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

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posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:09 AM
Someone needs to paint me a picture because I don't know what you are talking about SO.

[edit on 113131p://bTuesday2009 by Stormdancer777]

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:09 AM
Freedom Of Speech. That's really what ATS is suppose to be about.

'The Exchange Of Intellectual Ideas Amongst The Masses"

This may seem a bit simplistic, but isn't it just as simple as the opening three words? Excluding the Hoaxers and a few Idiots.... but aren't we all here to get a better understanding of what we personally hold dear and believe and, to steal a quote from "My Cousin Vinny", to see if what we believe "Holds Water".

Personally, I think as long as folks play nice, don't make personal attacks, don't try to spam or troll and don't become a huge pain in the ass..... then let folks Ask, Question & Debate the issues and topics that has made ATS the absolute best home on the Internet.

Let's not over think to such a degree that we rob the one thing we should all hold on to till the death.... Freedom Of Speech.

IMEO, of course.


[edit on 5/5/2009 by Dave Rabbit]

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:09 AM
It seems to me that the problem arises on topics that people feel strongly about... Race, Religion ETC...


On topics that are just completely ridiculous and outlandish.

Now the first one, you can't do much about.

But the second you can.

I actually like the "my friend is an alien and he told me blah" threads... they are light relief from some of the more serious topics.

But the problems arise when people start the insults.... someone asks someone to back up what they're saying, they get called a closed-minded skeptic and thus it begins.
It's like a formula.... the thread then runs for loads of pages and it's just pointless arguing and insults.

Then somebody goes and starts a "Skeptics (or believers) are ignorant fools" thread.
Seen it so many times and it does get very annoying.
Obviously known hoaxes are not permitted.... but how do we go about proving or disproving these more outlandish claims?

I think it's very difficult to allow debate and a tough stance and tough questioning...without upsetting somebody or without somebody losing their cool.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:10 AM
This is obviously a tough subject. I mean, where do you draw the line?

While it's certainly true that harsh criticism of a speculative theory or debunking attempt is not a personal attack, upon further review, we're seeing an unsettling increase in those who appear to be here for no purpose other than to present harsh arguments from one side of whichever fence is their preference. Where a few pointed contributions on a passionate subject may be appropriate, even welcomed, when it becomes a posting pattern or even a defining style, then it's a problem.

Just a thought, but is it possible to incorporate the Point System and the Post Bar here? If the problem seems to come from members who make a "few pointed contributions on a passionate subject" and mantain a pattern on obvious negativity then a possible solution would be a warning system that decreases in severity with increased/quality thread contributions, all based on the Point System and/or the Post Bar length/color.

This could be a logical solution to problems that has affected member contributions and will further reinstate the quality of this great site.

As I said, just a thought.....


posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:14 AM

Originally posted by sebarud

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Should we (ATS) step into some moderate editorial oversight to better police obviously outlandish topics.


Why, for instance, is a thread not labeled HOAX and the OP immediately banned after admitting posting a "story" and having a good time with it?!

No wonder people get a negative attitude. Since you asked.

That may be a good example but I for one enjoyed that thread. It gave me 2 days of entertainment. I am a regular contributing member and I say that as long as a member is following the T&C you do nothing. My 2 cents.

I feel like a lot of the negativity is coming from those who have no self confidence or self empowerment in their lives. You can always disagree without being rude or disrespectful to others.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:15 AM
A possible change would be to create believers only sub-forums, or skeptic only. But segregation is a bad thing for everyone. The exchanges between skeptics and believer are fruitful, they makes the believers more careful and factual, and the skeptics more willing to entertain far-out ideas. In theory. In practice, the misunderstanding between people interested in cold hard facts and the more speculative or imaginative people is so deep that there is no possible discussion, so it degenerates into ad hominem quickly. The moderation is already very good on ATS, and it can't be improved IMHO.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:15 AM
reply to post by Dave Rabbit

Let's not over think to such a degree that we rob the one thing we should all hold on to till the death.... Freedom Of Speech.

I agree and a little humor goes a long way, IMHO ,there are to many rules.

It gets confusing,

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:15 AM
I honestly treasure and endorse the "right" to be "wrong," often having been the benficiary of that freedom.

Conversly, or sidewise, I do not believe there is any right to be happy.

Your currnet standards seem to be sufficient, although replies to legitimate posts that consist of "lol" and ad hominem, do not add to any discussion and can be aggravating to some sensitive souls.

Short of condoning outright censorship, I don't see that there's much more to do than what the T & Cs already call for.

Maybe a little more scrutiny of the "I believe" and "What if" threads would minimize negative responsive posts.


posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:16 AM
I have been a dedicated Internet Warrior for almost twenty years and something I came to accept years ago was the fact that negitvity is part of internet culture, especially on message boards, chat rooms, etc. Personally, I try to be civil. But I would long ago have gone insane if I expected others would be civil.

Its something very basic in human psychology. Probably related to the lack of accountability on the internet. In real life, rudeness can get you in real trouble. On the net, well, you can always just log off.

There is abosolutely nothing to be done about it. And believe me, there are many places far, far worse in this respect than anything I've ever seen on ATS. And you know what? Its not always a bad thing. Truth often emerges that wouldn't otherwise. People get pushed to really dig deep into themselves, to question, to probe. Sometimes the spark of life is in the rough-and-tumble.

To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed this is even a question being asked by the board's administation. I think ATS is great and usually achieves an excellent balance in most respects. But sometimes there is a tendency to micro-manage that creates more problems than it solves. This is one of those times. You are talking about micro-managing peoples attitudes now? Doesn't that strike you as a bit heavy-handed, if not downright bizzare? Moreover, its sadly ironic coming from a board that should serve as a bastion and bulwark of free speach and the ability to proble limits and ask real questions.

Please don't Disney-fy this board. There have already been some decisions made about the limits of permissable content I'm not too happy with. Nevertheless I can live with them. When you start talking about managing user perceptions and attitudes, that's a whole other level.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:18 AM
reply to post by blupblup

I actually like the "my friend is an alien and he told me blah" threads... they are light relief from some of the more serious topics.

Yes, blup.

We need to feel free to feel and laugh and enjoy the forum too, it can get down right depressing sometimes, I would like the freedom to be myself,

"The culture of the offended" I go around worring who I am going to offend.

[edit on 113131p://bTuesday2009 by Stormdancer777]

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:19 AM
And in addition to my hopefully-not-too-lengthy screed above, let me add a few addenda:

1) These are hard times. We are going through a real rough patch and a lot stability is slipping away for a lot of people. This is not happy-happy joy time in the real world, and maybe that's getting reflected online.

2) As others here have said, nobody has "the right not to be offended." There is a saying I learned as a kid, maybe you did too: it begins with "sticks and stones..." A lot of problems with our society stem from the fact that people seem to have forgotten this saying. EVERYBODY needs to realize that you can't change what's inside others skulls by creating legislation and rules, be they actual legal rules or mearly rules in terms of "what is socially respectable." Once any person or group in power (be it a government, a business, a school, or, yes, even an internet site) starts to go down that road, you are toolin down the highway to George Orwell land. Please, let's not go there with ATS.

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

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:19 AM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

My personal take on this is that ATS has become the byproduct of it's fame.

Those who were originally attracted to ATS were (by and large) mostly of the technical and scholarly camp, seeking answers to alternative topics where there was no interest in the mainstream to approach those topics. ATS became a haven, in the early days with a sense of freedom to look at them more clinically.

Now with the fame, comes the real test of human behavior; the everyday behavior that exists beyond our monitors and keyboards. Where the ATS community was once the aforementioned, now it (by way of natural progression) has no choice but to cater to a wider circumspect.

I think the REAL question should not necessarily be one of "what should we do", maybe the question should really be "in what direction do you want to see us navigate". Do we want to navigate toward a more diverse crowd and take our bumps in the road for the (inherent and unavoidable) negativity? My vote on that would be Yes for obvious reasons. Do we want to navigate toward a regression (with a higher degree of policing and subsequent negativity based upon falsely assumed censorship)?

Again, this is just my take on what the real issue may be...


posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:22 AM
Here's the thing, there some people on ATS who get on here and post stupid topics. This is where the problem comes in because if someone ask a stupid question they are going to get a stupid answer.

There are some members who set themselves up for problems on there thread because of what they first wrote. So the problem is really with some of the thread starters who start lame threads.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:22 AM
reply to post by Stormdancer777

Definitely.... we need to take the rough with the smooth.

I personally can take any number of insults and have very thick skin.... it honestly doesn't bother me.... generally if someone starts with the personal insults.. it means I've won.

But honestly, i don't care....i can handle myself verbally.

But i kind of understand the reasoning behind the OP.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:22 AM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

as someone who is by nature a devil's advocate, i find viewpoints to challenge those presented by many posters on here. The thing is, what you say is a pattern of negative posting may only appear to be so under the contrast of those who members like myself challenge; the very point of showing an alternate viewpoint is often stomped away by overzealous posters adhering to a single point of view. The challenging poster is often attacked as being a disinfo agent or troll or worse, making that poster look bad when it is the closemindedness and ultra-defensiveness of the OP that is causing the problem.
I would imagine that is the case with a lot of the trolling and flaming that goes on here... while i have seen childish posts censored before i even get to read them, the remaining so-called "negative" posts are probably people people questioning the convictions of those presenting an argument; something those same people should be grateful for, one man's wit is to be used to sharpen another's.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:23 AM
I will say that I have severely cut back on my ATS visit time, and I will explain why-

When I first joined (2004), I found ATS content to be roughly-

1/3 Appropriate, well though content. Maybe out-there and not necessarily correct, but genuine.

1/3 Hoaxes, politcally-driven or simply "spammy" type content. Not necessarily conscious, but just useless information. The Bush administration was being blamed for EVERYTHING. They were by no means a good administration, but some of the accusations were ridiculous.

1/3 Content created by people that seemed to, quite frankly, be either incredibly gullible or even mentally ill. ATS is a natural gathering place for people that are paranoid.

Now, this was not a problem. First, because I believe everyone should have their say. Second, because It wasn't very hard to sift through the data and find what interested me.

Today, there's is the same ratio in my eyes. But now with the explosion of UGC on ATS, it's just too taxing to go through it any more. I try, but sometimes I just don't have the time or drive to do it. However, that was not the biggest problem I had, and I probably could have gotten over it.

My biggest problem, and what I believe to be the ATS administrations biggest error, was the entire issue involving a certain aviation-themed and quite well-known person, both in ATS and in the general. For everything he was, it cannot be argued his theories were completely ridiculous. Yet he was embraced by the staff, given his own forum, and even had an avatar that would make the unwary eye believe he was actually a part of the ATS staff. And as far as I know, not a single one of his "theories" was ever supported by anything other than his own content. I tend to believe giving him his own forum was as much a quarantine effort as anything, but apparently, being a "Conspiracy Master" was a function of how many pictures you could produce, not how much you could prove.

The feeling I got, and that I think many others did, was that ATS was the place where you could get ahead just by having a good story. I understand things did not end well with this certain member, but the damage was done to me. It's only compounded by the "disclaimers" above every thread. For example, the one from Aliens/UFOs-

This forum is dedicated to the discussion of historic and contemporary events related to extraterrestrial encounters, UFO sightings, and speculation about related subjects. Discussion topics and follow-up responses in this forum will likely tend to lean in favor of the existence of extraterrestrials and the related conspiracies, scandals, and cover-ups. Members who would seek to refute such theories should be mindful of\'s tradition of supporting the examination of the \"extraterrestrial phenomenon\" on the related conspiracy theories, cover-ups, and scandals.

This is not a "fair" disclaimer. It essentially states that people will be allowed to post whatever they want (as they should). However, the way the second part of the message is written gives me the impression that ATS is more interested in hearing about the conspiracy than examining it. There's nothing warning the conspiracy theorists that their posts may be subject to rigorous vetting and questioning. Once again, the feeling I get is ATS is more interested in a good story.

Is my post a solution? No. Just my personal feelings, ones I think a good number of other members share. More and more, I feel that ATS is a place where you're "supposed" the believe in Chemtrails/NWO/Aliens, and the onus is on you to prove the negative (impossible). This is not necessarily the line of the ATS admin, but it's the "will of the people" so to speak. This leads to frustration.

Now, that last thing I want is major editorial control. ATS should be the place to post whatever topic you want to and to have frank and open feedback. I also totally agree with 44soulslayer, ATS membership has grown beyond any form of content control. The problem is not the content, is the people creating the content. And I'm not sure there's a solution to this that doesn't destroy what ATS stands for.

I'm sure that people on the other side of the fence have similiar experiences and views, and I would love to hear them.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:26 AM
This is not a negative post, just a point to consider.

What if the president and congress wrote up legislation and passed laws which would aim to suppress the expression of negativity toward the government?

Laws which could be used against those who would speak negatively of the president or government in general?

It would give them the ability to shut down any dissent. It would be a power that could easily be abused, severely.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:27 AM

Originally posted by sliceNodice
I think trying to police negativity would only result in making people feel oppressed... When you try to control one's feelings, you essentially control who they are and what they say. I could see how this would result in a 'fake' vibe from people.

While policing negativity may provide some short term relief for people who can't stand negativity. In the long term it would result in a good number of people leaving this site and in addition; make people more unhappy than they already are.

Just my 2 cents...

Your 2 cents hu?
I think you need to respect T&C of ATS and RESPECT OTHERS according to the site owners (AND members) request, period!

Exucse me if I'm coarse and raw, but this is tiring.
And wadddya' mean "fake vibe.?"
Get a grip playa!! Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound?

There is nothing greater here on ATS than rolling up your sleeves and getting into it on a good discussion or debate. True dat. It's why we have friends and foes buttons......and i'm not going to aim all this towards you, I apologize......but....
However, offending another person with bigotry and *especially racially natured comments "really" doesn't contribute anything positive OR negative towards the discussion, and imo, might fall under your category of 'fake vibe' towards other people. No????
I've been here a short time so maybe my fuse isn't as short as some members (and staff members) who have been here long b4 me.
But pretty short.

Lately there has been alot more anti-semitic, and racially diverted comments on this site, and it makes me sick. WTF?

This is where I draw the line.
People like this just sidetrack discussions and literally ruin threads that others are trying to enjoy, and participate in.
You see, at some point in your life, you're gonna realize and say to yourself: That was wrong...... And I'll be certain it will come at the expense of another person's feelings anyway; But my point is, if you have no feelings and you have no grounds for a decent discussion if you just wanna HATE and pick on others, then I suggest you pack your sh*t and
join a message board where they will accept behavior, negativity, racism, profanity (I shouldn't talk on that 1) and whatever "expresses your true feelings."

Catch my drift there swifties?

[edit on 5-5-2009 by Ben Niceknowinya]

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:31 AM
reply to post by Esoterica

This post says it all really

You reap what you sow.

Looking to expand the board no matter what will get you users who then post "intresting" threads.

Now to try and turn the clock back is a bit late IMO.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:32 AM
I have confidence in our members to take care of those posters that are overly negative.

ATS is a great site. Please don't muddy the water with more restrictions.

I love you just like you are ATS.

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