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Censorship on ATS?

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posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 12:05 PM
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I continue to see people talk about how they were censored. How evil ATS agents have come down from their ivory tower and censored a person's fantastic thought or brilliant point. It is to these people I would like to make a few points.

First of all I would like to make a distinction between two types of censorship.
Presentation Censorship and Intellectual Censorship.

Intellectual Censorship is when an idea is being covered up. This is the most heinous kind of censorship because it destroys free thought, it precludes open and honest debate, and it embraces ignorance.

Presentation Censorship is when the manner in which an idea is shared is censored. This in my opinion is an acceptable form of censorship. Used correctly it promotes free thought, facilitates open and honest debate and denies ignorance.

ATS does engage in presentation censorship and is accused of intellectual censorship because of it. This disturbs me. So the next time you decide you have been censored you need to ask yourself what was censored. If you were obviously rude, inflammatory, libelous, etc the answer is easy for you. So instead of complaining about how you were censored take some time to re-present the idea in a manner that utilizes logical arguments and does not attack a person or use foul language. If you honestly don't believe you were doing anything wrong contact a Mod or use the complaint form and don't say "Why did you censor me you A-hats?!" Ask how they recommend that you convey your thought without breaking T&Cs.

I have done research on this, I have e-mailed people who complain on other boards, I have looked at people who claim they were censored on ATS throughout the internet and in every instance it is obvious these are people who are combative, angry, and mostly unable to present their thoughts in a logical manner conducive to the debate this site is great at.

I obviously can't speak for the management of this site and this is really just my observation. I am however quite interested in the issue of censorship in general and have studied it and given a lot of thought to it and this is my conclusion.

ATS will thankfully censor the presentation of a thought with the design towards providing a forum for open, honest, and civil debate of any idea.

ATS will not censor your ideas.

If you think you've been censored take ten deep breaths and ask yourself how your presentation could be redone within T&Cs and if you don't know ask the Mods politely! (It is important to be polite these people are volunteers for the most part and don't need any additional grief).




posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 02:37 PM
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reply to post by Jinglelord
 


I think a lot of censorship on ATS is actually done by the members..
Many posts are borderline or minor T&C violations at best but if another member sends an "alert" then a Mod is compelled to act..
Mods would be lucky to see a small percentage of posts, too few Mods to cover such a large site.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 02:44 PM
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reply to post by backinblack
 


I agree completely, in fact I was just thinking that as I was driving to get doughnuts. ATS is mainly policed by the members in the form of alerts and when blatant violations of the T&C are left up it is because it didn't bother another member enough to alert and as such really shouldn't be a problem to leave up because it (ideally) didn't bother anyone!



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by backinblack
 


Actually you'd likely be surprised at the number of 'alerts' which are ultimately deemed 'non-issues'.

... a mere difference of opinion or a given member not realizing others' rights to having opposing views.

I think the global membership and such varied cultural differences often play a significant part as well - member alerts.

Jinglelord sums things up quite well in my opinion.


Having been here for near 6 years now, and a member of staff for just over five of those years, I can honestly say that I've never personally witnessed or been made aware of Any actual ATS censorship of a given Member's views or opinion.

Of course, as previously mentioned, one's delivery and presentation can often prove a determining factor, as well as posts or threads where the content of which violates the Terms & Conditions agreed to.

Being that ATS strives to be a 'family friendly' site, content the likes of StormFront and other such 'hate' or 'racially' -charged venues is not tolerated ... again, due to infractions pertaining to the T&C agreed to.




edit on 2/27/2011 by 12m8keall2c because: speeling



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 02:55 PM
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it can be vaguly annoing when you go to click on a thread and it isn't there or you see at&c violation and you wonder what was said but considering the alternitives I think the mods do a good job.

most of the people I've seen complaining about censership are the ones who's opinions contrabute least and who's grasp of the t&c is weak.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by 12m8keall2c
 


The number of alerts wouldn't surprise me in the least..


I think the global membership and such varied cultural differences often play a significant part as well - member alerts.

This would be a tough juggling act for ATS..
What's deemed offensive to one race or religion is perfectly fine with another..
ATS seems to have few issues thanks to a strict T&C policy.
It's why I spend so much time here, it's addictive to see so many topics and views in one place and discussed in a civil manner for the most part..



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by backinblack
This would be a tough juggling act for ATS..
What's deemed offensive to one race or religion is perfectly fine with another..


Not only the cultural and racial differences but locale-related gestures, phrases, derogatory mentions and missives, etc.

an example:
A member posts about their observance, sighting or experience and in the midst of conveying such they mention,
'So I stepped outside looking to smoke a fag...'

and we'd get alerts of,
"Hey. This member is talking about killing gay people"

:shk:

Yeah. A rather extreme, absurd and hopefully unlikely example ... but it sure as heck wouldn't be surprising.

Aside from the cultural, racial and other divides Members may encounter or find themselves subject to on the boards, there's also that of Context and Relevance ... both of which are Often taken out of the same and errantly 'alerted' as T&C violations.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 04:10 PM
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If you will indulge me the opportunity, I would like to address this idea, not that I refute the perceptions of others; I believe the idea of 'censorship' in the community to merit multiple viewpoints. I would promote the usual caveat that I am first, a member, who second, has availed himself of the opportunity to assist this community in the improvement of our virtual environment. Many think this 'modship' provides license to influence the nature of the environment.... in truth we are merely servants of the community; and we are, for the most part, as effective at what we do as you help us and allow us to be.

Interestingly, in our environment, the censorship accusation is one which seems to parallel social allegations of sexual harassment where, nearly always, only the perception of the accuser bears weight, at least in the public mind, and certainly to the accuser.

I make these observations without regard to specific instances - all of which are necessarily - as in the real world - unique.

-----
It is very true that the most feeble claims of censorship seem to reach my ears in the manner of a complaint; the source of which offers one of two approaches - one in support of an opinion - the other opposed.

Rarely are 'facts' the central theme of censorship; though it could be said to be the ultimate extreme form of censorship.

If you slice away the emotional content of the instances where the concern of censorship in our community are decried, I have not seen an instance where any consensus or directive from the ownership could be considered "We can't have people talking about this".... actually, it has boiled down to, "People (or this person) can't seem to talk about this topic, they become rude, disrespectful, unsociable, and their passions overcome their reason..." but in those cases, the thread or posts removed is not to be "censored" ... it is usually a "You're gonna have to try again, and do it over differently" opportunity.
-----

Of course, censorship, no matter how you are inclined to define it, is merely part of the arsenal of propaganda and social engineering. So to assume we would engage in one, leads naturally to follow that we must be inclined to use the remainder of tools to that effect; a proposition which I find unacceptable.... since the community is so diversified as to beg the question if it was even possible.

Censorship must have a purpose to be real. Is there a consistent message you read in the musing of the community? Does it seem to be saying the same thing, aligning itself with other similar information-based communities? Are we finding threads and OPs that are calls for some 'purpose' and are met with no challenge... not that I have seen.... Whenever I do see such calls, I remind the poster of the constraint (as stated in the T&C), and they are free to adjust their approach to the topic.

Frankly. the only instances where there even needs to be a debate about censorship is when a poster calls for activism, petitions, rallies, etc. Those folks usually expect a free voice to do so, and were this a soapbox perched on the top of a hill, on public land, in a country that values human expression over social control they would have it. But this is not such a (virtual) place. We operate within constraints explicitly given as a condition to enjoy this forum. The owners and operators have wisely (in my opinion) sidestepped the drama and shenanigans of zealotry and institutionalized bias by making this a net-zero gain for them to troll. They did so with a light touch (in my opinion) rather skillfully. The owners and operators have an added challenge, to navigate the constraints of their environment... namely, regulations, contracts, and other inconveniences which I half-jokingly refer to as "business 'externalities'."

I dare say, bring me any member of another community (and by definition NOT one of ours) and you will see that there is as much here which will offend them as will affirm them. What they focus on is entirely their own decision. The fact that some are inclined to give voice to the preference that contradictory or unacceptable ideas are expressed here is not unnatural, nor necessarily undesirable, but an understanding of "censorship" is and isn't is vital to entertaining the accusation which at it's heart is a very ugly thing.....

Nothing lasts forever that isn't cultivated ... which is why we are here.. having conversations just like this.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 04:14 PM
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reply to post by Jinglelord
 


They have to do that in order to avoid copy write issues and keep the site going...


Mod Note: Excessive Quoting – Please Review This Link
edit on Sun Feb 27 2011 by Jbird because: replaced lrg. quote with Repy to:



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 04:58 PM
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Originally posted by Maxmars
" ... it is usually a "You're gonna have to try again, and do it over differently" opportunity.


Thank you for all the clarifications! I'll probably need to re-read your post another time or two to catch everything in there.

I do think the statement above is what really needs to be hammered into everyones skull. You're not saying you can't express your idea, you're saying to try again and express it in a manner consistent with the T&Cs which are there for a reason.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 06:30 PM
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Lots of censorship on ATS
All kinds.. not counting the automatic robot censors that are really just evil


For instance if you want to speak about a certain website like [redacted], or you want to know what happened to [redacted] it won't get through...

I COULD tell you about [redacted]... but I know it would not get through
If all else fails, there is always skunk works to dump your stuff into
That usually works



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 08:51 PM
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reply to post by zorgon
 


But let me ask this. Are any of those things real ideas, news, or current events that are pertinent to furthering the content of ATS? Until I hear otherwise I would still regard those a form of presentation censorship.

I'm not saying you're wrong I'm just saying I don't really know.

I'm into some stuff that I would never link to this site and I do think is important. For instance I wouldn't use this as a forum to go over all the best porn, drugs, or competitor web sites because it simply isn't appropriate.

I would also not want to pry into why a member was banned publicly, and if I did I would contact that member and ask their opinion or I would directly contact the mods. I have already questioned a banning with a site owner directly about and he was able to answer me satisfactorily and was respectful and in my opinion correct.

There might be some legitimate things that are censored here. I never discount anything I've been around too long for that.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 09:09 PM
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what happned to the pineal gland thread that had the videos? i'm guessing someone un-educated had a problem.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by metalholic
 


Discussions involving the use of illegal substances are not allowed.
UPDATE: The Discussion Of "Illegal Activity" On The Above Network Sites



The SUSPENSION of the discussion of illicit drugs/mind altering substances on ATS (The experiment failed)
edit on Sun Feb 27 2011 by DontTreadOnMe because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 09:41 PM
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reply to post by DontTreadOnMe
 


oh yeah nvm i forgot someone brought up drugs. my bad.



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 03:20 AM
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Originally posted by backinblack
reply to post by Jinglelord
 


I think a lot of censorship on ATS is actually done by the members..
Many posts are borderline or minor T&C violations at best but if another member sends an "alert" then a Mod is compelled to act..
Mods would be lucky to see a small percentage of posts, too few Mods to cover such a large site.


I agree about the errors in posts. I did it myself the other day. I accidentally left an entire quote in vs a portion. So I edited it and walked away. Well, I guess I got logged out while typing my edit. (That happens a lot when posting.) Came back and I was logged out and my post was never changed. And it was past 4 hours. I just held my breath.


Anyways, I am new here. And I have see some pretty wild posts here. And censorship is a word that is not in the ATS dictionary. That is for certain.
Which is a good thing. Since you can often find some truth mixed in with all the conjecture. I feel folks here know about all world events before the average joe.

edit on 28-2-2011 by elouina because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-2-2011 by elouina because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 04:03 AM
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reply to post by elouina
 



I feel folks here know about all world events before the average joe.


Even better, we make some of them up ourselves..



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 04:34 AM
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Originally posted by Jinglelord
I continue to see people talk about how they were censored. How evil ATS agents have come down from their ivory tower and censored a person's fantastic thought or brilliant point. It is to these people I would like to make a few points.

Yes, I have seen the people and their claims and I think these are pretty much baseless. I refuse to believe that the management would do this. And if I had seen proof of it somewhere along the line, both during my years of lurking and since I registered, I would be long gone. No, trust me, it's just misinterpretation of necessary moderation acts, like a thread gets tossed into the Hoax forum, tough luck, but no censorship, just good moderation.

Originally posted by Jinglelord
First of all I would like to make a distinction between two types of censorship.
Presentation Censorship and Intellectual Censorship.

Ok, I did not know there two kinds, but ok ... let's see where this is going.


Originally posted by Jinglelord
Intellectual Censorship is when an idea is being covered up. This is the most heinous kind of censorship because it destroys free thought, it precludes open and honest debate, and it embraces ignorance.

Hm, ok, I'm not sure I agree with this.


Originally posted by Jinglelord
Presentation Censorship is when the manner in which an idea is shared is censored. This in my opinion is an acceptable form of censorship. Used correctly it promotes free thought, facilitates open and honest debate and denies ignorance.

Ok, so now we have the definitions as stated above. Ok, right, now I see where this is going, but ...


Originally posted by Jinglelord
ATS does engage in presentation censorship and is accused of intellectual censorship because of it. This disturbs me. So the next time you decide you have been censored you need to ask yourself what was censored. If you were obviously rude, inflammatory, libelous, etc the answer is easy for you. So instead of complaining about how you were censored take some time to re-present the idea in a manner that utilizes logical arguments and does not attack a person or use foul language. If you honestly don't believe you were doing anything wrong contact a Mod or use the complaint form and don't say "Why did you censor me you A-hats?!" Ask how they recommend that you convey your thought without breaking T&Cs.

Right, as a moderator elsewhere, I can assure you the T&C is key, here. When a member violates it, this member hat to take the corrective measures taken by the mods in stride. And no, the rules cannot be bent or otherwise broken or apply only to certain members but not to others etc. So, yeah, I totally agree, don't cry censorship, because you forced a mod to take appropriate action according to the T&C. That would be just stupid.


Originally posted by Jinglelord
I have done research on this, I have e-mailed people who complain on other boards, I have looked at people who claim they were censored on ATS throughout the internet and in every instance it is obvious these are people who are combative, angry, and mostly unable to present their thoughts in a logical manner conducive to the debate this site is great at.

Ok, I trust your research to be well conducted and true.
As I said, in all my time here, I have not witnessed censorship yet.

Originally posted by Jinglelord
I obviously can't speak for the management of this site and this is really just my observation. I am however quite interested in the issue of censorship in general and have studied it and given a lot of thought to it and this is my conclusion.

Ok, I am waiting breathlessly ... and no I am not kidding or being sarcastic.


Originally posted by Jinglelord
ATS will thankfully censor the presentation of a thought with the design towards providing a forum for open, honest, and civil debate of any idea.

ATS will not censor your ideas.

If you think you've been censored take ten deep breaths and ask yourself how your presentation could be redone within T&Cs and if you don't know ask the Mods politely! (It is important to be polite these people are volunteers for the most part and don't need any additional grief).

I applaud you! Well said, could not have said it better myself! Well done!



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 04:40 AM
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reply to post by 12m8keall2c
 

There you have it! Well said, and agrees with my many years experience, too. Absolutely not an issue here. Yes, also being this an international forum in essence, cultural differences do apply when discussing censorship, too. And if I may be allowed a quite personal observation here: I know indirectly about censorship, because 1967-1974 while I grew up in a free and minimal censorship Western Germany (exception hate crime, nazis etc.), my brothers and sisters back in Greece had to live with the worst dictatorship censorship there is. So, yeah, I know a bit about censorship and I know to recognize it when I see it. Finally, I'll state it one more time: there is no censorship on ATS. Period.

edit on 28/2/2011 by WalterRatlos because: spelling and grammar



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 04:41 AM
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reply to post by Jinglelord
 


YES , I agree ! I got 2 WARNS IN ONE DAY!
2 out of 5 REMEMBER!

I mean W T F SHOULD I WRITE IN ORDER NOT TO GET A WARN?!

seriously...




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