What is the purpose of ATS?
Simply put, ATS is a conspiracy forum that is open and free for anyone to post in, as long as our policies are adhered to. That means we span topics
from potential alien invasion or abduction to political stances to astronomical observations to ecological concerns to religious conspiracies to
energy production methods and everything in between. If it interests you and might have a conspiracy associated with it, you can probably find it on
We want this forum to be available and pleasant for everyone. That means we have to have rules to keep posters from becoming too belligerent or from
posting things that are illegal, hateful, or unethical. A small group of members have been selected to help with this daunting task of making sure ATS
runs smoothly. They fall into three categories:
- Forum Moderators are assigned specific forums to help out with, where they typically spend
most of their moderating duties. They are available in other forums, but only in a limited fashion.
- Super Moderators are like Forum Moderators who moderate in every forum.
- Administrators are the top of the staff chain of command. They can moderate and make decisions on issues behind the scene.
There are also the "Three Amigos" who own and operate ATS:
- Springer, the Chief Operations Officer (COO)
- Crakeur, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
- SkepticOverloard, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- Simon Gray, the original founder (although he seems to be scarce lately and we all miss him)
All of these people are charged with ensuring that ATS is a fun place for everyone, and all of them are also members. They, just like you, like to
engage in discussions about various subjects, so you will likely at some point have a conversation with them. The thing to understand is that
Moderators are Members too
and typically are volunteers (that means they don't get
paid)! Also, remember that Moderators are forbidden from taking any staff action in any thread they are active in... so feel free to disagree with
There are three primary restrictions you have to remember to be a member in good standing with ATS:
Private Messages and the Chat Room
- Be civil and don't troll!
This thread on courtesy says it in detail, but by simply thinking "How would I feel if
my opponent said this to me?" is a good rule of thumb. It is completely possible to debate things you both feel strongly about without pushing
"buttons" or attacking each other; it happens here all the time.
- No drugs! Ever! Under any circumstances! ATS is available world-wide, and we want it to be accessible to as many people as possible. Drug talk
creates censorship among some filtering systems and keeps some people from being able to enjoy ATS. Also, even discussions about general conspiracies
involving drugs tend to attract those who apparently cannot help but relate their own illegal experiences in detail on a public forum. So the policy
is: The SUSPENSION of the discussion of illicit drugs/mind altering substances on ATS (The
- No recruiting! Ever! That includes asking others personal details, or trying to get others to sign petitions, or organizing events. ATS is a
discussion forum, not a political action committee, and we cannot allow members to freely recruit others to their cause here without incurring
severe legal liability... and that could cause ATS and its members a world of hurt. I know, it may seem vitally important to you, it may seem like the
end of the world, it may seem like a contradiction for a conspiracy forum to disallow outside organization, but to do so would eventually bring about
the end of ATS as we know it. Remember that information is power, and this is your chance to get the information out to other members... don't
endanger that and your ability to be a member by recruiting here.
As owners of the site, the Three Amigos may from time to time bend this last rule; that is their prerogative since they own the site. This is a rare
event, last used to defend against the SOPA bill, and is NOT an invitation to members to do the same!
ATS offers its members access to Private Messages (you can access them under the tools link in the top menu or through the bottom menu) and a Chat
Room. Remember that these are part of ATS and are subject to the same policies as the forums. Private Messages deserve a special mention here: do not
think that you can abuse the Private Message system! Owners can retrieve messages if warranted by a complaint. If someone asks you to not message them
again, don't message them again!
If you are being harassed in a Private Message, do not delete it! Use the
to alert the staff; we'll take it from there.
If Someone Is Bothering You in a Thread
Just as with Private Messages, do not respond in kind! Send a Complaint
please include the link to the offending post as well as a brief description of the problem). Every complaint is available to every Staff member who
is online, and someone will see and investigate it. You may or may not get a response back directly, but rest assured it has been taken into
When a complaint is investigated, it is not limited to just the offending post; if you are giving as good as you got, you run the risk of having posts
removed and being warned or worse just as the one who started it. Remember, Don't Respond to
Obvious Trollery, Just Alert It
While we're at it, one complaint per situation is enough, please! We are people too, and when someone keeps sending complaint after complaint after
complaint, it tends to actually get less
attention. That's just human nature.
One more thing about complaints: disagreement is not a reason to complain! This site runs on disagreements! the whole point of having a discussion is
to be able to present evidence, make points, and defend arguments against those who disagree with you. There is no policy against disagreements
as long as the disagreement is civil.
Please Listen to Staff!
From time to time, you may be asked by a Staff Member to stop doing something. Please, just do it! If you think the request was wrong, feel free to
send in a Complaint; even Moderators Are Not Above The Terms & Conditions
remember that almost every decision is made by consensus, not by a single staff member; the chances are very good this request has already been
debated before being issued.
The bottom line is: you're not going to win in a one-on-one fight with a Staff member. You will probably win if you cooperate with a Staff member.
They are not trying to bully you; they are trying to do their job and keep the site running smoothly. Many sites exist where the Moderators are
bullies, but this is not one of them. Bullies cannot become Staff here. In the remote chance that there is a problem, again, a
will get the entire Staff's attention.
You may also find that something was done in error; there's that human factor again. Just let a Staff Member know, and we will do what we can to fix
Whatever you do, remember that even when talking to staff in Private Messages, you are still bound by the
Terms & Conditions of ATS
, and that means you should be mindful of what you say. It's
very easy to let a minor infraction turn into a major problem.
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