I would like to clarify a couple little things here.
On Stars, Flags and all the other little extras. Because that is what they are after all, extras. This was copied from a banned member's profile. You
will see most of the same stats in their mini-profile in all their posts.
ATS Points: 86,886
WATS Index: 63
Post Count: 3,428
Those stats, if you will, are better than mine. In some categories, a whole lot better than mine. Does that make that person a better candidate for
being a moderator? Does that make that person a better contributer to ATS? Does know the star count of his last few posts make a difference? Does the
ability to be able to star his posts make a difference? If you answered "No. Maybe (Yes or No). No. No." then congratulations, you understand that
that each member is a person and not a statistic.
If you can understand that part then this part should make sense as well.
The staff here at ATS doesn't look at members as just members. We see everyone as people. Sure I could give to very good recent examples of that
fact, but that would be an invasion of their privacy. What was said before by other staff is very true. No one has been permanently banned from ATS
for reasons other than not following the T&C's. And usually it is not the T&C violation but the inability or the unwillingness by the member to
resolve the problem.
The staff does not vindictively banned people either. Yes, I have actioned people with the Off Topic button and other ones. And yes, I have placed a
few on post bans and even temporary bans from chat. Yet, the majority of those were worked out within 72 hours maximum. And in the end, quite a few
have said "Thanks, Ahab."
Do staff deal with things they are morally to the core opposed? Yes. And each staff member has the ability to say, "I would rather not deal with this
because..." and other staff members will deal with it. This is especially true if the staff member thinks that the subject itself would cause them
any sort of prejudice.
Are the staff able to look at things objectively? Yes. Best example was a few years ago there was a very large thread that discussed the end of all
drug talk on ATS period, even conspiracies. That thread was an absolute hornets nest of some very strong opinions and members that spoke up about what
they felt was a poor decision. The fact that there is a forum at all will tell you that things can be discussed objectively but I want to add my
In that thread was a post of mine that SO himself applauded. It was very short and actually off topic. I asked that the staff be asked not to moderate
the thread, even personal attacks, in order to preserve the discussion in its entirety so people in the future could look back on the thread and have
the whole story of how things came to be. So here you have a post, in a thread that SO started, asking for the T&C to be ignored and for the staff to
back off for what could be an insignificant reason on a topic that was to be completely abolished. For some people that would be the ultimate slap in
the face. Now I did not intend it to be and I still don't know if it was looked that way or not, but SO read it and applauded it.
The fact that SO looked at a subject objectively that he was opposed to and decided to discuss what was already decided to have ended earned him a
level of respect that can't be bought, bribed nor coerced. My response was to make him the first member on the site that I hit the friend button on.
You can see from my profile that is a very short list. Each one made it for their own reasons, one of which is a banned member and will not be removed
from that list for the reasons they made it on the list. It is a matter of my personal integrity.
On the question of having public explanations of why a member was banned. My vote would be a very strong no due to it being a private matter between
the individual person and the staff. There have been exceptions in the past and I am sure there will be exceptions in the future to that rule. But to
make it a general rule of thumb and establish a forum for it... I would step down first.
That is the level of my integrity on protecting a persons privacy. I am very certain that the majority of the membership, moderators, super
moderators, administration and owners feel exactly the same way. It is that respect for each other which make ATS a community.
And here is one of the best links on the subject, How Not To Be Banned From ATS
Pretty simple, really.