I'd like to say first, I absolutely love ATS.
I also understand the Management of ATS has, more often than not, a thankless, but vital job of diligently keeping order and high standards.
Did you hear that folks? I know what you all are dealing with. I am very grateful for your time, your energy, and the money by your sponsors (and
even your personal funds in the very early days of ATS) to keep the site up and the bandwidth flowing.
So before I ruffle feathers, I want you to know that regardless of some users/content providers who may engage in disagreement, we are all sharing a
common intent for good and harmonious outcomes. Mature members realize that any optimized solution is an equilibrium of opposing forces, yet we all
share the desire for ATS to be the best it can be. For management this is measured by advertising revenues, and for users/content providers it is
measured by the ATS experience.
Now for the punchline.
The greatest mistake ATS management could ever make, is to deny the content providers, basically the users, of ATS, the ability to redress grievances
- *particularly* - censorship of content. Management has it's reasons, but here is why it is a mistake:
1) Without the users, motivated by an environment which encourages the sharing of content and free of censorship, ATS becomes a shadow of its' former
self. Ergo, advertising revenues are dependent on the motivation of content providers to continue their activities. It is in the Managements' best
interest to keep the content providers happy.
2) Locking threads, and establishing a policy of censorship is easy to do. We are creatures who prize the efficiency and ease of policies, but
overlooking the true cost of such policies and ignoring feedback hurts ATS when it's already too late and the damage has been done. A good example
of censorship is the locking of this thread:
Perhaps other members will graciously provide other examples of threads which were shut down by management, yet presented no harm to the spirit of
free speech at ATS. (I, as others, have limited time, so please chime in here.)
3) If ATS users/content providers are denied the basic freedoms of uncensored speech, so long as it does not incite physical harm, slander and libel,
then the content providers/users of ATS must continually engage in more peaceful, but confrontational tactics, until finally the management pays
attention, and gives the members the consideration, and empowerment that benefits all of ATS. I realize that power is addictive, and as a result,
sharing it is painful, but if, conversely, the pain of not sharing it increases, equilibrium of power will once again establish itself for the good of
all at ATS - including users/content providers, Management, and Advertisers.
Finally, before concluding with the actionable items, despite our differences, only positive things can eventually come to fruition when the
components of a system/process are given the proper care to function well together as a whole. This is not about one disagreement, this is about a
sharing of power to result in the eventual good of the whole. Regardless of short term pain, in the long term, no one loses, and everybody gains.
THE DECLARATION OF FREE SPEECH INITIATIVES:
1) Users/content providers must must have AT LEAST ONE place on ATS where free speech is 100% protected and not frozen, locked, censored in any way
by the moderators.
This users/content providers area discusses in candor and honesty, any and all issues on ATS, NEVER TO BE SILENCED.
This will also provide a transparent forum for BOTH management and users/content providers to cast a light of visibility onto the minds hearts and
spirit of contributors of ATS.
If the management does not provide such a free speech "SAFE" area, we must engage management more convincingly by other methods, and we will, but I
am an optimist.
[edit on 15-10-2008 by ATS4dummies]