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"What's with the anger on ATS?"

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posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:02 PM
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We've been seeing somewhat of an increase of complaints and threads where many see what appears to be a rise in overall angst displayed in many threads and posts. As we discussed this among staff, there's a general agreement that "something" is infecting the tonality on ATS, and our aspirations for a high-level of decorum are being unfulfilled.

DISCLAIMER: Before you read further, make no mistake, this opening post does not suggest our members display less passion over contemporary issues, or less outrage over the cause of the world's problems.


How Bad Is It?

It's not horrible, at least not when compared to most other online web sites that allow commentary, but it certainly seems to be heading in a direction that is contrary to our stated goals of focusing on the topics and not each other.

Additionally, we tend to see an ebb-and-flow of tonality issues, and most-often it gets somewhat worse in the summer months and around major elections.


What's causing it?

I'm absolutely convinced that the perfect-storm of stressful and anger-inciting issues effecting our daily lives are a major factor in the tonality we bring to posting on ATS.

However...

I also think the mainstream media is poisoning the well, sometimes to a critical level.


Spoon-fed Anger

Every day, the information disguised as news that's put forth by media outlets will attempt to convince us to be angry. No matter the issue, there will be exaggerated spin that ranges from irritation to spit-spewing fury targeted to one side or the other of the ideological spectrum(s). This only serves to feed the targeted viewer/readership with artificial talking points for which we should feel anger, and pad the ratings as we continue to return to see what else should stoke our fires.

Such a vicious cycle of fabricated news-as-entertainment has no place for people who are actually concerned about the reality of today's troubling issues, and especially for those who want to discuss sensible solutions.


Don't Play Their Game

We all must realize that the motivations behind contemporary politics and the vast matrix of mainstream media is not to inform, but to inflame. Rational analysis of difficult issues from a balanced point of view has no place in modern media... it causes no elevated ire and incites no venomous outrage.

Indignation and intense wrath certainly has a valuable place within the discussions on ATS. These are important issues we're facing. But the game "they" would have you play is to take your eyes off the ball so as to blame anyone and everyone on the other "side" of any given issue. Which is misplaced and unproductive outrage.


Focus. Focus. Focus.

Don't let "them" infect your sensibilities and allow their artificial anger to infect how you interact with other members here on ATS.

It's important to be passionate about what's happening in the world, but don't let that passion contaminate your words such that people react to how you post, not what you post.

This is hard, really hard. But on the other hand, it's worth it. It's vitally important for society as a whole to learn to move beyond this culture of bitterness perpetuated by mainstream media, and focus on the issues and not each other.



Reminders

Here's a few reminders that this is a long-term struggling in which we constantly find ourselves, but are never surrendering.

Civility And Decorum Are Required on AboveTopSecret.com

Courtesy Is Mandatory

The times, they are a-changing -- The stressful days on ATS.

I'm pissed!! (political trolls and hacks)

Reaffirming Our Desire For Productive Political Debate (REVISED)

We must end the rising "culture of negativity"

Time to take a deep breath, and consider how we post...




posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:11 PM
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I think it's ebb and flow. One person posts "Stop Hating on Muslims," somebody feels obligated to post "Muslims Suck." We know school's starting again and it'll get better (not that this is uniquely attributable to our younger membership).

People post more than they should. They get an idea in their head and then post it. They need to self-filter a lot more and recognize that not every thought one has necessarily needs to be shared. And while I love the range of topics on ATS, every grievance of every individual member does not require a thread. But, by all means, they have the ability and right to do so as they wish.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:12 PM
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Was wondering when you might step in and say something.
Yeah, I agree, it is getting a bit rough on the ATS waters here. Perhaps this is due to the media and the massive manipulation of the collective psyche that is occurring through the constant barrage of rhetoric.

There is one very simple and easy cure, though. For those folks who are actively posting on ATS, take a moment and ask yourself, would you say what you just wrote to someone face to face? Are you being the kind of person you would want people to view you as?

Just because we have screen names and avatars doesn't mean we get to throw the conventions we have come to accept as normal in our modern societies out the _ Maturity is a halmark of an intelligent mind. So let's keep the intelligent discussions, in-depth investigations, and mature and rational conversations going and not allow ourselves to be bogged down in name calling or other non-sequitors.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:12 PM
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Explanation: Flagged!

Personal Disclosure: Bumped for a worthy cause!



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:13 PM
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Your main problem is weak enforcement, I have seen overt racism dealt with via nothing more than a "warning".

You need to ban a few of the more notable perpetrators and you will see instances of abuse disappear overnight.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:13 PM
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The politics of divide and conquer have been given a new boost recently by sensationalized media reports, and a number of new ATS members who often push inflammatory articles, by using similar inflammatory tactics of their own.

Much of it seems to center around religion, and forming blanket judgments on inflammatory and highly biased sources.

If as a poster you fail to succumb to peer pressure, well then let the flames begin.

I have had more personal attacks made against me in the last few days, than the last two years, often by people angry that their biased sources are being debunked.

They just keep pretending they haven’t been and then resort to attempts to emotionally dominate and insult to make an unpleasant posting environment.

I do suspect some of the posters doing this are working together behind the scenes to do this, and I do plan on filing a formal complaint detailing those posts and activities and who I believe those members to be once I have finished my research on it.

Long and short of it, ATS is ceasing to be a conspiracy board and becoming a divide and conquer political and religious and lifestyle discussion board, where people pursuing conspiracy angles and higher truths are now being ridiculed and attempts are being made to ‘shout’ them down.

The media is driving it in the public right now, and a handful of posters are driving it on ATS.

Even the Bully Pulpit Forum is becoming a venue for personal attacks.

I have hit the alert key more times in the last few days than in my previous two years of membership.

The posting environment is becoming an unfriendly one to say the least.




[edit on 16/8/10 by ProtoplasmicTraveler]



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:14 PM
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Well placed thread with a lot of good advice.

I see the anger growing...I see the frustration brewing.

I agree with the OP when it is said "it is worse elsewhere".

I admit that I have fed into this sort of thing in the past here. I also admit I have spread some of it on occasion. All those incidents are inexcusable but telling.

I dunno...I often complain that the media and outside forces are trying to get us at each other's throats. I even will go so far as to assume the reasoning behind their intent is "they see the world beginning to unite and think as a group".

Alls I can say is this...I give you my word that I will personally try to put an end to such a thing on my side of it all...and I urge everyone else to try and do the same.

Tension is building, people are getting fed up, the camel's back is creeking under the weight of it all.

We must try our hardest to remember the words of those who taught peace in the past...and remain in control of our passion and power as individuals.

I wish it was not so ingrained within myself to rock boats...I wish we all could connect while still remaining apart in our personal beliefs.

Just know that there are very powerful people pushing us all...and once they see us all acting like savages, they will paint us all as beasts as soon as someone takes it too far.

So...in honor of our ATS family oath...we should really heed this thread. For the main reason being that the site's owner is bringing it up.

Its one thing to read the countless threads where our members point to this...but to hear it from the top, it should really get you thinking.

I dunno...I can't change myself 100%, but I can try.

I hope some others agree with that as well.

If not, well, I'm wearing face armor...so only punch the face.

All love to all you!



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:14 PM
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There are certain "trends" in the topics visible.
I do think people are buying into the fear the media seems to be pushing more and more. It has become more of a one on one thing instead of a team effort.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:15 PM
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i agree if we the poster would stop and think before we post then there would be less H&D, hate and discontent, among us, for i have done this many of time, just stop and think, yes i would like to put my 02 in but then my 02 is not proper for the post thread nor readers.
For this is a place were no matter how out of left field your thoughts are it is a place to put them up and let the thoughts flow, i know, i did a thread, and well it was a learning experience for me, i will be doing a new one.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:15 PM
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Hmmmm...I guess there could be an increasing tide of anger. People might be minimally awoken now to their true purpose...commence the final battle!

Personally, I think I'm too calm and polite here considering what I often see in comparison. This place is good practice in not becoming improperly drawn into a conflict.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:15 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


There's nothing wrong with ATS... ATS is always going to be "angry" because "angry" people are more likely to see a conspiracy, no?

I'm sick of the "oh ATS has changed this much because X group of people have taken over!" followed by another thread by X group in fact blaming Y group for actually controlling ATS, then another to say whatever X and Y are both wrong it's the Government that controls ATS!

Conspiracies are likes fads, their popularity ebbs and flows with time, perhaps its the change in important topics that upsets some people.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:15 PM
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I am very glad to see that you have said something about this in a calm and concise manner.

Only thing I would offer to add:

There are those threads that, although we lack proof, seem like troll threads. They post a real news article and then start spewing. I know, as I'm sure other rational members do, that ATS staff can't really stop them from posting. It's their opinions and as long as it is in agreement with T&C your hands are tied.

My suggestion to members about this problem: Don't feed the trolls. Sometimes these threads are started by long time members who are having a bad day or are very passionate about a subject. Basically if it seems like they are out there...let them be.

Reminds me of a cartoon on a members avatar: The wife is calling to the husband to come to bed, he says "hold on someone is wrong on the internet"

I hope this is on topic and welcomed. Regardless, thanks again for the note.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


I think in part it is the content of some threads that get the response the OP wanted, that is negative responses and hate.

I posted a thread with a suggestion to help but it was closed..
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Stop the threads that create the responses and you will stop much of what you are refering to.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:17 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Phonies, mainly. I talk pretty tough sometimes, I admit it, but I have been noticing an increase in obvious phonies, and a small crowed gathering around with them.

Claims without proof, proof without solidity, people changing claims. Those people not getting banned, etc etc. The core users I've seen for a long time are not the problem. It's some of the newbies who are causing fear and panic where there is none.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by Retseh
Your main problem is weak enforcement, I have seen overt racism dealt with via nothing more than a "warning".

You need to ban a few of the more notable perpetrators and you will see instances of abuse disappear overnight.


couldn't agree more.

Civility & Decorum, in my opinion, are pipe dreams when you deal with topics like religion, politics, abortion, etc.

So the balance, it seems, becomes whether or not to enforce a topic like "religion" the same way you would enforce a topic like "UFOs" or "ancient mysteries"

If you choose to enforce as vigorously, you'll loose some variety in rhetoric and ban more people

if you choose to enforce less vigorously, you'll get more complaints about people being mean.

IMO, politics, in its nature, is "mean" and people shouldn't partake unless they can par-tay.



edit for clarity - any name calling like "hey fag" or "you are gay" or anything like that simply should not be tolerated, and, IMO, should be met with a temporary ban every time.

Calling someone closed minded, sheeple, etc, shouldn't be against rules...after all, saying someone is "ignorant" while acceptable by ToC, just simply doesn't cover it with some people.

Ignorant means the person just doesn't understand the topic. But there are lots of people on this site that DO understand the topic, but still choose to ignore the urge for a civil tone, and go against the grain anyways.


I don't see that as having thin skin, i see it as fostering an intelligent environment to carry out civil conversation.

[edit on 16-8-2010 by Snarf]



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:18 PM
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I know some of my views are provocative.
Trying to expose the facts leaves people who don't want the facts exposed
little choice sometimes but to be vitriolic in leu of being factual in their response.

Of course sometimes I just set people off because I'm wrong.
ooops



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:18 PM
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From what I can tell some members are just being overly sensitive. When some read a headline or a thread topic that is critical of their Lifestyle, Religion, Political views etc, then it's deemed "hateful" When in reality it's just a heated discussion/debate.

Some members over react and call foul, then many of those very same members will turn right around and post critical views, rhetoric and or opinions of the opposing views of said topic.


I stopped taking anything written here at ATS personally about 6 months. So far it has worked, my blood pressure is much lower these days.


[edit on 16-8-2010 by SLAYER69]



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:19 PM
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Passion is the paint which color's our world.

... and though right now, it seems as though people's character's are being tested by the trying times presented now and ahead. This is only a reflection of the times and ultimately human nature.

For better or worse, They can't help but be enveloped in the drama's of the world.

Thats why you'll see 100 Disaster threads, ... for every 5 recovery threads.

People want to get angry, .... they want to be enraged, .....

they want to feel.

[edit on 16-8-2010 by IntastellaBurst]



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:20 PM
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Personally, I have noticed very new members lately blindly dropping bait in thread after thread looking for an encounter with someone. They just keep cruising until someone bites.

Clearly there are some recent events that have people riled up and we are seeing the reflection of our nation's mood right here on ATS. Politically, everyone is pissed off regardless of what side you come from, me included. However.

I do my best to keep things civil around here and sometimes I take the bait and then I just take a breath. That being said, I have read some posts recently that truly make my stomach churn. I try to bite the old tongue just hard enough so as not to lose it.

We are rapidly approaching our nation's tipping point much faster than I ever imagined.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 04:20 PM
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I've only been here for a short while so my opinion is limited.

I just feel that there's a lot of tension at the moment, fitting to how Hadrian's Ebb&Flow description. There's a lot of topics going on right now that are charged with a lot of hate baggage that everyone's carrying.

The topics regarding religion, for one, especially those of the Mosque in New York and others have spawned a lot of religious anger flinging. This in turn spawned freedom of speech threads talking about the right to express and follow religion 'X' or 'Y'.

I certainly hope this passes as different topics become more prevalent. Lets hope someone makes an awesome dinosaur discovery and everyone will be talking about how awesome dinosaurs riding flying sharks with laser beams attached to their heads would be.

I know that all these topics are serious and affect a lot of people on a personal level but I've personally tried to bring a bit of humour into threads that I post in. I'm not the only one to do this but it's no solution for the majority of highly charged discussions.

All I can say right now is this:
We are all in this together. We need to remember that people on the other side of the screen have histories, experiences and knowledge that is different to our own. Respect that and respect their opinions even if they are completely different to your own. Issue facts, explain your logic and leave it to them to change their mind or keep it.

We're not here to invade their minds and tell them what to think. That's the job of the media.

Take it easy ATS!

Much Love,
T





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