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Be very careful what you write on ATS

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posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 10:10 AM
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I wanted to cancel my membership to ATS and after contacting the owner I was sent only an e-mail with a link on it. I went to the linked page and read this:




As stated in our Terms and Conditions, when you post to AboveTopSecret.com and our other websites, you grant us the right to use what you post. This means we can use it on our websites and any other format in which we might recompile or otherwise publish the content posted by members. But we do not have the "exclusive right" to what you post -- the material is still yours, and we do our best to protect the integrity of what you posted under our creative commons usage deed, linked to every post you make.

If you no longer visit our websites, either through a voluntary decision of your own or some staff action to terminate your account privileges, we do not remove your posts (except for any that might violate our terms & conditions). This is a very big online community with a great deal of content being added every day, removing valid contributions to our discussions would disrupt the context and potentially confuse readers.

Additionally, we do not delete member accounts if you no longer wish to participate. The reasons are very similar to those for not deleting posts.



Did you know you were granting them the right to use whatever you write? They claim to have some kind of license to your posts.

Not only that but they will not cancel your account if you request it. Whatever you write on any of their websites can be used by them to do whatever they wish and you have absolutely no control or say over that.

I politely asked how I might cancel my membership and receive a very unfriendly and unprofessional response.

I didn't want to have my posts deleted, I just wanted to cancel my account, but you cannot do either.

Did you know that the ATS and BTS website also load tracking cookies on your computer? Not only do they claim the rights to whatever you post, they will refuse to cancel your membership if politely requested.

ATS & BTS receives a massive amount free content from it's users (some of whom should be getting paid for the threads that they start), and they have the audacity (and lack of respect for their members) to load your computer with tracking cookies and bombard you with invasive pop up ads whenever you visit their sites?

There's something really wrong here. Be very careful of your use of their forums, the owners of these sites really do not seem like nice people. Don't take my word for it, go try asking them politely how you might cancel your account here. Please see for yourselves.




posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 10:22 AM
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reply to post by Electro38
 


I'm not exactly sure what it is that you're trying to achieve ...

As you say ATS will not delete your posts if you wish to leave. That is understandable because removing your posts would disrupt the flow of any thread you have participated in. Also the copyright as I understand it is shared ... that is to say that ATS will defend your content should another site cite it without credit and for that privilege, and for the privilege to post here for free, you grant ATS the right to retain your posts after you leave. (this is how I understand it, ATS staff can obviously correct me if I'm wrong)

But it seems that you're not bothered by your posts staying here ... so again I'm not seeing exactly what the problem is. The obvious course of action here if you wish to leave is for you to log off and never log back on. The second is to ask admin to ban you. Many peeps have done the latter ... but I have observed that usually what leads folks to want to leave is short term and they often return after a break.

It's always nice to have the option to return.


However:


There's something really wrong here. Be very careful of your use of their forums, the owners of these sites really do not seem like nice people.


I cannot concur with the above statement. For whatever it's worth, and coming from a member who has been on both ends of staff discussion, my experience is 180 degrees the opposite. Even when I have disagreed with them I have ALWAYS found them to be polite and reasonable. The key is to always treat others with respect and respect will always be returned, even if a remedy suitable to your wants isn't met.

Of course if you approach them with aggression or disrespect, or making threads that insult them, well, neither remedy nor respect should be expected. Though even then my observation is that ATS staff rises above it and looks at each issue objectively. Taking things personally isn't one of their attributes ... it is a stance that I highly recommend.



[edit on 22 Sep 2009 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 10:32 AM
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No I didn't care about deleting my posts, but I was just curious about how you could cancel your membership if you wanted to and was surprised by the unprofessional response I received, in addition to discovering that they own the rights to whatever you write here, and can use whatever you write here as they wish.

That is some really weird stuff.

Does anyone else find the tracking cookies and invasive full page pop up ads to be kind of disrespectful to the members of ATS/BTS?

I was waiting for the suck-ups to come running to their defense. Do you even know who you're defending? Not very nice people and they're definitely not on your side.



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 10:42 AM
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Originally posted by Electro38
No I didn't care about deleting my posts, but I was just curious about how you could cancel your membership if you wanted to and was surprised by the unprofessional response I received, in addition to discovering that they own the rights to whatever you write here, and can use whatever you write here as they wish.


Like I said, if you don't care about having your posts deleted just ask them to ban you.

As far as post copyright it is hardly anyone's fault but yours that you didn't take the time to read and comprehend the T&C when you first joined or on the two years since. How is ATS staff wrong in this respect?


That is some really weird stuff.


Indeed, complaining about something that's been in front of you for as long as you have been a member and acting as if it just pounced at you is rather weird.


Does anyone else find the tracking cookies and invasive full page pop up ads to be kind of disrespectful to the members of ATS/BTS?


Free forum supported by ad revenue, again, nothing nefarious or surprising here.


I was waiting for the suck-ups to come running to their defense. Do you even know who you're defending? Not very nice people and they're definitely not on your side.


Oh I see, because in this instance you happen to be wrong on every element of your accusations, me pointing that out labels me a suck-up?



[edit on 22 Sep 2009 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 10:50 AM
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Hence why all new members are supposed to read the terms and conditions upon becoming a member.
The choice to post was yours- nobody twisted your arm.
The choice to log in is yours, and the choice to leave is yours.
I do know the owners of the site..quite nice people actually, so I do defend them, and if you did not correctly read or understand the t&c's when you signed up- it is not the fault of the owners of ATS.



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 11:13 AM
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ur overreacting my friend,for the cookies i dont know but the invasive ads SHULD BE REMOVED! what are we? 1942? pop ups?



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by Stillalive
ur overreacting my friend,for the cookies i dont know but the invasive ads SHULD BE REMOVED! what are we? 1942? pop ups?

hmmm- there were pop-up ads in 1942? really?



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 11:48 AM
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Even Twitter, Myspace and youtube allow you to cancel your account and delete all of your stuff.

The fact that they say that they have rights to what you post and can do whatever they wish with whatever you write in their websites, plus making members wrestle with pop up ads, tracking cookies is not right.

They have this full page pop up ad that you can't just click to close, you have to click the close button on your browser and then wait for a message box to pop up and then choose the correct answer to close your browser or navigate away to another site?

That's a ridiculous thing to do to the members or your website, from whom you receive free content, and whose content you claim ownership to!

On top of all that they then act like jerks to anyone inquiring about how to cancel a membership?!

All I'm saying is that for anyone who never read the terms, etc. Be aware. They claim ownership to whatever you post AND CAN DO ANYTHING THEY WISH WITH IT.

I'm just saying, be careful of what you write here.



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 11:52 AM
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By the way I added a link to the page that explains how they claim ownership to whatever you write here, and how they can do anything they wish with it in my signature and they removed it. Why? Does that worry them?

All I did was add a link to their "terms page". These are not nice people. Be aware.

[edit on 22-9-2009 by Electro38]



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 11:55 AM
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They'll remove/delete anything that reveals their true nature, but they won't remove any of your posts? Editing and censoring is easy for them until it comes from a request by a member (sucker) of their website.

"Members" of ATS/BTS are being scammed and most don't even realize it.

[edit on 22-9-2009 by Electro38]



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 12:03 PM
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-1- There's nothing inherently wrong with cookies.

-2- We've never claimed "ownership" of the content posted by members.

-3- As explained, we don't delete posts because it disrupts the conversation.

-4- We don't delete accounts because nothing personal about you is ever asked for, or retained.



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
-1- There's nothing inherently wrong with cookies.

-2- We've never claimed "ownership" of the content posted by members.

-3- As explained, we don't delete posts because it disrupts the conversation.

-4- We don't delete accounts because nothing personal about you is ever asked for, or retained.


This doesn't sound to you like you're claiming the rights to what we write here:

"when you post to AboveTopSecret.com and our other websites, you grant us the right to use what you post. This means we can use it on our websites and any other format in which we might recompile or otherwise publish the content posted by members."

Ok, I guess I have misread or misunderstood what that meant.



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
-1- There's nothing inherently wrong with cookies.

-2- We've never claimed "ownership" of the content posted by members.

-3- As explained, we don't delete posts because it disrupts the conversation.

-4- We don't delete accounts because nothing personal about you is ever asked for, or retained.


There is something "inherently wrong" with tracking cookies, because it dramatically slows down my computer and collects information about my web browsing and sends that info to you! I don't want you to know what I do online, but you do.

Do you tell the members that fact? That you can see their web activities?

[edit on 22-9-2009 by Electro38]



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
-1- There's nothing inherently wrong with cookies.

-2- We've never claimed "ownership" of the content posted by members.

-3- As explained, we don't delete posts because it disrupts the conversation.

-4- We don't delete accounts because nothing personal about you is ever asked for, or retained.


Not only is personal info not asked for or retained, it is actually Discouraged! I have seen many posts removed, because identifying information was in the post!

Anything I post on the internet on a site which I do not own (and sites I do own are often plagarized!), is definitely subject to be reprinted or used. I appreciate the credit that ATS gives when they do repost something! They have never put up anything of mine that did not give appropriate credit back to me!

The OP mentioned Youtube and Facebook, but those sites are just as likely to repost your material, or use your likenesses for marketing, and you agree to those things as soon as you sign up!

Kudos to ATS for being fair, and having some of the most clear and rigid T and C's I have seen anywhere.

[edit on 22-9-2009 by getreadyalready]



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by Electro38
Ok, I guess I have misread or misunderstood what that meant.

You did.

The right to use, or publish, is very different than rights of ownership.

We're up-front and very clear about all aspects of what we do. If that poses a problem for you, then the best advice is to simply stop visiting/posting.



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 12:14 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by Electro38
Ok, I guess I have misread or misunderstood what that meant.

You did.

The right to use, or publish, is very different than rights of ownership.

We're up-front and very clear about all aspects of what we do. If that poses a problem for you, then the best advice is to simply stop visiting/posting.


Come on now, you are claiming rights to whatever people write here, don't split hairs or dance around the meaning of words. Anyone who can read can understand you are claiming rights to whatever they write here.

You don't collect personal info from your members? What about the tracking cookies that collect members web browsing activity? That's not "personal information" to you?



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 12:17 PM
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SO forgive me for jumping in here ...

Electro, lest this conversation take place for the umpteenth time, here's a thread where SO has explained this ad nauseam: www.belowtopsecret.com...



[edit on 22 Sep 2009 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 12:20 PM
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reply to post by Electro38
 

The signature was removed as it cast a complete misinterpreted view upon the true intent of the Terms & Conditions agreed to.

As has already been mentioned previously, by posting on these boards you grant the owners non-exclusive rights to contributions made and content posted.

With regards deleting accounts and removing all posts made. that would seem akin to pulling pages and/or chapters from books ... yet all the while expecting the storyline to retain it's point flow.

Comparing ATS to sites such as MySpace and Facebook would seem near the epitome of claiming apples and oranges are but the same fruit. ?
?

Member accounts may be actioned, post-banned or banned But they, along with the content contained therein, are Not deleted, removed nor erased from the boards ... that is, with the sole exception of that which violates the T&C.

Tracking Cookies?

There are none "issued" or "placed" by ATS.

The "information" contained therein is simply used to maintain your login and/or account status on the boards.

That you, or your "protection" software would deem them otherwise would most likely Prove a more veritable "conspiracy" to delve into.

i.e.
threats found == subscription renewed == $$$



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 12:23 PM
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Originally posted by Electro38
Come on now, you are claiming rights to whatever people write here, don't split hairs or dance around the meaning of words.

I'm not, and never have. It appears to be you who is uninformed about the concept of "non-exclusive rights," and how it applies to what you contribute to ATS.




You don't collect personal info from your members? What about the tracking cookies that collect members web browsing activity?

Cookies do no such thing... and the cookies we write only contain enough information (username, etc.) to retain your session-state (such as being logged-in) from page-to-page while you're browsing the site.

Again, there's nothing inherently wrong with cookies... which are a valid and important Internet technology that enables websites to gracefully remember who you are from page to page.



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
SO forgive me for jumping in here ...

Electro, lest this conversation take place for the umpteenth time, here's a thread where SO has explained this ad nauseum: www.belowtopsecret.com...




[edit on 22 Sep 2009 by schrodingers dog]


I'm pissed off because I was just curious about how someone can go about canceling their membership and then was shocked and annoyed to discover this Nazi-like attitude by the owners.

I sent a polite inquiry via e-mail and I received just an e-mail with only a link in it.

The owners of this website are hypocrites who load tracking cookies on all visitors computers, cookies that they use to gather members web browsing activities.

Hypocrites!

They have no problem deleting anything they don't like that you might write, censoring with ease. However canceling your membership or delteling anything that you would like is a problem?

I know the cronies will be jumping in here, and they'll be a big suck feast defending your buddies, but you're all hypocrites.



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