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Accepting Questions About the Demised of FCP

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posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:09 PM
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I understand there are some members who have some degree of disappointment over the closing and moving of the FCP there.

Feel free to post your questions about the action here.




posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:13 PM
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1. Why?

2. Is this permanent and considered resolved?

3. Etc.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


All we want is a place where only "fighters" can talk to each other as per the original FCP OP.

Edit to add: Please?

[edit on 8 Apr 2009 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:19 PM
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In my time on ATS, I’ve come to expect that my dealings with the staff will be ( and should be) characterized by the same civility, decorum, and mutual respect which is expected on the boards in general. I have also come to expect, through experience, honesty, integrity, and issues being discussed “above board.” and openly.

I am presently, therefore, quite astonished by what has recently transpired on the debate forum.

First, a mod-approved debate thread was deleted without any explanation to anyone, including the two fighters who were debating.

Secondly, a surprise announcement was made in the Fight Club Pub thread that the FCP would be moved to BTS. Again, no explanation.

The debate thread was reinstated, still without explanation.

Several complaints and concerns posted in the FCP were addressed with “be patient, we’re working on it.”

Three days later staff begin posting in the FCP to the effect that there is too much “chit chat” in the FCP, and this is stated with a fairly obvious attitude of “you should have known better.” Then a site admin posts in the FCP, states that purpose of the FCP thread is something other than what the opening post of of the FCP thread says it is, and accuses us fighters of “bizarre role playing and mindless banter.”

A fighter then made an inappropriate post, tempers flared, the FCP thread was closed, and is now closed AND moved to BTS.

Through all of this, the rest of the 30-odd fighters have done nothing wrong, nor did we know that we were doing anything wrong. Mods and Supermods have posted in the FCP intermittently ever since I have been a part of it, and not one of them ever said we were out of line. And, as of the time I am posting, we still have not been told the REASON for all of this, or the reason the debate was deleted. This apparent secrecy is not appreciated. It is hard to arrive at solutions when we don’t know what the problem is, and I as well as several of the other fighters are discouraged and upset about being kept “in the dark.”

Apparently some ATS members and/or staff don’t believe that the ATS “fighters” deserve to have a place to talk to each other and get to know each other when they aren’t debating. On that perhaps we will have to agree to disagree since all the “power” seems to be on the opposite side from my opinion.

Regardless of whether or not the FCP is reinstated, I am strongly of the opinion that I (and the rest of the fighters) deserve an explanation as to why these actions were taken and why we were treated with less honesty, respect and civility than I would normally expect from any of my fellow fighters, let alone the ATS staff.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:19 PM
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1. Why?

Mostly my fault for not noticing the evolution.

The debate forum was created as a place to showcase the best of our best... with a reward of a high number of points for each post.

The FCP thread and evolved to an inappropriate "thing" to have in the debate forum, when we take the founding ideal into consideration.




2. Is this permanent and considered resolved?

In so far as the debate forum will only host structured debates, most likely.

However, we're open to suggestions for alternative ways for the debate participants to continue to collaborate on ideas and exchange thoughts.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:20 PM
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I would like to suggest that this thread is for the civil discussion of what can now be viewed as a transition occurring in the Debate Forum.

Please consider that we are moving forward in an effort to retain the high standards of ATS while allotting the participants an oppurtunity to voice their concerns and questions.

This is a process intended for the benefit of everyone involved and I would hope that it is treated as such...


Please allow time for reasoned response...



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:24 PM
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Originally posted by Heike
First, a mod-approved debate thread was deleted without any explanation to anyone, including the two fighters who were debating.

Which one was that?




And, as of the time I am posting, we still have not been told the REASON for all of this

I explained the basics here... and take the blame for not noticing sooner.

However, it could not remain as-is.



This apparent secrecy is not appreciated.

I had some important issues to get to (including dinner), and as soon as I could, I came backed and opened this thread.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:32 PM
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1) If a part of the stated purpose of the FCP thread was to provide a place for Fighters to "just chill", why has that become a problem?

2) How many ATS debates have you read in the last six months? Are you aware of the quality of thought or the amount of work that goes on there? Are you following the progress of the current Debate Tournament?

3) Is it technologically feasible to create a thread in one of the BTS forums or somewhere on ATS outside the Debate Forum that would allow participation only by active Fighters?

4) Have you considered breaking the function of the FCP thread into two separate threads: one for public challenges and Debate Forum logistics, and one for smack talk and community building?

5) Why was no preliminary request made that the thread participants stay "on topic", with guidelines to what "on topic" in a pub would look like?

6) Is the impetus for closing the FCP thread the issue of points awarded for "meaningless chitchat", complaints about some perceived clique-ishness or elitism, simply a dislike for "bizarre roleplay", or what?

7) I'm sure I'll think of more soon


 


Here's the rant that I had composed to post to the FCP thread just before it got shut down:

I think I followed the FCP thread for a month or more before I started my first debate and earned my Fighter title, because it was an enjoyable read and because it was something that I aspired to join. As others have said, I consider the other Fighters – members, mods, and supermods alike - to be personal friends and “comrades-in-arms”. I love seeing their posts elsewhere in ATS also because then I know that at least one other participant in a thread has the ability to debate an issue rather than an opponent.

I’ve only been aware that we get 250 points per post for a month or so, and I agree that it seems both unnecessary and somewhat unfair. I know that I have made maybe one or two posts in the FCP that could be considered worth that amount, out of a total of 815. That means that 203,750 of my 246,663 ATS points (not including those already spent) come from FCP posts. And yes, that seems ridiculous, but I wouldn’t post any differently if I had 43,000 ATS points. Frankly, that’s still more points than I can imagine needing to change my miniprofile colors for a couple years.

On the other hand, without the encouragement and camaraderie that I found in the FCP thread during and after my first debate, I’m not sure that I would have continued with the debating forum. And I am sure that debating has made me a much better ATS member: both more involved and more open-minded.

I have been aware at least since Christmas-time that some other members see the Debate Forum, and FCP in particular, to be a “clique” that gets special treatment somehow. It is easy to see where this perception comes from: a high percent of Fighters are staff members, a high percent of staff members are Fighters, and I think that three of the four new Moderators appointed during the months I’ve been on ATS have been Fighters. But guess what? The stated ideals of ATS are reflected in the Debate Forum perhaps more directly than anywhere else. And we encourage new Fighters; many of us link the Debate Forum or the Public Fight Club in our signatures, and many of us encourage particular posters who we think would be interested in it to join.

FCP is a place where people make sure to recognize both sides of a debate; to encourage and congratulate the loser for what they did right as well as to congratulate the winner. And as far as I’ve seen, this holds true no matter who the fighters are or how much they participate in the “chit-chat” aspects of FCP. I think most of us probably go through a nervous period in the beginning of our tenure here when we’re sure we’re being ignored and excluded by more senior members (who actually just know each other better): the tradition of “hazing” via “barkeeping” duties helps to alleviate that. If such things appear to be “bizarre role playing” and “mindless banter” to some, I can only suggest that they take a closer look.

Perhaps we need a separate thread for “official” Debate Forum business and posting open challenges, so that people who are offended by “chit-chat” can keep up with those things while avoiding the banter. But I think that overall we have been remarkably well self-regulated (could this be why the thread hasn’t attracted the attention of an Owner for months, perhaps?) I remember a situation a while back when the prevalence of YouTube videos in the thread became a problem; it was mentioned and those responsible cut down on posting them. Perhaps that would have been an appropriate response to whatever complaint has caused this more recent crisis?

I honestly don’t care where the FCP thread ends up, as long as it’s only open to Fighters. I think that others have pretty well covered all the objections to opening it to all ATSers; including that it would almost guarantee that FCP would become a mirror of DATS (which it in no way is currently), only with more abuse coming in from people who want to have a say in hot-button topics being debated. Leave it here in “Rant” if you want, or throw it into BB&Q where we won’t get any points for posting. Just don’t take away our ability to build community and respect among members dedicated to ripping each other’s arguments apart in the pursuit of Truth.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
All we want is a place where only "fighters" can talk to each other as per the original FCP OP.


May I suggest that we don't really need such a place?

While I think that inclusion of new people into the debate forum and FCP kind of demonstrated a more than above average willingness to participate in the debates themselves, perhaps we as a forum can rise above the need for exclusivity and help culture comments from the public at large and as well create a more inclusive environment for those who are 'unsure' as to whether or not they would like to actually go forth into a debate.

One of the problems I see is that discussion of the debates as they are transpiring may be an issue but that can potentially be alleviated by a cultivation of the new from the veterans.

I would like to see this as an oppurtunity to evolve and expand the civil discussion that we enjoy amongst ourselves...which gives us an oppurtunity to not only "show people how to post civilliy" but perhaps take a proactive approach in this endeavour by allowing new participants...even if some end up being fly bys...

[edit on Wed, 08 Apr 2009 22:36:40 -0500 by MemoryShock]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:38 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Which one was that?


This One.


However, it could not remain as-is.


So you are saying the points are the issue. Well, I don't care about the points, and most of the other fighters have expressed the same point of view. However, if anyone can post in the FCP it will quickly die. The "security" and safety of knowing that anyone and everyone with a bone to chew or a hair up their ... can't just come in and start harassing us was the JOY of the FCP, not the points.


I had some important issues to get to (including dinner), and as soon as I could, I came backed and opened this thread.


That's not what I mean. This all started Sunday and we've been asking questions for 3 days but no one would tell us what was going on.

I'm asking this as politely and reasonably as I can .. if you first became aware of this yesterday, then where did Sunday's post that the FCP was being moved come from?

(edit to correct quote tags)

[edit on 8-4-2009 by Heike]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:42 PM
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Originally posted by MemoryShock
May I suggest that we don't really need such a place?


You may.


May I then suggest in that if we are to embrace this new era of inclusivity that we should shed the "fighter" status labels whilst we're at it.

Everyone can post in the new FCP and anyone can participate in the debates.

Or perhaps it's been this way all along and we weren't that "exclusive" to begin with.

[edit on 8 Apr 2009 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by americandingbat
1) If a part of the stated purpose of the FCP thread was to provide a place for Fighters to "just chill", why has that become a problem?

Because it was within the space of the debate forum, where 250 points were being "awarded" for each post. While I understand that, at a certain level, points become less interesting to many members -- primarily because we haven't had the opportunity to use them as intended (for merchandise awards). But you must step back and understand the potential message that sends to new members struggling to figure out how to accumulate points.




2) How many ATS debates have you read in the last six months? Are you aware of the quality of thought or the amount of work that goes on there? Are you following the progress of the current Debate Tournament?

Not as much as I should, but I make a point to read as much as I can. But that's what the forum was intended to host.




3) Is it technologically feasible to create a thread in one of the BTS forums or somewhere on ATS outside the Debate Forum that would allow participation only by active Fighters?

Perhaps a dedicated "Debate Business" forum?




5) Why was no preliminary request made that the thread participants stay "on topic", with guidelines to what "on topic" in a pub would look like?

As I mentioned, it went unnoticed (by myself and Springer) for too long... but that type of thread should not be in the debate forum.



6) Is the impetus for closing the FCP thread the issue of points awarded for "meaningless chitchat", complaints about some perceived clique-ishness or elitism, simply a dislike for "bizarre roleplay", or what?

That's part of it... and also what I mentioned previously about the need for only debates in the debate forum.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:45 PM
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reply to post by MemoryShock
 


Shock .. you know I love you but ... let's be realistic, okay?

I don't read or post on BTS except for a very few posts in DATS and our "Okie" thread and my mostly ignored ducky threads. Why?

Them people are vicious. Besides, there are 10,000 people on ATS/BTS. If it were open to everyone, it would "move" so fast that we
a) couldn't keep up with it unless we had no lives at all
b) would quickly lose track of the 30 odd fighters amidst the rest of the general chaos.

... kinda like DATS is which is why I don't participate in it. Can't keep the killjoys out and can't keep up with it.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:47 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
But you must step back and understand the potential message that sends to new members struggling to figure out how to accumulate points.


The message that members who like to compose five 10000 character, well-supported, respectful posts on any given topic and are able to look at divisive issues from all possible sides are valued at ATS?

Honestly, I'd worry more about point-grubbing in Breaking Alt News. But as repeatedly stated, for us this isn't about the points.



Not as much as I should, but I make a point to read as much as I can. But that's what the forum was intended to host.


Perhaps you should make a commitment to yourself to read one tournament debate every day that you get fed up or discouraged at directions that you fear ATS going in. You have a lot of really talented, committed members in all the forums. But many of the debates truly shine.


Perhaps a dedicated "Debate Business" forum?


That would seem like a reasonable alternative to me. My only qualm with it is that providing an entire separate forum for Fighters might increase the perception of some people that it is an elitist clique. On the other hand, we could perhaps do more to emphasize that we welcome everyone who is willing to abide by the additions to the T&C that factor into Fighter status.

[edit on 4/8/2009 by americandingbat]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by Heike
This One.

That's in the debate forum




Well, I don't care about the points, and most of the other fighters have expressed the same point of view.

You may not, but what about the newer members on the outside looking in?




That's not what I mean. This all started Sunday and we've been asking questions for 3 days but no one would tell us what was going on.

And given a number of things I was into... I honestly did not get a chance to get up to speed on this particular issue until today.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 


So you want a place where you don't risk anyone not agreing with you popping their ugly head in and telling that you are wrong about something? You want some special treatment that none of the regular members have..?

You know what I would like? I would like you to not sending me U2Us telling me to stay out of threads. Being the "fighter" you are, you should be able to say what you want to me out here on the open board, don't you think?

So please, no more U2Us from you. They will not make any difference, I can assure you. I will still read and click on whatever threads I please either here on in ATS.

:shk:


[edit on 8-4-2009 by sebarud]

[edit on 8-4-2009 by sebarud]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:55 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

That's in the debate forum


Correct. It was a debate which had already started, and it was deleted. Then it was reinstated by Chissler the next day (as I recall), but the first fighter's opening was lost and had to be re-written when the debate was reinstated. As far as I know, no one has yet been told why it was deleted after the Challenge Match had started.


You may not, but what about the newer members on the outside looking in?


Ok, fine, take away the points. We don't care. We just want a place where we can talk to each other. Make it ZERO points to post there. We don't care.

And the point which was overlooked was, why were we treated as though we were doing something wrong? With Mods and Supermods posting in the FCP, we were reasonably sure that we WEREN'T doing anything wrong. It could have been handled without making us feel like children caught in misbehavior.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:55 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 


That particular debate was set up between Myth and Skeptic and SDog set it up. I believe when it was closed that it was said they decided it should have been started by a debate mod.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 11:03 PM
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Originally posted by Heike
And the point which was overlooked was, why were we treated as though we were doing something wrong?

The reaction was perhaps to abrupt... however, it was inappropriate to engage in general chit-chat on ATS... and especially within the ATS debate forum. The thread was started with good intentions, but I really don't think Intrepid intended for it to end up the way it did. And from a personal perspective, I had hoped that the people for whom we granted debate forum privileges would understood what should be under the banner of the debate forum, and what should not be.

I think it's important to realize (all of us) what went wrong, what needs to be fixed, fix it, then move on. If our mutual goal is to improve the quality of content on AboveTopSecret.com, then that shouldn't be hard at all.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 11:06 PM
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reply to post by sebarud
 


I seriously don't know what your problem is. The discussion was not appropriate for the thread so I took it to u2u. That's the RIGHT thing to do, not airing personal differences in threads.

What I said was, if I don't like the content of a thread or the topic is not of interest to me, I don't read it. It's not my place to tell other people what they should be saying in their threads. That's what mods are for.

You want to disagree with me? Fine. Let's debate it! I love it, that's why I'm a fighter.
But when I'm talking with trusted friends, I don't like strangers butting into the conversation, especially if it is open to misunderstanding. "Smack talk" has been part of the FCP ever since I've been aware of it, and "smack talk" can very easily be misunderstood and objected to by those who aren't involved and don't understand the context.



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