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The SUSPENSION of illicit drugs/mind altering substance topics on ATS (The experiment failed)

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posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:08 AM
I thank SO for his recent post, it better illustrates the nature of the problem that ATS now faces & certainly assuages any concerns I had regarding advertising revenue.

Folks, I think the well intentioned but unseemly rush to get your committee up & running hasn't done you any particular favours. There's still a whole load of ATS'ers who are unaware of this topic & the decision management have taken. While I don't think you can wait forever for all the Tail End Charlies, I do think you should now be looking at setting a closure date for nominations.

I do very much hope your committee members will emerge by popular acclaim ... that would be an ideal outcome. But you will have to consider what happens if total nominations exceed the numbers required.

i think you should be working towards nominations in by next Monday at the very latest, with nominees next week working on a brief statement giving their reasons for their candidacy, with those being posted by the following weekend. That will whittle your numbers down as it becomes clear to candidates what exactly is involved. At that point you'll either have your committee emerging by general consensus or you'll have to take a vote on it.

But I do think it's better to slow the pace of things somewhat, there's no particular urgency, it's much better to do things right than make any hasty decisions which could leave members open to criticism.

I have no great interest in the drug topic itself, my only concern is achieving the right balance between free speech & ensuring the integrity of the forum. I'm quite happy to help with your nomination/election procedures, if that is your wish.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:09 AM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

They all have their pros and Cons, though i really dislike number 2.

Number 3 seems to be what were going for, make a thread, where all the nominees write a post about why they should be on the committee or their disposition on this subject(BAN on Drugs). Than have some help from the MODs or staff to send a U2U, enabling some sort of vote.

For some strange reason, i like number 4 too. Simple, let them pick. but then we have the people who say they might not be fair.

Number 1 is going to be the most difficult, as many people are not steeping down.

Well, i think the thing that is going to happen regardless, is that there is going to be a vote. After the six are chosen, then there is another vote, to determine who is captian, or leader of the committee.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:09 AM
reply to post by spookjr

Thats a pretty stupid policy for a site that is supposed to offer a place to discuss almost any topic.

Note: Almost Any Topic.

BTW, legalizing marijuana and hemp and taxing it seems like a good way to bring in some revenue for the whole country. These plants could save us all. Too bad we cant talk about it.

The problem isn't that we can't talk about US drug policy, the problem is that some on this board can't seem to talk about this without resorting to talking about personal drug use. That's the problem.

How does a person go about removing his or her self from this sites' membership? Morons...

Just log out and don't come back.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:11 AM
Wow, I missed the overnight dialogue - it took quite a while to catch up.

Thank you kindly to those who felt I might be a valuable addition to the steering committee. I will gladly accept, if the consensus agrees with my nomination.

Is this still going to a popular vote? Or will it be a matter for administration and management to determine?

Here is all I can promise in regards to assisting in the development of a process which does not negatively impact ATS while allowing at least some latitude in the matter, since I believe the truth is no legitimate conspiracy theory could be fully explored if there is even a minor element of the offending topic.

When deciding how to implement an oversight or control mechanism to protect the fertile ground for debate, I will maintain a focus on three key issues:

1 - All members should benefit from the policy. If we establish an 'earned points' related threshold, it must be done in such a manner as to encourage those who want to participate, rather than discourage them from 'earning' that access.

2 - We must set as our goal the highest standard requiring the least amount additional resources on the part of the ATS staff; if I understand the situation properly, ATS is not exactly overflowing with Mods that have nothing to do. (If I'm wrong someone please send me a job application)

3 - We must assert (probably at the beginning of every thread which touches upon this type of topic) a notice to all potential participants and readers that we are aware of the content, that it does not constitute a promotion of engaging in illegal activities and that we are holding all commenter to a strict policy of mature, thoughtful, and sincere participation. That's doesn't mean it has to read like a medical journal; just that we don't need to include proselytizers of NORML etc, detracting from the subject.

While I know that some find them empty and meaningless, each member should be willing to acknowledge their responsibility to the other posters and the community at large. A personal statement, as was requested in the Bully Pulpit, would go far in determining who want to seriously discuss a drug-related conspiracy (or a conspiracy which includes drug use), and who simply wants to talk about recreational drug use and the thrills of inebriation.

We must police ourselves and our threads carefully. It isn't rocket science to know when you are engaging in unnecessary tangents about 'getting high'.

We must accept that cultural and political stigma associated with the topic WILL inevitably resurface as an issue; there are those, well within their rights, who feel the topic is repugnant and repulsive, and will complain regardless of controls we state we have in place.

We have a singular opportunity here. We have discovered a topic where ignorance is still propagated daily, everywhere. Mainstream media, governments, pseudo-politicians, pharmaceutical and other commercial concerns and even criminal elements flood our planet with disinformation, incorrect data, lies, and mistakes.

ATS is primed to be a beacon of light in this area, if we can but administer ourselves within the limits of our hosts' largess.

I read that certain people have removed themselves from consideration; I am inclined to object. This is a 'task' a 'charge', if you will. I understand that some have very real limitations and are disinclined to make a commitment they may not be able to keep; but your organized manner of thinking and expression, have led others to feel confident in you. We still need you to be engaged.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:12 AM
reply to post by nj2day

I absolutely agree that there are much bigger things I've been appauled by on ATS, and drugs is such a minor subject but certain people trump it up so high. I see more people getting into arguements over religious rethoric then anything else, So I'm with nj2days you must have had far more complaints about religious abuse, why aren't those forums banned?

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:12 AM

Originally posted by HunkaHunka

my .02 on nominations...

First it *has* to be someone who would be reading drug related threads to begin with. Someone with an interest, but someone who is also impartial.

I believe that SD and BH are great members of this site and quite possibly are the most likely to be impartial on this site. Even in heated discussions...

However, as someone who is on a LOT of drug related threads, trying to minimize T&C violations, I have to say that I don't see BH and SD on these threads very often.... it could be that they are not as interested in the subject as I am, or maybe I'm just not paying attention and they really are more involved in that topic. Now I do have to say that they are both very interested in making this a good community for all.

I firmly believe that whoever is nominated MUST have an interest in the subject of Drug Related topics, no matter how tangential to "use" that thread might be, so that it is aligned with their personality and they are inclined to read it.

You are confused my friend, we are trying to figure out who is going to organize this vote or pick of nominations. BH has stepped down from nominations. You have to keep up in this thread, cause things happen fast.

Though i agree, the people on the nomination list, should have an interest in drug related topics.

[edit on 26-2-2009 by darcon]

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:14 AM

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:14 AM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

This may be a kind of strange idea, and I'm just brainstorming, but what if we left nominations open for a while longer, then did a thread with why we wanted to participate, then the nominees vote from among themselves.

That way the votes would be coming from people who we already know are concerned about the issue and interested enough to want to volunteer a significant amount of time over an openended period to helping. But it would be less open to "popularity contest" skewing than an open forum vote, because we'd be reading each other's statements to make decisions instead of having people vote for avatars and general impressions.

I doubt that there would be more than maybe a hundred total volunteers, and if each of those volunteers u2u'ed their top three choices (including themselves) to Benevolent Heretic, she could tally and announce the top 6.

Or we could do an open vote, same format.

Just a brainstorm.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:14 AM
By the way Benevolent Heretic, and darcon - you deserve a lot of credit for being the backbone of the effort to resolve the matter intelligently.

I offer you my respect and gratitude.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:16 AM
voting? thought this is a thread about drugs?

sorry, but i have not the time right now to read all those 52 sites...

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:16 AM
reply to post by darcon

Darcon, thanks for clearing that up for me

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:17 AM
reply to post by americandingbat

that's not a bad idea at all, actually, my favorite so far. it seems fair and straightforward. i would hate to be the one tallying the vote.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:18 AM
reply to post by yeahright

Already read this, I understand your point but aren't there the same people that do this but for the religious subject matter? I've seen many people banned over a religious discussion because of the same surpression of beliefs. To just rejoin and continue to disrupt again, this is a problem on all forum fronts not just this localized subject matter.

[edit on 26-2-2009 by TNT13]

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:19 AM
reply to post by Maxmars

That is why i nominated you, you seem to be very level headed, and overall have a "for the people" attitude. Not only that, but you seem to be genuinely concerned about issues, like many here no this thread.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:20 AM

Originally posted by NW111
I will not talk about drugs.
but you want to hear? ok... lets discuse:

DRUGS ARE B****S****

enough discusion



Wow! - Just Wow!!

That's the kind of mentality that has led Human ity to where it is now...

The use of drugs has always and will always be part of the Human condition.

Addiction and the "War on Drugs" ar B*** S*** and destroy families - Drugs themselves are not.

I've seen just as much damage done by gambling addiction and alcohol/tobacco addiction as done by any illegal "DRUGS" so your attitude is illogical on it's face.

I am sorry if you or your loved ones have been devestated by addiction - I have dealt with this first hand - but it is the false demonizing of substances that has led to us having such a poorly realized infrastructure for treating addiction.

Certainly some DRUGS like tobacco, meth, and heroin are inherently dangerously physically addictive even in small doses - but the close minded attitude you are displaying here has only led to greater abuse and misunderstanding of the dangers of these substances.

(as well as the prfit motive/infrastructure to promote them)

An open and free civilization would give citizens a better forum for making intelligent decisions about which drugs to use in our daily lives.

I mean people are currently free to Huff Gasoline and eat Rat Poision - but very few informed citizens choose to do this voluntarily.

I hope you consider the bigger picture next time before you allow your hatred of destructive addiction to be so misplaced.

It is this type of intolerant approach that has led to this bizarre and internally illogical and inconsitant decision to arbitraily impose censorship here at ATS.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:22 AM
reply to post by Maxmars

Thanks, appreciate it. I am just trying to work something out. I really dislike the whole BAN on drugs thing, and i am glad the staff is trying another route. A route we the posters have to figure out.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:23 AM

Originally posted by americandingbat
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

what if we left nominations open for a while longer, then did a thread with why we wanted to participate, then the nominees vote from among themselves.

Just a brainstorm.

I like that idea, it would take many problems off of the table. One condition, you cannot vote for yourself.

It is another route we an go.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:24 AM
reply to post by HunkaHunka

No problem, i know it is hard to keep up, this is a very hot topic, and it should be.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:24 AM
reply to post by TruthMagnet


See this is the kind of intelligent discussion I REALLY like seeing on ATS.

I hope that kind of reply, regardless of the bias, is the kind we can hope to see in the future.

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 11:26 AM
reply to post by darcon

Whatever course we take, we HAVE to have the backing of staff. Because having 26 people decide how this is done is going to cause repercussions all over the board and I'm not eager to deal with that.

I LOVE dingbat's idea!

I would be happy to organize the vote, if that's the way it goes, but I need staff cooperation, approval, backing, whatever you want to call it, so I don't have the whole of ATS jumping down my throat.

I'm more than happy to head up the selection of the committee, by making a thread about it and asking for a little write up on why people think they should be on the committee and then organizing the vote. But I don't want to do that if staff is just going to close the thread.
So I need staff's "go-ahead".

And like Hunka said, I haven't been participating in the drug threads, mostly because they devolve into personal use issues and I'd rather stay out of that discussion. So, I don't think I'd be a good member of the DISC team.

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