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Reaffirming Our Desire For Productive Political Debate (REVISED)

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posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 12:02 PM
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The post wasn't off topic, it was critical of the new rules and the staff on this site, just like this ones gonna be.
This is exactly what everyone here is trying to fight and I've bloody had it with ATS censoring people with a view that doesn't fit their personal political views. This site really has gone to the crapper.

My post directly questioned the reasoning behind the modified pictures rule and the fact that it seems it was made to stop people from using the Obama joker picture.

It also asked about the "previously proven false" part and who decides what has and hasn't been "proven false" using Obamas place of birth as an example.

I then went on to question if the owners of this site may have financial reasons for making all these rules to protect Obamas followers since they have made it clear for a long time that their only in it for the money.

I know how much this site is worth on the open market and I know how much it makes in ads each day, and that's why I don't click em....

And I've kept a copy of this one just in case you try to censor me again.....


Originally posted by SG-1-9er

 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 







posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by SG-1-9er
 




My post directly questioned the reasoning behind the modified pictures rule and the fact that it seems it was made to stop people from using the Obama joker picture.


Yes. I find this a little absurd and has gone a little too far in my opinion, but perhaps I am just ignorant of the real reason. I can understand the name calling and other ad hominem remarks, but one's avatar is a way to portray one's opinion without the use of words. So, I agree with you to an extent there.



reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 




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.


Just to point out an exception, I do not fall into the category of insulting people, yet I feel as if the avatar rule is "a restriction of free expression".

Was there really that many people starting or digressing into arguments based off of one's avatar directly? Or, do you just think that the avatars contributed indirectly i.e. people would attack with insults, not in regards to the avatars explicitly, but insult them with "Neo-con", etc?

Thanks.

[edit on 15-8-2009 by Unlimitedpossibilities]



posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 09:59 PM
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Originally posted by SG-1-9er
This is exactly what everyone here is trying to fight and I've bloody had it with ATS censoring people with a view that doesn't fit their personal political views.

There is no censorship. You are more than free to express your opinion on politics and a broad range of provocative topics. But please do so without insults or taunting.




My post directly questioned the reasoning behind the modified pictures rule and the fact that it seems it was made to stop people from using the Obama joker picture.

You are incorrect. The rule is broad-based, and would apply just as much to (new) avatars that insult republicans for the purpose of taunts.




I then went on to question if the owners of this site may have financial reasons for making all these rules to protect Obamas followers

We've made it exceptionally clear that these rules are in place to ensure that all sides of the political debate may engage in civil discourse on issues, rather than each other.



since they have made it clear for a long time that their only in it for the money.

???
We have? Where?




I know how much this site is worth on the open market and I know how much it makes in ads each day,

No, you do not.



posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:22 PM
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reply to post by SG-1-9er
 


because of posts like yours mate...

ATS is about debates not mud slinging ... What do you think bill is doing?? being a pain in your arse for the fun of it???

Hes is trying to run a forum with over 11 thousand people on it

How about you make a forum then see how easy it is because i know for one ITS not going to happen

that is why YOU ARE ON ATS.. get my point?

The rules bill has put in place ARE valid AND needed and do you know why?

because people GO OFF on one and its got to a point were ATS needs to control it because SOME members are going way way over the top.

I hope that helps.. and being off topic?? I was BANNED from ATS

You need to LEARN how to use ATS as a SERVICE you have to be polite and respect others views without resorting to INSULTS.

and that is why I welcome it ...

I Love ATS and i hope like you i am able to talk to fellow people without being insulted.. or called snarky names ect ect

and i DO respect you opinion and that is what is LACKING via the debates on the political end of the ATS spectrum

Dan - Head of communications for double-digital

have a nice day or night depending on your location and the rotation of our planet..



posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 02:33 AM
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Originally posted by symmetricAvenger
ATS is about debates not mud slinging

Yes and I'm debating the reasons behind these rule changes.


Originally posted by symmetricAvenger
Hes is trying to run a forum with over 11 thousand people on it

How about you make a forum then see how easy it is because i know for one ITS not going to happen

Been there and done that, and you know what? I did it without censoring people. It wasn't a CT forum but it was bigger then ATS



Originally posted by symmetricAvenger
ATS needs to control it because SOME members are going way way over the top.

Like in the same way the people need to be controlled by there governments?


Originally posted by symmetricAvenger
I hope that helps.. and being off topic?? I was BANNED from ATS

You need to LEARN how to use ATS as a SERVICE you have to be polite and respect others views without resorting to INSULTS.


Yes but my post wasn't off topic and it didn't break the TC or I would of been removed for that reason, instead it was removed for be "off-topic" and I think I clearly shown that it was on topic and the removal of my post was nothing more than censorship. It was removed for off-topic because they couldn't find a real reason to remove it.


Originally posted by symmetricAvenger
and that is why I welcome it ...

I Love ATS and i hope like you i am able to talk to fellow people without being insulted.. or called snarky names ect ect


I have no argument against being civil to each other but I don't feel that is what these rules are about, they are designed to benefit one side of the debate not the debate as a whole.


Originally posted by symmetricAvenger
have a nice day or night depending on your location and the rotation of our planet..

lmao, I'll have to remember that one.

Now, on to SkepticOverlord's reply

You still haven't answered the most important question, who decides what has and hasn't been "proven false" because as I said in my first post that was censored, anyone in Obamas camp will tell you the birth certificate issue has been proven false but the rest of the world might disagree.

To a great number of people on this site the existence of UFO's and aliens has been "proven false" but there is also a great many that would disagree.

Man made global warming has been "proven false" to me, but many still disagree with my views.



Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
There is no censorship.

Yeah there is or I wouldn't of had to rewrite my objection to these rules.



Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
You are incorrect. The rule is broad-based, and would apply just as much to (new) avatars that insult republicans for the purpose of taunts.

It just happened to come along a few weeks after the Obama picture came out, and as it happens the Obama picture is the only avatar picture being used that would fall under this rule that I've seen.




Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
We've made it exceptionally clear that these rules are in place to ensure that all sides of the political debate may engage in civil discourse on issues, rather than each other.

As i said to symmetricAvenger, these rules make the debate not just civil but one sided. I'm all for civil debates, but not biased one side debates.



Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
No, you do not.


Actually, yes I do, or I wouldn't of said it.



posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 04:43 AM
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reply to post by SG-1-9er
 

I read your post, and recommend not assuming it didn't deserve a warning simply because one wasn't issued. It did.

Please see: Ad Hominem Attacks And You.

If you disagree with ATS policy, that's fine, you're welcome to do so. But as a member, you are still obligated to comply with it, and if you truly believe that arguments based on personal attacks and false allegations constitute "civil debate", then your definition is incompatible with ATS standards for discussion.

I also suggest carefully reading this thread from the beginning, taking note of the support being expressed by members whose opinions range across the entire political spectrum, considering that it reflects feedback the staff has been receiving both publicly and privately for a very, very long time and abandoning a line of argument based on assumptions that aren't supported by facts.

The topic is: Reaffirming Our Desire For Productive Political Debate (REVISED).

Please stay on topic and remember that courtesy is mandatory.

Thanks.



posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by SG-1-9er
You still haven't answered the most important question, who decides what has and hasn't been "proven false" because as I said in my first post that was censored, anyone in Obamas camp will tell you the birth certificate issue has been proven false but the rest of the world might disagree.

I would think it's rather easy to discern the difference between a conspiracy theory that's been discussed for over a year (Obama's "natural born" status), and extremist talking points, such as "death panels." Just because the extreme-right has picked up on a conspiracy theory doesn't mean that it's been invalidated.



Again... for those unable to discuss politics without hateful and insulting vitriol, you won't last long. It's really very simple.



posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by SG-1-9er
 





Been there and done that, and you know what? I did it without censoring people. It wasn't a CT forum but it was bigger then ATS


But ATS is not? You only have to look at the subjects on the board!! This subject is about how people talk to each other with respect..

You could be a lefty or a righty but thats not the issue bill is talking about its the fact that some members are INSULTING each other way to much... sure u can have a some what mental view of a given subject and hate it.. i do myself but i do it without INSULTING the person.

I had to learn that my self friend.. like i said ATS is the ONLY forum i like because they want to keep it civil

and i can not see why you would not welcome the new rules?

And you was off topic because the topic is NOT about ATS telling you to shut your trap on views you like BUT when you signed up to USE this site it did state HAVE CIVILITY AND MANNERS when talking to other members about a subject no matter what your views are.

You signed up for it. and if you do not like it then you are FREE to cross over the road : ) no one is forcing you to be here my friend





As i said to symmetricAvenger, these rules make the debate not just civil but one sided. I'm all for civil debates, but not biased one side debates.


They dont because the debate is based on the TOPIC that all members are free to post about as long as its not promoting illegal things "logic" and since i have been here i have seen some crazy topics..

Jupiter has blown up... I was thinking ARE YOU INSANE??? and that is why i was banned Comments like that on reflection are very insulting to people who do not understand how our little solar system works..

Did I stop to think that it was insulting to them? No.. So everytime i post something i Engage my brain be for i Type with the undertanding that WE are all the same... just people..

We can all have views on subjects each one of us has his and her on view but being nice is not that hard "trust me"

There are better ways to debate a subject than to name call.. and sometimes people do not even realize they are doing it.

Take that from me frist hand...

So I do welcome the changes because the more we focus on the topics and not each others views the better because thats how we get to the truth.

I will give you a quick understanding of what i mean with a very good question i posted on ATS

are you ready?

If you live on a sphere what way is up?

Now you understand how complex this can be..

Kudos to ATS
and its staff for doing there best its not easy and considering you have been a member of staff for "someone" then you can understand "i hope" what they are trying to do.. and look at the response in this thread alone .. I am happy and the vast peeps my little ats lovers are also.. but some will "like yourself" have a reason to differ on the matter... but is that not what you are doing? now? is that not what ats is providing you? a voice?

seems a bit ironic


[edit on 16-8-2009 by symmetricAvenger]



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 07:54 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
(2a) Avatars designed exclusively to denigrate a politician or political figure, using derogatory wording or photo-manipulation, is not allowed.


Clarification on this please? The Obama "Joker" picture is clearly designed to denigrate and uses photo manipulation (I don't think he put on that make-up and posed for that picture). So, according to this rule, that photo is not permitted to be used as an avatar here, yet I see it used on the board.

What am I missing?

Thank you.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 07:57 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
that photo is not permitted to be used as an avatar here, yet I see it used on the board.

I've not seen it.

It's hard to see everything. I've removed a few "Evil Bush" avatars that I've come across, but haven't seen the Joker yet. U2U me a link to a post and I'll have a look.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 08:11 AM
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Hum, sorry to bring this to this thread but I don't see why posting pictures of political figures with enhancements that are not profanity or dirty and nasty in nature is now to become banned.

I find that kind of oppressive.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 07:14 PM
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reply to post by marg6043
 


That rule in particular does seem to be a bit over the top, if it's not profane it's hard to get behind it not being acceptable. On the other hand, as we've witnessed here on ATS during times of rabid politics that some people live and breath their political parties, and they probably complain and report to the mods endlessly about what they see as a defamation of everything they live for, lol. I know, it's sad. Also, i think those images kinda set the tone of what the poster is going to say before the post is even read, and it can be argued that they help set the stage for the mudslinging by upsetting those deeply entrenched in the opposing party. Personally, i think they should ALL grow up a little bit, then maybe there wouldn't need to be so many rules for the rest of us.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 08:15 PM
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reply to post by 27jd
 


I understand, that the pictures can bring debate even before somebody reading that persons post.

But taking into consideration that even the supreme court cases on freedom of speech with relation to public figures defend the rights to expression I still find it kind of oppressive specially in ATS that defend freedom of speech within the guidelines of decorum.

Avatars of political figures that are after all public figures as long as they are within decorum I don't see anything wrong with some of them been manipulated and enhanced.

After all people like to use their favorite public, religious and political figures and idols in their avatars.

This will open the door to banning all manners of figures or idols be real or ideological because members tamper with them.



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 08:23 PM
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reply to post by 27jd
 




Also, i think those images kinda set the tone of what the poster is going to say before the post is even read, and it can be argued that they help set the stage for the mudslinging by upsetting those deeply entrenched in the opposing party.


Yes. Perhaps because us humans have a natural tendency to prejudge and presuppose. Although the avatar restriction still bothers me, especially since that rule is being implemented here on ATS, I can see the benefits of having such a rule. Of course, I have not seen the evidence backing this rule so all I can do is trust Skeptic Overlord.

Its amazing. Two people arguing and throwing degrading names around could actually be in agreement sometimes, yet because of the presupposing, this occurs. :shk: I find a lot of arguments to be that way.

My rule...Always define my terms relative to me beforehand!


[edit on 17-8-2009 by Unlimitedpossibilities]



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 08:47 PM
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Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

For whatever it's worth, I understand and share some of the concerns being expressed here. We're in a difficult position, and it's not a pleasant place to be.

I'm not personally fond of placing too many restrictions on avatars, and consider the ability of our membership to express themselves pictorially to be one of the cooler things about our mini-profiles.

But as someone who is forced as both a member and a moderator to wade through reams of tedious, juvenile garbage that supposedly passes for "debate" these days, I can definitely see the need for it.

I spent years on other, more politically-oriented boards loaded with such images and brainless insult-trading before discovering ATS offers something better, and I really don't want to see that which makes ATS better -- our commitment to scholarly, civil discussion -- drown in a sea of pointless stupidity.

The problem with inflammatory avatars is the same as the problem with inflammatory posts. People react to them, the reaction is rarely constructive and the quality of discussion deteriorates as a result. As things have stood, avatars have been routinely used by some members for political trolling, and disrespect for differing opinions embodied in picture form is just as much a message as putting it in writing -- equivalent to about a thousand words, in fact.

So ultimately it is sensible to hold avatars to the same standards as posts, and though it may understandably rankle our sense of free speech a bit, that's basically what's going on here.

Just as profanity, pornography and other forms of objectionable content are unwelcome in both posts and avatars, political mud-slinging needs to find a home somewhere other than ATS.

Right now, things are bad and may get worse until our point gets across. There will be deletions. There will be warnings. There will be bans. There have been plenty already and, unfortunately, probably plenty more to come. It takes time for things like this to sink in.

Hopefully we -- and by "we", I mean all of us, not just mods -- will be able to reverse the distracting, downward spiral that currently characterizes political discussion and enjoy something better instead.

Who knows? If enough of us pull together, we might even be able to offer political discussion that Denies Ignorance, regardless of what our personal differences on the issues may be.

At least, I think it's worth a try, and hope you do, too.







P.S. Also, I recommend using the ALERT button or submitting a complaint if you should see an avatar that violates ATS policy, rather than calling out specific examples in this thread, lest we drift too far away from the more important and overarching theme that political discussion must be civil on ATS.



posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 12:28 AM
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reply to post by Majic
 


I notice you put lots of links while talking in your posts. Who came up with it first: You or Wikipedia?


Just playing (but don't hesitate to answer
). Anyway.....

Down to real business:

Well, Magic I can completely agree with everything you are saying. I guess when you used the word scholarly, you really hit a neuron somewhere in my brain that gave me a good vision of the future.

Frankly, there has always been a few things that worried me on ATS, and one of them is "The Trend of Authority". This was obviously portrayed very well in Animal Farm, and now in the U.S.'s government and probably other countless governments, so I do not have to go into detail.

Why do I even care you may and definitely have the right to ask? You could say, "Your avatar now suits you very well and any political avatar would just plain suck in hope of complementing your 'ATS name' ".

My answer would be merely due to my empathetic nature. I put myself in the shoes of people who desire to put up avatars that express their disgust for political candidates without using words.

I think what is happening here in regards to this avatar ordeal is that Skeptic Overlord (and perhaps other figures of authority), saw a minority of digressive, ad hominem type arguments arise due to the explicit nature of some avatars. In other words, it seems as though instead of dealing with the arguments, "he" is trying to find the root cause of some of them.

Although at first blush I want to agree with what that thought process and action taken, I also want to say even though that may be a potential root cause of some minor arguments here on ATS, that actually it is the person at the computer who is at fault. People who like to "throw mud" due to an avatar cannot be changed so easily, and will most likely leave or be banned. Either they have lost the arugument or that is all they have been taught (most likely from family environment).

Furthermore, like you said Magic, if we want to crack down on senseless, digressive arguments, let the common members do some work for a change and let them hit that alert button more often. Don't punish the innocent.

My point is, I believe there will always be "mud slinging", ad hominem attacks, etc. To take away the free, wordless expression of some who did not intend on ever attacking others is unjust. Can the minority who "mud sling" due to avatars really have the much of an affect on the authority of ATS?

Now I understand this is their site. They own it, etc.

However, to put a far-fetched, conspiracy idea into perspective, how do we know this minority ruining it for the many, are not just hired by outside sources to agitate the staff and members to the point where they have to change the rules, little by little. This is a small business is it not? What makes the ATS authority think they would be treated any differently? This does not even count the fact that this a a conspiracy site and could be seen as a terrorist site, plotting against its government.

Therefore:

Slow change is what ruined the U.S. I may be stretching it but...

Lets not ATS fall victim to slow, non-progressive change!

But I guess the key word there would be "progressive" isn't it? The fundamental difference is whether or not this change helps further the progress of ATS towards the vision in which the founders initially saw. Bu that is another topic...



Anyway. It has been fun. ttyl







[edit on 18-8-2009 by Unlimitedpossibilities]



posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 07:49 AM
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Well is sad that things has to come to this in ATS that is well known for freedom of speech.

It is worst to feel oppressed by government interference when it comes to public out raged.

But having a favorite place like ATS that has given me all kind of opportunity to express myself having to become as oppressive, well is just not better than our own government dictating how outraged and vocal I should be in public.

I guess I rest my case now.


Personally I feel that the offending members should be banned plain and simple without taking away from those members that are proving to be deserving of their freedoms here in ATS.



posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by marg6043
But having a favorite place like ATS that has given me all kind of opportunity to express myself having to become as oppressive, well is just not better than our own government dictating how outraged and vocal I should be in public.


Oppressive? Some might see it so, particularly Americans that view the 1st Amendment as a "cover-all". It isn't. I have always been a political beast but I had to take myself away from ATS for a few months because the vitriol being spewed nauseated me. I've been here going on 6 years and always enjoyed the political debate but lately there's been no enjoyment for me on the board. It's the worst I've ever seen. I welcome anything that will bring cordiality back to ATS. If that means inflamitory avatars as well, so be it.



posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


One of the things I have noticed that is very disturbing is the use of the phrase "You People"

This mainly comes from those leaning right. It's as if.....you don't agree with me therefore you are somehow separate, a danger to my ideology and actually less than me. A sort of colorless racism.

I absolutely have no problem with vigorous debate, but there is an element of hate now on ATS that I haven't seen before.

The once active "Live and Let Live" "agree to disagree" attitude on ATS has evaporated.


I could be wrong but I think it is directly related to a black man triumphing over a white man.



posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 11:14 AM
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reply to post by marg6043
 


Marg I don't think you are understanding the new rule correctly... You can use an avatar of your favorite politician, you can even enhance it as long as you don't seek to denigrate or "sling mud" in your enhancement.

Springer...



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