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The Reasons We Star and Flag. The Philosophy behind it.

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posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 03:36 PM
I have been a member of ATS for a couple of years. One thing I have noticed is that my best threads that I poured research into have amounted to a blip on the ATS radar-sometimes quickly falling into the mass of other well researched and thought out threads. However, my most pointless threads which required nearly no thought made it to the front page of ATS. I think many of us experienced this phenomena. What does this say about ATS or us as a whole, when we give more attention to sensationalized issues that require little thought or discussion, then to well researched and thought out topics?

In this thread I would like to see if I am not alone, and further explore the philosophy behind stars and flags. Please post your highest flagged thread and then your most important thread that nobody paid attention to.

I'll go first.

My highest flagged thread was at 105 flags and 58 stars (which is pitiful I know) was:

Reportedly a new FOIA 2010 Video: Firefighters discuss explosions on 9/11

The Thread I think should have obtained more attention at 2 flags and no responses was:

Global Consciousness Project during Wikileaks WarDiary Release

My opinion is that humans tend to only respond to sensationalized issues. Issues which require us to be at odds with each other. We like expressing our opinions. However, we reward opinions over research and facts. Thus keeping in line with the philosophy of ATS in denying ignorance, we must be aware of the philosophy under which threads rise and fall at ATS. This is also your opportunity to get some attention to your more important thread that never got any attention.

posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 03:38 PM
No Star no Flag!

Philosophy over that!

posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 03:41 PM
you mean i dont win anything?!

so why on earth am i hanging round for, screw you guys im going home............. after just one more post

posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 03:42 PM
I know that not everyone here has the time to interact with and respond to the more nuanced and complex threads. So as a matter of course, I don't always expect massive post counts and lots of attention to those kinds of threads. In fact, if I go out of my way to make a long and complex thread and it's appreciated by just one or two other minds, well, that makes me feel great! I'm not really all that concerned if it doesn't attract the stampeding hoardes of teh intrawebs; why would it? Delightful winidng back roads into profundity cannot, by their very nature, be superhighways. Nor would I want them to be.

At the same time, sometimes it's fun to throw up a less thoughtful idea that nonetheless represents something you think should be communicated, and just "blast it out there." If you do this right, it's a totally different kind of experience but no less edifying, and you might see high S&F's on those.

Fortunately ATS is flexible enough to allow both options...

posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 03:42 PM
Here we go again.. How many of these threads need to get buried.. I "flag" this thread, Just so i can "UN-FLAG" ..

posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 03:43 PM
S&F! Couldn't care less about them really. Some gems usually end up in their proper place, but a lot of the time it's the BS threads... subjects like "have you felt x" or "why are the animals silent" or "I can see air".
Still, it's entertainment.

posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 03:46 PM

Originally posted by TechVampyre
Here we go again.. How many of these threads need to get buried.. I "flag" this thread, Just so i can "UN-FLAG" ..

Would that be considered a "false-flag" , then?

posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 03:46 PM
reply to post by ExPostFacto

You're not wrong at all. Sometimes it takes days of refreshing the main page to find ANYTHING worth reading, but for some reason many people found it flag-worthy.

On the other hand, many well put together threads slip into oblivion simply because they have too much information and readers just skip across them. Overall, and probably for the past year or so, I have slowly been noticing the dumbing down of ATS - the quality of articles is diminishing while the negativity and sheer idiocy seems to be on the rise - which in turn prompts the staff to rule with an iron fist which turns me away even more.

I think I need to take a 6 month break from ATS... if only I can make myself not load the page up a dozen times a day.


posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 03:52 PM
I visit the topics being discussed already, i.e. what you see when you visit If I see a thread I like, it receives a star and a flag. If I see a comment I like, I give it a star. Very rarely do I visit individual forums to discover new topics, just not enough time in my schedule to do so. I've been here since 2007, my stats speak for how little time I'm on ATS.

posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 04:11 PM
I think the well thought out posts tend to have lots of information and people are to lazy to read it, well unless one of the regulars post lol. I notice a lot of the big threads people say I had a quick look and will read the rest later but somehow I doubt many do.

As for the stars I have already gathered they are meaningless, everything no matter how silly can get a stars as someone out there will think the same. If you want to get stars it seems you just have to write...

"Oh dont worry sheeple its just swamp gas/ chinese lanterns."

edit on 28-7-2011 by OwenGP185 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 04:17 PM
I see this often, and have had it done to me myself. Might I suggest a few things.

Try to bump your thread every couple of days, or even add a bit of new info to liven it up.

You can also add those members that you enjoy reading their threads and put them on your friends list, and go to "My friends threads" from the ribbon on the bottom of the screen.

There a few members that if they take the time to really write something that they know is good, they U2U members that they know would be interested.

I dont think that its about stars and flags for many members, but getting the info out there is just as important. I always check "My friends" threads, and if I get U2U from a member I am always sure that I check it out and star and flag as needed.

Its important to support members/friends here. There are quite a few that I always check out their stuff. Once you get used to names and possibly avatars for those of us with photographic memories it gets easier.

Peace, NRE.

posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 04:19 PM
reply to post by ExPostFacto

Eh, why not.. you'll be home next week recovering from your surgery. Plenty of time ponder the importance of our "Look at Me" currency.

I don't start too many threads, and this is the most flagged. For those of us who don't trust about anything the MSM tells us, I was pleasantly surprised at how many were interested. It felt like I actually contributed something. As recent as yesterday I got a U2U about it.
Who needs the MSM to get the news? Nobody! Free To Air Satellite

This thread, on the other hand, I put some serious time into understanding the physics correctly, and hoping for a discussion on dark energy. Unfortunately it turned into a philosophical slap-fest without a single answer where the actual science was concerned.
Are we Space Itself?

Have fun with it.

posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 05:34 PM
reply to post by lernmore

Thank you. This is exactly what I was looking for in responses. It seems we deny ignorance by remaining ignorant. Let's flag the opinionated pieces, and never read the well researched.

posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 05:44 PM
reply to post by ExPostFacto

i think it is simply that a well researched topic will be read and taken in therefore there will not be as many comments, and even though people think it was good, they will forget to star and flag.

where as topics that stir disagrement or bring in opposite sides of the arguement often make people feel they need to have a say, therefore more people will take an active part in the thread, more people taking an active part equals more flags and stars handed out.

it good you pointed this out though, i agree threads that show a distinct amount of effort and time to create should be starred more.

posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 02:43 AM
The flag and star system don’t work very well, there could be many reasons for this fact. I’m certain “competition” for credibility in the forums is one of them. Not that stars and flags is very important as such, except for distinguishing between good and bad.

One reason could be all the spam treads constantly created with no real content except for a few lines of text and a video, a link or a picture. Some times these treads contain some good info, but often they are just rip off from other treads. It’s actually good with all these new treads except for the fact that they push all the really good stuff away from the first pages in the forums. Especially US election 2012, political madness and Aliens and UFO forum is tread bombed.

Another reason could be how “unfair” many of the flags and stars is distributed. I often see one liners from the awarded contributers getting loads of stars. And then I see well constructed arguments and treads getting no attention at all. It is discouraging especially to new members that they get no credit for brilliant answers or treads and other people get spammed with stars for no apparent reason at all. If you want those new members to keep posting you should give them what they deserve.
Here is a few examples of spam answers rewarded too much, You could make that list 100 pages:

Gawd, I have SUCH a man crush on Ron Paul – 17 stars
The more I hear Ron Paul talk, the better I like him. He makes sense to me. – 22 stars
- 3 stars
Sometimes I read things here that make me hopeless about the fate of humankind – 19

I won’t link to treads I believe got too much credit, because that would only be giving them even more attention. It could also look as a challenge to the tread starters, which is not my goal with this post.

I joined ATS because I love the in depth treads with real content. I also enjoy the “news” here on forum, and actually contribute if I can add something to a tread. If I don’t have anything constructive to add in a tread, I star and flag it when deserved but keep my mouth closed.
It is no fun reading 3 pages of “Good stuff OP! or Where did you get that?”, just to try and reach the next constructive answer.

reply to post by lifeform11

Good answer, but it is a shame it has to be like that.
edit on 21-8-2011 by Mimir because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 02:59 AM
It seems to me the whole system is just to give you a sense of how well you fall into fitting in with the majority part of the preferences.
In any large grouping, you will see, if you had a graph, a bell shape, in which the largest majority is in the middle, and are neither too intellectual, nor too emotional based.
If you are concerned with fitting into the more intellectually based, you will not find yourself in the highest bell part, but in the lower area (meaning, less stars).

I don't tend to think about reaching for stars when I am writing, my intent is integrity- reflecting exactly what my thoughts and perceptions are, without being twisted to please or attract others. If I write for pleasing others, then the many stars I get are NOT a real indicator of how I fit into my collective- they are an indicator of how I WISH I fell into the collective, because I was not being "myself" when I recieved them.

Sometimes, putting up too airtight a proposal at the very first is a killer because people like to have room to exchange on a topic- to think over, analyze, question, challenge. If you've covered it all, well there isn't much place for them to do that, only for them to compliment you on your research and delivery. I don't know many people that enjoy just being the audience and supporters of others only.

One thing you could do to detour this obstacle to stars is to not expose all your back up right away! Hide some of your cards. Expose your hypothesis, let others think about it and say what they think, turn it over on their pallette, then when you get questioned or challenged, pull out the supporting research you have done.

Some consider that like "cheating" in a debate, but I've observed that the "audience" still enjoys the debate more when it has more action that way and an interesting twist such as that.

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