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ATS control of the front page headline

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posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 12:23 PM
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I'm not trying to start a flame war but it is something I want to talk about as I may have been confused by what the site owners have said. There have been numerous threads addressing what some see as a concerted effort on the part of the staff of ATS to control the content that shows up on the front page. Site owners and mods have explained that it is controlled by flags and posts and is out of their hands what shows up there.

However, the September 11, 2001: Personal Stories 10-Years Later thread is the only one at the top of the front page. Obviously, it's been put there to cause discussion about a terrible day in our nation's history and it is something that needs to be talked about. But, it certainly shows that they can control what shows there.

Here is a link to one of threads I am talking about and a link to what SkepticOverlord posted in the thread.

content control and thread promotion on ATS : 100% distraction

SkepticOverlord post


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by XmikaX
so what's the purpose of this moving/promoting thread trend ATS rulers ?

It's automatic, based on flags and date -- the two highest flagged threads initiated in the previous 36 hours are automatically shown at the top of the site home. "ATS management" has no input on the matter.




posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by PhantomLimb
 


Wouldn't it show up because people are flagging the thread because it's 9/11?



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by PhantomLimb
 




Why would you think otherwise?

I would have thought it's obvious that on a privately owned site such as this, that the owners should make their homepage look pretty and keep any crap off of it.



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by Brentnauer
 


If you link to the 9/11 thread SO specifically states it has been placed there on purpose for today.



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by blupblup
reply to post by PhantomLimb
 




Why would you think otherwise?

I would have thought it's obvious that on a privately owned site such as this, that the owners should make their homepage look pretty and keep any crap off of it.


Even after stating they don't do that? That really makes no sense at all. If they do alter the content then why deny that they do? They own it, they're allowed to do what they please with the content. Yet, they say that they cannot change what shows up on the front page. Why?



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 12:32 PM
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reply to post by PhantomLimb
 


Mate, SkepticOverlord specifically said, in the Personal Stories thread (in the first paragraph in fact), that they would feature that thread on the front page today.


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

On Sunday, we'll feature it on the site's home page.


Normally they don't diddle with the front page threads, but today is a reasonable enough excuse to do so I would imagine.



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 12:34 PM
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reply to post by Kryties
 


I know what he said. Maybe you should read two posts above yours, mate. However, they have specifically said that they do not control the content of the front page. But, clearly, they do at times.
edit on 9/11/2011 by PhantomLimb because: (no reason given)

edit on 9/11/2011 by PhantomLimb because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by PhantomLimb
reply to post by Kryties
 


But, clearly, they do at times.


Yeah, fair enough. So? Whoopdy-doo as far as I'm concerned. If the owners want to promote a specific thread to enable more people to read it then more power to them - it is THEIR website after all.

If they start suppressing threads then I might get worried, but so far all they have done is promote 1 thread after informing all members that they were going to do so.



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 12:40 PM
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reply to post by PhantomLimb
 





they do at times.


Did SO not inform you(and everybody) of this?

I think that is good enough.....This is the internet man....everything is manipulated



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by Kryties

Originally posted by PhantomLimb
reply to post by Kryties
 


But, clearly, they do at times.


Yeah, fair enough. So? Whoopdy-doo as far as I'm concerned. If the owners want to promote a specific thread to enable more people to read it then more power to them - it is THEIR website after all.

If they start suppressing threads then I might get worried, but so far all they have done is promote 1 thread after informing all members that they were going to do so.


The only problem I have is the fact that they deny they can do this. SO said it depends on flags and posts and is out of their hands. If they have the means to change the front page, which is unsurprising because they do own and run this site, then why deny that. Why not say that they can but they only do so for specific times like today's 9/11 anniversary? They only say that it's changed by stars and flags. Why?

This is not about the fact that they can change front page. They own it, therefore they can do as they please. It's the fact that they deny that they can do so when they can.



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 12:50 PM
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reply to post by PhantomLimb
 


S.O. probably inserted the code into the front page manually. I don't believe all the other staff have those admin privileges.

And let's not forget that he specifically stated that he would.



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 12:53 PM
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reply to post by PhantomLimb
 

It doesn’t make sense to me that they wouldn’t be able to change it, if they have access to everything surely a link needs to be put in. It really does not matter what they put in the homepage, when more of a concern is is the ability to remove threads at will. Still who looks at the homepage then leaves, it’s not a big deal in my opinion.



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 01:04 PM
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reply to post by PhantomLimb
 


We've never denied having the ability, that would be silly. I guess we figured everyone would know that we can control everything on this site, apparently that was a bad assumption on our part.

FYI, there is pretty much nothing beyond the control of any webmaster on any site, websites are generated via software, software is code written by a human(s) that requires the ability to control all aspects of it in order for it to work the way we want it to.

The reality is we do keep our hands off and the top thread is voted up by virtue of an automated system that tallies replies and flags from the members, unless we state otherwise like this instance. We want what our members think is important to be at the top of the site, that's why we don't exercise editorial controls beyond the requirements of our TAC (Terms And Conditions).

Springer...
edit on 9-11-2011 by Springer because: add clarity



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by PhantomLimb
The only problem I have is the fact that they deny they can do this. SO said it depends on flags and posts and is out of their hands. If they have the means to change the front page, which is unsurprising because they do own and run this site, then why deny that. Why not say that they can but they only do so for specific times like today's 9/11 anniversary? They only say that it's changed by stars and flags. Why?

This is not about the fact that they can change front page. They own it, therefore they can do as they please. It's the fact that they deny that they can do so when they can.


Good grief man, really?

Find me a source for "...they deny they can do this."
Of course the potential is there to control the website. It's a website, not a double-blind clinical trial. They set up the front page to lead to trending topics, and by default that is how they present the board mechanics. ONE day, one special anniversary day that impacted EVERYONE on the board, they choose to direct the content and you're crying about something so insanely trivial?

If they altered it w/o disclosing you may have a case to even post, but they did, with reason. Go outside for a little while, get a coffee, interact with RL for a bit.

EDIT: Outstanding, while I was typing it got handled. I still stand by the "Go outside for a little while..." comment

edit on 11-9-2011 by blamethegreys because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by PhantomLimb
The only problem I have is the fact that they deny they can do this.

By my recollection, the "denial" you indicate was specific to the manipulation flags, which determine what appears on the site home, and other pages that aggregate top threads.

There have been several occasions in the past -- the mega-thread on the Japan earthquake being the most recent -- where important threads were "stickied" at the top of the two positions for longer than it would naturally stay. There was no outcry then, so why now?


To add...

There's a great deal of code "under the hood" here that automates the creation of pages like the home page, top topics page, forum summary pages, and so on. The intent is to provide users, especially new users, with a information architecture more similar to a news website, as smaller and smaller percentages of Internet users are comfortable with a typical forum information architecture. The intent is to have a system where no human intervention is needed.

But for important things, like ongoing threads for a major event, or our member's stories of 9/11, there can and will be the rare human intervention on the site home page.

Pretty simple really.
edit on 11-9-2011 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 01:21 PM
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molehill ... meet ... MOUNTAIN

Why would we not 'override that code', so to speak, in lieu of remembering a single fateful day which effectively changed the world we live in. (?)

To proclaim this as 'proof' that ATS actually does manipulate the Top Topic on the boards ... laughable, at best.

Common Sense and The Obvoius says it was done to commemorate and pay homage to those lives lost.

Then and Since

... perhaps, to coincide with the hour and thirty two minute 'moment of silence' earlier this morning

... as well as to draw attentions and focus to the Many members who've put forth their own personal stories and experiences from that day.

NAH ... that couldn't be it.



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 07:42 PM
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reply to post by Springer
 
Thanks for your post! I am new here and still learning my way around. As I was reading the whole thing seemed silly to me. I wasn't about to invest tons of energy going off to find old posts to sort it out.

I personally appreciate the owners and staff stay out of whats on top, UNLESS they announce it first


Threads like this always make me think of all the times people get into silly arguments or sparring when what they are really fighting about is never spoken.....I think this is one of those times


Thank you for helping the noob understand!




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