posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 03:09 AM
ATS began as a site to discuss conspiracies and secrets. Clearly, it's grown into much more and there are a huge number of users with little or no
interest in those subjects who tend to take the "popular / mainstream" point of view.
For those of us more involved in the subjects, perhaps as researchers, authors or just educated interested parties it is becoming more and more
frustrating to have threads completely derailed by posters making pseudo-skeptical comments, people who post without even reading the thread or
comprehending it, treating subjects as humorous, etc. As I see more and more people responding, "I can go anywhere and get this kind of discussion
about (UFOs, conspiracies, etc), I expect a bit more on a site dedicated to these types of subjects".
I'm not just here to bitch about it though, I'd like to propose a possible solution.
What if, as an experiment, ATS offered the option for a poster to flag a thread for "moderated discussion". This would mean that certain moderators
/ volunteers would review each post and flag / guide them for things such as:
- poster did not read / understand the thread
- poster is responding w/ unfounded / un-sourced information presented as fact
And so on, basically applying the rules of debate to hopefully truly deny ignorance and educate ATS users about the proper way to debate / discuss
Maybe it could be something as simple as an up or down thumb by the mods and another for the thread members? Posts w/ scores below a certain limit
would be hidden w/ the option to show them if the user wants.
I know it would take some effort to do this - from the additional site coding to the moderator time and effort. I think it would be a good start
towards recapturing the goal of the ATS motto and would keep those subject areas alive here.
I'm also sure this would be something that would need to evolve over time, be adjusted, etc. I can foresee all the same issues arising at some point
to be dealt with - thread gaming, rule of the masses, etc.(Thinking of the evolution and eventual demise of Digg.com as an example) but starting off
w/ the participation and guidance of unbiased, educated moderators able to apply the rules of debate would prevent most of the problems. (Also why I
would have a moderator grade and a public grade system on posts).
It would be nice to tie this into a reputation system for users, also w/ the ability for each ATS user to set a limit on user reputation which would
determine posts that show up by default in threads vs. being hidden.
I also think this would give ATS a way to implement some of the various moderation methods and rules which have evolved over time. Things like
removing politics from non political subjects, flaming, trolling, etc.