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The "Starred and Flagged" Conspiracy

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posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by yeahright
 


Thats a good point as well. But hopefully people are actually taking the time to fact check and not just assuming it is correct because it has a lot of stars or flags.




posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 02:01 PM
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Originally posted by AshleyD
... However, he said it would be a database nightmare and that makes sense. As for flags, we only know if we happen to be in someone's profile and noticed on an offhand chance one of our threads is one they starred.


It doesn't have to be a database nightmare. There could just be a tiny link next to the stars (at the beginning, right after the lastest star, or at the very top right edge of the post to the left of "quote") that says "Who starred this thread?", or it could just be a "?" or a "!", and when the user clicks on it, it'll show a list of people who have starred the thread. Every time one stars the thread, his name will get added to the list. A similar system could be implemented for flagging a thread. I don't see how this would be a "database nightmare", considering it would be just as complicated as the friends/foes system we currently have.



posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 03:19 PM
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I'll add this to the mix...

The star and flag method, with the proper database and code, provides a marvelous way to develop "social networks" by tracking who stars what.







posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 03:28 PM
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I love the idea. It would go a long way toward identifying forum gangs who chase each other around the board pushing their agenda with stars and flags.

Maybe, if it was public, people would use them with more discretion and we might actually discourage ridiculous posts and threads.

[edit on 5/6/08 by kosmicjack]



posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 04:13 PM
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Originally posted by kosmicjack
I love the idea. It would go a long way toward identifying forum gangs who chase each other around the board pushing their agenda with stars and flags.

Maybe, if it was public, people would use them with more discretion and we might actually discourage ridiculous posts and threads.


The thing is, there's no actual proof of this going on yet. That's why I want it to be public, so that there is NO room for manipulation.



posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 07:12 PM
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Sometimes I wonder how certain threads get to the front page. I'm relieved that the ones that are complete and utter nonsense, have no links or references to back them up, or are pure flaming, drop off the front page as quickly as they got there. It gives me hope that the majority of people here are working to deny ignorance! Saying in your chat that you've starred and flagged a thread strikes me as self-congratulatory back patting. If you *really* think a thread is great, put the link in your tagline.
I use stars on posts that offer new information, or make a statement I really agree with. Now if only we could give negative stars to posts that derail the topic.



posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 07:25 PM
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So, as I suspected.
It's all just a damn popularity contest!!
I thought the whole point of the star system was that if you really agreed with something, star it. Don't waste bandwith and time, especially readers time, with those useless I agree posts.'
And yes, I have noticed the ole 'ooh, starred and flagged you' .
It might be meant respectfully, and to let you know they are genuinely interested in your topic.
Most of the time it comes off looking like lickin' the proverbial.
or maybe I just have sour grapes..



posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 07:27 PM
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reply to post by Busymind
 


I think the idea of "negative stars" was revoked because it would promote negativity, but isn't it true the other way around? I'd love the ability to anti-flag or anti-star a thread, although each should only be worth around a fourth of their counterpart's power.



posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 07:34 PM
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To the OP,
I would love to have read you're opening post, but I'm sorry to say that the avatar you are using is just too annoying to read more than a few lines.



posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 07:40 PM
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reply to post by earthchild
 


We don't know that with 100% certainty, so try not to make false accusations. I'm sure most of them have pure intentions.

reply to post by Jibbs
 


In my opinion, my avatar is a lot less annoying than some others I have seen on the site, and this is the first complaint I have ever gotten. If you want, you can always copy the text of my post into a .txt file and read it there.



posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 07:42 PM
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I use flags sparingly.Only topics of interest,that I like to return to for updated info.Never considered people useing them to push an agenda.



posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 09:44 PM
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I agree, to a point.

I would love to have the 'gangs' identified and penalized.

Some topics i go into, usually fairly black/white issues where both sides are passionate about their views, there is a single poster (usually for the 'official story' side of things) that has every one of their posts starred multiple times, but post wise, they have very little support being voiced by people.

No, it is not a crime or a conspiracy to support your point of view and reward a poster for a good post, but most of the time these 5+ star posts are flame bait or, dare i say, disinfo, that gets repeatedly starred by hidden sources.

Are there gangs of like minded members that scan threads to collectively star their friend's posts? I believe there is and i believe it should not be allowed.

Mass starring or flagging of a topic simply because they are part of your 'clique' is not productive. It pushes other (usually) far more well written, informative and relevant topics out of the front page to be replaced by propaganda and troll threads.

*deep breath*... ok, my rant is done.



posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 09:46 PM
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If someone likes a subject, they flag it.

If someone likes a post, they star it.

Why does everything have to be made so damn...complicated?

Theres no conspiracy there. I thought people valued anonimity?

The only reasons I can see that anyone would want to promote such a thing are as follows;

- demographic research and/or
- the ability to pick out certain people in order to complain that they are starring and flagging "too many" threads.

A few days back I had to patiently explain to someone that the reason they were seeing so many people saying the same thing to them is because they disagreed with the established historical/scientific record, and when alot of people research things and come to the same conclusion, usually when they write about it they will write pretty much the same thing.

Likewise, on a board with over a million visitors a month, and a membership as diverse as ATS has, likeminded people are going to flag and star similar things. Some people will say so, others won't. There's no conspiracy to that, only human nature.

Any thread on ATS should be approached with an open mind. If the mere fact that someone has said they like a post is enough to influence a person in to believing it, then that person has a problem with the power of their own convictions and reasoning. This is, afterall, the internet, where anyone can claim to be anything, anytime.

By the way - association by design IS a conspiracy.



posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 10:41 PM
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Originally posted by fooffstarr
I agree, to a point.

I would love to have the 'gangs' identified and penalized.



Originally posted by MrPenny
I'll add this to the mix...

The star and flag method, with the proper database and code, provides a marvelous way to develop "social networks" by tracking who stars what.




(mischievously contributing to the mix)

Perhaps you should look into the research from these guys:


Projects Involving Analysis of Large, Dynamic Multigraphs:

1. Analysis of Large, Dynamic Multigraphs Arising from Blogs
2. Universal Information Graphs
3. Statistical and Graph-Theoretical Approaches to Time-Varying Multigraphs
4. Adding Semantics to and Interconnecting Semantic Graphs
5. Algorithms for Identifying Hidden Social Structures in Virtual Communities





posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 11:09 PM
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One of the things ATS is often guilty of, is that when someone posts something which we can easily find fault with, we tend to reply to that topic in spades.

Meanwhile, when someone posts something where everyone who reads it agrees, the topic doesn't get nearly as many responses. The addition of the star and flag is a nice way of lending your support to a topic which quite possibly has already been summed up in the first post (such as DD's topics).

So why do people have to post in a topic saying: "Yes I agree! S&F!" ???

Perhaps because they feel it's important that the word gets out (ie. the topic stays near the top of the page). They already agree with it, so there's not much they can add.

So to solve people from posting replies lacking in substance (due to agreeing with the topic at hand), I would suggest this: a star or flag to the OP should bump the post. After all, it's the best way of replying to a topic without actually replying.

Otherwise, ATS will (inadvertently) promote the more argumentative and heated topics.



posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 12:59 AM
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my big thread has 105 flags, 113 pages and 16 stars./ i think it's one of the top 100 all time threads for size and amount of flags, but it's also 2 years old, and as a result, it doesn't show up on the list of most flagged, viewed, etc, any more. at the time it was started, the star system and flag system wasn't in place or it would probably have more stars and flags but, hardly anyone who manages to read all of it, or most all of it, ever says "starred and flagged" because by the time they are done, they have a bunch of questions and just get right to commenting on the topic. most just read the first 3 or 4 pages, and leave it before it develops into the real juicy tidbits and as a result, don't star or flag it. it's an enigma of sorts. but i'm here to reassure you that you can have a mammoth thread with stars and flags and not have people saying "starred and flagged" ...

maybe you only frequent threads where the same group of people always read and comment and it's their tradition to star and flag and mention it?

interesting conspiracy though.



posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 04:06 AM
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reply to post by neformore
 


"valued anonimity"? This isn't 4chan we are talking about here, this is a conspiracy website. In my opinion, EVERYTHING should be out in the open for the world to see. When people star and/or flag a topic, they aren't casting a confidential vote like in elections, because elections have two sides. Let's say you voted for Obama instead of Hillary. Some people would prefer to keep that information private from their friends, because their friends may be Hillary supporters. On ATS, there is only ONE way to vote, and that is positively. If one truly has no ill-intent, why would one want to hide his or her appreciation of the thread? I can somewhat understand if you could downvote, since you would not want the original topic creator to look down upon you, but since you can only upvote and upstar a thread, privacy should never be an issue in this matter.

reply to post by Kruel
 


Well, I suppose that's not too bad an idea to have the thread bumped when it's flagged, although I do not see how it would work with starring, unless it applied to the first post only, although that may be too complicated.

reply to post by undo
 


Having 105 flags after 2 years is not something I'm concerned about. If it was a genuinely good thread, then it deserves praise. What sometimes bugs me is seeing a thread have 30+ flags after it being in existence for barely 24 hours. If it's a massive news story, I can understand, but still, I believe all of the information should be made public.

[edit on 6/6/2008 by SonicInfinity]



posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 09:57 AM
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Originally posted by SonicInfinity
reply to post by Kruel
 


Well, I suppose that's not too bad an idea to have the thread bumped when it's flagged, although I do not see how it would work with starring, unless it applied to the first post only, although that may be too complicated.


Yes I should have clarified. Bump from starring the first post only, otherwise it could be abused.



posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 10:54 AM
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I will put this simple for you,

the star and flag point out that thread has importance to it.

What you are stating is your opinion on this, and no conspiracy.



posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by SonicInfinity

Starred and flagged!
I also am starting to believe "there are groups on here who conspire to help each other out to help", although I'm not sure if it's because they want to steer opinions, they want the topic to be seen, or they want to become "popular".


Absolutely the star and flag system is a way to boost the popularity and visibility of certain threads. Sometimes the heavily starred and flagged thread also has "merit" in that it is well researched and well written, but not always. One could quite easily come up with a formula for writing popular threads simply by paying attention to what IS heavily starred and flagged. Regardless why ATS was created, it is now also an economic venture, and increasing its overall popularity is of importance to its owners. (As they mention quite frequently in their posts, lol) That being the case, of course they want things that the larger group of readers consider interesting and entertaining to be easily accessible to the casual viewer as well, because the odds of that popular thread being interesting to the "drive by" viewer are better than just the random latest post. If someone just browsing finds interesting topics, it is more likely they will stay or come back.

I have seen some beautifully well researched threads (say on historical topics, or science) go completely unnoticed by the larger readership. I have also seen some pretty silly claims get starred and flagged pretty heavily. Entertainment is an important aspect of ATS, (as it is with all media) it isnt purely about information. Certainly if you like or enjoy another specific writer more than someone unknown to you, that may encourage you to take the time to remember to star and flag them. Some of the members have been here for years and they do have friendships and read each others work (and star and flag them) but I dont think that constitutes a conspiracy. If a system is basically a popularity contest to begin with, someone already being popular just means that they will have an edge. That isnt a conspiracy, just how popularity works in general.

Ask yourself what matters most to you, if it is being popular, pay attention to the topics that draw attention, and only post on those topics. If writing things that matter to you is more important than popularity, then write what YOU want to write about and try not to let it bother you that you may be in a small subset of people who are interested in that particular topic.

Edit to repair a quote error.

[edit on 6-6-2008 by Illusionsaregrander]



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