posted on Jul, 23 2011 @ 01:04 PM
One major problem communities like ours face is the "cult of personality". It happens to all of us all the time in real life, the 'cult of
personality' causes us to irrationally idealize certain personalities and make them 'larger than life', etc.
On websites for example, little cliques or groups form. To use ATS as a specific example, in general, there are often times certain people that become
part of a group and they typically support each other on a lot of things, for example threads.
Nothing necessarily wrong with this behavior, since we all partake in it to some extent in some way in our lives.
What goes wrong is that many of these folks become apathetic and will merely flag-star their buddies thread without even reading it at all. It's a
pointless 'cult of personality' flag, and based entirely off using a clique to falsely inflate the popularity of something. This is very similar to
the way corporations pay people to act like normal Joes and plug their products at every chance they get (without anyone figuring out they are
shilling for $$).
This is why I generally avoid cliques and groups, and although I sometimes (rarely) get supportive comments from members (and I cherish those
moments), because far too often such social structures and the group-think are enforced by ostracizing people if they step out of bounds.
So when I flag something, it's because of intellectual reasoning and not based on social influences too often.
I do believe it can become a problem and we as a community should become aware of it and do what we can to avoid the pitfalls of the 'cult of
personality'. Especially here on ATS.
Disclaimer: People who promote good threads about interesting topics and present great thinking, will always win a flag from me. I have several
buddies who keep me up to date with their latest ideas, and I am always supportive of that. But I actually read the thread! That's the difference.