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Freedom of Speech: ATS Style

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posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 11:13 PM
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I have to tell you, today has been quite embarrassing to freedom of speech on ATS. For those who do not know what I am talking about, this is in reference to the thread regarding the death of Tony Snow, here.

Since it is now serving as an example of how not to exercise your freedom of speech for fear of having your post removed, being handed a warning or being banned, I see no problem with posting the link to allow others the opportunity to actually form their own opinion of what happened rather than come to the conclusion those who run this web site want them to come to.

I want some informed moderator or ATS owner to please answer this very simple question for me: Is ATS an arena for freedom of speech?

I am going to go by what I have heard in the past and assume those who said so were telling the truth and say that it is, in fact, an arena for freedom of speech.

Does freedom of speech have limitations on it that I am not aware of? Does freedom of speech only apply when it isn't "classless" or "politically incorrect"? Does anything considered "fringe" and "insensitive" need to be immediately censored and forced in to submission to conform to the popular line of thinking?

I realize that there are things you just cannot say. You can't threaten people's lives. You can't threaten violence. You can't support violent criminal or terroristic activity. These are things well established as limitations to freedom of speech. I happen to agree with these being limitations as they imply a direct threat to another human being.

But outside of that, as far as I am concerned, it is fair game.

Expressing your opinion about the death of an individual is not a threat against a human being. Expressing your opinion about the death of an individual, last time I checked, was not against the T&C of this web site. Yet it is being repeated by moderators time and time again to use class, to use decorum, to not "make ATS look bad".

You know what? I can't speak for anyone else on ATS, but I can speak for me. I'm not here to make ATS look good. I'm not here to please your investors. I'm not here to look good for your advertisements. I'm not here to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy inside with my posts.

I am here to express my opinion, no matter how much it may displease any of you, on topics that come up here. I am not going to avoid controversial topics or controversial responses. I am not going to be politically correct. I am not going to lie or avoid posting altogether because it displeases people. I am not going to be anything but as direct and honest as possible, within the T&C, as I can be.

I have been here over a year and have received one warning. I stay within the T&C. I respect the rules of the web site. I appreciate and am grateful that a site like this exists. But I am not going to avoid giving my opinion simply because some people do not like what they read. I am not going to be quiet because some unwritten rule of class is being enforced.

It needs to be made clear now: Is ATS an arena for freedom of speech or not?

If it is, then in my opinion, no matter how classless or insensitive a post is, it should not be warned, removed or be subjected to moderator intimidation. Obviously, as I said, there are exceptions, such as discrimination of any kind, threats, violence, crime & terrorism, and things of this nature. But giving an honest reaction to the death of a man you honestly perceive as a criminal and not worthy of your respect or mourning does not fall under any of these categories.

If ATS is not the arena for freedom of speech that most of us believed it to be, let everyone know now and save us the suspense and the drama.

I fully expect this matter to generally ignored and possibly suppressed, so prove me wrong.




posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 11:24 PM
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It seems like all you want is attention. You try to push the limit to get it.

Rebel.



posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 11:26 PM
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ATS is a business and the business owners have the right to set the rules for that location. In this case the T&C that you agreed to. If the staff wants to say that you went overboard, they have every right to. You don't have the right to walk into my house and do whatever you want to do, and you don't have the right to come onto ATS and say whatever you want to if the site owners don't want you to.



posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 11:31 PM
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reply to post by Dulcimer
 


Ah yes. I spend my time posting on an Internet forum so that I can get attention from people who are represented as pixels on my monitor. That surely can be the only logical reason for my being here.

You're right. All of us rebels share the same opinions as everyone else. Everyone in the world shares the same opinion of every topic, deep down. Us rebels are just hired agents for those who have an interest in assuring someone is playing devil's advocate.

Thank you for exposing that. Its a load off my shoulders. I was beginning to take this Internet thing so seriously that I was beginning to get the urge to go around accusing people of seeking attention on Internet forums.

Thankfully you saved me from that fate.



posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 11:36 PM
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reply to post by NovusOrdoMundi
 


From what I have seen in my admittedly short tenure here at ATS there is an incredable amount of diversity in both topic and opinion. There seems to be very few limits in place. There are a notable few like no profanity or "illegal" topics but thats about it.

So based on that yes there are topics you cannot talk about. Its a discussion board and has rules.

Perhaps its not your opinion but the manner with which you convey it. Consider the death of Jesee Helms recently. Now here is an individual who IMHO was a negative force for humanity. However, as was seen in some of those posts in the Shaw thread, dancing on his grave is hardly conducive to real debate on his merits.



I fully expect this matter to generally ignored and possibly suppressed, so prove me wrong.


This is a bit juvenile eh?



posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 11:40 PM
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This part of the terms and conditions owns you.

Terms and Conditions
www.abovetopsecret.com...


8) Right of Community Management This is a privately owned discussion board community. The Owners and senior moderator staff reserve the right to take action against any member who is deemed to be devoted purely to disruption, whose actions represent behavior contrary to community building, or whose content is contrary to the core ideals of AboveTopSecret.com.
This action may include complete banning of your username and IP address. The owners of AboveTopSecret.com, LLP reserve the right to eliminate or edit any content deemed inappropriate for the discussion boards, news network or any affiliated sites.



I liked this part of your post.




If it is, then in my opinion, no matter how classless or insensitive a post is, it should not be warned, removed or be subjected to moderator intimidation. Obviously, as I said, there are exceptions, such as discrimination of any kind, threats, violence, crime & terrorism, and things of this nature. But giving an honest reaction to the death of a man you honestly perceive as a criminal and not worthy of your respect or mourning does not fall under any of these categories.

If ATS is not the arena for freedom of speech that most of us believed it to be, let everyone know now and save us the suspense and the drama.

I fully expect this matter to generally ignored and possibly suppressed, so prove me wrong.


Epic crap!



posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 11:41 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
you don't have the right to come onto ATS and say whatever you want to if the site owners don't want you to.


I have the right to say what I want to within the T&C. If they don't like what is being said, make a new rule on the T&C. Its that simple.

Using intimidation and post removals to get people to suppress the passion and the extent of honesty in their opinions is not how a "business" should be conducted.

Let the T&C determine what is and is not to be said. If it is a violation, deal with it appropriately. If it is not, leave it alone. Don't give your moderator comments, don't emphasize "class" and "respect". If it is not a violation, just leave it alone.



posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 11:43 PM
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The staff decides if it's a violation, not you. If they feel that you went too far it gets removed. They have the final say in the matter of interpreting the T&C. That's what they are there for. If you disagree with them file a complaint and talk about it with the staff.



posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 11:46 PM
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Originally posted by Dulcimer
The Owners and senior moderator staff reserve the right to take action against any member who is deemed to be devoted purely to disruption, whose actions represent behavior contrary to community building, or whose content is contrary to the core ideals of AboveTopSecret.com.


Point out where I am devoted purely to disruption.

Point out where my behavior is contrary to community building.

Point out where my content is contrary to the core ideals of ATS.

Expressing your opinion on a message board devoted to expressing your opinion is falling right in line with the flow of that message board. Therefore, it is not a disruption.

Expressing your opinion is not contrary to the building of a community built on expressing your opinion on political, conspiratorial or other alternative topics.

Expressing your opinion is not contrary to the core ideals of ATS, unless ATS has adopted a no freedom of speech policy.

My posts do not fall in with this part of the T&C that you posted. Simply because you do not agree with what I say does not mean I am a disruption, a counter to community building and/or anti-ATS core ideals.



posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 11:50 PM
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Your concerns will be heard but we do insist they be expressed in the proper manner. In this case it would be through the ATS Issues thread listed below or through the complaints function.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Thanks for understanding.

Closing



posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 11:52 PM
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reply to post by NovusOrdoMundi
 


Posting as a member here.
I went back and read through your posts.
And frankly, it looks to me that you are happy that cancer has taken away Tony Snow's ability to express HIS opinions, and HIS right to free speech.

Does it upset you that others have political leanings different than your own?

You put forth your opinion early on in the thread, then continued to piss in every corner of it from then on. Were you trying to suppress other opinions in there as well? By overtaking, and overwhelming with hatred?
Thats how it appeared to me.

Looks like that moderation that occurred in the thread, was an attempt at forcing it back to a modicum of civility.

After all, Tony Snow was not an evil dictator, or a serial killer.
He was a guy, with a job. He did his job, and he did it well.
Do you think he deserved death as a punishment for having an opposing political view?



posted on Jul, 13 2008 @ 10:29 AM
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Response to the initial opening post here:
Freedom Of Speech, ATS, and Ending The Eternal September





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