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Civility, decorum and the Aliens and UFO Forum

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posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:21 PM
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Hi there!

At the top of the thread lists here in A&U, there is a forum description.

The description says this;



This forum is dedicated to the discussion of historic and contemporary events related to extraterrestrial encounters, UFO sightings, and speculation about related subjects. Discussion topics and follow-up responses in this forum will likely tend to lean in favor of the existence of extraterrestrials and the related conspiracies, scandals, and cover-ups. Members who would seek to refute such theories should be mindful of AboveTopSecret.com\'s tradition of supporting the examination of the \"extraterrestrial phenomenon\" on the related conspiracy theories, cover-ups, and scandals.


Please, take some time to read that and note the part I've deliberately highlighted in bold.

It seems that society as a whole is becoming more agressive in its approach to dealing with all kinds of subjects at the moment, and that makes the idea of civility and decorum even more important when dealing with this particular subject matter.

Sadly, the staff have noticed that recently claims of the unusual are being met with scorn, overt sarcasm, hostility and personal attacks

Such methods are not the ATS way. ATS is all about civility. ATS is about denying ignorance, not promoting it.

Sarcasm, scorn, hostility and personal attacks are the tools of the socially inept. They are not welcome on ATS. ATS is not the comments section of Youtube.

If you feel the need to belittle people then frankly you are better off elsewhere.

Not everything is a hoax - people do see genuinely unusual things in the sky that they cannot explain. Sometimes it may be a case of mistaken identity - if so then education on a subject matter will help. Sometimes what is seen is so baffling it defies explanation.

Yes, we are all aware that there are hoaxers and charlatans out there who want to grab attention and maybe make a quick buck off the back of their claims. BUT - and its an important but - by making a hostile environment for people to post in the genuine and unusual cases may get lost, as people will most likely not post them for fear of derision.

This is not a new message - this is the cornerstone of ATS. Rational, civil discussion. Debate backed up with sources and information. If you suspect a hoax, prove its a hoax in a civil manner, with relevant information as to why you think it is.

Debate the post and not the poster

If you make a case for a hoax that the staff agrees with, the thread will be moved to the Hoax forum.

The staff, and I'm sure most of the members of ATS would love to see the next big thing in UFOlogy break on the boards here. So please, lets not ruin that chance.

Civility and Decorum are Required



+9 more 
posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:54 PM
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Thank you for this!

I get tired of the sarcastic remarks which many times derails a good thread or you have to go through pages of insults and sarcasm to find the actual information.





posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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Very well said!

Even if one is right about not believing a story, namecalling and personal attacks will not get your point across.

I also don't like the driveby "fake, hoax, photoshop" posters without adding any explanation to it.
And please read the entire thread, the only reason most of them are so long because the same questions are being asked again and again while those where awnsered on page 2.
If your post starts with "i did not read the entire thread but .......?" don't post it.

[edit on 16/8/10 by locster]



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 01:13 PM
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I agree


Especially as it seems to be the same certain few members responsible for such nastiness, they seem to back eachother up.

I agree with civil debate.

Why feel the need to ridicule a post when you can just move on if you dont like it.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 01:17 PM
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Recently there have been many threads I have participated in that are full of scorn and ridicule to the OP. Manners are truly hard to come by, even on a website full of odd ideas and theories.

I would like to add a comment concerning hoax threads. Twice over the last week, a thread I was looking into were labeled as Hoax, but no explanation was ever given why it was a hoax. One was labeled a hoax by skepticoverlord himself.

It would be better for the education of us all if moderators would share the information used to determine whether a thread topic is a hoax or not. I think this would also ease the tension between mods and users, if mods were required to explain their actions when labeling a thread hoax, or any other action taken.

Thanks



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by sheepslayer247

It would be better for the education of us all if moderators would share the information used to determine whether a thread topic is a hoax or not. I think this would also ease the tension between mods and users, if mods were required to explain their actions when labeling a thread hoax, or any other action taken.


Thats a very good idea!
Just a short explanation mod note in the opening post.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 01:35 PM
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Although I sometimes fall short of the ideal...I agree with the sentiment.


Based on the history of the subject, none of us are gonna crack the case. Since Charles Fort's 'Book of the Damned (free download)' in 1919, people have been writing about weird stuff in the skies. They've been arguing, thinking and discussing all these anomalous incidents and looking for answers.

Nobody's worked it out yet...that we know about. This makes it pretty dumb to be losing tempers over something none of us really have answers to.

Some people are further along the learning curve and still no closer to the answers than the people who've just discovered the phenomena. On top of that, some members are barely in their teens and will post accordingly. So yeah, it can be pretty hard to remain civil and polite sometimes, but it can be done with a little effort and a 'ten count' before posting from irritation.


P.S. In-thread food-fights can still be a LOT of fun!



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 01:43 PM
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Originally posted by sheepslayer247
It would be better for the education of us all if moderators would share the information used to determine whether a thread topic is a hoax or not. I think this would also ease the tension between mods and users, if mods were required to explain their actions when labeling a thread hoax, or any other action taken.

Thanks


I have to disagree. If we go down that path there are those that WILL debate damn near any action a staffer takes and that just ruins threads.

My thoughts on this topic are here.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 01:43 PM
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Fair enough.
I would suggest however, a higher standard for posters of alleged UFO material.
While some are well thought out, too many are "hey I saw this on You Tube, what do you guys think". Really, that's asking for it!
Also bombastic thread titles invite sarcasm, yet seem to slide right by mods.
These types seem like blatant attempts at getting stars and flags, and really have no supporting evidence to discuss.
Same with the "I'm an alien " threads, unless the OP presents something in the first few posts, what does ATS expect except scorn and some ridicule.
If you ecpect discussion, then give us something to discuss, not just a UFO cheerleading section!



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by OldDragger
 




Same with the "I'm an alien " threads, unless the OP presents something in the first few posts, what does ATS expect except scorn and some ridicule.


This is something I took up with one of the site owners “Springer” in a thread just last week, which I then took off thread via a U2U. After he was finally able to break through my thick headedness, it seems that the "I am an alien" threads, when noticed by Mods through the “ALERT” function or other means, are (if meeting the criteria) moved to “The Grey Area”, which is the type of topics that “The Grey Area” was created for. There are some people who genuinely believe they are aliens, and with no positive way to prove they are not, the grey area is their forum to discuss such a topic.

I may be missing some of what Springer and I went over, but that is the gist of it.

[edit on 8/16/2010 by AlienCarnage]

[edit on 8/16/2010 by AlienCarnage]


+17 more 
posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 01:55 PM
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I would like to point out that the best best way to show that you feel there is nothing to support in the Opening Post is by not responding at ALL. You, as posters (and this goes for EVERY forum), are NOT required to voice your opinion that there is "Nothing to see here" or that you believe it to be "Bunk" or whatever. Just don't support the topic by not responding to it.

I watched a very respected member reply over and over in the Greer-Hoagland thread, repeat the same thing over and over again to readers who heard it every time he said it. It made for a tedious discussion beyond the topic itself. The page count went up and up because one faction of the argument made the same statement over, and over, and over, ad infinitum. I lost interest in the thread because they weren't responding to the topic anymore, just the argument that the source was unreliable.
The topic wasn't about the source, but, the information contained in the link...from the source. It probably was pretty enraging to folks wanting to discuss it. The couldn't and the opponants to the source completely de-railed the thread.
How does THAT garner respect?

Just my $.02

Thanks Nef,

Cuhail



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by OldDragger
Same with the "I'm an alien " threads, unless the OP presents something in the first few posts, what does ATS expect except scorn and some ridicule.


Those have their own forum, The Gray Area.


If you ecpect discussion, then give us something to discuss, not just a UFO cheerleading section!


Who are you asking to do the giving?



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 01:57 PM
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reply to post by AlienCarnage
 


You are correct. The Gray Area is for:


The Gray Area is a discussion forum that provides a dedicated area for members to post their confessions, disclosures, and related extraordinary personal experiences. Like the highly speculative Skunk Works forum, The Gray Area will tolerate topics that may be unusually hypothetical or unproven for the purpose of vetting the stories of thread-starters by the ATS membership at large.
Which is why many threads are moved from A&U to the Gray Area.




posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by AlienCarnage
 


You are correct. The Gray Area is for:


The Gray Area is a discussion forum that provides a dedicated area for members to post their confessions, disclosures, and related extraordinary personal experiences. Like the highly speculative Skunk Works forum, The Gray Area will tolerate topics that may be unusually hypothetical or unproven for the purpose of vetting the stories of thread-starters by the ATS membership at large.
Which is why many threads are moved from A&U to the Gray Area.




posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


I'm asking posters to give us something!
People post some blurry pic, then seem to be insulted that everyone doesn't fawn all over them.
Same with the You Tube stuff. If you think it;s real, how about telling us why?



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 02:05 PM
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Originally posted by OldDragger
I'm asking posters to give us something!
People post some blurry pic, then seem to be insulted that everyone doesn't fawn all over them.
Same with the You Tube stuff. If you think it;s real, how about telling us why?


Many reasons for this I would think. Many new members aren't up on what has transpired in the past here. Many don't know what ATS standards are. One thing that boils my britches is when a new member, full of enthusiasm, comes here and posts a topic. Then we have older members going, "Ah jeez, not this again." The new member doesn't know that. Cut THEM some slack.

Secondly and this is not meant to piss you off but why don't you go out in the field and do some research? Bring something to the board as opposed to waiting on it?



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by OldDragger
reply to post by intrepid
 


I'm asking posters to give us something!
People post some blurry pic, then seem to be insulted that everyone doesn't fawn all over them.
Same with the You Tube stuff. If you think it;s real, how about telling us why?


I understand this position, and have many times myself come from this stand point, but you have to remember to also state to them why you believe it is not real.

It is a hard position to take and a frustrating one, especially if you can tell from the instant seeing it that it is not real, so now take a deep breath count to ten and explain what you noticed about it that tells you that it is not real, or not what they think it is.

You just might educate someone, and show them what to look for.

[edit on 8/16/2010 by AlienCarnage]



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 02:33 PM
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I think this piece I wrote for UFO magazine last year has some value here:



The Trials and the Triumphs of the Honest Agent
by Mark Allin

I think there are some important things
that happen in the UFO community that go unseen and pretty
much unknown by the vast majority of those interested in
the phenomenon.

Over that last twenty or so years of being interested in the
UFO phenom, I’ve been involved in television shows, websites,
conventions, radio shows, and now even a magazine
on the subject. I’ve seen the ridiculous hoaxes, met several
of the unabashed conmen and conwomen, charlatans, would be
seers, disinfo agents, promoters, hucksters of all sorts, and
several people who truly do need medical help. Sound familiar?

That’s how the mainstream media categorizes all of us.

Lest you think me a masochist or a fool for staying with
the phenom after that statement, let me share with you that
I have also met admirals, airline pilots, Air Force pilots, police
officers, doctors, lawyers, housewives, househusbands,
welders, accountants, office workers, and many other hard
working honest agents who have seen something—or many
somethings—they simply can’t define in their minds or
through the available data for research.

When someone comes to ATS for the first time they are
usually overwhelmed a little by the sheer quantity of what
we call content and most people simply call information. In
a little while, after they get past the learning curve of how
to navigate this wealth of information, the next thing that
usually dawns on them is how absolutely busy and popular
AboveTopSecret is.

They notice that unlike the typical forum for these topics,
their posts at ATS get a reply in minutes—sometimes seconds—
rather than days, and they start to see that there are
several posts a minute or seven-thousand-plus new posts a
day, to be more precise.

They will also discover that the vast majority of our members
are decent, intelligent, and very civil people as long as
they believe the new poster is being honest. Obvious hoaxers,
those who disregard facts in favor of fiction that supports
their agenda should beware: You will have your backside
handed to you. That’s sort of where I am going in this
column; stay tuned.

I like the term honest agent and tend to abuse it often. To
me, an honest agent is a person who comes to a site like ATS
to either share an experience, get information, or exchange
ideas. Having defined that, what is a non-honest agent?

Ahhh, those would be the people I described in the first bit.

I have a unique perch in this field because I am able to see
behind the scenes of a big website that offers instant and
huge exposure with well over three million visits a month
or three hundred million hits a month, for those who are not
up to date on interweb nomenclature, to all those who present
their wares. This instant, huge, and free—there is no cost
associated with membership on AboveTopSecret—exposure
is an obvious and very tempting thing to the charlatans, disinfo
agents, and conmen who seek to prey upon the genuine
experiences of the honest agents in the hope of cashing in on
the fame game, a DVD or book deal, or the speaker circuit.

When we see a new member posting something amazing,
game changing, or downright incredible, it’s a natural response
to seek all the data they can offer. The honest agents
want to get at the truth as much as anyone else does and
almost always enthusiastically agree to cooperate with our
learned, experienced membership in the pursuit of it.


The hoaxers and conmen all react in different yet mostly
identifiable ways. Hoaxers almost always start out like honest
agents, seemingly willing to do whatever it takes to get at
the truth. They will feign confusion and amazement like an
Oscar-winning actor, all the while holding out that one piece
of data that would blow the lid off their sham. In the end
our astute membership, many of whom hold high positions
and degrees in imaging, science, and engineering, closes in
on the truth, and the hoaxer either turns acidic or logs out,
never to be heard from again.

The conmen are very unique and sometimes quite interesting
to watch. They typically start out from a perspective
of authority or a position of having more data than
the membership can ever hope to see. That perspective of
authority is usually expressed in the form of some cryptic
announcement about their lives being in danger because
they worked at a secret installation, they have proof of the
alien invasion or contact or cover-up, or they saw files that
nobody should ever see, or something along those lines.

Then the fun begins.

Naturally, the first thing our membership asks the person
for is any scrap of evidence to back their claims up. This is
where it usually gets different. Sometimes the person will
proclaim that on Tuesday the fourteenth at 9:00 pm Eastern
time they will post the proof and go into hiding.

Well, this is a pretty lame way to garner lots of attention
and keep people on a string until Tuesday. We’ve yet to see
one of these deadline cons ever post anything other than
poor attempts at forgery or hoaxing. Other times the person
will state that they simply can’t reveal the information because
they will be immediately hunted down and terminated.
At that point the discussion should be over, and many
will wonder why they ever posted in the first place.

I have often wondered why. Why would anyone attempt
this? What possible return on their invested time do they
hope to get? Beyond the obvious and very seductive hope
that a significant percentage of the millions of readers of
AboveTopSecret will buy the scam, there seems to be another
motivator, a rather new one that may someday find itself
in the medical journals of our hallowed universities and
clinics: the digital ego, or D-ego, as I have called it for several
years now.

Anyone who has ever ventured into the realm of online
forums or message boards has seen this new facet of human
nature at work: everyone from the five-foot-tall, 106-pound
teenager who instantly becomes six feet tall and 250 pounds
of pure muscle when he logs onto the internet from the safety
of his bedroom to the self-appointed expert in astrophysics
who by day repairs automobiles.

They all come out to play online where the fog of anonymity
is thick, and no one can really tell who is who. We have
noticed that several recent hoaxes were created for nothing
more than to fool the crazies for a laugh. Apparently it is fun
for some sad people to create an elaborate or worse, an obviously
phony, piece of video or still-image evidence using the
magic of computer-generated imaging (CGI) and then concoct
a completely fabricated story around that fake imagery
and see what happens.

The fur starts to fly when the real experts in imaging meet
the true believers during one of these episodes. While today’s
CGI technology is certainly excellent at reproducing
near photo-realistic perfect imagery, it’s not infallible.
When the desire to have what one has experienced or witnessed
validated or even vindicated is so strong that one
disregards all the facts and genuine evidence presented by
those who are qualified recognized experts in the field, there
is a problem, a problem that feeds the hoaxers and keeps
them coming back for more.

Adding to the problem in the worst way possible are the handful of UFO experts who have nothing new to speak about on the circuit or put up on their pay-per-view websites who latch on to these hoaxes to keep
their business going.

We saw this last year with two cases that are absolute CGI
hoaxes, and it’s simply astounding. It really saddens me to
see people I once respected completely ignore the facts because
they don’t support the business plan. That is the worst
kind of confidence scam I can imagine.

Abusing the trust built up from years of good work, honest
reporting, and ethical behavior because the well has gone
dry and you might have to dig deeper to find the new story
by embracing, promoting, and reporting on a known hoax is
just beyond my ability to grasp. Oh, I understand the need to
put food on the table and pay the bills, but when you resort
to less-than-honest means to do so you have crossed over to
the dark side for sure, and it’s very hard to come back.

The old saying that you can fool some of the people some
of the time comes to mind, and I watched it play out last year
on more than one UFO expert’s website and even a radio
show or two. They had all sorts of information, but it just
didn’t ring true.

The people were flocking to AboveTopSecret to get the
whole story, and man, were they astounded with what they
found: complete digital analysis, complete breakdowns up
to and including what rendering engine and CGI program
was used in the creation of the hoaxed crafts. After a small
time had passed and this solid reveal of the hoax was complete,
the people started wondering why a few UFO experts
were still touting this mess on their subscription-based—
meaning, you have to pay to read the website—websites and
talking it up on the radio?

Well, the real people didn’t take long to figure it out. It was
all about the fact there wasn’t anything else that was as big
a story, and the bills needed to be paid. With all the hurdles
the honest agents who have interest in what’s really happening
in our skies have to get over such as the giggle factor
in the main stream media, the rolling eyes of coworkers,
friends, and even family members, it is absolutely ruinous
for the people who have either been placed or have placed
themselves upon the pedestal of UFO expert to push hoaxes
to keep the limelight and a positive cash flow.

The rest of the world tends to use Occam’s razor and critical
thought. When they see the experts throwing both out the
window in spite of the evidence and the facts, they just roll
their eyes, laugh it off, and move on.

The rest of the world tends to take a gander at this field
every couple years or so to see if we crazy few have made
any real progress. The next time they are looking, it would
be much better if we had, in my humble opinion.


The specific case I mention is the "Drones HOAX" of 2008 that was succinctly proven a CGI HOAX yet many refused to believe it.

I think it's vital that our older members keep in mind that the reason we insist on debating the TOPIC, NOT the poster/member, is to avoid the situation where people who are "Honest Agents" fear interacting with the best minds on the internet.

I know it gets frustrating, I've been doing this for 20+ years, but take a breath, consider who is on the other side of that keyboard and ask yourself if you would appreciate reading what you are about to post if you were in their seat.

Springer...



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 02:35 PM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


Field?
What field?
99% of the UFO postings are from surfing You Tube or some website!
That's not reseach!



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 02:38 PM
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reply to post by OldDragger
 


There you go. You know what's needed then. Bring something new to the table.




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