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We must end the rising "culture of negativity" (SOLUTION POSTED)

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posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:14 PM
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NO NEW TAXES!!! NO NEW LAWS!!!

I'm not a big fan of increased regulations and I don't think I'm alone in that.

I have to admit that sometimes I am pretty disgusted with the personal attacks and inability for some to see the viewpoints of others. Having said that, it's vital that we don't limit reasonable discussion, argument and exchange of ideas.

If I wanted ONE SIDE of the story, I would watch MSM, or heck, just ask my President.
It's imperative that some of us are FORCED to consider an alternate explaination for things, but I don't want to be called an idiot, a sheeple, a hatemonger or any of those other labels that get thrown around here so often. Granted, I probably HAVE been guilty of those things before....the truth hurts.

The reality of it for ME, is that without both (or more) sides to the stories I hear, I would be a pretty ignorant bag of mostly water.

If we were encouraged to maintain decorum and practice good manners and consideration for others, regardless of their viewpoints, I think we would be just fine.

Sometimes my skin is too thin and I would prefer to be coddled and have sweet nothings whispered into my ear, but isn't that what got me into the big mess i'm in? Yeah, think so.




posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by WarmthofSunlight
One very telling thing about this whole issue is that people can't rank the posts on this thread, and others in the past like it, so the whole token economy thing seems to get trashed when the site owners want to make doctrine.


I disagree with that here
that's going into a mine field

If too many people star a given post then the mods might feel too much obligation to do as it says or respond to it actionably. And I think that will end up becoming a budgeting issue.

Now in response to some other comentators here, for the record
I do not consider ATS to be a conspiracy site, just a Current Events and History debate forum with conspiracy "sections" or sub-folders.

I mainly come here for news and to debate, not for conspiracies



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by Springer
We actually had a "negative voting" a few years ago... It bombed horribly, was abused by cliques who were out to gte their rivals.


This "Karma" system seems much more elegant (and most likely a coding/huge data base nightmare) though I don't think at our traffic levels it's possible.

Do you have any information on how much traffic (unique IPs/new posts per day) this boxingscene site gets?

Springer...

[edit on 5-5-2009 by Springer]


The interesting thing is that I could have sworn I looked it up a while back and boxingscene was very similar in size to abovetopsecret, but this resource might very well be HIGHLY inaccurate - websiteoutlook.com:

ATS:
Net Worth $358,466.50
Daily Pageview 162,938
Daily Ads Revenue $491.05
Traffic Rank: 6751

Boxingscene.com:
Net Worth $266,019.30
Daily Pageview 120,653
Daily Ads Revenue $364.41
Traffic Rank: 9117



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by WarmthofSunlight
Here's what I think about the star and flag system: At it's best it's a way for the group to prioritize and validate topics and arguments, at it's worse it's a way for individuals with lack of scruples to manipulate masses.


A flag is a way to prioritize topics as you said.

I cant' be bias when it's the people flagging and not mods doing the prioritizing



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:18 PM
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there's little point in censoring anything but most extreme threats or maybe pornography. i think the solution is to have thumbs up/down rating system rather than only stars and flags. there are many forums out there that allow both positive and negative ratings for a particular thread, while the end result is displayed as a number of thumbs up/down. right now ATS does not allow me to contribute to the rating of a thread that i don't agree with. implement this system and the whole board will self-regulate.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:19 PM
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Originally posted by WarmthofSunlight
reply to post by Parallex
 


One very telling thing about this whole issue is that people can't rank the posts on this thread, and others in the past like it, so the whole token economy thing seems to get trashed when the site owners want to make doctrine.

Devil's in the details. The absence of the Digg icon on certain threads is also indicative of bias on several topics.

All of the above is normal human behaviour... but that dosen't mean it's right.



I second that observation.

Why would you ask, only to not allow a popular vote on each answer.

Seems like obvious obfuscation to me.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:19 PM
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I try to take negativity with a grain of salt. When someone is outright rude in their reply I usually write it off as a person, who for the lack of a better phrase, cannot use their brain, and just move on and say that poor soul. I do not react to their stupidity, this only feeds the fire.

Unfortunately this world is full of people that have superiority complexes and are not going anywhere. We have to deal with it.

That being said, where I have a problem is when someone is one sided on their opinion without researching the possibility that they might be the one who is wrong. These people will argue with you to no end without ever seeking other view points, usually in a way that they try to make you feel stupid and them almighty. I have no problem admitting when I have been ignorant on a subject. I try to make an educated reply. If I have no idea about said subject, I will either move on or, FIRST EDUCATE MYSELF, before making a reply. On that note I keep a dictionary by my side to look up the correct spelling and meaning of a word before I use it.

Try to use the brain before you use the flame.


Unfortunately I do not see a solution to the "Culture Of Negativity". It is human nature. I don't think the mods have the time, will, or authority to be the thought police. I just wish I could change the human psyche.








[edit on 5-5-2009 by timewalker]



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Many of our senior staff and I have noticed an increasing trend on ATS over the past several months that needs to be addressed, and I'm calling it the "Culture of Negativity."




There seems to be a disconnect with many of the public as to what's really happening on a day to day basis. In the US, we are fed a continuous ration of info, some say propaganda, on any given situation. Fortunately, the facts are usually well documented and many of the peple here are aware of those facts.

The negativity or passion you're reading could be the result of cognitive dissonance of very intelligent people.




Originally posted by SkepticOverlord


So I want to open this important topic up for discussion amongst our members who are also seeing this "Culture of Negativity" creeping into discussions.

What can we do?

What should we do?

Should we (ATS) step into some moderate editorial oversight to better police obviously outlandish topics as well as those who post nothing but negativity?







This site has significant quantities small print rules and significant advertising. The levels are such that I spend most of my free time on other boards. The other boards don't have the eye candy of ATS, but some have significantly more free form discussions.

Just an opinion but my thought is that it would be desirable to have less control (and less advertising too). I don't write particularly well so please forgive the rambling.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:21 PM
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reply to post by ModernAcademia
 


That makes no sense. The name is "Above Top Secret", meaning we focus on things that are hidden. Granted, a lot of history and news gets passed here, but the main focus on ATS is getting to the bottom of things, wherever that information takes us.

Unless it's drug use, zionism or the critique of the ownership. Then it's verboten.

Another angle to look at this whole thing by is "what if the negativity is justified?" I see people, with persistance, make threads about topics that are starting to fly in the face of available data. I am one of those that firmly believe that there is an organised effort of missdirection and disinformation on the internet. If these people can, by their behaviour, be singled out, should the community, in the interest of whatever the ownership designates as the ATS communal behaviour, be prevented from a natural information selection process?

The more I think about it the more I think this thread is a huge can of worms.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by ModernAcademia

Originally posted by WarmthofSunlight
One very telling thing about this whole issue is that people can't rank the posts on this thread, and others in the past like it, so the whole token economy thing seems to get trashed when the site owners want to make doctrine.


I disagree with that here
that's going into a mine field

If too many people star a given post then the mods might feel too much obligation to do as it says or respond to it actionably. And I think that will end up becoming a budgeting issue.

Now in response to some other comentators here, for the record
I do not consider ATS to be a conspiracy site, just a Current Events and History debate forum with conspiracy "sections" or sub-folders.

I mainly come here for news and to debate, not for conspiracies


No, he is talking about each individual response. Why not allow that?



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
reply to post by Matrix1111
 


Well the more people that post the millionth threads about whether "x" is real with a clearly edited Youtube video as a source, the more you're going to hear that.

It's true that ATS doesn't want repeat threads that are exactly the same, and it's true that many members want a certain quality of source.

That is how, I think, we strive to deny ignorance.


If ATS were to enforce that rule (not repeating threads), then there should only be a few threads allowed. But then imagine how confusing it would be having to read through thousands of pages of a thread just to see if your point has already been before posting.

New information is always coming out. And different OP's allow for different perspectives and different personalities to be gathered. I don't see how it creates ignorance. On the contrary.


[edit on 5/5/2009 by Matrix1111]



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:25 PM
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Mmm, I must say that I am as surprised by this thread as I was by the original "backbone" thread. They both in different ways dwell on "negativity" and have solicited mostly negative responses.

I am curious as to why it couldn't have been worded something like: "What can we do to make ATS a more positive place?" This is just a passing observation btw as I truly believe this is an almost impossible debate.

Why?

Because of the relativistic and dualistic nature off all conceptions such as positive/negative. Either one is bound by their interdependence or one choses to dwell outside of them.

How?

By not looking at ATS and indeed the world through such a prism. For example, whereas some people see trolls, discontents, negativists, instigators, baiters, etc, I see ordinary people who are part of my own humanity and who are trying to get something across. Perhaps what they are telling us has got nothing to do with what they are posting but they are still a part of our greater mirror that requires awareness and understanding.

Let me put it this way ... Nothing is inherently negative until it is perceived as such. Someone can post something with negative intent and it might not be perceived as such and someone can post something they perceive as constructive criticism and it can be perceived as negative. So the negative/positive barometer is in the hands of the reader and not the poster. So in fact it is the reader who empowers others with the negative/positive label.

In essence it is not a matter of troll alimentation, it is a matter of not considering others in terms of trolls or negative people to begin with. After all these are just disembodied words on a screen, if they illicit an uncomfortable reaction when we read them that should be a pointer at ourselves to realize why something so innocuous can trigger such emotions, and not the poster.

There really are no negative posts, just our willingness to label them as such.

A little sense of humor also helps.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by WarmthofSunlight
Conspiracy theorists tend to be free thinkers...


Until you provide them with the facts, whereupon they become seething, snarling witch-burners.

— Doc Velocity



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:33 PM
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The attempt to control the way people think or write is outrageous!
Let the creature that is this site evolve on its own, rather than stepping in with righteousness.....I had thought I was finally amongst people that would not step in and impose their will upon natural progession. That would voice their opinion, sure, but not to enact policies that forbid what they might not like.......come on!

What are you doing Site Owner, because it seems there is a complex developing, and lines being drawn....Tsk Tsk, I shall miss this community greatly, but I'm sure it won't be thought of as losing a valued member, more like getting rid of the so called negative aspect.

I am and always have been a rebel, I'm sure there are plenty of others like me out there, and when it comes to the abuse of power, well it is a travesty that it has crept into a site devoted to exposing the truth.

Shame on you! people on top.
I,ll miss you people on the bottom.
Fight the power! Star Wormwood13



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by WarmthofSunlight
That makes no sense. The name is "Above Top Secret", meaning we focus on things that are hidden. Granted, a lot of history and news gets passed here, but the main focus on ATS is getting to the bottom of things, wherever that information takes us.


Good post
But still, it is what it is to me
I mostly visit breaking alternative
which is the most active section on the site I assume, not conspiracy sections.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:34 PM
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Originally posted by Matrix1111

Originally posted by nunya13
Topics being posted over and over and over again. I believe int his case it should be shut down and redirected to the thread that was the first to be posted on the topic.


Threads have a character of themselves, depending on the OP and participants. Some threads on the same topic are better than others because of this. To me closing down threads or re-directing is just another way of censoring. Then my question is: Who benefits from that?


This is so true, sure there might be a thread from 2005 on any given topic, the new thread on the same topic however brings in new and fresh opinions and posters, it also usually has more up to date information. This means it's usually better qualified to deny ignorance than the old thread.

I think the MODS have been good in this area, unless it's within hours, and one thread is already 6 pages long and the other same topic thread has only 3 posts.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by SoulOrb

Originally posted by 44soulslayer
Is it possible for all these users to be of the same level of understanding or indeed intellect as those who would have sought out a more arcane site? I don't think so.


Is it possible a person who is lost, can also be spoke through to you, without consciously being aware of it? I suspect you know this to be true.

So my question is, have you had enough, are you tired of being challenged? I fail to see what the logical training of a new member has to do with this issue, or the value of the discussions on the board, I think you need to ponder what you have written, from a Soul perspective.


No offence SoulOrb, but your post is precisely the kind of one that would result in me posting a highly negative or snarky comment on the general forums.

What have you said? What are your contentions? They are totally unclear to me.

I know I need to be more patient with new members, but really it's a two way street. New members need to start expressing themselves more eloquently and thoughtfully. I think you asked me about the difference in class between new and old members... certainly it's not a perfect correllation, but just take a look at the old members' posts and compare them against those of new members. I don't dislike new members because they are new, but because they are seemingly less intellectual than the old members. I posited that this was because of an increased reach of ATS, hence it becoming less "selective".

I will attempt to curb my negativity when new members attempt to curb inane or ill-thought out posts and threads.

Again, please don't think this is a personal insult directed at you. Your post was just a good example of what would "set me off" in the general forums.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:51 PM
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For myself, I find the idea of silencing anyone absurd. The reason this site is so great is the diversity of opinions and perspectives. We are all individuals looking to find our own personal "truth". People are going to post what the majority might deem negative and that should be O.K.

I'm sure a lot of members have had there opinions on a subject change over time. I don't see any reason why the "negative" posters could not change there individual views, as well.

I see the point of posts being over run with petty name calling and the like. Would a voting box on each post be the answer.

If you find a comment to be unconstructive to the topic at hand, you mark the box. As more people read and mark the box the number goes up.

For someone who does not want to waste time reading through the negative comments they can quick scan the number in the box "unconstructive box" and continue to the next post.

I feel people should ignore those posts they find inappropriate instead of posting a reply. This is what really kills the post. Addressing the negativity with more and in turn inviting a response.

Censorship is what most of the content on this site is against and the reason the world is as it is. I feel we need to be more respectful toward one another and in turn the site will reflect that in a positive way.

Fighting back against an apposing view with hate only creates more hate. Hate doesn't last amougst respect, acceptance and love for one another.

PEACE!



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by Doc Velocity

Originally posted by WarmthofSunlight
Conspiracy theorists tend to be free thinkers...


Until you provide them with the facts, whereupon they become seething, snarling witch-burners.

— Doc Velocity


To me this is a good example of an "us against them" mentality.

I don't understand why people with such an attitude against the *conspiracy minded* come to a site of this nature regularly just to "provide facts" that reflect their version of facts based upon their personal perception and sources they choose to believe.

I see the idea of exploration and expansion of the mind far more invigorating than being force fed a "fact" deemed true by others and that is why I come to ats, for an opportunity to brainstorm and discuss alternative theories and facts. In my opinion facts are subject to change based on new information, facts are not stagnant, and many things once considered fact yesterday are new fact tomorrow. A fact is not a truth, it is a majority held understanding. Our minds are constantly evolving to accept more truth, when allowed to.

Witch burners? Pot meet kettle!



[edit on 5-5-2009 by interestedalways]



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 02:54 PM
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This may ruffle a few feathers "higher up," but here goes. I have noted a general "stricter" ATS in the last few months or so. We have certain topics being banned, certain "attitudes" not being allowed, certain taboos and unmentionables. The list of these things grows steadily longer. What it seems to me we have here is an ulterior motive, which I would guess is to make the site more marketable to advertisers or more santized and commercialized somehow. A squeakier-clean, more publically palitable ATS, maybe? Perhaps the board owner wants to sell it, or get serious ad funding, or somehting, I don't know, but I have a sense that's what's behind the general pattern of "change" we've been seeing here.

Now, basically, I don't have a problem with that. I'm in the media business too and I know you've got to put food on the table and so on. I understand, better than many here, that there is "no such thing as a free lunch" and this is increasing by the day. Somebody's got to pay one way or another. Why shouldn't the board owner try to get some more money out of it? Its his/her/its board, they've obviously worked hard to put it together and keep it going. Its a good thing, and I see nothing wrong with seeking to be paid for good things. Like I said, being in the media myself, I do very much the same thing myself.

What I *do* have a bit of a problem with is that this seems to be a hidden agenda on the board. That is, we can see the changes happening and we are told, "we're doing this for this reason, we are doing this for that reason," but we aren't told the underlying reason, which I'm guessing is that above. So we have these changes taking place and the board owner is walking a very thin tightrope in trying to expand the reach and marketablity on the one hand without killing the golden goose on the other.

Why not level with us? Tell us that's what you are doing? Are you afraid we can't handle it? That we'll call you a "sell out" ? Some may, but I won't be among them. We aren't stupid and we aren't children. Most of us are adults who have to feed ourselves and our families one way or another, so I think most would be able to accept this. I'd certainly feel better about a straight-up declaration of intent, rather than all this coy hinting and implying and nudging us in a certain direction and so on. People are more sensitive to that sort of thing than one might imagine, and it just doesn't *feel* very good.

If I've misread the situation somehow, I apologize. But it seems a logical conclusion to draw.

If I may, one piece of advice. If the changes are made with greater commercial reach in mind, consider this. The world is changing fast right now. More people are waking up to an "ATS-style" worldview. Its potentially a huge market. If you want to tap into it and do it in a successful manner while maintaining dignity and integrity, think of it this way: The world is heading more in the direction that ATS already is. They will arrive where we are soon; they already are, every day. You don't want to backtrack too much in the squeaky-clean direction or the hoardes will just pass you by. More than anything people want honesty, they want integrity and dignity, they want to be treated like adults and not herded around. Don't stifle the site too much and don't listen to oily biz-dev types too much, either. You have TOMORROW'S SITE, TODAY. Already. Just as it is now. Don't suddenly start playing by yesterday's rules or you really will kill the golden goose.



[edit on 5/5/09 by silent thunder]



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