posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 03:44 PM
We understand that there has been some degree of concern and supposed controversy regarding the Flagging system on AboveTopSecret.com. Over the years,
we've not considered making any changes, as in our (owners/staff) eyes, the system is operating as it should. However, ATS and our membership
evolves, and from time to time we review aspects of ATS, and after some behind-the-scenes discussions, we've deployed some rather modest but
ultimately significant changes to the Flagging system.
The Importance of Flags
A Flag is a valuable item on ATS. As a thread author, it's a vote of confidence from your peers, and an important nudge up the chain of current
content to potential display on the site home. For members, it's your crucial signal to your fellow members who author threads that you feel their
work is worthy.
In reality, because we do not (nor will ever) have down-voting in the form of negative Flagging, the ATS Flag is of the most importance to the members
who award them. You hold the decision-making power as to what content rises to the top to be included on the pages that aggregate the highest-Flagged
threads, such as the site home.
Members Can Now Take-Back Flags
Because of the value of the flag to the editorial flow of ATS, and the importance of the Flag to members who give them, we've now included the
ability to take back a previously awarded Flag in the form of an "UN-FLAG" button.
As a thread evolves, often times the original point of the author either becomes more clear, or has become the inspiration for a follow-up discussion
such that a member regrets their flag award. Now, you have the chance to take back your Flag... but still have the opportunity to Flag again should
the thread improve.
Flagging Is For Full-Members
Also, if you can't start a thread (a new account with less than 20 posts), you can't Flag a thread. We understand there has been some concern over
the possibility of the formation of sockpuppet accounts for no reason other than to Flag one's own threads. This is a very logical and graceful way
to make that process much, much harder.