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ATS: Impartiality and Fairness?

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posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 02:01 AM
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I now have mixed views regarding ATS and the way the Decision forum is being run and moderated. I agree that too much trolling has been going on before the clamps were implemented. Something needed to be done and it has been done but it is becoming counterproductive.

I ask myself if there is disguised biasamong the moderators. When some threads with little negativity towards McCain/Palin are being closed after a handful of pages for "discussion going in circles", for being "potentially not accurate" or magically closed no explanation given. Then I see this Lipstick on a Dog comment going on for 18+ pages! So much for Staying On The Issues!
Why are mods locking perfectly valid topics and let other go into circles? For me locking is denial of expression. Let the people move on and the debates stop by themselves, please dont deny users to voice their opinion. Many will catch the thread after it is closed and wont have the chance to give their input and certainly may not start a new thread about it. A pity.

I don't like trolls but we got to admit that the very politicians we are supporting are trolls themselves. Is it wrong to discuss on the smear and rumors they throw around? It is a serious issue and affects elections. Mods should take the time to differentiate trolls from the rest.

This forum is being put under such scrutiny and i start to wonder: what makes the candidates so special? Plenty call Bush, Putin , Bin Laden or any celebrity various names, but if one dares to say that he thinks -a presidential or vp candidate- is an idiot, would it earn him a ban for personal attack?




posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 02:17 AM
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Originally posted by TheOracle
the very politicians we are supporting are trolls themselves

(Emphasis added). I believe this is very true. What we, in discussion, find as counter-productive, the 'mainstream candidates' find, in electioneering, as valid tactics. Just as any troll, to be effective, must base their arguments upon some level of 'acceptable fact', those who would 'unicast' to the public in forums such as this do the same.

It would seem the natural evolution of politics, after TV, is to move beyond crafting a message for the 'public at large'. With the advent of, first, unbound talk radio commentary, and second, internet communities, it has become possible to 'narrowcast' messages -- make an overarching 'tent' of vague idealogical opinion, and deliver 'entry' into that tent via more specific messages crafted for each possible medium+audience combination.

We're seeing that here, and everywhere, deliberately. However, our sensibilities, honed by exposure to 'modern advertising', allow us to recognize what the 'lipstick on the pig' actually is -- the 'lipstick' is the imitation of honest opinion, the pig is the would-be 'conceptual-center' of a modern media campaign, dismissive of actual honesty secondary to achieving the power of practical support.

If we are honest, we're useless to all of them. Thank God.


Edit: Grammar, formatting, and to note/query: Is this comment considered 'divisive'? Some would rail against it as such. Us versus them. If so, so be it. However, let's be encouraged to look honestly at how politicians might approach targeting their messages, in an age where such deceptive specificity is possible.


[edit on 12-9-2008 by Ian McLean]



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 02:19 AM
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Here here! I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said here, and I've been making comments like this all day today. Stop the restriction of free speech on the boards mods, I thought this site was meant to Deny Ignorance, not perpetuate it. And on the topic of the "provocateurs" accusations, are people not allowed to post materials supporting their candidates or pointing something out about a different candidate? Materials that would lead to insightful debate, with contributions from a broad spectrum of political and cultural backgrounds? Would having all sides represented in the discussion of a matter be less ignorant than entrusting a hand picked group of people that agree with you to close threads and modify posts at a whim? Mods claim to be unbiased, yet I hear an outcry from the ATS community to stop the interference by the mods; something isn't right here. It seems to me that McCain leading in the polls might having something to do with such an aggressive stance being taken against a perceived republican "infiltration" of ATS. Yeah, that's right, I'm calling the owners and staff of the site out on this one. Justify you're actions, and prove that what you are doing to this site's community will "deny ignorance".



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 02:33 AM
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reply to post by ppskylight
 


Well, I don't own the site, but let me mention that I, for the most part, trust the mods' judgments. As we all know, any evidence can be introduced to distract an issue, even the obviously false evidence that must be countered, derailing the ongoing thread of discussion. To encourage a flow of honestly-driven conversation, some moderation may be in order. The mods here aren't puppets, and from my experience would reject any effort to make them such.

Plus, really, from my point of view, I'm no longer trusting anything other than exact quotes of the candidates, and verifiable eyewitness reports, as basis for my personal decisions. Everything else is just speculation as to what 'influences what people think'. While interesting, that should, imho, not be the primary focus.


Edit: apostrophe


[edit on 12-9-2008 by Ian McLean]



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 03:09 AM
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Originally posted by ppskylight
Mods claim to be unbiased, yet I hear an outcry from the ATS community to stop the interference by the mods; something isn't right here. It seems to me that McCain leading in the polls might having something to do with such an aggressive stance being taken against a perceived republican "infiltration" of ATS. Yeah, that's right, I'm calling the owners and staff of the site out on this one. Justify you're actions, and prove that what you are doing to this site's community will "deny ignorance".


You know what, reading stuff like this makes me want to stop being a moderator, because we're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't.

The last three posts that have been removed from the site were anti-Palin rants that were pointless, abusive and added nothing to the site at all.

Seriously.

I came to ATS and I stayed because the site was different. It wasn't the comments section of Youtube. It wasn't one of countless sites out there where people let off in foul mouthed tirades, or indulged in mindless stupidity for the sake of it.

And most people here seem to like that idea. Its why they post here.

And yet, when a Presedential election comes round some seem to want to do the opposite, and when they find that they can't they decide to complain, and complain, and complain.....

Maybe you can tell me what difference someones middle name makes to the fiscal policies of the United States of America?

Maybe you can tell me how someones daughter being pregnant affects the defence expenditure of the continental United States?

Maybe you can explain how 12 different threads about a birth certificate contributes to the energy policy of the USA on a global stage where oil is becoming scarce and other resources need to be developed?

You could enlighten me on how the phrase "lipstick on a pig" is going to deal with international terrorism perhaps?

Maybe you could explain how describing someone as "messiah" is going to deal with swift responses to disaster sites in places like New Orleans?

Explain to me how Matt Damons opinions on who he wants as Vice President is going to affect the economic trade balance on a global scale when faced with an aggressive Chinese economy, the emergence of India as a global player and a newly resurgent Russia that is flexing its muscles financially?

Maybe you could explain how Keith Olbermanns dismissal as a political anchor is going to handle situations like the recent Georgia/South Ossetia crisis?

I'm English. I can't vote for your president. It doesn't particularly matter to me who gets elected in the USA because I'm goverened by a completely seperate entity, but I am interested in the policies because some of them have a direct effect on me through global interests.

I had thought that intelligent posters on a board like ATS would discuss and debate all the actual issues that affect them - actually looked forward to reading it - but no...thats not been the case, instead its been trivial junk thats come to the fore, and - temporarily - the site I came to and enjoyed so much that I invested my personal time in it to the point where I became a moderator turned into YouTubes comment pages.

And when something gets done about it, by the site owners who care about their reputation, the reputation of their site, and who's stated goal is to want to progress intelligent discussion on the net and actually deny ignorance in doing so, they get pilloried.

What does that tell you about the state of Political Discussion in the USA?

I thought ATS was a place where people who were tired of the mainstream drivel came to post? And yet you seem to want to embrace it, and condem those who choose to do without it, and accuse them of bias.



[edit on 12/0908/08 by neformore]



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 03:28 AM
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reply to post by neformore
 


I agree to everything you said! I am not pointing out anyone as I dont know whats going on behind the scenes. All I can see is the end result and comment on it.
The lipstick on a dog is the perfect example. It is and is not an issue. Whether we like it or not, we are not all well educated people that can see through the smokes and mirrors. A single sentence taken out of context can sway votes by the millions, so we shouldn't underestimate this and openly discuss this without fearing the mod political correctness.

When criticism threads about a certain candidate are locked very quickly, other thread bashing the other party can carry on indefinitely. I smell a fish there.

I just want to point out the double standards.

I agree too many threads of personal attack nature appear too many times, but they when the same topics are obvious parts of the credible media and not some shady blog, then they ought to be discussed. All I would like the mods to do is to make sure discussion remain civil and kept within one or 2 threads at most or linked to another thread of the same subject. Not locked and denied access!



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 05:59 AM
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Originally posted by TheOracle

When criticism threads about a certain candidate are locked very quickly, other thread bashing the other party can carry on indefinitely. I smell a fish there.

I just want to point out the double standards.


What you are saying here simply isn't happening. There are no double standards.

People who are biased to a political candidates from either side are claiming it is, because they have their party political blinkers on.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 07:15 AM
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I’m afraid there is nothing sinister going on here. You can see by reading through the announcement thread from yesterday, that I too had some initial concerns about this new, very strict policy regarding political discussion. However, it’s not hard to see what we have here. What we have is a political forum here that has gotten out of control. We have nonstop threads about personal attacks and misinformation. Granted, this is the internet and we are entitled to free speech and everything that goes with it. Unfortunately what some fail to realize, is that responsibility and accountability walk hand in hand with that right.

After thinking about this for a while yesterday, I came to the realization that this will indeed be for the best. Right off the bat, I was able to create a new thread discussing education issues and have received good response. For those of you who want to continue to discuss non issues and spread hate, please, take your garbage to one of the thousands of other discussion boards online who allow such nonsense.

This is ATS. I have stuck around here through many changes that were met with harsh criticism, and they have worked out each and every time. So please, stay strong, hold on, and enjoy the ride.



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