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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 @ 06:01 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Which was the initially push, like i stated to skeptic1

Everyone is acting like we are the bad guys, when we are clearing just trying to help.



[edit on 26-2-2009 by darcon]




posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:02 PM
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reply to post by darcon
 


If trying to help makes us the bad guys, then that's a title I will gladly wear.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:03 PM
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reply to post by tyranny22
 


I agree with you too mate.
There is a much bigger issue here... but, we are not allowed to talk about that unfortunately.
We have "moved on"....

I don't think everyone here or on that list wants "fast-track" mod status.... but a couple certainly do... that's not even my issue really.
It's more about the fact that site has a lot of members... ALL of them (us) deserve a say in this as it will affect all of us.

And although SO alluded to the fact he wanted this done sooner rather than later, i would hope that at leat all those interested in this topic and all members in general would get a say.

Had i known that being on that list was a criteria to vote.... i would have definitely got myself nominated..
Unfortunately... those "running" this thread (not the owners) are trying to be democratic, when in fact they are just acting in a rather more dictatorial/fascist manner.

I dunno....



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:04 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


I know your point and I share it as well. But the question I have to ask you is: Do you feel that you would particularly represent anything that differs from a majority of those nominated for consideration? Or do you feel that there are those that would purposefully or inadvertently not represent ATS as a whole?

Feel free to U2U if you don't want to answer in public.

[edit on 26-2-2009 by Ahabstar]



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by darcon

I know we are going to get criticism, but from what illusion wrote, he was a bit ticked that he missed the opportunity to be on the nominee list. Which is understandable.


How wrong can you be. I dont care that I am not on the committee. I care that I get no say at all in who IS on the committee. And that the people who just happen to be home all day on a weekday are going to be the ones on the committee, and not some very intelligent and reasonable members who just so happened not to be on when this thread was posted.

So dont project your desire for committee-ship onto me. I have no aspirations for ATS greatness at all. No desire for moderatorship, no desire for most popular, no desire for the greatest number of posts or stars, or points. I care about the quality of ATS because I like to read and post here. I have no more motive than that.

And if YOU cared so much about the quality of ATS you would not be advocating the most expedient solution. Expedience is not often the best route to quality. With a temporary ban in place, there is time for things to proceed reasonably. At whatever pace is required to come up with a quality solution.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Fair enough.... but i believe it's also OUR decision..... WE are choosing what happens... or so i thought?



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:05 PM
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Originally posted by nerbot
Seems like anyone who wishes to address any issues regarding a subject involving illegal drugs has been unfairly labelled a "stoner".


I don't think this true for most people. I think that when SO for example talks of "idiot stoners" he means just that: stoners who are idiots, not all stoners.


I'd love to know what Simon Grey (Founder & Chief Properies Officer), Stephen Melzer (Chief Financial Officer) and Jeff Lombardy (Director of Sales) have to say on this matter too. Do they ever show their opinions here?


I don't think I've ever seen anything posted by Jeff Lombardy – if he has a screenname I'm not aware of it.

I'm sure that SimonGray and Crakeur (Stephen Melzer) were well apprised of the new policy in advance and are on board with it.


And why such little imput from moderators, have they been told not to post? Understandable I suppose, but 1400+ replies in a 1 day kinda says "important" to me.

This is just speculation, but they may be being encouraged to stay out of this thread to avoid the appearance of favoritism or attempts to influence member decisions.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by blupblup

It's more about the fact that site has a lot of members... ALL of them (us) deserve a say in this as it will affect all of us.


That is right, blupblup.


Unfortunately... those "running" this thread (not the owners) are trying to be democratic, when in fact they are just acting in a rather more dictatorial/fascist manner.

I dunno....




I very much appreciate the intent behind what these members are trying to do. And many have posted well thought out intelligent responses.

But this is like Electoral Votes, and I for one don't feel to happy about that aspect of the political system.

I dunno, either.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:07 PM
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Meanwhile the world is melting down in an epic global economic crisis with little or no improvement.

It's disappointing to watch so many great minds get caught up in this seemingly trivial and rather insignificant subject of drug discussions when there is so much going on around the world right now that is far more worthy of your time, intelligence and efforts.

Maybe we could petition the white house for a new cabinet position, a chief of internet drug discussions?




posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by interestedalways

I very much appreciate the intent behind what these members are trying to do. And many have posted well thought out intelligent responses.

But this is like Electoral Votes, and I for one don't feel to happy about that aspect of the political system.
I dunno, either.



Me too, perhaps that came off a little strong.
I apologize guys


It's just frustrating that this is being made up as we go along.... who actually knew we could only vote if we were on the list??

Nobody.... that's just silly.
We all use the site...we ALL deserve a say...



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:12 PM
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As far as the mods not posting anymore, I would *guess* that it is because they have already clearly posted their stance.

I find it generous of them that they are giving members an opportunity to attempt to find a way that things can be discussed somehow without compromising the site.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:12 PM
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reply to post by Ahabstar
 


I do not feel that I would represent all of ATS any more than any one of us would. Policies should not be made based on popularity alone.

If the owners of this site have needs, (ie NO discussion of personal recreational use of drugs) then it should not matter that 74% of ATS users want that as a feature.

What would need to happen is we need to know, SPECIFICALLY, what the owners need off the boards. Via a question and answer with those owners, so that the underlying motive can be fully understood. Once one knows the reasoning of the owners fully, then one can determine what IS or WOULD BE allowable. Then all that is left is how to implement it in such a way that the owners and staff are not unduly burdened, and their needs are met, and the members have the freedom to discuss legitimate illicit substance related issues in a way that will contribute to ATS reputation and not degrade it.

The owners needs are first. They are a priority. They have more of a stake here than any one of us. A discussion like this is not a democratic one, but one of negotiation so that the needs of the owners can be met with the least degree of sacrifice on the part of the contributing members.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:12 PM
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reply to post by blupblup
 


Hopefully, and I can only say hopefully because there are people on that list who shouldn't be on it for various reasons (some you've already mentioned), the committee will take its lead from the members.

At least, that should be how it goes. If not, that is a big, big problem.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:12 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


Well by all means i must be the bad guy!

I have only been sitting here 24 hours straight trying to think up of a solution to help the ATS members. My main concern is trying to figure out a solution.

Ya, sure fine, make us out to be the dictators, but you know what, we have been trying very hard here.


[edit on 26-2-2009 by darcon]



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by Walkswithfish
It's disappointing to watch so many great minds get caught up in this seemingly trivial and rather insignificant subject of drug discussions when there is so much going on around the world right now that is far more worthy of your time, intelligence and efforts.



It's more the principle... i almost never participate in drug threads... couldn't care less honestly, but others SHOULD be able to talk about them.
This is a CONSPIRACY site man.

Where will it stop....

[edit on 26/2/09 by blupblup]



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:15 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 



Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Here is the opening post I put into the D.I.S.C. forum.
This will help prospective member participants to better understand the problem before we begin examining possible solutions.

 



The problem we face with suffering drug-related topics in the forums is multifaceted, and has been ongoing for years. The same issues apply to hacking and sexual topics, however, the recent influx in vocal proponents of drug topics has made the topic difficult to avoid, and support at the same time.

The core issues are three-fold...


Internet Filtering:

Our first, and still important, reason for refusing drug-related topics has been concern over the automatic categorization of the ATS domain by Internet filtering software. In some respects, our now massive scale (nearly 7 million posts, 2+ million distinct pages, and 3 million monthly visits) has mitigated some of the potential problems this might pose for ATS accessibility. However, it is still a concern -- and we need to be mindful that this was a significant factor in our ability to grow to our current size.

Those who enjoy casting aspersions will assume the policies were to line our pockets as traffic and ad revenue grew. However, a minor amount of research will show that the policy was put in place long before any advertising appeared on the forums. The original goal was to ensure that as many people as possible would have access to the topics discussed by our members.

Today, it's unlikely that our entire domain would receive an "automatic score" that would harm access to the entire site -- but still possible, and needs to remain a concern. However, it's much more likely that individual pages or entire threads will be filtered. And, the possibility exists that exuberant system admins at schools, libraries, and businesses may opt to restrict our entire domain based on data from filtered pages.


Invasion of the Stoner Thread Snatchers:

This is the cause of our recent decision of no-tolerance. Our staff has the luxury of a bird's-eye-view of the forums that few members are able to notice. Over the past several months, we've noticed a disconcerting rise in the number of drug-related threads that are nothing more than thinly-vieled attempts to inject druggie culture into ATS discussion. Additionally, on more than one occasion, our staff has spotted online discussions by disruptive detractors, organizing to do just that -- screw with ATS by spamming drug topics. Over the past 10 days, a startling rise in gratuitous drug chatter occurred, prompting our behind-the-scenes discussion, which resulted in: A) a unanimous decision that drastic change was needed, and B) a very-close-to-unanimous decision to enforce a no-tolerance policy, even knowing the drama it will cause (and now, has caused).

We've seen first hand, in many more cases than members would normally be aware, an impossible-to-manage number of immature stoner comments in threads on drug related topics. We've seen both public and private complaints from thread-starters that the stoner replies are ruining what should be a good thread. The analogy I used previously in this thread is apt: Drug-related topics, of any kind, are like a bright porch light that attracts the wrong kind of moths to fly about and irritate us... they're impossible to kill as more will come... they fly about and pester everyone... it's impossible to enjoy the porch... they ruin the fun everyone is having on the porch... and the only sure solution is to turn off the light.

Four years ago we killed the "Political Mud Pit" which was a no-holds-barred forum for wide-open political debate and mud slinging. At first, it was an engaging concept, but eventually the rancor grew horrible, and it spilled over into other threads and forums. Even though we tried to contain the mud-slinging in one forum, it ended up setting an intolerable tone across all forums. We cut out the cancer by killing the forum and strictly enforcing a political trolling rule. We didn't kill political discussion, but we severely penalized partisan sniping... and things quickly improved... and the more intense political trolls moved to other sites. The drug-related topics are somewhat different, but this illustrates how one forum or one type of topic can cause spill-over into the board at large.

I'd prefer to be able to discuss conspiracies, cover-ups, and ill-conceived government policies as it relates to drugs. I'd also prefer to be able to discuss how some currently illicit bit inexpensive drugs are being vilified by big pharma with government support. But it has become impossible to do so without our staff being overwhelmed with whacking stoner moles at the detriment of being able to devote appropriate time to other topics.


Google Brings Fifty to Seventy New Members Every Day:

Here is our ultimate problem. No matter how hard we work right now to solve topical or tonality problems in the forums, we encounter a relatively high pace of new members every day. The majority of new members discover ATS via search, become enthralled with one or more topics, and choose to join in the hope of participating. If we discover a solution to supporting discussion of drug-related topics in the coming weeks or months, we also need to ensure that solution applies to new members as they encounter those topics on ATS. The cycle is vicious and well-known to our staff, and here is a relevant sequence of events as an example...
-1- user finds ATS drug topic
-2- user joins and becomes a member
-3- new member posts about personal use of drugs
-4- staff takes action
-5- new member gets pissed, claims we suppress freedom of speech
-6- staff takes more action
-7- new member gets more pissed
-8- new member is banned
-9- new member creates more accounts to complain and disrupt

Any solution that re-introduces drug-related topics to ATS must also address this problem, or we're right back to where we are now -- one topic resulting in issues that occupy an inordinate percentage of our staff's time.



So there you have it... a more detailed and candid look at our problem.

We (ATS) solved how to have a very large discussion venue with a relatively small amount of the flaming and gratuitous sniping seen nearly everywhere else. As difficult as that was to make happen, I believe this -- supporting serious discussion of drug-related issues while discouraging the stoner moths -- will be much, much harder.


I now leave this in the hands of our members who are concerned about finding a way to support these topics. Select someone to organize the effort of picking no more than six total members (five plus the leader) to participate in the D.I.S.C. brainstorming.




There is a bit of answers to your questions. Just some of the things the Owners are having problems with.

[edit on 26-2-2009 by darcon]



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by skeptic1
reply to post by blupblup
 


Hopefully, and I can only say hopefully because there are people on that list who shouldn't be on it for various reasons (some you've already mentioned), the committee will take its lead from the members.

At least, that should be how it goes. If not, that is a big, big problem.


And that is where my problem lies... CLARITY.

We just don't know... we may be doing all this for no reason whatsoever...??

And yes, i would be very worried if it doesn't go the way you suggested too



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by blupblup
 


You were involved. You were here. You nominated ANOK, Amaterasu and SaviorComplex. You were aware of my attempted board-wide vote, saying, "I think it could turn into a popularity contest rather than picking who is best suited to the role."

You suggested a summary thread and Skeptic1 did that.

You agreed that I should organize the vote.

What are you complaining about again?



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:19 PM
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reply to post by blupblup
 


Most of the people on the list will do just what they should.

Others, I fear, will use the committee to further their own agendas....whatever they are.

Hopefully, the nominees will choose wisely and whoever is chosen will do what they should, not what they want.



posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 06:19 PM
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We came to a decision by majority to vote this way, after weighing the opinions on a number of different methods (staff voting vs all site voting vs do it now vs wait a month.)

SO did make the comment that he wanted us to gather together a group and be able to start as quickly as possible. The people who were in the thread at that time decided that to do to make it as expedient as possible.

For those who asked, I am an '06 member, and I think there are some '04s on the list.

Many of us have been on here for almost a day straight, debating solutions, and making all the nominees aware of what the different options are that ALL the members are suggesting.

To me, it doesn't matter what the committee wants, it matters what the members of ATS want. Which is why I'm getting mad at these sweeping generalizations that we are all hardcore pro-drug. Because I don't do them, I just think people should be able to discuss it in a level headed manner, and if they can't, they shouldn't ruin it for everyone else.

We had the voting issue available to be discussed by ALL members for at least 12 hours, and only a select number of the number of members who have been online and been able to access this post have voiced any opinion against what was going on.

Chat's gone, people are throwing fits, really if it's going to happen it needs to get done as quickly as possible, before we lose any chance at all.




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