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A Conspiracy Against ATS?

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posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 02:22 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


A Conspiracy Against ATS?

So here we are, sitting on the worlds most popular site for alternative topics and conspiracies, and yet there's one that never really gets discussed, and that is the Conspiracy against ATS.

"What the hell are you talking about Nef?" I hear you ask.....

Indulge me.

I sit here in a unique position. I'm a site member, I'm a moderator too and amongest other things that brought me to the dance here, I'm a conspiracy theorist.

What that means is two things really - firstly, I get into some really weird conversations at parties, and secondly, I tend to look for trends/links in things.

Let me start with an obvious example.

Towards the back end of last year ATS found itself in a particularly unique position. Whilst the Presidential campaigns were running we found out that we were being visited extensively by the RNC and DNC's hosting servers, which - you may recall - ultimately ended up in ATS having to crack down on some particularly nasty trashy political discussion.

The crack down, in turn drew attention from the actual subjects of the election that mattered (because it focused on cleaning up the trash and rubbish that was caused) and the vocal minority then set about making out allegations that ATS suppressed peoples rights to free speech etc, when actually what we were doing was trying to raise the bar and promote decent political debate.

The people involved deliberately posted all kinds of spurious rubbish, regurgitated it, turned it all ways round, crossed the line in the sand that the site owners drew up deliberately, broke the T&C and then complained that they were the injured party.

Unsurprisingly, when the election passed, the "attention" dropped off.

"well Nef, that's politics for you, and it was an election...."

Yeah, I knew you'd say that. That's not the end of it.

Like I said, I notice trends.

 


Before I became a mod, as a member, I noticed that ATS was being visited by a "cluster" of bigots. These people manifested themselves in a number of ways, some were subtle, some more direct. Their MO was to appear "reasonable" whilst they lined up their agenda, and then they banded in to promote it - the eventual subject of choice for them at that time was holocaust denial. There were two or three of them tag-teaming each other in threads, all with the same or very similar message. I could, and did, make predictions of who would post in certain threads at certain times.

The message - disturbing as it was to me - isn't the issue in this case. Its what happened when the people were called on it, at first by members, and then by staff - the complaint and protestation from the "cluster" was that ATS was at fault, that the rules were too restrictive.

The people had deliberately positioned themselves in place to break the T&C, did it, then tried to make out that it was ATS's fault.

 


When the Israeli incursion into Gaza happened recently, we saw a massive resurgence in hate speech. And by that I mean real hate speech, so much so that, once again, ATS had to step in and draw the line.

Guess what happened? Allegations once again that ATS was at fault, by people who had deliberately positioned themselves to break the T&C.

 


Then there are the simple ones. The "blazes of glory". Again, they come via deliberate T&C infractions, stuff that is very basic - usually from people who claim to be new to the site but seem to know an awful lot about the rules here. Sometimes they latch on to a particular mod who has done/said something to them. Its never their fault that they cause a problem, its ATS's fault....

 


You know where I'm going with the next one I'm sure.

Let me address the drug thing, and provide some context from a mod perspective.

The drug issue has mostly bubbled under the surface for a long time. It was a minor thing for most folks - some threads got started, some got moved to RATS, some folks had their wrists slapped, the odd one or two were banned for posting really stupid things, but generally, it was a benign thing for the most. A sore point for some, yes, but tolerable to members and staff alike. The rationale behind putting stuff in RATS was explained, and most people lived with it.

Shortly after the heat of the US Presidential Election died down the staff noticed that the experiment with relaxing the ultra strict, zero tolerance on these topics on the main board, and instead keeping them in RATS, was starting to go wrong and stuff was beginning to spill out to the main forums just like the political mud slinging experienced previously did.

This started coming to a head around the end of January requiring such in inordinate amount of staff time/resources that SkepticOverlord and Springer had to "draw another line in the sand" - one that that essentially ended up illustrating a whole host of problems via posts filled with the typical vitriol about "selling out, censorship, government control, the death of freedom speech, etc..." in spite of the fact the real issues were clearly expressed and had nothing to do with any of that.

Let me try and put this into focus for you - at the end of January, one or two threads popped up, and they were dealt with. Following on a few more popped up, and they were dealt with too. Then issues of useage started appearing in otherwise rational threads. That propogated itself like a virus and suddenly the benign became an issue. And where closing and warning and advising used to work, we suddenly saw that - almost overnight - threads that were closed got starred and flagged to the top of the front page on ATS. (....yeah we figured that one out....)

The end result was that after Springer and SO stepped in, once again to protect their site, and to enforce the T&C and suddenly accounts that had not been active for years suddenly stepped into the fray, and they all had an opinion, and guess which way it leant? And once again, those people who deliberately positioned themselves to break the T&C cried foul, and tried to make out it was ATS's fault.

Seeing a trend here?

Not only that, but after the crackdown, and subsequent discussions/olive branch from the site owners, a few select people put themselves in a position again where they broke the T&C, causing chat to be shut down for a while - end result - more drama, with more claims that it was ATS's fault.

 


As a mod and a person, I know that everyone has off days. I know full well that sometimes what you read on the net can get you so damn riled up that you want to punch out your screen - every mod knows this. Despite the negative image that some folks intentionally want to portray us in, we are just normal folks. (Yeah I've seen the descriptions, been insulted, got the T-Shirt thanks!) We come from all walks of life, and have experienced all kinds of things. We have differing views on subjects, and embrace different politics and different philosophies

None of us are "out to get" anyone. What we want is a place where all the interesting stuff we like can be discussed freely, with a dose of civility and decorum that is generally lacking from most areas of the net. In other words, we try and promote the standards set out in the site T&C, because we believe in what ATS tries to represent.

You would be amazed - probably astounded - at the discussions that surround actions taken in a lot of cases. I'm not breaking any confidentialities when I tell you that the staff discussion on the recent drug action is currently on its 13th page, and has 257 posts in it, which when you consider the actual number of staff, is quite a lengthy discussion.

What I'm saying is that we don't take the stuff we do lightly. And we most certainly can see when people are mocking us.

The ATS Terms & Conditions have been around since the site started, except for a few noted additions added over the years. Its freely available for anyone to read who visits the site, any time.

ATS members are probably the most intelligent group of people I've personally come across on the 'net gathered up in one spot. The reason we're here is because we're interested in the different subjects, and we see things a little differently than most folks. We're all intelligent and most certainly we can all read. We all live in a society that has rules, and we all know the do's and don'ts of acceptable social etiquette.

So when I see people deliberately line themselves up to break the site T&C, and then cry foul after they've done it in order to cause as much drama as possible, I have to ask a simple question.

Why?

Why would someone want to do that?

Is it organised? It seems so. The politics thing certainly was externally, but also there were other elements involved that jumped on the bandwagon.

And each time those "other" elements are involved, the allegations are the same. "Suppression of free speech...., "Cointelpro....", "Sold out....", "In it for the money....", "CIA front...." (there are more)

My conclusion - theres a hard core of people out there who want to see the site go down. They use some fairly standard cointel practices - disseminate into the population, instigate, protest, and then disappear either through enforced banning, or self-withdrawal. They have many accounts, set up over a long period of time, and some just sit and sleep, or participate in benign threads until one day, one of them goes rogue and forces an "issue" - usually over a single T&C item - that allows the usual round of allegations to be lobbed out, in the vain hope that someones gonna crack. People get drawn into such things unwittingly, and some issues become bigger than others (as is the case with the recent one)

And any defence that ATS puts up to protect its name and image gets a "Well you would say that..." response.

Who is this group? I have no idea. Could be disgruntled ex-members, could be something else more sinister indeed. This stuff has been going on for a loooong time, but believe me, its there.

There is your conspiracy folks.

Disclaimer - I'm not out to start a witch hunt or poke fingers at anyone here. I'm certainly not inferring that anyone who has been involved in debating the issues that I've mentioned above is in the frame. What I am saying is that sometimes you - as members- and we - as staff - our are having our buttons pushed for us - quite deliberately in my opinion

As is true with everything in life, you need to question motives sometimes. Be it as significant as an artificially induced stock market crash, or as minor as an artificially induced drama debate.

Am I being paranoid? Maybe. But then a good conspiracy theorist is always a little paranoid....


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.




posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 02:26 PM
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Very intresting read.

I'm going to wait until more people post before I get more into it


S & F

Even though I'm new here, I've heard a lot about some of this, but I do need to lurk a bit.


[edit on 2/28/2009 by Shakezoola]



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 02:32 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 02:33 PM
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Im too new to ATS to respond(not a sleeper) lol, so im gonna lurk , should be interesting



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 02:40 PM
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S and F from me..... good analogy - I have seen posts and feel it is to directly rile others.



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 02:44 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 02:58 PM
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reply to post by neformore
 


I agree with ya there, I started thinking myself that it could be connected
to other conspiracy sites not wanting ATS to be as good as it is.

I have cruised other sites I found onthe net just to see that their T&C ( ToS ) is the basic model flying around and yet the members seam to act like kids
which basically if their is any good info on the site I missed it for I don't read past childish posts.

When the stuff starts here I tend to think "they" see a post or a subject that is sort of a grey area and "they" go and tell there other site buddies "duuuude, lets wreck it" bad example I know but I can say it like this "If your a gamer"

A mmorpg is just starting out
1st thing you'll see is people jumping on trying to get the best of the best and some people playing for the sake of playing
2nd thing is a group of people who join up just to farm to try to sell the good stuff to newer people.
3rd a group of people that some reason will not work for what they want and spam the world with " gimmie this or that, this game sux its not as good as ( insert other mmo name here ) just trying to get a rouse out of the other players just to ruin it for everyone cause they can't handle playing. In which they will go back to their crappy game and tell all the others how they were " ubber" and made the game fail, so their mmo will live on.


Which bring me back to this site and your theory. Its people like in 3rd, people probably from another site that can't handle their site being crappy so they have to come here and ruin it for the rest, so they can go back too their site and say how they " owned " this site. Only way to deal with it is with ban hammer +10


+60 more 
posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 03:02 PM
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I'm sorry, but to me your post seems like debate moulding. You're taking a few choice examples and framing them as a conspiracy against ATS, when in reality it is ATS, scared of the atention those subjects would cause, that is trying to hide them away.

Specifically the two very hot topics are Zionism (in as much as this conspiracy theory would branch out into revisionist history of the holocaust, Isreal and possibly even organised religion) and drugs (in as much that it would branch out into drug advocacy because of the alleged spiritual enlightenment and natural connection attained by the use of psychadelics).

I won't comment on the two topics, I'm mearly listing them as the elephants in the room ATS apparently dosen't want to deal with. And a mountain of rhetoric won't change the fact that you guys are scared stiff of the implications of dealing with these topics, as they are very close to the source of all conspiracy and indeed political and economic power. It's where things start getting "unconfortable".

Unless I'm just being paranoid of course, after all, this is ATS.

Your call ATS, either you let the debate evolve naturally or you attempt to shape them to avoid facing your own fears. So, deny ignorance?

Edit: All my posts are my personal opinion, no organised anything here, just somebody who knows that things are not as they seem and who would like to see them as they are. Take it for what it's worth, I'm not forcing anyone to do anything, unlike the ATS policy, which is to force people to avoid certain subjects. You are in no way victims here, at least not of the membership.

Cheers.

[edit on 28-2-2009 by Zepherian]



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 03:04 PM
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This is a very good thing that you bringup here.

It is a queastion all to itself--can old internet aco#s be pirated at the convenience of TPTB?

I had begun to wonder if there was a bigger picture here. I can see the point of veiw that some feel the drug issue infringers their free speech. (I don't, as stated, it is a private board.)

But this of course is only ONE issue and there are still many, many more that need to be discussed.

It has begun to remind me of the people that vote ONLY based on a person's religion, abortion views, gun control plan, ect. those are important issues but none of them are worth a vote by themselves, especially if the person i otherwise not fit for office.


+6 more 
posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 03:07 PM
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Nef. I am in the unique position to know exactly what you are talking about. I've been in the back room with you guys and I know what you guys go through to keep ATS running smooth and I KNOW all the discussions that go on in regards to any trouble in the boards.
I agree that there are...personalities...that target the regular operation of this website and it is a conspiracy in itself. There is a conspiracy by forces to disrupt the intellegent co-operation of the ideas and theories that make this site what it is.
The question is...how to go about stifling the attempts to knock us off our game.

My personal strategy has been to always post with intellegence and class. But, that's no secret. My stance is pretty well known here by now. However, my hopes that it catches on in other's posting habits has been...disappointing. No biggie. I'll carry on just the same. However, I do see patterns in a LOT of members posts that indicate EXACTLY what you are pointing out. And yes, most of those aggravating posters are members who have been here for a relatively short time. Inside one year, usually. I tend to think it's some of the members we gained during the Elections. With the elections over, they found other subjects to focus on. Unfortunately the focus they use is in the form of tactical ridicule and feigned lack of patience.

THAT'S where I say the staff should look. Look into the content of the posts and the intentions behind them. Bring back the hardcore T&C patroling. Bring forward the stance on "Courtesy and Civility".

The rules are there to keep ATS moving forward. Enforce 'em! No more Mr. Nice Guy. Those who truely want ATS to move forward and work like it's supposed to will understand and comply. It's in their best interests, right?

Cuhail



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 03:08 PM
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I don't see an agenda against ATS. But then again, I'm not in the same position that you are in and I don't get all the facts.

I DO see things that come in waves ... anti-Jewish, anti-catholic, anti-____. (fill in the blank). Like people at another site get ahold of the fact that this site exists so they all take a vacation here for a few weeks to blather about their particular agenda.

But I'm not in a position to see anti-ATS going on.

Interesting post though OP .... rather enlightening.



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 03:12 PM
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Well thank you nef for providing a peak behind the curtain as it were to confirm what quite a few knew as happening concurrent to "the topic" of the day. More importantly it allows others that saw it as an "Us vs. Them" was not the case for all the mods.

As I said in the very large public post, it is important that it remains public and not subject to strict compliance to the T&C because several parts were broken in the process. As a community we need to see ourselves warts and all.

The fact that you can see "sleepers" put in place and sacrificed says some very positive things actually. Most of all, that ATS is taken seriously in circles that would want to suppress and discredit it. In my time here I have seen some of the things you brought up as well.

And just to tweak nose, your post contains elements that are not currently open to discussion at this time.



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 03:15 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


Off topic: I my own thought about that free speech people has been saying all over this site like it was the all time answer for everything

The internet is a World Wide thing " a great thing "
Think of each Web Page / site as its own little country in Web and each one has laws to follow
Buy making a membership to the site you are basically applying to have frequent visits to the site with out going through customs all the time, but you still have to follow buy the rules/laws.

Back on topic: I think its a great topic to speak about, I do think that their are groups of people out there purposely trying to ruin a good thing, and it should be noticed



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 03:31 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 03:35 PM
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reply to post by neformore
 


Excellent post neformore! S&F for sure. I haven't read all the posts yet and will definitely comment on my personal view after I do.

Suffice it to say for now, your interpretation of the data you see certainly looks correct, stick to your own counsel and store it away for a 'rainy day' as you will need it for later. (just talking from experience).



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by EvilBat
reply to post by neformore
 


I agree with ya there, I started thinking myself that it could be connected
to other conspiracy sites not wanting ATS to be as good as it is.

I have cruised other sites I found onthe net just to see that their T&C ( ToS ) is the basic model flying around and yet the members seam to act like kids
which basically if their is any good info on the site I missed it for I don't read past childish posts.

When the stuff starts here I tend to think "they" see a post or a subject that is sort of a grey area and "they" go and tell there other site buddies "duuuude, lets wreck it" bad example I know but I can say it like this "If your a gamer"

A mmorpg is just starting out
1st thing you'll see is people jumping on trying to get the best of the best and some people playing for the sake of playing
2nd thing is a group of people who join up just to farm to try to sell the good stuff to newer people.
3rd a group of people that some reason will not work for what they want and spam the world with " gimmie this or that, this game sux its not as good as ( insert other mmo name here ) just trying to get a rouse out of the other players just to ruin it for everyone cause they can't handle playing. In which they will go back to their crappy game and tell all the others how they were " ubber" and made the game fail, so their mmo will live on.


Which bring me back to this site and your theory. Its people like in 3rd, people probably from another site that can't handle their site being crappy so they have to come here and ruin it for the rest, so they can go back too their site and say how they " owned " this site. Only way to deal with it is with ban hammer +10


I would SO concur with this PoV!!!! Being a gamer, I couldn't agree with you more!


2nd line


[edit on 28-2-2009 by Komodo]



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by Cuhail
 


Yes me too.

As a person with my very special title and being someone with Super Hero Member Status Mach III Turbo and 6 Million Points, I see and even think I know what you are talking about before you even do (back rooms with bark coloured light blubs and all that)

As for the OP'er and the theme of this thread. ATS is under attack by people that want to make it look foolish, I know this, not only because I'm a Super Hero Member Status Mach III Turbo with 6 Million Points, but because I'm seeing a trend with "this type of thing"

Star and Flag this thread because, just because...

[edit on 28-2-2009 by InterWeb]



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 03:50 PM
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Hi, I am fairly new here and the thread on ending drug discussion, showed me how huge and well maintained (Mods) this site really is. I wish to apologyse for my own reckless attitude in my posts.
I have the greatest respect and admiration for the owners of this site, after seeing their fine way of dealing with all our accusations and selfish protests. So sorry!

and Thank You

[edit on 28-2-2009 by HulaAnglers]



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 04:00 PM
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mmm thanks for showing us (the paranoid) how nasty we can some times be

but ats is a conspiracy site & likley going to attract fly`s to *SNIP*, not for a momment comparing this site to *SNIP*
but you get my meaning ?.
ive watched ats for a while, & ive also noticed the
1:planet x lunies
2:reptilian lunies
who are quite often cast away, is it to (skunkworks ?)
any way this now brings me to the more taboo subjects wich cause heated debate to be polite !.
drugs
gazza/israel
islam/western societys
wich often resort to slgging off matches !!, some times comical some times personal.
maybe ats could create a forum area where at least some of these debates can be allowed to take place, whilst the more nasty ones can be removed, is it not posible to make a taboo forum not appear on ats fron page ? & this not lowering the good standards of ats ?.
also by doing this ats may find them selves accused less often of being in cahoots with cia & other less desirables.
because ats can stand tall about minimal cencoring.
just my thoughts.
ps*my overall opinion of ats is that many times i here some news on ats, & maybe 3 days later it some times appears on bbc or sky news, have you thought about charging them as an upto date news service ?


admin edit: Please do not circumvent the foul language censors.

[edit on 2-28-2009 by Springer]



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by InterWeb
 


See now, this is what I've seen. Blatantly mocking posts adding nothing to the thread but wonder at the motivation. What are you adding with your post?
I don't have 6 million posts. I all actuality, for the time I've been here, I have reletively few posts.
Why?
Because I normally like to post when I can add to it's substance. If I can't add to the threads substance, I don't post.
The unique perspective I have is because I was a Moderator and had to do what Mods do to keep the site flowing as smoothly as possible. I couldn't do it though. I found myself reading posts and wanting desperately to use my power in a way that wasn't GOOD FOR ATS. In recognizing that in myself, I did what I had to do. I backed out. For, again, the good of the site.
So why did you just post? For the good of the site or the thread? No, I don't believe you did. I don't know your motivation for being here, but, your smarmy, hand-waving, look-at-me post screams says to me that you support the distractions Neformore is pointing out.

Do you?

Cuhail


[edit to add] InterWeb, it's entirely possible I read your post all wrong, and if I did, I apologize, but, I stand by my observation that a simple star and flag without the post would have sufficed.[/edit]

[edit on 2/28/2009 by Cuhail]





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