##Members Please Read##: Ending the Political Trolling

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posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 10:41 AM
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As most of you know, the election cycle here in the United States in about to go into overdrive.

So, too, will the passionate debate (if one can call it that currently...) here on ATS over which candidate is the best, and which one is the Beast.

Which brings me to the point of this little thread...

The staff has, along with many regular members, grown increasingly disturbed over mounting amounts of trolling on the political forums from BOTH sides of the political spectrum.

Frankly? We're sick to death of it, and have reached a consensus over what to do about it.

A crackdown is going to begin shortly on trolls, and their behaviour.

Personal attacks, both subtle and overt. Snarky commentary. Euphemisisms used in a derogatory fashion. Anything designed to instigate conflict, rather than discussion. These are going to stop. Fair warning.

Terms and Conditions


15a) Offensive Content: You will not Post forum posts, private messages, PODcasts, blog entries, videos, images, and other supported content, links to images or use avatars and/or signatures that are unlawful, harassing, libelous, privacy invading, abusive, threatening, harmful, hateful, vulgar, obscene, and/or disruptive. You will not use text, images, avatars or link to images or domains that contain gore, mutilation, pornography or illegal content. Doing so will result in removal of your Post(s) and immediate termination of your account.

15g.) Political Baiting: You will not engage in politically-charged rhetoric, politically-inspired name-calling, and related right-versus-left political bickering while Posting in any topical forum or discussion thread on the Websites. You will not alter political candidate names or party affiliations in order to insult or deride the opposition.

16) Behavior: You will not behave in an abusive, libelous, defamatory, hateful, intolerant, bigoted and/or racist manner, and will not harass, threaten, nor attack anyone.

24) Right of Community Management. This is a privately owned discussion board community. TAN reserves the right to take action against any member, or member Posting, which is deemed to be devoted purely to disruption, represents behavior contrary to community building, or in cases where the content is contrary to the core ideals of the Websites. This action may include removal of your Posting and/or complete banning of your username and IP address. TAN reserves the right to eliminate or edit any content deemed inappropriate for the discussion boards, news network or any affiliated sites. TAN reserves the right to establish limits on topics that may be discussed if, in their opinion, the discussion of those topics attract an audience that is counterproductive to maintaining the ideals set forth in the Terms and Conditions of Use and the Terms and Conditions of Membership.



Read these pertinent sections, along with the rest of the Terms and Conditions, folks. Refamiliarize yourself with the rules of conduct here.

ATS has always been dedicated to the free exchange of ideas, and the discussion of same.

It is, most certainly, not dedicated to scoring cheap idealistic points in some vapid game of one upsmanship.

From here on, until election day in November, and almost certainly beyond, passions will run deep, and flame hot, and we wouldn't have it any other way!!

But...

We will also have politeness, and civil behaviour, right along with our passions.

Passion in ones ideology need not include verbal jabs, name calling, or any other behaviour inteded to belittle others, or do injury to them.

If, in the process of debating/arguing your points, you find yourself getting angry? Step Away From The Keyboard. Go grab a fave beverage, or go for a walk. Do not bring it to the boards, and take it out on your fellow members. Log out if need be, and come back tomorrow. Whatever it takes to keep your temper in check.

The days of trolling ATS are coming to an end, folks.

Fair warning given. Please heed it.

edit on 11/22/2011 by seagull because: (no reason given)



+13 more 
posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by seagull
 





The days of trolling ATS are coming to an end, folks.


I'll believe that when I see it. The trolling won't stop and it won't slow down either. It will just result in tons and tons of "post removed" images. Which is great.

People from both sides have fallen into this game of baiting, myself included. hopefully the mod team at hand is ready because I feel like they are going to be EXTREMELY busy. Though I find myself wondering why you'd need to re-affirm the rules that have been in place and unchanged since most people signed up.

hopefully, this "ending of the trolling" will not resign itself to the political forums alone, I think a major crackdown across the entire board is in order. Pick a thread, any thread, any section, any topic. The problem is rampant.

edit on 22-11-2011 by phishyblankwaters because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 10:48 AM
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You guys will be busy.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by phishyblankwaters
 


Posts removed are only a step. There are, as you well know, other steps that can, and will be taken as necessary.


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posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 10:51 AM
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Originally posted by seagull
So, too, will the passionate debate (if one can call it that currently...) here on ATS over which candidate is the best, and which one is the Beast.


I don't see why any further debate on that is of concern at all. We already know which candidate is the best, and which is the Beast. Only problem I see with your statement is you forgot to make "Beast" plural.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by phishyblankwaters

hopefully, this "ending of the trolling" will not resign itself to the political forums alone, I think a major crackdown across the entire board is in order. Pick a thread, any thread, any section, any topic. The problem is rampant.

edit on 22-11-2011 by phishyblankwaters because: (no reason given)


All it takes is reading this thread notice and some personal responsibility.

With that said, I find it hilarious really that this even needs to be called to the attention of ATS members, most of whom are against "The man," and any form of policing. Why should the mods have to read every word typed here?


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posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 10:53 AM
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Consider it heeded. And thank you very much for doing what you can to make ATS a place for intelligent discussion instead of political sniping.

Speaking for myself only. I WANT to have good debate and discussion, but when it's so hard to wade through the complete crap that some spew, it's not even worth it for me to open the thread. So I don't. Because I know I will be disgusted by the 3rd or 4th post. Lately, I look at the titles here to see what people are talking about and then I go elsewhere to read about it. That's just the truth.

I cop to sinking to the level of snarky lately because I figure that if ATS Mgmt doesn't care enough to hold the level of discourse to a certain standard, why should I?

I'll probably regret being so honest, but there it is.


Good luck making it work, and thank you again.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 10:53 AM
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reply to post by seagull
 


Oh believe me, I'm well versed in the actions that can, and will be taken, against ATS users breaking rules, or deemed to be in violation of said rules.

What I don't want to see is unwarranted banning of users, it happens and probably will forever, but when talking politics, running into a very important election (determining the course of the united states for the next 2-4 years) is going to result in heated debates.

Like you suggested, the easy solution is to walk away, but many people can't let things "go"

Some of the people posting trollish comments in threadA might have said something articulate and important in threadB, I just don't want the baby thrown out with the water. hopefully they see this thread and actually read and comprehend the rules quoted above.

I guess time will tell, i know the boards are going to be more active than ever considering what's going on as of late. It should make for some great discussions, and if people keep in line, meaningful ones at that.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 10:57 AM
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reply to post by supine
 





With that said, I find it hilarious really that this even needs to be called to the attention of ATS members, most of whom are against "The man," and any form of policing. Why should the mods have to read every word typed here?


Well like i said, pick a thread, any thread. Outside of the incredibly meticulously crafted threads like the one on Oswald, Kennedy, and the likes (all from the same user) most threads are a rambling incoherent jumble of talking points, personal attacks, and butthurt. i'm in no way saying i'm innocent, I'm sure in a lot of threads I'm part of the problem.

But yes, ATS isn't just a random blog, and if it intends to stay "alive" the mods need to take an active role and enforce the T&C fully, unconditionally, in every thread for every user.

The fact that a Mod has to remind us to follow the rules we already agreed to follow, clearly shows there is a problem.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 10:57 AM
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reply to post by phishyblankwaters
 


That was a personal attack in my opinion
troll.Its pretty debatable what is trolling and what isnt.Its also debatable what is on topic and what is off topic.I dont understand what the big deal is.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:01 AM
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reply to post by phishyblankwaters
 


That is a legit concern, at least from the public side of the curtain. No action is taken, that hasn't been vetted by multiple members of the staff. That certainly would include such drastic actions as a bannng, whether temp. or other.

We answer to each other, and to the owners. We act on consensus, where ever possible.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by seagull
The days of trolling ATS are coming to an end, folks.
Fair warning given. Please heed it.

I would suggest that you start with the incendiary "Are you still beating your wife?" style of thread titles. If one can't open a thread using one's inside voice...shut it down!



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:06 AM
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reply to post by phishyblankwaters
 


Nothing at all wrong with a heated debate. I enjoy those myself. But heated, and mean spirited/personal, are not the same thing.

We want passion. Even anger. We just need it expressed in such a manner as to be conducive to civil conversation.

Calling someone an idiot isn't conducive to civil conversation. Mentioning to someone that "hey, you may be mistaken about that, here's why...", and then telling them politely, and passionately, why they're wrong. There is nothing wrong with passion, just how you express it.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by phishyblankwaters

The fact that a Mod has to remind us to follow the rules we already agreed to follow, clearly shows there is a problem.


Well, honestly, I do believe that part of the problem is that people forget there is a way to alert a mod before a long hauled out back and forth situation ensues with the baiting.

People need to start alerting more to the baits, rather than reply.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:09 AM
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reply to post by supine
 





People need to start alerting more to the baits, rather than reply.


good point, whenever i come across something I feel is against the T&C I click that fancy little alert and 99 times out of 100 the problem is resolved instantly.

So yeah, this isn't just the mods job, it's all of us working together, keeping ourselves in line for one thing, and also making sure to take some of the load off the mods by clicking Alert.

Great point, so simple but accurate.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by seagull
 


I'm not sure how relevant this will be but....

Many of ATS OWS supporters believe the Two Party system is a joke and rigged {I've also seen many of the very same members come out in favor of Ron Paul} My question really is this, How will those posts/replies in said threads by those who are bashing the two party system altogether be handled?

I think we should try to have some clarification with regards to this recent development.

If Two members are debating opposing views and abiding by the T & C {even if the discussion is heated} to only have another member call them both sheeple or fools for "Buying into" the rigged system etc etc etc.

Will that be considered trolling?


edit on 22-11-2011 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by supine
 



People need to start alerting more to the baits, rather than reply.




YES!


...a thousand times, yes!!

There are all too few staff on at any given time. ...and even if all of us were on 24/7, we couldn't begin to see all the posts/threads that are posted here on a daily basis. We rely on you guys to let us know what's going on. We can't see everything.

Please understand this, guys. We can't do this alone. We need your help, in order to make this work.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:14 AM
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reply to post by theovermensch
 





That was a personal attack in my opinion troll.Its pretty debatable what is trolling and what isnt.Its also debatable what is on topic and what is off topic.I dont understand what the big deal is.


Acting like a jerk and Political Trolling are two separate things, sure, they tend to go hand in hand, but they are two separate things.

IE.



I believe Ron Paul is a great choice for President based on his polices and statements.


Nothing trollish about that right?



Ron Paul is the only choice for president and if you can't see that you are an idiot


That, my friend, is trolling. Sure, in your opinion they may be an idiot. But, that statement is made the way it is to GET an emotion response from the other person, which usually leads them into breaking the T&C



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:15 AM
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Sounds like it's warranted.

However, I've long had a problem . . . where does one draw the line.

To me . . . satire is a very creative and condensed way to say a lot of important things.

Actually, I think creative modifications of politicians' names is one of the best, most potent, most condensed way of communicating paragraphs of blather.

Should there be a forum for poltical satire alone?

I often say things satirically . . . partly because it's my bent politically but also because it's quick, short, saves time and blather.

.
.

Sounds like I'll just need to avoid such threads or review my writing 5 times before posting. Sigh.
edit on 22/11/2011 by BO XIAN because: added sentence



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 11:17 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 





If Two members are abiding by the T & C {even if the discussion is heated} to only have another member call them sheeple or fools for "Buying into" the rigged system etc etc etc.


tough call but it probably comes down to personal attacks and how you conduct yourself.

sure, you could say:



you are a stupid sheep blindly following orders, stop being a fool


but that is instantly a personal attack. A better way is:



I believe you have been fooled by the false two party system.


you are saying the same thing, one gets a post ban, the other gets stars.





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