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
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
AboveTopSecret.com\'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
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.