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Reaffirming Our Desire For Productive Political Debate (REVISED)

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posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 11:54 AM
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About nine months ago, in anticipation of a heated Presidential campaign and resulting fallout, we began to unofficially relax some of our "Political Trolling" rules and guidelines. While we still took action against overt political snipes and insults directed toward other members, we relaxed our rules regarding broad-swipe denigrations and disparaging alterations of the names of politicians.

Our decision wasn't so much as a policy change, but a recognition that the intensely charged political environment was inevitably going to create a unmanageable work overload for our staff.



Now, it's time to reel the rhetoric back in to ATS standards.

Those who enjoy concocting broad-stroke insults direct toward those not of their political persuasion may jerk their knee and call this a restriction of free expression... so be it.

But the overwhelming atmosphere of hate, insults, and over-the-top exaggerations is not desired here on ATS. When we see an abundance of disparaging names and hateful condescension, the atmosphere is polluted and discussion turns away from the issues and toward each other. And that, my friends, is playing into the political game "they" want you to play.



From this moment forward, the following rules apply throughout all of ATS:

(1) Politically inspired name calling of an ideological group is not allowed: examples: "Loonie Libs," "Obamaites," "Repuglicans," etc.

(2) Alterations of a politicians name, or any other high-profile political figure, for disparaging political effect is not allowed, including within member avatars and signatures.

(2a) Avatars designed exclusively to denigrate a politician or political figure, using derogatory wording or photo-manipulation, is not allowed.

(3) Posts that continually parrot previously proven false political rhetoric without substantive contribution to the topic are not allowed.

(4) Posts that stray from the discussion of the issue/topic and focus on the political affiliation of members are not allowed.

(5) All other politically-charged trolling and sniping intended, in the opinion of our staff and topic participants, to derail discussion away form the issues are not allowed.

In the event we encounter the above infractions, you risk the removal of your entire post or thread without warning or recourse.



It's no secret that we aspire to a higher-level of discourse here on ATS. It's unfortunate that our hand is being forced by the tonality of political discussions... this is something I'd rather not do. However, it's something we must do so that the issues can once again be the focus of political debate.



If you're unable to participate in political debate without engaging in making up disparaging names for those not of your affiliation, then perhaps ATS is not the place for you to discuss politics.



 

Original post has been refined to clarify two points.

[edit on 14-8-2009 by SkepticOverlord]




posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:02 PM
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Politics are a very emotional realm.

People get heated fast. (I know I have) and sometimes they say things that are rather inappropriate. It's not directly charged at the poster it's more about the idea.

If one is on one side of the issue and others are on another, the differences are going to cause strife and people will backlash.

I do like this idea, but I think it is going to be difficult for many to adhere to. Especially when rhetoric is involved.



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:02 PM
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well said!

I see so much hate based on ideology and not the facts that are at hand.. very sad and I welcome this news.

Thanks



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:03 PM
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Fully agree with this. It's not a violation of free expression to require civility on the site. The same blanket insults and BS over and over eats up space.



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:04 PM
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If only our politicians would follow these rules...

Question - Does this mean that we can't post ludicrous statements by our elected politicians that DO break these rules??



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:05 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


I hear ya. It's too easy to get sidetracked by personal insults, and you're right...this feeds into the hands of those who wish to keep bi-partisan friction alive and mobilised. I don't envy the Mods' roll in refereeing the posts, but I thank you in advance (and hope not to transgress, myself)
JC



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:05 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


(3) Posts that continually parrot previously proven false political rhetoric without substantive contribution to the topic are not allowed.



Thanks for the heads up. I've seen this go on day after day from both sides. People just tend to regurgitate hearsay as fact. Nice to know that the ATS teams have our back on this one. Otherwise ATS could loose it's hard earned reputation for being a Better Forum.



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by Iamonlyhuman
Question - Does this mean that we can't post ludicrous statements by our elected politicians that DO break these rules??

It would be best to summarize and link to it.



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:07 PM
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My parents used to say that if you couldn't convey your message without the use of vulgarity, then you needed to look at yourself.

Thanks for the reminder.



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:08 PM
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I think this makes ATS what it is. A cut above the rest. We can go anywhere on the Internet and throw political slams at each other (yuck!) and play the political game, but there's only ONE place I know of (and trust me, I've looked!
) with the standards that ATS has and the desire to get to the meat of the matter. And that's why I'm here.

Thank you and much good luck to the moderating team.



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


All I can say is thank you.



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:11 PM
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Good, now if it can actually happen, being able to simply focus on the topic and leave behind the political bickering, partisan insults, personal insults, name calling etc. not just on ATS but on a nationwide scale perhaps we could advance the human race beyond the political animal.

People are never able to see clearly when they are blinded by partisanship and political perspective. I have been on both sides of many issues and have seen how it works both ways, yet it is all too predictable and always the same.

I'm looking forward to see how this works out here.



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:12 PM
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reply to post by whatukno
 


It is a very heated issue for many. However having been on ATS for over 5 years I have no doubt that I (Im always a member first and staff 2nd), and the rest of my fellow members will be able to easily adhere to this.

Lets face it if your argument/thesis has to rely on bombastic personal attacks, sniping, or the repeated use of clearly false material (aka the "IF I shout it loud and long enough it must be true" syndrome, then perhaps its time you rethink how to better defend your position in an articulate and civil manner.



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:13 PM
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It has gotten uglier in recent days and it is important to remember we are being divided and conquered and falling prey to exactly what the Government would like us to do.

Negate our own effectiveness by discrediting ourselves in endless and pointless bickering.

I voted once in my life for Mondale!

Yet I sure get called a rabid right wing republican a lot.

This urge to put people into a camp, especially independents that they simply do not ascribe to or belong too is counter productive and insane.

It basically just boils down to, you are either with 'us' or you are with 'them'.

The reality is most people are in the middle and don't want anything to do with the extreme poles.

There are more than two sides to a debate when there are more than two sides involved and there are many, many sides involved. The stereo typing and painting with broad brushes only defeats us all.

Makes us look pretty darn silly too, and will probably keep us from being invited to A list parties and socials!



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:21 PM
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Thank you very much SO!

I think we all need a little reminding from time to time, and I really appreciate this reminder.



I for one have found the modification of peoples names into vulgarities to be rather in poor taste and, as you pointed out, distracting from the topic.

Not only that for the ones who throw names etc back and forth, it prevents you from having any really good thoughts and discourse as you are constantly thinking in defensive measures instead of opening up your mind.

The case for moderation

[edit on 9-8-2009 by HunkaHunka]



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:22 PM
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reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
 


The very thing you said i pointed out in a thread that got very heated over the POTUS.. seems crazy how some people react without facts and only think of another posters comments..

This is very much welcomed by me and im sure by a lot of fellow ATS members.

---------------------

Can we have mutter fixed and a radio show please? " off topic " dont get to talk to the boss much lol



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
or the repeated use of clearly false material (aka the "IF I shout it loud and long enough it must be true" syndrome, then perhaps its time you rethink how to better defend your position in an articulate and civil manner.



Here's the deal though...

In some of the very heated and long discussions of this type for example we will see an obviously false but very popular statement on page 1 or 2 with like 50 stars then on page 3 or 4 somebody will slam them with the true facts and it gets like 1 star. Then somebody will post the same false garbage on page 8 or 9 or 20 obviously they didn't read the Fact post. On and on we go.

I do not envy the mods on this one.



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:32 PM
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Excellent thread. Thanks for the reminder. 'nuff said.



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:32 PM
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Star and Flag! (LOL)

It's been overdue truthfully. (IMO)
As the politically charged nature of the 'debates' has at points, been accomplishing nothing more than fomenting unreasoning anger.

I am under the personal belief that many of us, not just ATS, are being steered into creating an event that might be used as a false flag.

But then, that is just me.

Now can we get a moratorium on how many U-Tube or other video links can be in one (1) single reply or originating post?

I mean seriously, scrolling through multiple vid links, just to get to meaningful discussion is annoying. And if folks are using dial up etc to connect, each and every one of those boxes eats up a load of time.

Can we not get some sort of ruling to where only one vid link, is allowed? Then if there are follow on videos in support of the first video link are needed, make them as click-able links?

We already have a rule as to how much of any external source can be quoted; so can we get a ruling on how many video boxes we have to wade past to get to a discussion?

I do not think we should be forced to scroll past a multitude of video boxes to get to the discussion. However, that is just my opinion.

M.



[edit on 9-8-2009 by Moshpet]



posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 12:34 PM
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I concur 100%.

Name calling and vulgarity laced insults in pollitical debates are rather childish.

I almost never go into political debate forums because it's just this type of behavior that I abhor.

We live in the 21st Century now and it's time we treat each other with respect regardless of political affiliations.






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