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

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posted on May, 6 2009 @ 11:04 AM
One of the most interesting suggestions I ever heard about negativity was in a workplace group training session led by a psychologist. Her advice:

"For a given day, notice the proportion of positive to negative comments you make ... if you find that the percentage of your negative comments outweigh the positives, perhaps you might want to do something about that."


I agree that the suggested solutions you have come up with are another good step in the right direction.

Additionally, in management theory, a key question is, "What kind of behavior does the system reward?" In other words, does ATS do enough to reward positive behavior? This is a common challenge faced at a lot of online sites.

[edit on 5/6/2009 by Uphill]

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 11:08 AM

Many of the changes are now functional. Including a quick-read Simplified Terms and Conditions that get right to the heart of the matter.

New members cannot create threads until after their 20th post, however, when they make the attempt before the 20th post, they're given a list of helpful links... as well as suggestions for how to contact staff if they believe they have an important topic that must be posted right away.

The newly revised "Join ATS" page makes mention of the "three-month probationary" aspect, and now plays this video automatically"

(click to open player in new window)

New member confirmation emails now include additional information about our expectations of civility and decorum.

The [HOAX] Forum is operational and many existing hoax threads have been moved.

Our staff now has some additional tools to quantify the number of complaints and alerts for new and existing members in an effort to better notice who are the habitual disruptors that contribute nothing to the topics.

Again, thanks to everyone who help discuss this important issue. And as always, if you see something are staff should know about, use the alert links.

[edit on 6-5-2009 by SkepticOverlord]

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 03:59 PM

Originally posted by hadriana
I think you should realize - at least from my experience - is that it is not just here. It isn't just on conspiracy sites and it is not just on the web. It is pervasive.

I think some of it, on the conspiracy boards, are actually disinfo agents. I am seeing an increase in people on conspiracy type boards trying to overwhelmingly focus on grammar or constantly posting distracting topics.

I personally appreciate free speech, even if someone is berating me or my intelligence or my mama.

hi all.

when I was a student at FSU, looong long ago, I quickly discovered that
many very "intelligent" professors were deeply Cynical about life, about everything. Then I read about the professor who knew that the "heat death of the universe will have all of the stars eventually turn into dead cinders"!
"aha", I thought: here they see life as only "an inchworm climbing slowly up the wall of a descending elevator"!
*why* do anything, when death and decay will ruin it all.

Thus, I suspect that in these cynical times, any "meaning" that someone has", has to be seen as "utterly useless, and thus a target for Hits of cynicism.

a Funamental philosophy Mistake: that the philosophy of "seeing through everything", as a life-path, has the error within it of the idea of that there *is* still a philosophy that has not been seen through; that of "seeing through everything"!! One must see through Seeing Through, to get out of that trap.
[like: the Confirmed batchlor is not ever free to marry as he *must* be non-attached!]

Since some of the liberal left have taken away all Meanings, many of us are like tomatoes lying on the ground, rotting, as there are now no trellises
for the vines to climb up upon.

I see this way of life all around me, now gone down to the non-intellectual level! Bitchy kids who Rightly see through school, but have yet no alternative. On and on.

but one must find one's own life-meaning, or else *that* becomes your meaning, "no meaning"!


posted on May, 6 2009 @ 06:01 PM

Originally posted by Gools
reply to post by roadgravel

I'm referring to registration date.

As far as I'm concerned someone who is not a member can read the site as long as they want but they are not part of "the community" entitled to tell us how to run the shop.

Anybody can claim to have been a lurker for years whereas we have many members who have actually contributed to this community for those years and deserve to be heard and their opinions respected.

I liken ATS to a newspaper, something I read but have no opinion or knowledge to contribute (I would if I could). I enjoy it's content and in return I click a few adverts to do my bit to help support this great website. Most would brand me a lurker, but I see myself more as a loyal reader, a silent supporter and moreover, a long standing member of the community.

It saddens me that you would exclude me (and my opinion) from this community.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 06:18 PM
Policing? That's an interesting choice of term. I guess it's better than "control".

I don't think this is a good idea. Somebody already mentioned it and I think that's the best course: to have better moderation of the current terms and conditions, instead of imposing harsher terms.

The goal should be civilized discussion, not controlled discussion.

Originally posted by pieman
for my part, i never really see harshness or negativity as a problem unless it's either out of all proportion to the post, as in

member a: "i think i may have saw something in the sky"
member b: "where's your evidence you lying scumbag hoaxer"

haha. This is actually accurate. Instead of skeptical criticism with inquiry, there's name-calling.

Originally posted by fleabitThis sort of board breeds the sort of attitudes you want to avoid unfortunately. I wish all topics could be discussed intelligently and debated logically, but people's emotions will get the best of them.

I agree, it's human nature. More people need to use their brains more and their hearts less. It's easy to feel strongly about something (you don't have to think about it!) and that can carry on an otherwise rational and interesting discussion into a poo flinging festival.

[edit on 6-5-2009 by Lucidliving]

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 06:27 PM

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord Those who "take the piss" every once in a while in the course of a heated but productive thread have nothing to worry about.

With all due respect, I fall into that category and yet received 2 warns and docked 1,000 points for a SINGLE post. I feel I am otherwise productive. Perhaps I was doing a tad over the limit while driving through an ATS speed trap.

What gives?


posted on May, 6 2009 @ 06:50 PM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

There is a subject known as manners. It is no longer well-taught.

Its purpose is, basically, to keep a communication line open. Chopping criticism can close down the communication line between two people, and it can also basically end or close a forum thread. As the rationale of a site like this is to keep lines of communication open, there must be a way to guard against the kind of "communication" that only serves to cut a line.

The exact handling has to be up to those administering the site. But there is no way (is there?) for the staff to review every post written. Thus members must be asked to help by requesting that a post be edited or removed if it is sufficiently vicious and unmannerly.

There were, I understand, even executioners who had good manners. So there is no reason any of us should expect to be exempted from displaying them in our posts.


posted on May, 6 2009 @ 07:19 PM
reply to post by onxlet

My friend, it is not hard to make 20 replies before making a new topic post. In fact, most of the posts that I have made are responses to others and not topics that I myself have created. I assume that most people are this way as well. You are welcome here, my friend, as everyone else is. It is just that civility and good order should be retained in our discussions. Is this such a terrible thing? Asking people to make 20 replies to other topics before making one of there own is entirely logical.

Is it not rightly said that, “Those who lead should first learn to follow others”?

[edit on 6-5-2009 by Hot_Wings]

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 07:36 PM
reply to post by onxlet


I think you missed the point entirely...

Your registration date is 2004, how in the world would you think you fit into what was described in your quote?


posted on May, 6 2009 @ 08:14 PM
I'm just glad to see an evolutionary adjustment in the positive. It is always inevitable and likely more for the future as ATS evolves. Without change a breakdown is assured.

I bet we will see more positive flow and shares of good information without the off topic drama that just puts drag on the posts. Looking forward to the future

I may stand a bit straighter too. That can only increase your height!

Thanks for the influx of good mutations.

(Why is the Beach Boys music going off in my head???)


posted on May, 6 2009 @ 08:18 PM
reply to post by Springer

The point of the thread is not lost on me, nor are the rules you have set in place with regards recent issues, the opinion I quoted was my concern with regards lurkers not being of equal importance to how the website is conducted (perhaps I read too much into it).

I've skipped much of the thread (followed from U2U's), i'll re-read and try to comprehend better.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 08:20 PM
Just curious, but would this be the reason why i am not allowed to upload media ?

"No Permission!

You do not have permission to submit media!

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 08:24 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on May, 6 2009 @ 08:47 PM
The last poster.............

You are so right!

I thought all along this was addressing the dis info position that was so prevalent on the board, but as I watch it unfold I see what is really taking place.

More constraints, limiting the new members all the while in my little world I thought we were protecting the new members.............

SO..............I thought you cared about the content of the site and the members posting here, but as this thread has evolved I realize my own gullibility and I am ashamed.............

This I thought was about protecting some from the negativity when in fact it is protecting the disinfo's from being subject to allowing the active presence they have on the forum.

It seems like the culture here is for the growth of skepticism rather than the growth of new thought.

I hope I am wrong.............

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 09:30 PM
reply to post by otterpal

It's very difficult to keep a conversation going and listening to what our members want to say when the same previously banned member keeps popping their head back in from different names and repeating the same accusations.

Is that your idea of helping?

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 09:37 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on May, 6 2009 @ 09:41 PM
Yes, asking for input from the members clearly means we want to do terrible things.

Asking people to be polite and respectful... also terrible.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 09:44 PM

Originally posted by interestedalways
SO..............I thought you cared about the content of the site and the members posting here, but as this thread has evolved I realize my own gullibility and I am ashamed.............

How can you possible classify our efforts in this thread as not caring about the content or members of ATS? I'm truly amazed that you, or anyone, would jump to such a conclusion.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 09:46 PM
I love this. The creation of the hoax thread is a great idea to because it will show the outside world that we do infact make an effort to "out" hoaxers and present those hoaxes in one space.

I like the new idea for the most part although I do feel that the 3 month probationary period which would also include making it easier for a new member to be recognized as new, might creat an issue with people treating newer members as if they are not as important or that their opinions do not count as much as a vetarans does.

I am wondering if we will see what I coin as a "newb effect"

In other words all the newer members being treated less respectfully by veterans do to their official status as a "new member"

I don't know. that is just a concern that I wanted to bring up.

Other than that I have no concerns.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 09:52 PM

Originally posted by gimme_some_truth
I love this. The creation of the hoax thread is a great idea to because it will show the outside world that we do infact make an effort to "out" hoaxers and present those hoaxes in one space.

The "[HOAX]" forum is intent to serve two purposes. First, to provide a repository of the topics that have either proven to be a hoax, or for topics with the vast majority of participating members feel it's a hoax or fraud (perhaps at no fault of the thread author)... the forum has actually been a somewhat popular request for some time. Second, to address the concerns of many members that we've been "censoring" topics we feel are hoaxes... the forum, with flags and stars omitted, now provides a venue where discussion may continue.

I do feel that the 3 month probationary period which would also include making it easier for a new member to be recognized as new, might creat an issue with people treating newer members...

This is already in place, and visible only to our staff. The goal is to help us recognize who may be a new member and more quickly address problems that might otherwise cause problems later.

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