Great post Cassie, and don't lose heart!
I think a lot of people on ATS (and elsewhere on the Internet) feel the same, but not many are brave
enough, or angered enough by it, to speak up. It is however the nature of the beast that when you start getting outside of mainstream thought or news,
that you will be subjected to the thoughtless and rude reactions of some whose motto is perhaps "propagate
A few thoughts:
* Try to thicken your skin a little. Remember these people don't know you and it's not a personal attack. Often spammers/flamers like these will go
away if they are treated with stony unresponsiveness from the posters who actually want
to be discussing the topic with an open mind. Many are
there just to get a reaction, or getting off on the feeling of power that they get from the anonymity of the Internet.
* Judging by your gracious and restrained post, this doesn't need saying, but if the person does have a legitimate argument against the content of
your post and presents it in a manner that is not offensive, then that is quite in line with the spirit of the board and you should respect their
opinion too. Whether or not you decide to argue the point is up to you.
* Write up a short, direct paragraph or set of links directing rude or spamming poster to the sections of "Website/Board Rules & Updates" that
pertain to denying ignorance, tolerance of others' views/opinions, thoughtful posting, and generally being an all-around discussion-board
nice-guy/gal. Every time you get a poster that you feel is going against the spirit of the ATS boards, just copy and paste the same message
each time, while continuing with your repsonse to other posters in the thread. Again, when faced with a stone wall of unresponsiveness, most spammers
will move on.
* One of the wonderful little tools of discussion boards is the Ignore Button. One push of this little Godsend and that warm, fuzzy, forum feeling
will be coming back in no time. But beware, overuse of this puppy can cause every single post that you see on your screen to start with "I agree!"
and "YES! EXACTLY!" which can tend to make things a little dull.
Just a few thoughts from a fellow part-time tinfoil-hat-wearer.