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

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posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:29 PM
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I kind of missed the rising "culture of negativity" - but i am not that long on the site anyway and can be part of this culture without really noticing.
What i would suggest to solve the problem that clearly bothers the owners - is creation of special forum. One that would allow free flow of ideas without any negative mobbing or horrible requests for prove, with iron fist help of positively-cultured enforced moderation. Then once the OP considers that he got all the positive feedback he needed to make theory float-worthy, he can post it on other forums.
Or make all forums positively-moderated, but leave one where points-thirsty cynical negative people would try to tear to shreds posts brave enough to sail there.




posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:29 PM
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In the short time that I have been here - I have come to appreciate the means by which you are presently using in dis-allowing certain information, posts and threads on the board. Clearly you are on top of it. However, I also think it a valuable suggestion to all - to ask that they attempt to limit the negativity in their posts - valuable because negativity is just that - negative - and mostly unnecessary and disruptive.

The good that does come out of negative posts - is the reminder that there are those in the world who think like this. It's a good example of the broad continuum of humans you are likely to meet everywhere - on the street - at work - at school - on forums.
SO in that way - it's a slice of the life we encounter on this planet.
A kick of reality. Practice for the encountering the masses.

[edit on 5-5-2009 by spinkyboo]



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by Blue_Jay33
 





72 hour log-in ban.



Actually, a posting ban works IMO...


When I was able to post again, I made sure I toned it down so as not to go thru those horrible withdrawals again.


If we had shock therapy available, I would have chosen that rather than a post ban...






Look - if this site does not mind being viewed as a meeting place for the gullible (no, not everyone...) then keep it the way it is...it seems to be doing just fine along those lines anyways.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:33 PM
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Should we (ATS) step into some moderate editorial oversight to better police obviously outlandish topics as well as those who post nothing but negativity?


Absolutely not, no, not ever.

ATS will become the very antithesis of it's ideology: free speech and the ability to debunk opinions/threads.

God forbid, the fear of being banned for discussing the outlandish topics such as 'Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster', which has much more validity then any BS religion preached for a millennium.

The whole point in forums, is to let it grow and expand. Let users self police content if they aren't thick skinned enough to appreciate any comment, then they can just press ignore, case closed.

If content became policed, i will instantly go elsewhere!



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by Blue_Jay33


Use the baseball system, three strikes and your out.
1st public, 2nd private U2U, 3rd 72 hour log-in ban.

Then the inning system from baseball if this happens, 3 times, 1 month
log-in ban.


As for what to implement, if the current system is not sufficient (I believe it is), then I agree with Blue_Jay33's above idea, or at least some variation of it.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Easily 90% of those claiming to be active in the "Truth Movement" are intensely rebellious rabble-rousers unable to engage normal people in a civil discussion of facts. And I've often said, many times, the "Truth Movement" is the worst thing ever to have happened to online conspiracy communities.

It's also probably singlehandedly what put ATS on the mainstream map. 90%? In contrast, what percentage of 911 'skeptics' do you figure are here just to engage in 'civil discussion of facts'? We've probably compiled the most comprehensive data available on 9-11 (now labeled by you guys as 9-11 Conspiracy Theories). In the context of this thread, that's one of the creepier things I've read here in a while SO.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:37 PM
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I don't see it as a culture of negativity. To me, as a long time lurker, it seems to me that ATS is biased on some issues (for example the neutrality of the chemtrail debate, despite this supposed neutrality fly in the face of available information) and completely intolerant of the discussion of others (zionism and psychotropic experiences come to mind).

I have also seen a tendency of quasipsychopathic exteriorization here, where when certain figures in ATS want to achieve something they project a false problem so that they rationalize their subsequent actions. One good example was the alleged lack of civility in the drug use threads, which only seemed to be apparent to moderation, with very few of the user base even noticing such a thing.

I may lose my posting rights for what I have just posted, rumour has it that a few users have already been nuked for similar candidness, but if that is the case so be it. Truthfullness forces me to say it how I see it. Most of the moderation on these boards is apropriate, but there is a tendency, especially from those that are the board "owners" to want these forums to be what they want, when they want it.

The above might be their right, but it is not what makes a community. It is a top down vertical hierarchy, which I think is disrespectfull of both the opinions and the participation of the thousands of people that make ATS actually relevant. Managing a community and setting up the goal posts is one thing, and is acceptable, engineering a community and defining how people behave is another thing, and probably falls more in the category of what ATS is focused on exposing that being a legitimate way of running this site.

But, at the end of the day this is a private site, and anyone posting here should realise there is a fundamental assimetry here, with the ownership having power and, per T&C, the rest of us basically, and I apologise for being vulgar, being their "bitches".

To end on a positive note, this is not an exclusive ATS problem. This happens on pretty much every forum I post on, and seems to be a basic human inability to treat great masses of people with respect and fairness. It's as if our monkey mind circuits don't function with the same social programming in this situation and I would add that were I on the other side I would possibly also be guilty of the same sort of behaviour. It's a case of the environment shaping the behaviour imo.

My 5c. Please take the Yin with a bit of Yang.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:40 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


I think it's potentially damaging to start restricting opinions based on level of "negativity" (that's an extremely ambiguous area, base on the opinions of those in a position to cast judgment).
Even if no direct restrictions are placed on people, simply suggesting this idea is in itself controlling debate and free discussion.

I think I am guilty of being a "negative" poster, but always when reason is abandoned and intelligence and common sense are lost in the pursuit of a fantasy. And more so when it's in the completely wrong thread.

It's happening a lot recently, and especially in relation to the breaking news on H1N1. There is a thread discussing the news and updates (ie, facts) constantly experiencing posts relating to FEMA camps and the NWO. This is not helpful, and I have pointed this out several times, giving facts and evidence while they offer nothing but speculation and regurgitated Alex Jones craziness.

IMO, there is a big difference between valid conspiracy theory (based on evidence, facts, research and knowledge) and the wild, baseless speculations that offer no evidence or even common sense, they're just nonsense written by people with a paranoid mind. But just as it is my right to state that, it is their right to start that discussion.

I don't think it is wise to start "cracking down" on people expressing either side. From my perspective, I'd like the opportunity to ask such people why they think a certain way, or to show evidence for their assumptions. And when they raise such things in the wrong thread (especially when there are already a hundred threads relating it to the NWO, FEMA camps and government conspiracies, and all without any evidence) it should be pointed out.

I came to this site seeking interesting information and discussion about some subjects that fascinated me. But I am increasingly finding that the vast majority of it is baseless, paranoid, suspicious rambling with nothing to back it up.
People should have the freedom to point that out when it is the case, if that is their opinion. Just as people have the freedom to start threads without any facts or evidence for it.

On top of this, I think there is far too much controlling going on. First, posters are advised to stick to their guns and offer a good argument. Then we're told that there's too much negativity.
This all smacks of Admins wishing to control debate far too much.

I use several forums, and the majority stick to standard codes which restrict the use of bad language, refuse racial, sexist and homophobic language etc...
That is all a forum needs.

ATS seems to be heading in the direction of censoring everything unless it fits with a very specific model (more than one line, no "negativity", "maintain your argument" etc...)

People should be allowed to say it if they think an idea is ridiculous, just as people should be allowed to say that Aliens have climbed inside their brain and set up camp.

I'm beginning to think this isn't the place I thought it was. All this talk of posters being "negative" suggests that some are wishing to control debate far too much.
If that's the case, I think I might find another forum where posters can say they've been abducted by Aliens without offering any evidence for it, and I can reply in honesty stating that I think their assumptions are unfounded and ridiculous.

Having said all of this, it's your site. You can do what you want with it. But I think you're tinkering too much with freedom of opinion. And when you do, you start losing support.

Finally, will this post result in me having my wrist slapped for being "negative"?
And do you therefore see my argument?



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by tallcool1
For example, I am one of the "closed minded skeptics" of alien visitation. I have thick enough skin and have been around long enough to answer the same old criticisms, but with this "karma" button, there would be the whole "church" of alien visitation giving me negative "karma" simply because I don't believe the same as them. And to be honest, I would likely be tempted to do the same. So it would just end up being a "point war" between believers and skeptics.


Im going to pick on this guy to show how this sort of thinking breeds alot of negativity from me."Closed minded skeptic"why are you here?Im not saying you do it, but Ive seen many others that come to this site to debunk, thats it ,no other reason.Its an conspiracy website!Go to skeptics anon if you dont believe.And another thing while Ive got my head up is people who post religous views as fact,man that really gets me going.Thats where you should be policing.There are alot of people that come here that probably should be somewhere else,Im not saying they cant come, it just mystifies me why they are here.Yes this is a negative post and most of the time I tend to follow the rule of if you have nothing nice to say...but Overlord asked, so I gave what bugs me.Tallcool1,nothing personal mate.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Maybe the mods at ATS need sensitivity training. And a lot of them do not understand hyperbole, and then they punish and call you names when you try to get a straight answer out of them. That is frustrating, for certain.

I think some negativity occurs when mods interpret and enforce the T&C in an ill-manner and it pisses people off. Just sayin'.

[edit on 5-5-2009 by pluckynoonez]



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:44 PM
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reply to post by WarmthofSunlight
 


Wow. I love it. One of the most thought out and well expressed posts I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I especially approve of the understanding of human nature and the rank and file hierarchy we set up as easily as breathing.

Essentially, we all over use our power and rationalize it with "it's mine so I can". And we all rail against such behavior.

Yin and Yang. Perfect.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:44 PM
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While I agree that one can't be overly sensitive I also like to think that one doesn't need full body armor to come here and share ideas.

I have seen countless times new members with an opening post with an attitude of fear regarding how their idea and thoughts will be received.

Often I see statements made by the new members asking the community to not be rip them up to bad. There should not be this feeling of fear and apprehension, but rather a welcoming attitude by others in the community who can be supportive and understanding how it feels to be vulnerable with alternative ideas and stories.

It is one thing to have discussion and to voice skepticism and quite another to ridicule someone into embarrassment when they are new and even a bit shy about exposing some of the thoughts they aren't comfortable sharing in their personal worlds, and are seeking an outlet to express the ideas or accounts of happenings.

Many would like to see this as a safe place to do so. It usually is, but often it seems to be sport for some to show their grand egos and perceived knowledge at the expense of others.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:45 PM
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An addendum to my previous post:

People should ask whether ATS is pro or con individualism. Conspiracy theorists tend to be free thinkers, if not they would not be on these boards, as by implication it means a rejection of the mainstream group culture to a significant degree. ATS was made on individualism.

What good is it to herd people into group behaviour, by, using the hegelian dialetic, classifying certain ideasets as "culture of negativity" and combating them, replacing them, presumably, with a homogenized culture. With drones.

Posters on ATS are alphas, at the very least in the sense that they think for themselves (for the most part). I think SO should rethink his posture, because to assume himself as the alpha and ATS membership as the thought drones or betas might have a negative impact on the continued growth and good standing which this site currently enjoys.

Or, to put it even simpler, such dogmatic and authoritive stances as denouncing "cultures" seem a bit biased and self-serving and perhaps made more on ego than actual merit.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:45 PM
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It seems to me since this a conspiracy/alternative subject board that there do seem to be an inordinate number of people who are total skeptics about everything. Sometimes I wonder if some are not like a few people I have known who will take an opposite stance on a subject regardless of their real beliefs..just to be argumentative. I don't know how one would ever monitor that.

Then there are the people who in the case of certain subjects just refuse to give any credence to any post. If one is of the opinion they will never believe for example anything about UFO's or alien visitation until the landing on the White House lawn, seems they should just go sit there and wait and let the rest of us discuss the subject in an open minded manner without being beat on and made to sound like total fools.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:46 PM
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I think that unless every single member refuses to post negative things, more negativity will spurt out in defense. Moderation and consequences are the only things that can be done. Otherwise it would be difficult to determine what is a chronic trend for a member as opposed to a one-time incident. I think they should be treated as one-time incidents because otherwise the forums would be bare.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:46 PM
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Well, I'm a lurker. I do what lurkers do best - I lurk.

However, I'm going to expose my toad like lurker skin to the sun, (risky for my species) and contribute if I can.

This site has a motto "Deny Ignorance". My vote is stick to that aim.

This is where my idea of a "Truthometer" comes in. The flag system is great, and allows people to mark threads they feel are important. However it does have issues with people going mad with flags, and also flagging threads that aren't necessarily based in fact. Such as the mooted 'Troll' events.

I would suggest having another thread 'voting' system, alongside flags. That of a truthometer. REGISTERED MEMBERS only can then use one vote per thread, to suggest they feel the thread is peeling back the veil of ignorance, and enlightening everyone concerned. That way, the threads that are interesting but not necessarily truthful, are viewed in the way they should be - with scepticism, but genuine interest. The variation in topic and fun inputs are both upheld.

More importantly, the truthful threads can be kept aside to be subject to genuine debate and scrutiny. (And in my view, policed a little tighter due to the quality of the input.)

ON A DIFFERENT NOTE -

I will suggest however, that the rising 'negativity' you are seeing, is also due to the polarisation of global society.

TO CONTROL OR NOT TO CONTROL? That is the question folks.

The people who believe in greater control by 'elites' of all kinds, are naturally fighting (and vice versa) those who believe that most humans are invariably similar and worthy of controlling their own destiny. Tribal Anthropology at it's rawest.

I think the site should implement another feature. "TRIBES".

Which tribe do you belong to? Are you a 'GLOBAL ELITIST' who believes that the stupid morons on the factory floors simply aren't intelligent enough to make the world a better place? Are you a 'GAIAN' who believes that we must renounce technology and become Amish? Are you a 'ZEITGEISTER' that believes the NWO are advancing, and must be stopped at all costs - first off by removing the monetary for profit system from the world?

To have a useful and fair debate, sides must be taken - PUBLICLY. No hidden agendas, no puerile backhanded comments. This would also help advance different schools of thought as different TRIBES specialise in different theory strands. As any econommist can tell you - when an organisation gets large enough, Specialisation is key.

On the flip side...

This would encourage the truth to emerge. Evidence would be procured and substantiated by different tribes to win Kudos for their faction. Self policing of trolls and other morons would reduce the trash threads and posts (including replication). Imagine a yearly competition between tribes to produce the most groundbreaking theories and motherloads of hidden truths?

Yes my friends, ATS as we all know it needs to evolve - the environment it finds itself in is changing. If it doesn't it becomes just another talking shop that the NWO loves to laugh at.

My two pence worth. Yes I'm a Brit.

The Para.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:48 PM
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it's potentially dangerous (and, in fact, suspicious) to even be asking these questions of the ATS 'public' -- it smells way too much like regulation and control..

..now.. I suppose the ATS Board has the right to do with 'their' site what they want, but they can rest assured that they will lose thousands of subscribers if we smell a rat

..just saying..

I say let the truth emerge from the muck and mire of seeming chaos; that's the only way we can be sure that it's the real truth!!

Ultimately, reason, common sense, and intuition will win out..

..besides, we may enlighten some of the so-called 'stink-thinkers' and 'lonely wackos'.. that would make the world a better place, just a little, wouldn't it?



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:48 PM
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Who is to say what is reasonable or what is unreasonable? I'd say your current rules are about as far as you can go without defeating your own purpose. Let the idea's flow.

One exception in my mind would be perhaps the obvious hate threads. That is a bit out of control. We can all simply ignore the silly threads and by doing that I think they will go away when they receive no attention.

Many appear to come from very young people and you can't hold them to the same standard as an older more mature perspective. A young person still in school can't be expected to have the same thoughts as someone with kids their age who see things through the filter of years of dealing with issues they have yet to experience. I started out with a radical anti-war, anti-establishment point of view. Now I'm a much older person with a pragmatic, common sense attitude who when I look back can't believe the things that spewed out of my mouth when I was young.

I guess what I'm getting to is that all you can do is have plenty of Mod's and deal with issues individually for fairness. The best moderation I would think is taking a moment to walk in the other persons shoes before reacting and the Mod's here seem to do a great job of just that.

The amount of hatred spewed forth in the threads on Religion however is a bit over the top. Some of the threads are obviously just an attempt to hurt people through verbal abuse. Things like blaming a whole class of people for the actions of a few. It does reflect the bad side of the real world, so I guess in a sense it is to be expected. I see no difference between it and Racism however. It comes from the same mentality that has divided us all along. Is there truly a difference between the KKK and the angry anti-Religion crowd? There is not. Only the target of the hate is different.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by Moreonethananyone

Originally posted by tallcool1
For example, I am one of the "closed minded skeptics" of alien visitation. I have thick enough skin and have been around long enough to answer the same old criticisms, but with this "karma" button, there would be the whole "church" of alien visitation giving me negative "karma" simply because I don't believe the same as them. And to be honest, I would likely be tempted to do the same. So it would just end up being a "point war" between believers and skeptics.


Im going to pick on this guy to show how this sort of thinking breeds alot of negativity from me."Closed minded skeptic"why are you here?Im not saying you do it, but Ive seen many others that come to this site to debunk, thats it ,no other reason.Its an conspiracy website!Go to skeptics anon if you dont believe.And another thing while Ive got my head up is people who post religous views as fact,man that really gets me going.Thats where you should be policing.There are alot of people that come here that probably should be somewhere else,Im not saying they cant come, it just mystifies me why they are here.Yes this is a negative post and most of the time I tend to follow the rule of if you have nothing nice to say...but Overlord asked, so I gave what bugs me.Tallcool1,nothing personal mate.


I am here to debate. To me, alien visitation is just as silly as my belief in God is to you. If I make a post about God or my Christian beliefs, I fully expect people to question or even mock my belief. But we should be respectful to the person. You people post your alien religion as fact and have no more proof than I do about God. So I may mock your belief, but I try to respect the person. If I cross that line, I should be warned or have my post removed or whatever. Again, if we remove the "debate" part of this, then we're left with a boring pile of posts from like minded people congratulating each other on how right they are with no opposing views. I have just as much right to say there are no aliens visiting earth as you do to say that my God is a foolish caveman belief. So we disagree and argue a bit. That's what this site is about - we just need to try to respect one another.
And I did not take your post personal - I took it as part of the reason I joined. Question other beliefs and have my own beliefs questioned. My views on some things have definately changed due to the debates here.



posted on May, 5 2009 @ 01:53 PM
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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.



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