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

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posted on May, 6 2009 @ 03:57 AM

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Hello everyone...

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."................. and so on........


In the words of Noam Chomsky....

"If we do not believe in freedom of speech for everyone we do not believe in it at all."

Personally I find your post a tad Big Brother-ish... And though you are the site owner, the site is nothing without the visitors/members.

Probably best to keep an open mind, erase offensive messages but let people - whether you like what they have to say or not - have their say...

Otherwise the site might not do as well as it has been!

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 04:06 AM

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Nearly all of your accusations attempting to blame ATS management for some type of preference for debunkers are not based in fact.

Not based in-fact?

So tell me, the Billy Meier thread never got deleted?....Am I just making that up as I go along?

I haven't actually made any accusations, I'm just expressing my opinion, and it appears that anytime someone dares to question the validity or agenda of this website -- then such a thread would get deleted or closed A.S.A.P.

If I were the owner of the website, I would actually take it as a compliment that people would start threads about a possible conspiracy going on here. Not closing and deleted threads that dare criticize my site -- thus confirming people's suspicions.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 04:19 AM
Hi people (and aliens) on ATS,

Let me chip in as well. Maybe what I'll say has already been said in the previous pages (didn't read through the thread's all 18 pages).

I believe everybody should voice their opinion, positive or negative, as long as it's constructive. Given the nature of this site, lots of people will have vested interests in poisoning its quality. Yet there is no solution that you may implement that will keep everybody happy.

So, do what you feel is right and those who trust you will stay on. The others will drop off, and good riddance, I may add.

Also, no system you implement will ever be foolproof. If somebody means to poison your content, they WILL find a way.

If you're really looking to change comment moderation, I think somebody has been there before you and faced the same problems: . Their system is user moderated, with users being given "moderator" rights in a semi-random slot-based system. Using these rights, they have up to 5 points to give (+ or -) to any given reply. Now, given your site's nature, I wouldn't recommend a totally user-moderated system. Your moderators should have the "axe" to cut out the overtly un-constructive comments and weed out any misuses of rights.

Slashdot differs in that they "approve" stories before posting them. Maybe you could implement a similar system, where you might visibly separate "disapproved" (or heavily criticised) threads.

I've been a slashdotter for 10 years now and there will always be people who bitch and moan, but in the end the work is done

Anyway, just some thoughts... I hope they're of any use.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 05:33 AM
reply to post by silent thunder

To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed this is even a question being asked by the board's administation.

Me too. More than a bit.

Overlord, I understand this is a marketing issue - you don't want too many sceptics and straight talkers scaring off the believers who constitute ATS's biggest constituency. However, I believe you're going down the wrong road. Take out the salt of controversy from ATS and the board will lose its savour for all but the most dedicated space cadets. Membership will decline.

You will protest that you're only desalinating the board a little. Well and good - but if you proceed with your plans to end the 'rising culture of negativity', you will certainly lose one long-term member - me. Doubtless some ATSers will be delighted to see that happen. But will you be?

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 06:07 AM
Do we live in utopia? are most of us ignorant? is this a perfect world? ATS has given us from all around the world a welcome into a family of individual islands, sure some subjects are wacky,some of our beliefs are different,but we all have this desire for truth, and we have to clean away the dross (if we can recognise it) .
The world is full of bad news, the power of the net has given more power to the people to react, how else was this possible before?
You learnt from press ,tv and friends, now when we talk on the net the press, governments, listen and act.
ok, we are more negative , but the people are more aware and responding, hopefully for the best.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 06:11 AM

Originally posted by Astyanax
if you proceed with your plans to end the 'rising culture of negativity', you will certainly lose one long-term member - me.

Cue the standard and absolutely 'negative' response to such statements:

...if you have such a problem with the way things are run, you should find another outlet for this information.

*Actually, I appreciate your posts and I also share your view regarding this policing of perceived 'negativity'.

Something is fishy about all this - I believe a conspiracy may be afoot.

Maybe Google is going to eat ATS!

Or maybe it is merely just a form of Pavlovian Conditioning that we are being subjected to - Getting us ready for something coming down the pike, though I do not know what.

How do we know this is really SO and not some advanced AI housed in Mantauk and capable of creating real-time webcam data on the fly, so as to fool even his peers?

....Yeah, I'm a Conspiracy Theorist; it shows.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 06:30 AM
teh fuuhrer its happy unt der people ist happy

just had to get that out of my chest

what i guess what the OP is trying to mean is pessimism and not negativity is growing in culture

but ill give you an example ,

at first i was very positive(optimistic) that bush and co was going to be indited at haag war tribunial for warcrimes agains humanity , these days how ever im very negative(pessimistic) at the whole idea and that it will never occure...

restricting ones means to express is what most dictators did and do, dont follow in deer footsteps for you´ll only make a fool out of your self.

but to be ontopic i guess the major reason why people are pessimistic about life in general is because no one does anything to turn the tide.
its just a load of talk about the pile of horse manuver but no one wants to clean it up.

to be a pessimist in these times is you "god" given rigth

but on the bright side of things the pile of horse mauver is recognised and the next time some one suggest that : hey lets get a horse for everyone to look at and pet some one can say , that last horse did only poo in the long run and my clothes still smell of it , id suggest we dont get one.

all in favour of not getting a horse raise your hand and everyone raises their hand.

in the end , sometimes its very pessemistic to be an optimist at times and vice versa its very optemistic to be a pessimist at times...

my 2 cents

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 06:50 AM

Originally posted by zorgon
Recently there was a good thread with Jim Oberg and RF Burns... now THAT was like the good olde days... mades me want to dig up and toss in my material...

Sadly there have been to few of those lately

I totally agree.

That thread and in particular..the debate between said members, was a pleasure to read.
Really "going at it" but in a civil and well structured way.

Both had excellent points and you could feel yourself flip-flopping from time to time.

Well remembered Z.

[edit on 6/5/09 by blupblup]

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 07:11 AM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

I am glad I have been a member before a "three month probation" policy is implemented. I would have found that very intimidating, if I got that kind of statement as I joined up.

I might have thought twice about joining up too, because - being new and unsure and worried I would do something wrong - unintentionally - I would feel there was a good chance of making a few mistakes (which I did and still do, sometimes) and would feel I had a chance of being kicked off ATS.

In other words, my 2 cents on the probation period for new members - could seem quite intimidating for new people wanting to join, with good intentions, but would worry about making many mistakes.

ATS is huge, I am still learning, myself in many ways.

Instead of a 3 month probation - what about having a little info about "intentional negativity postings WILL be noticed and staff will take appropriate action, upon seeing ongoing and intentional negativity"?

I am not good at writing - but what about something like that?

That makes new members with good intentions who are joining - not intimidated - but can also give them confidence when joining that they are entering a great forum. Compared to intimidating them.

Those with negativity and intentions of trolling - are not going to be intimidated by the 3 month probation in the first place - as they probably have already figured they were not going to make it that long anyway. They are coming in for distruption in the first place - if that is their intent.

yep, my 2 little cents that is becoming even less - as inflation keeps continuing.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 07:23 AM
What about people who suffer from depression...

Should they force themselves to pretend to be positive whilst on ATS?

The world itself is going though a Global Depression and we are losing our rights faster than ever before; we have constitution-free zones, rampant police brutality, torture, renditions and homelessness on a scale never before seen in this country - Political correctness is being legislated in the form of the New hate Crimes Bill...

This is a culture of negativity.

[edit on 6-5-2009 by Exuberant1]

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 07:26 AM
reply to post by questioningall

I was thinking the same thing. My very first post here was deleted for being a one liner and I was immediately in negative numbers.. not even given a break.

I can't think of anyway to make sure that newbies read the T&C...perhaps a test before being allowed to post at all.
A certain score means you can post and if you fail you are immediately banned. (sarcasm..)

[edit on 5/6/2009 by Blogstalker]

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 07:31 AM

Originally posted by Bspiracy

...I have also noticed a negative vibe growing and have spent less time here and stopped linking to here long ago due to the atitude of plenty of people.

I left for many months because of this very problem.

I also like the "Bizzare and Hoaxes" category.. though I would put "Bizarre" first as it would take the automatic stigma people would have upon even stepping into that particular forum.

I'm looking forward to this category. These tend to be the most entertaining threads, if you ask me.

OS, I welcome the effort to clamp down on the discourteous behavior here and look forward to seeing the "New Culture of Courtesy." Good luck.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 07:40 AM
As you can see, I am a new member. Seeing this post this morning seemed like an answer to my most heartfelt prayer, that the growth of peace and acceptance be the major influence on all people.

I love reading the posts here and the comments following them. Even though I don't agree, understand or even have interest in many subjects, I still admire the fact that everyone has a chance to voice their thoughts. Most members are adequately intelligent and surprisingly informed.

I don't count myself in the ranks of the "informed" but I do know one or two things. What I love the most is that my ideas are flexible and open for revision when better fitting ideas are presented. No one person has all the answers to any question or issue. But we, all together, can come up with some valid and important building blocks to further investigation or ideologies, or think them into oblivion. The choice is there.

Hopefully, I'll learn enough ATS etiquitte to one day be a respected poster and/or commenter. Besides, from what I've seen so far, ridiculous posts are called out as such almost immediately by members. So, I wouldn't worry too much about the increasing negativity. Its everywhere these days. Here at ATS, the possibility of free-flowing discussion is what attracted me in the first place.

And my most fervernt hope is that people will build their confidence, knowledge and social etiquitte to ever higher vistas. This will bring peace to the soul in times of insanity.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 07:48 AM

Originally posted by GateCrasher
If I were the owner of the website, I would actually take it as a compliment that people would start threads about a possible conspiracy going on here. Not closing and deleted threads that dare criticize my site -- thus confirming people's suspicions.


If some stranger joined a dinner part at your house, offended some of your guests, complained about your food, argued that you choose the wrong wine, and then loudly bitched about some kind of conspiracy against your guests because you served NY strip steak instead of fillet mignon... you'd take that as a compliment?

You have the distinct air of a disgruntled previously banned member. And yes, your accusatory assumptions of our motivations are not based in any facts whatsoever.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 07:57 AM
I think this rise of negativity is closely related to the rise in trolling.

Some people seem to become agitated when a troll appears with "information" or "news" they already know to be untrue. Include me into that category.

I'm sorry.

I'll try to improve my manners.


Just thought of something.
Why not include a third point system. One that count attempts at trolling.
Twenty points and you're of the boards.

[edit on 6.5.2009 by HolgerTheDane]

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 08:11 AM

Originally posted by Walkswithfish

Part II

"If people have so clearly overstepped the mark in terms of the way not just that they are talking but the sort of attitudes that they are expressing to the extent that we think that this is likely to cause or have the potential to cause violence or inter-community tension in this country, then actually I think the right thing is not to let them into the country in the first place. Not to open the stable door then try to close it later," Ms Smith said.

"It's a privilege to come to this country. There are certain behaviours that mean you forfeit that privilege."

I've been thinking, which is a dangerous thing.

As the above stands it may seem harsh for a free nation to impose such harsh restrictions based on speech.

Not so for a privately owned website.

Reworded slightly...

If people have so clearly overstepped the mark in terms of the way not just that they are talking but the sort of attitudes that they are expressing to the extent that we think that this is likely to cause or have the potential to cause violence or community tension in these forums, then actually I think the right thing is not to let them into the website in the first place. Not to open the stable door then try to close it later.

It's a privilege to come to this website. There are certain behaviours that mean you forfeit that privilege.

There is the difference.

We don't pay taxes here, it is hot our home, it is their right to manage this site as they see fit.

I stand self-corrected and apologize for my ignorance.

[edit on 6-5-2009 by Walkswithfish]

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 08:13 AM
Oh this is easily fixed! One thread for believers and one for debunkers!

I bet that would take the fun out of it for the debunkers!!

They could debunk them selves all day till they were blue in the face and the believers wouldn't have to take there abuse.

No fun it for the debunkers but sacrifices have to be made!

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 08:28 AM
I will reiterate what another said, it appears like you are attempting to micro-manage the people on this site - a futile effort and counter to the purpose of the site anyway.

This is not the MSM where everything is either hyperbole or whitewashed depending on the agenda. It is reality, or at least it should be.

Reality is not always pleasant, pretty and polite -- but it is far more interesting in all of its warts and discombobulations than the artificial world of the MSM.

Sometimes me thinks you try too hard, to what ends only you are aware. At least I hope so, cuz too much meddling could mess things up -- or make you a much bigger profit - not sure which is at hand.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 08:34 AM
One of the things I really miss on these boards is a way to disapprove.

One can agree with a "well done" or "good job soldier" (star and flag), but one cannot show ones disapprovement.

It is clear on the boards that "sceptics" are relatively shy when it comes to starring a given post and the "followers" often are very active.

It would be good if one could see on the Original Post that there are twenty stars, but it would be equally great if one could see that there are fourteen x'es as well. And maybe two "flags" and five "ships cannons".

Perhaps some of the negativity on the boards stem from the fact that we can only praise and not dislike?

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 08:40 AM

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

No one is suggesting any level of censorship or topical control of any type (although the potential need was posed as a question to our members).

While many posts in this thread have brought up interesting suggestions, many are either unworkable, or have been tried and failed in the past. However, a few suggestions have formed the basis for some new moderation tactics that our staff will begin to add to their daily routine, as well as some additional efforts for new members.

Ahhh. This is why I keep coming back.

You guys are just so great!

...One of the wonderful things that happens when we listen respectfully to what others have to say is that we learn #. Then we refine our own arguments and beliefs. It's an amazing process. And it's the process ATS is designed to encourage. Speaking as someone who is often quite obsessive and stubborn when I get on a rant, I can attest that it all actually works, sometimes.

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