posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 10:15 AM
SUMMARY: If you have or plan to make a site, and would like to promote it on ATS, please contact us first. In most cases, we will
help you out.
From time to time, over the years, there has been a handful of unfortunate events concerning members that could have easily been avoided. For the most
part, these events are related to an exuberance over the topics discussed on ATS, combined with a core misunderstanding of some of our primary
The events are invariably tied to members seeking to create their own blogs, sites, or discussion boards covering the same type of alternative topics
discussed here on ATS. Then there will be the attempt to stealthily attract ATS members, almost always resulting in bannings, and then the predictable
"ATS is censoring me" response.
Now, to be clear, we have no issue with members who create websites with alternative topics themes. In fact, we often have been supportive of our
members who seek to do this, but come to us first. Where it becomes a problem is when those members try to "pull a fast one" buy doing it under the
radar for various reasons.
There are three important Terms and Conditions issues at play here...
Link Spamming: Promoting your site or discussion board on other discussion boards without prior permission is among the more egregious offenses
of online "netiquette." Lots of ATS members have personal sites, blogs, and discussion boards and are allowed to link in posts and signatures...
because they came to us first and asked for permission.
Recruitment: Our strong stance against using ATS for recruitment of any kind is focused on the ultra-vigilent protection of member privacy --
especially given the nature of the topics on ATS, and the kinds of people those topics attract. One easy way to begin to harvest personal information
from ATS is to create a discussion board and invite members to join. There have been at least two (that we know of) attempts to harvest ATS user
information for malicious intent, using this very method. This is why we restrict recruitment, and prefer to know who is creating a new site.
Marketing: Item 4a of our Terms & Conditions expressly forbids the kind of "stealth marketing" involved with using ATS expressly to
promote another site or product.
And one important issue unrelated to our Terms and Conditions...
Ethics: Is it really ethical to spend time on a website (for which several people have spent considerable blood, sweat, and tears building),
getting to know the users, topics, and format then attempt to create another site with the intent to stealthily attract away those users?
So... the short story is; if you (an ATS member) have or are planning to make a site and would like to promote it here, please
contact us first -- don't be sneaky. If you've been a member in good standing for at least six months and your site has no porn, gore, or
drug content, then very likely all will be fine.
Another important note... if you're ever suddenly banned, don't run away all full of sour and piss, assuming the worst. In many cases, those who are
banned to then make contact to discuss the matter end up returning. If you get banned for doing what's discussed in this post, and never seek to
discuss the matter with us, we have no choice but to assume less-than-honorable intent.
[edit on 27-10-2009 by SkepticOverlord]