions attract are potentially more damaging to the community than any potential harm from Internet filters or lost advertisers.

This is a collective decision we made long ago. It has nothing to do with revenue. It will not change. And may not change even if pot is legalized.

It's unfortunate that the selfish shortsightedness of a few are unable to fathom the nature of the decisions that have been made to build ATS into the place it is today. We certainly know we're not perfect, nor do we ever expect to be. But our efforts have been focused on free expression on a broad range of highly provocative and, in some cases, very serious topics. The nature of the audiences those three topics above attract have always caused numerous and pointless headaches for our staff.

So... while we're still attempting to show tolerance for a degree of drug-related topics... the tolerance is wearing thin. Even in threads attempting to foster a productive and sane discussion, the flame is unavoidable for the stoners and our staff spends an inordinate amount of time whacking moles on one rather small (in the scheme of things) topic. This is why some seemingly useful or valid topics have been suddenly closed or removed. And if the situation doesn't improve soon, we may be forced into a total no-tolerance situation.

There are numerous things of more importance to discuss.

There are numerous other venues, some of which have political clout, were discussion is supported.

Please do not push us toward forcing a total no-tolerance stance.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 05:13 PM
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Originally posted by SiONiX

You have "family restaurants" where you're not allowed to have a beer to your meal? America, land of the free. What a joke....
(sorry for being offtopic, but stuff like this always suprises me again... maybe I'm really too European for boards like those)



Most of our fast food restaurants don't have liquor licenses – I think that's probably what Heike was referring to. So McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, etc don't serve beer in the U.S. It actually came as quite a surprise to me to discover that they did elsewhere.

As for the recruitment thing, I think it's a matter of judgment sometimes. There's a fine line between enthusiasm and recruitment and maybe they don't always get it right. To be honest, I think if I were a mod a couple of those other threads you linked would have been locked


And there was actually another thread locked because of the recruitment rule today: Let's begin the upside-down flag movement. Nothing to do with legalization of marijuana or drug policy in general.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 05:54 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Thanks a 1000 times for your answer, this was exactly what I was looking for. My posts may have been a little harsh, but this was primarily because the subject was ignored since the first post about this matter a page or two ago.

I completely understand the negative implications about allowing drug discussion. As you mentioned, it will always attract member contributions which are against the T&C (passionate pot supporters, personal experience reports and so on).

I totally understand that this is not invitable. However, a discussion about a legislation is a completely different subject in my eyes. It's not about pro/contra drugs, but about pro/contra that specific legislation.

I don't understand why we should discuss this in specific drug forums, where the discussion would anyway be one sided. What I'm looking for is nothing more than a single thread where we - the members of ATS - can discuss this piece of legislation. Like all other pieces of legislation, too. Be it guns, state sovereignity or whatever.

I'm not looking for a change in the ATS drug policy, I'm looking for a place to debate that specific piece of legislation, within the T&C (where posts that don't respect them will be deleted like in every other thread).

In your Update you stated, that "News stories about legalization of certain drugs will be inevitable as even political figures are talking about this."

Isn't under these terms a discussion about the legislation perfectly valid? If not, please let me know why.

Thanks for joining this discussion with a detailed statement, I really felt concerns about this issue will quietly avoided.


Greetings,

SiONiX



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 06:16 PM
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From an earlier thread...

I really can't believe I'm doing this, as I've been down this road at ATS before.

Recently the topic of Marijuana has been coming up at ATS, generally with regard to news concerning it legal status, specifically in California.

As a card carrying, state registered medicinal user of marijuana, I may simply view it with less jaded eyes than the administration of ATS. However, it seems lately that the ATS staff is simply looking for excuses to remove threads that deal with this topic.

Most recently, a thread about the new measure in California to legalize and tax the sale of my medicine was removed because the thread starter made the mistake of requesting that the member base here show their support for this measure.

The reason cited for the closing of the thread was violation of the following:


1 e.) Recruitment/Solicitation:

i) You will not use your membership at The Above Network, LLC site(s) for any type of recruitment to any causes whatsoever. You will not post, use the chat feature or use the private message system to disseminate advertisements, chain letters, petitions, pyramid schemes, or any kind of solicitation for political action, social action, letter campaigns, or related online and/or offline coordinated actions of any kind.


I think it's pretty obvious this is not the real reason the thread was closed, but an excuse to close a thread that dealt with a topic ATS doesn't like to deal with.

There was no discussion of personal use, which is what we've been told time and time again is what gets them closed.

So, in light of this, how many Ron Paul threads, or Obama threads, or McCain threads have we all endured during the last 18 - 20 months that were nothing but ATS members selling their candidates to others. Prior to the election, just about every political thread on this board made some sort of attempt at recruitment in one form or another.

We see members "calling for support" for any number of topics. Gun rights comes to mind immediately. Yet these discussions are allowed to go on page after page, and end up providing a lot of valuable information on the topic.

So, the question I ask is this: Why not simply state that any mention of Marijuana will result in deletion of your post? Why put us through this roller coaster of "Yeah, you can talk about it, but only in a very special manor, and then we'll find another excuse to close your thread anyway".

Wake up ATS, we have a member of state government advocating the legalization of this harmless substance in an effort to save his states dire economic situation, and we're not allowed to discuss it! Last year in Denver, the governor came out and waved hello to the thousands of Mary Jane's followers who were medicating on the steps of his capitol.

Oh, but it degrades further into hypocrisy. Anyone else think the "tell countries to stop doing business in Iran" add is a little inappropriate? Hey, ATS, if I pay you standard Advertising rates, can I start philosophical discussions about marijuana without fear of having my post deleted because I was soliciting, or recruiting?

Of all the topics discussed here, the subject of Marijuana probably has more misinformation surrounding it than any other. ATS's motto seems to indicate that clearing these things up with civilized discussion would be something that would be fully supported, not swept under the rug at first opportunity. For instance, why on earth would you delete a thread discussing the results of a government funded study on the medicinal qualities and long term health effects of it's use? Why on earth would you want to kill a discussion about a piece of state legislation which may be the ONLY thing that allows state employees to receive a paycheck, or residents to receive state income tax returns?

For the most part, ATS does a pretty good job of "denying ignorance". In some cases though, ignorance seems to be brought to a whole new level.

Now, doc me points, ban me, do what you want, but the hypocrisy in this subject on the side of ATS is appalling. You tell us we can discuss with respect to news articles, legislative occurances, etc. SO has been clear that any discussion of personal use is a blatant violation. He never said if we don't discuss personal use, another reason would be found (or created) to remove the thread.

I'm not asking for an explanation as to why it's an issue at all (which is ridiculous in and of it'self, it's not 1955 any more), you don't have to, but we'd all appreciate it you'd quit beating around the bush and outright allow or disallow the discussion of marijuana. It's more difficult than any of the conspiracy games have been to try and determine if you've worded things in a satisfactory manor or not. Hey, a prime example is this post. Does my mentioning that I'm a card carrying, state database registered, legal medicinal user constitute "discussion of personal use"?

First, let me state that this was the opening post in a thread started a short while ago. It was closed after one reply. The excuse given for closing the thread was that there was an ongoing thread already. MemoryShock asked that further questions or comments be added to the "above linked thread". However, the "above linked thread" was also closed some time ago. Nothing proves my point better than this.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


Thanks for your reply, and clearing up the liquor thingy for me.


After thinking about those issues, I think we have a bigger problem here. As I understand it, we are all here to make a change, to "deny ignorance", to NOT swim with the (main)stream.

But everytime someone really tries to make a difference instead of just talking, it's locked down because of the "recruitment" rule.

We have tons of threads "Why don't Americans care anymore?", why don't they protest, organize, and so on. We have loads of intelligent, ressourceful people here that are ready to make a change, but they aren't allowed to.

WHY?

Why can't we as ATS'ers stand up, organize and fight for a better tomorrow, instead of only talking about it. I understand that to prevent "Board Wars", but starting politically motivated movements to stand up for what we are here (be it disclosure, getting back our countries or whatever) instead of only "talking civilized" about it without ever making a difference.

That the upside-down flag was closed makes me sad. Sad and angry. Why are we locked in a cage here? We're like a herd of people willing to make a change, but we are locked in a cage and besides talking can't make a point.

This would be the perfect place to start a real resistance. Maybe the owners should think about what's better for them: Being family friendly, making business and stuff, or being the guys that give exactly the right kind of people a chance to make a REAL difference. Being the right guys

Think about it....



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 06:23 PM
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I'd also like to point out, that the policy in this situation must be a LOT more clearly defined than simply referring to "Illegal activity". What's legal in one place is not legal in another. Are we to define "Illegal" from the perspective of the federal government, or the state government. Do we get to pick a state? Do we use the state in which we reside?

What it boils down to, and what SiONiX and I have pointed out, with clearly illustrated examples, is that these threads are being closed via thinly veiled excuses to do so, rather than justifiable, blatant infractions of the T & C.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 06:25 PM
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reply to post by Unit541
 


I've taken part in numerous discussions about legalizing marijuana, some are very good debates, and my posts have never been deleted. If you are really looking at it from a medical standpoint, you shouldn't have a problem, because that is totally different than supporting it's illicit use, or use without a prescription. Which, as far as I know, is where the problems come up. Especially in response to personal recreational use.

As a non user, I will be the one to say that lots of people saying "woah, I totally like to get high and grow weed and stuff" makes me really, really uncomfortable. And disappointed.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 06:30 PM
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reply to post by ravenshadow13
 


I despise the stereotypical pot-head posts just as much. In fact, MemoryShock has been gracious enough to discuss this with me via U2U (thanks). My point to him is that it's just as easy to remove a post, or ban a member as it is to close the entire thread.

You don't trash an entire book because of a poorly written sentence. You rewrite the sentence, or simply remove it.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
reply to post by Unit541
 


As a non user, I will be the one to say that lots of people saying "woah, I totally like to get high and grow weed and stuff" makes me really, really uncomfortable. And disappointed.


This isn't what we seek. What we seek is to make a important piece of legislation accessable to a broader audience, nothing more, nothing less. Is it right that we can start threads about state-soverignity and urge members to write their representatives, but we cannot debate a piece of legislation? Primarily its implications? I don't care what other people think about smoking pot, I care about what other people think about this legislation, and that they become aware of it.

If we can discuss legislation about gun-rights, homosexuals, bail-outs, why can't we discuss legislation about taxing pot? I'm sounding like a broken record, sorry for that....



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by SiONiX
reply to post by americandingbat
 


Thanks for your reply, and clearing up the liquor thingy for me.


You're welcome.


We have tons of threads "Why don't Americans care anymore?", why don't they protest, organize, and so on. We have loads of intelligent, ressourceful people here that are ready to make a change, but they aren't allowed to.

WHY?


I guess you're really talking to the folks in charge, but I'm gonna talk back at you anyway


I think one big factor is that while we're pretty much all dissatisfied with the way things are to one extent or another, we don't all agree on the way they should be.

Even some of the people I consider my closest friends here at ATS have political views that I find somewhat disturbing – and no doubt they feel the same way about me. SimonGray, SkepticOverlord, and Springer seem to have made the decision a long time ago that what they wanted to do was to provide a space where as many topics as possible could be discussed as freely as possible. And in service of that aim, they recognized that there were some topics that would have to be off-limits, and that they would have to maintain a strict policy of neutrality – that ATS as an institution would always have to sit on the fence with regard to every issue.

The result is a place where we can educate ourselves about issues that don't get a lot of coverage elsewhere, and that we can bring issues that we care about to the attention of others (as long as they stay within the T&C). And they have to walk a thin line in doing so. I suspect that a thread that just said "I hate the stimulus package and think the administration and the legislature are lying scheming meanies so I'm going to hang my flag upside down" would have been allowed to stay open. Because this one urged others to do so as well, it did not.

I don't know if you saw a recent thread responding to a not complimentary description of ATS in a British tabloid newspaper? The tabloid, among other things, cited three of the stranger and less credible recent threads on ATS, but made it sound as though ATS itself was proposing the theories involved.

That's the kind of thing they have to worry about – that a thread here urging some sort of political action will be interpreted as ATS urging that action. And that in turn will make ATS a less open place, as people feel that one side of an issue is being favored.

Just some thoughts



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 06:44 PM
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Please. Enough non-relevant drug-related discussion.

I asked kindly to curtail so as not to force a no-tolerance decision. This exchange is counterproductive as we've made our policies clear, and we've also made it clear there is no opportunity for near-term change.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 06:49 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Hi SO, I know it's been a crazy day but since you're here could you please take a gander at this post from a couple of pages back that seems to have been lost in the shuffle?

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Thank you.



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 06:51 PM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


And what about some kind of non-affiliated spin-off projected where we have the space to organize and make a difference. Many people here are fed up with the way how things are run, and from day to day more and more people feel the need to take action.

But as so often in America, there's a proper excuse not to take action. This would be a great place to start some movement, you just said that those rules were implemented eons ago. Now it's 23:55, we're on the verge of a major.....something, maybe we (they?) should overthink those rules before it's to late.

I'm not looking for a revolt, I'm neither American nor ATS-fanatic, I just have this feeling that if there's a place in the internet where you can find the right people with the proper resources to make a difference the way things are run, this is it.

So why don't let those out of their cage before they vanish from the page of time (worst case scenario, aren't we fringe here?
)



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