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Freedom Of Speech, ATS, and Ending The Eternal September

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posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 04:09 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

Originally posted by NGC2736
reply to post by jsobecky

Whoa up Hoss. I didn't write that. It's part of the T&C, which I have nothing to do with except following it.

I know that; I was referring to the fact that you quoted it.

Originally posted by NGC2736

Now if you feel Gools violated this part of the T&C, make a complaint. If you want, address it to my attention, and in my status as a moderator, it will go from there. I will personally bring it to the site owners attention, if need be. But I will not be one of those working it.

Thanks for the tip. Guess what? I already did make a complaint.

Originally posted by NGC2736
I refused to moderate events in this thread, because I posted in this thread. We don't generally ever moderate in a thread we have been participating in, no matter how hard someone tries to pull us into such a position. It's unethical.

See, I don't buy that. Many times, I see a moderator posting in a thread as a moderator. I saw your post as that way - as a moderator reviewing the rules for the members. Not as an impartial member.

Very gray line.

Originally posted by NovusOrdoMundi
Couldn't the uniform, cuffs, weapons and radio be compared to the avatar?

It's impossible for a mod to wear street clothes with that big ole' avvie hanging out there, champ.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 04:13 PM

Originally posted by jsobecky
"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"

I asked you how Gools' attack helped build community. You refused to answer.

The paragraph says that mods reserve the right to take action against a member whose actions are contrary to community building. It doesn't require that every comment MUST build the community.
So, while Gools' comments may not have "built" community, neither were they purely devoted to disruption and contrary to community building.

I ask Gools again: what is it supposed to mean, I'm wasting my time here on ATS?

It's just his opinion. Let it go.

And coming from a Super Moderator, this member now feels ostracized.

Please, Jsobecky. You have one of the sharpest tongues on this board. I have been cut by it many, many times. This idea that you have been wounded and wronged by someone's opinion is getting to the point of absurd.

I could find 100 posts of yours where you slam someone for their ignorance, where you show blatant disrespect and much worse than was said to you here. You've been in hundreds of "tiffs" on the board.

The fact that the member you had a tiff with (this time) is a mod doesn't (or shouldn't) matter. These things happen. Let it go, just as you would with any other member. Like me.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 04:21 PM

Originally posted by jsobecky
this member now feels ostracized.

Oh please....having been on the receiving end of your rhetoric, I find that to be hypocritical and self-serving.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 04:23 PM
reply to post by jsobecky

See, I don't buy that. Many times, I see a moderator posting in a thread as a moderator. I saw your post as that way - as a moderator reviewing the rules for the members. Not as an impartial member.

Sounds like a personal perception problem. Sorry, I can't help you with that one.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 04:31 PM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

You want to condone personal attacks as "expressing opinion", go ahead. You want to curry favor by piling on, go ahead. You want to tally up and judge my posts, go ahead. Go ahead and proclaim how contentious I am, if it makes you feel good. Imply that I have no right to complain. Fine with me.

I didn't know you had a dog in this fight. Curious...

Btw, I never meant to "cut" you with my tongue. If I did, I apologize.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 04:33 PM

Originally posted by MrPenny

Originally posted by jsobecky
this member now feels ostracized.

Oh please....having been on the receiving end of your rhetoric, I find that to be hypocritical and self-serving.

Thank you. The piling on line starts right over there, behind the staff, BH, and Novus.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 04:33 PM
Since you all brought up Police Officers, I thought I would offer some advice...

Just advice from a "Seasoned" officer.. (Meaning old :lol

Why not just take a step back. Just walk away and don't think about all of this for awhile. Let things settle in your own minds and then come back and read everything again.

Remember the one thing we all have in common.


Taking a "step back" from a problem is a tried and true method of resolution used very effectively by police officers in domestic squabbles. Trust me it works.

Just keep remembering that one thing we all have in common...


Being members of ATS put you all in a very unique and wonderful position, especially if you have survived to be on here for some period of time and it appears you all have.

You may not think on it much, but you are all members of an intellectually elite among the average population. I have no idea what the average IQ is of ATS members, but I will guarantee it to be far above the norm.

Remember this little bit of knowledge as well.

Most people that have an argument can tell you what they argued over just a few days later. What we deem as being incredibly important today, will diminish in importance in just a short while.

Again trust me in this.

Accept that no one is perfect, not even you. Once you accept that, you can more easily forgive imperfection in others. So what if they made a mistake, how will that effect you tomorrow or next week?

Accept that not everyone will like you. I know it's hard to believe but some people don't even like Semper!!!!!! That's OK though, we get along just fine. I don't have to like you to talk to you or debate you. I also don't have to expect you to like me....

I can say all of this from a political stance that MANY on here abhor. I accept that they don't agree with me and in many instances, that makes it more fun.

I happen to like all of you that have taken a part in this thread and I hate to see you going at each other. Especially over something that we will all forget about in such a short period of time...

Let's just remember what we all have in common...



posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 04:37 PM

Originally posted by jsobecky
You want to condone personal attacks as "expressing opinion", go ahead.

What am I missing? What is the personal attack? Specifically.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 04:37 PM
reply to post by MrPenny

I would sooo star your post if I could!

OMG! Talk about a thread derailed!

It's clear that there is an element on ATS who only acknowledge "free speech" that agrees with their own narrow opinions and anyone who disagrees with them is out-of-bounds.

The simple fact is our "right" to "free speech" on ATS is a service provided and a courtesy given only if we follow the guidelines set forth in the T&C - for civility and decorums sake as well as just the simple logistics of not having pages of rants and nonsense.

Just like in real life, there are consequences for rudeness and verbal abuse. On ATS it's warns, post bans and membership bans, in the real world they run the gammut from social black-balling to getting fired to getting arrested if you put others in danger.

I find it astonishing that so many find this difficult to comprehend. Not surprisingly it's the same members who drag down other threads as well.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 04:56 PM
I'll just add one little thing here.

Up until just about a week or two ago, as Moderators we were asked to try to not Moderate in threads that we're participating in. It wasn't always possible.

About 2 weeks ago, it became policy for Mods to not "Moderate" threads that we're active in.

You might have seen this prior to 2 weeks ago, but shouldn't be seeing it now.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 05:11 PM
...last time I saw this extent of derailment it was a 34 carriage frieghttrain that had jumped the tracks...

...can we keep the drama up out of it please...


posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 05:42 PM

Originally posted by FlyersFan
That is - lines can be blurry.

I feel kind of out of place here, as I have not been around quite as long as many in this thread. But I have seen my fair share of internet happenings as they were and I am a firm believer in logic.

That said, FlyersFan, I must comment on the above quote and request a clarification of an implicit contradiction of it's use as an argument.

If the lines are blurry, in a way that subjectivity is being questioned, then what does it matter if the lines are blurry?

The entire 'argument' is predicated upon it!

I have noticed, not just in thread, but quite a few many places in the website, that there are many people making reactive statements, as in they don't consider what they are typing and how others will interpret their displayed terms. This world, and thusly this website, is a huge showcase of different perspectives and different levels of comprehension.

There are bound to be arguments. But to string out an argument regarding the expression of people who have been here and likely call this place a second home is in interesting action of futility because by the very nature those involved will invariably find a way to react defensively.

In this thread, we se it occurring on both sides of the argument.

But what is the difference? Slights?

It's a website! I logged on to argue with Masons. They are so infuriating that I took a deep breath and walked away.

Now I don't intend to get into any arbuments here, as I have found that I prefer reading what various other people have to say rather than be an active participant. But I wanted to drop in and point out the seeming absurdity of having an eight page long argument about "Why Can't I talk and enjoy ATS" when there are so many other aspects of ATS that has much more to offer our intelligence than a 'he said, she said' battle.

My last interesting point of interest:

Why is the expression of the owners and moderators of a website built to acknowledge and discuss the horrid aspects of our very real political and economic situations less important than a back and forth ping ponging of personal concerns?

In my opinion, you all should be making a better effort to work together against a greater enemy.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 07:27 PM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

It is true that under some circumstances you can say a greater variety of things outside of ATS. Perhaps a better comparison is that of ATS to the workplace . If you do as you please in the workplace chances are that you will get fired . After being fired you cant sue for unfair dismissal on the basis that you were exercising your right to Free Speech .

posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 02:24 AM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

I disagree with you, and until ATS supports true free speech I disagree with this site.

I thought this place was a sanctuary where I can escape from the real world and talk amongst others like myself who value their rights including free speech. I was very wrong according to the idiotic terms and conditions we cant discuss Cannabis. I realize talking about illegal stuff gets pretty crazy on you big wigs. But I recently had a thread talking about cannabis and why it should be made legal I provided information and even a site that lead to petitions people could sign in support of legal cannabis. I was very upset when my thread was deleted because it violated the terms and conditions.

How the hell can you tell me that this site supports free speech?! How can you say that our quest is to deny ignorance when we cant even see the whole truth we cant even talk about the whole truth. You are no better than the people we bash and gripe about. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, if some one can talk about why Obama is the anti christ why cant I discuss why cannabis should be made legal? You know some people have made threats saying they will kill obama what if they got those ideas from here?

You cant have freespeech and limit it too you either have it or you dont and ATS DOES NOT HAVE FREE SPEECH. So dont lie to us and say "well yes you have the freedom of speech but for safety reasons yu cant say this never mention this dont think about saying this and if you say these things you and your thread will be deleted."

You either have it or you dont, We dont have it. So will you give us the freedom of speech or will you continue to treat us like fools and lie to us?

posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 02:37 AM
reply to post by caballero

Actually, according to the Terms and Conditions, it was more or less in violation because of the controversial topic nature, in that it will lead towards discussion on illegal activities. I never read your thread, nor am I being nasty towards you, only relating information I heard about this topic. Now, however, you can post on topics like that on R.A.T.S., or on ATS's Really Above Top Secret.

I forget the exact amount of points necessary to buy into this forum area, but it's like ATS Premium, and I think it was 5,000 points for the first time purchase, and 250 points per month after that. If I might make a suggestion, re-write your thread in Microsoft Word, save it, and keep posting until you have enough points for R.A.T.S. and post it there once you can.

I'm only trying to help, since I see you're new on ATS, and yes, it's frustrating to have your work deleted, but it happens every now and then.

I'll guarantee you this though, your demanding anything, is the fastest route to being banned on ATS ever.

posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 05:01 AM
reply to post by NovusOrdoMundi


I support you in your trying to bring some attention to this topic. Good move! All is not what it seems to be.

From what I have seen over the years here, Freedom of Speech on ATS is NOT THE SAME as the Freedom of Speech that the US Constitution and Bill of Rights grant.

ATS is privately owned and they do not have to adhere to the same standards that we take for granted in the US.

There is a certain skewedness about the way things are moderated here. I can't describe it very well, but the feel is definitely there. When it shows it's ugly head, the feeling that I get is somewhat negative.

Do we need to talk about the John Lear and Sleeper threads for example?


posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 05:10 AM
reply to post by EyesII

Heck, the above post replying to post by caballero shows that "attitude" that I am talking about.

It this what bothers me:

"I'll guarantee you this though, your demanding anything, is the fastest route to being banned on ATS ever. "

Attitude responding to attitude. It should not be "I'm bigger than you here", but rather "I am your peer here. Let's talk."


posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 08:26 AM
Im sorry that I had an attitude I just lost it when my only sanctuary for free speech and freedom of opinion was telling me that I could talk about anything, but what I wanted to talk about.

I stand by what I said no we dont have freespeech, nor free expression I dont appreciate the staff claiming we do but telling us we cant talk about this or that and we cant express our thoughts on this or that.

So though I might have had an attitude I was not wrong in saying, Dont treat us like fools give it to us straight we either have it or we dont and its very obvious that we dont have freedom of speech or freedom of expression like Skeptic Overlord claimed we had. I just found it rude they thought we wouldnt notice that fallacy.

I define Free expression as having the ability to express oneself and their opinions completely. Of course politeness does affect how I would express myself. But that would be up to me not the staff of ATS.

[edit on 11-8-2008 by caballero]

posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 10:11 AM
reply to post by caballero

You registered on 04/14/08, at that time when you registered you agreed to the Terms and Conditions of Use for this site. Which means you agreed to the following...

2e.) Illegal Activity: Discussion of illegal activities; specifically mind-altering drugs, computer hacking, criminal hate, sexual relations with minors, and stock scams are strictly forbidden. You will also not link to sites that contains discussion of such material.

(bold added for emphasis)

The terms and conditions were laid out for you to read on what you can and cannot post. It was there the entire time. It's not a new thing. If you had read that post by SimonGray posted on 3/21/2003 @ 03:10 PM, you would understand what subjects are tolerated and what subjects are not.

the RATS forum here on ATS condones these sorts of threads. My suggestion is that you pay the points and post your article in RATS and then it can be viewed and replied to by other members.

Simply put, and this has been said time and time again about this subject, ATS wants to be able to be viewed by everyone of every age group. If it allows such threads about illegal drugs it would get picked up by programs like Net-Nanny and others. That would limit the amount of people that can visit the site. That is why your thread was closed. It was in violation of those terms and conditions that were plainly visible and easily accessible to you. Those T&Cs that you did agree to before you even joined up with this website.

Like others have said, this is a private company, this is not the United States, while they do support freedom of speech in every form, it is limited so that everyone of every age can come and be a part of this community.

So again, pay the points and get access to RATS, post your article there, people will respond to your thread.

[edit on 8/11/2008 by whatukno]

posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 12:15 PM

Originally posted by NovusOrdoMundi

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Free expression is not a license to offend, obfuscate, or lie;

I agree. However, if your honest opinion is not intended to offend or obfuscate, how do you proceed? And lying about your honest opinion does not make much sense so I'll leave that alone.

Who determines what is offensive? Perhaps some took my comments on Tony Snow to be offensive. But on the same token, others did not. So who is "right"? How does anyone determine which way to judge that?

[edit on 7/13/08 by NovusOrdoMundi]

society determines what's offensive (if you're lucky) and it's a process

it's a cultural thing - and every culture has it's own agreement on what's OK - what's not

what we can say in public now as compared to what we could've said 50 years ago - is different

you can argue about what is better or worse - opinions vary - that's the point

it's about consensus - and that is a process - of evolution if you like

maybe it changes for the better in one persons opinion - and is degraded in the eyes of another

freedom of speech - expression - should be guaranteed

but you confuse your right to express yourself with the manner in which you express it

we can express our opinion - absolutely

we can't express our opinion with a gun

and words can metaphorically be pointed at someone's head the same as with a gun

it's about form and function

at the start of a debate - the rules of the debate are established - your argument has to conform to those rules - those are the rules that have been agreed on if we agree to enter the debate

a forum can - as far as I'm concerned - be considered a form of debate

this site has established the rules

unfortunately - I can't see the posts that were removed - so I can't comment myself on whether I believe they were playing by the rules or not

I can't know for certain what your argument is based on going by that thread - I can't see how bad bad really was - or wasn't

I do support your argument

but maybe it should be redirected - maybe you should really go after the ugly head of the whole thing instead of biting at the tail

start a new thread - how far is too far - and what's not far enough?

but, playing by the rules that are established as of now

you might not be able to change, or even modify the rules - this site isn't a democracy

this is their sandbox - and we're allowed to play in it

if we can't make our point within established guidelines - maybe the point can't be made

it'll be a long ugly thread - but - that's what this is about

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