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A Suggestion For Decreasing The Rampant Acrimony At ATS -- In Politics Threads In Particular

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posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 07:55 AM
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I cut way back on my ATS viewing -- and even more on my input here -- after the last US election, although I have checked back in from time to time to see if there are any interesting stories/threads. And then the Sandy Hook and related gun-control memes took over and I really started avoiding this site. Just way too many way-out/outlandish threads and their redundancies ad nauseum, and the fact that such threads were taking over the front page, so it was hard to find interesting and/or rational threads on other topics, so I just gave up completely for a while.

Came back looking for anything new in UFOs or interesting news stories that I hadn't heard about elsewhere. Well three threads that caught my eye are now permanently closed or closed and under staff evaluation. Now I have some opinions on all this and what I think of ATS's handling of such matters, but that's not what I want to talk about, besides saying that closed-down threads are a big bummer for me. I realize the P'sTB here own and run the site as they see fit, and they pay the bills, so I can't really complain.

But I do have a suggestion on how to limit/minimize the acrimony that goes on here, and make it a more pleasant website for everyone but those who live to argue. I brought this idea up in some contentious thread or another a little while back, but doubt it ever got much viewage and consideration, so I've created this thread to describe and discuss it.

As I mentioned, part of the problem I have, which others likely have too, is that the ATS homepage is overflowing with articles/threads of stories that either don't appeal to me or which will likely just make my blood boil if I read any of it. It would be nice to have a more customized front/home page for ATS in which you can filter out forum topics that don't float your boat and threads by OP's you know you generally vehemently disagree with on just about anything, and you know they will just piss you off if you read their thread.

Now some might argue that blacklisting threads by some persons is censorship, but no one is being censored. Everyone can say there thing, but others don't have to deal with it, i.e. be aware of it. Admittedly then, there could then be a problem of an echo-chamber effect, in which like-minded people are all saying the same thing, without much in the way of dissenting views, and any hapless person without a dog in the fight will see only a very one-side discussion of some topic, but what do we have now? People just talking past each other, and some getting very hot under the collar, resulting in shutdown threads and removed posts.

For me, ideally, it would be nice if there were two versions of the ATS site, one for my reality and one for (for lack of a better term) Bizarro World. This wouldn't apply just to politics forums either. I grow tired of wading through tedious threads and comments in the UFO forum for example, and would like to just filter that forum down to what I consider to be "meaty threads", so I'd spend less time trying to sift through them for meatier items.

Yes, this would mean that the "standing on a soap box" function of this site would decrease some, but frankly a lot of the threads posted here deserve to have the soap box yanked out from underneath them, to wit: rambling multi-paragraph introductions to a thread that give no indication of what the thread is about, or threads with a short intro to a video, but with no short summary of what the video has to say; I'd love to never see another thread like either of these. And then there are the usual suspects with their tired political hyperbole based on inaccurate information at best. I just as soon not be aware of another post by such persons. No doubt there are folks here who don't care for the cut of my ideological/intellectual jib either and don't really want to know about or see my posts, and that's perfectly fine by me.

If such a system were implemented, I fully understand that the current sense of community might change, but with threads being closed and posts being removed, I for one ain't digging the current community scene. This system seems like it would be fairly easy to implement and automate, and that it would drastically cut down on the work of moderators, which I'm assuming would be a cost-saving measure for the ATS owners.

p.s.: Don't know a more appropriate forum for this thread, so I put it here. If there's a better place for it, move it there.




posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 08:07 AM
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I like the idea, sounds a bit like Stumble. You pick what topics interest you, check the box and that's all that shows up. It's not censorship, all topics are still visible if you want them to be, just a custom page if you want it.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 08:11 AM
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Already a function for that, myATS!

Just go to the forums you like and click "Make Favorite". Then set your bookmark for ATS to the myATS page.

Works like a charm!

ETA:
Also to filter the Recent posts page, just click the little red minus symbol (-) next to the forum and thread author. That will remove the entire forum from the recent posts page. (note: if you clear your cookies you will have to go back and minus them out again)
edit on 27-3-2013 by OneisOne because: add



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 08:28 AM
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reply to post by MrInquisitive
 



Let's see... because you don't want your "blood boiling", you want to change the format in which threads appear on the front page. Because YOU want to read about puppies and kitty cats... ATS should change their format? How about you just ignore the threads that you don't want to read, and use the search feature to find topics of interest to you.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 08:36 AM
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Originally posted by OptimusSubprime
reply to post by MrInquisitive
 



Let's see... because you don't want your "blood boiling", you want to change the format in which threads appear on the front page. Because YOU want to read about puppies and kitty cats... ATS should change their format? How about you just ignore the threads that you don't want to read, and use the search feature to find topics of interest to you.


I don't think that's what the OP means, I think he is talking about a filter system so he can filter out redundant content. It seems ATS has turned into a form of twitter lately, and you tend to see redundant stories. As for the search function, as nice as it may or may not be, it doesn't assist people in only viewing real time content of what they wish to view.

I think it's less about puppies and kittens, and more about actual user desired content. But, like stated above, myATS does a decent job, but not as good as a dedicated filter would.
edit on 3/27/2013 by eXia7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 08:38 AM
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Thanks OP, I think your right and I would like to see ATS save its self by implementing a system like your talking about. Its getting old trying to read through threads with all the agendas being pushed here. ATS has changed from a site that I enjoyed years ago to 99% bs it would be awesome to filter out what topics you don't want to read about but also filter members that push their ideology instead of adding to a thread 8()



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 08:43 AM
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reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


I share the same concerns that you have mentioned.

My only difference in opinion is that sometimes I actually enjoy reading threads from bizzarro world from those members that I disagree with since I have a warped sense of humor and I guess I am a sucker for punishment


I'm not a programmer so I'm unaware how difficult it would be to implement this customization of the home page and whether or not the staff would even consider it but if it were put into place I would probably use it to some degree.

There are certain trends around here that I avoid, especially the gun threads. I respect everyone's right to bear arms, and side with those who consider themselves pro-gun or whatever you want to call it, but I have nothing to contribute to these discussions and those threads usually bore me. The infinite amount of those gun threads can also be overwhelming at times but that's just my opinion.



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 06:11 AM
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Originally posted by OptimusSubprime
reply to post by MrInquisitive
 



Let's see... because you don't want your "blood boiling", you want to change the format in which threads appear on the front page. Because YOU want to read about puppies and kitty cats... ATS should change their format? How about you just ignore the threads that you don't want to read, and use the search feature to find topics of interest to you.


I think you misunderstand me. I want the stories that show up on MY ATS homepage to be more copacetic to me, and the same to be the case for everybody else via some customizable filtering process. And if you want the raw ATA homepage it will still be there.

Another commentor gave a suggestion for how to do this with myATS and choosing forums and 86'ing some posters, so I'll give that a looksy.



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 06:13 AM
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Originally posted by OneisOne
Already a function for that, myATS!

Just go to the forums you like and click "Make Favorite". Then set your bookmark for ATS to the myATS page.

Works like a charm!

ETA:
Also to filter the Recent posts page, just click the little red minus symbol (-) next to the forum and thread author. That will remove the entire forum from the recent posts page. (note: if you clear your cookies you will have to go back and minus them out again)
edit on 27-3-2013 by OneisOne because: add


Thanks for the suggestions, I'll give that a try. However, it sounds like one has to be regularly filtering out new threads, rather than being able to '86 particular thread creators. But I will try it out and see how it works.



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 06:30 AM
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Originally posted by FarBeyondDriven69
Thanks OP, I think your right and I would like to see ATS save its self by implementing a system like your talking about. Its getting old trying to read through threads with all the agendas being pushed here. ATS has changed from a site that I enjoyed years ago to 99% bs it would be awesome to filter out what topics you don't want to read about but also filter members that push their ideology instead of adding to a thread 8()



Glad I'm not the only person thinking along these lines...


I just shake my head when I see how little viewage there has been of this thread, but some video of some Australian "news" show interviewing some guy in Albequerque who claims he worked with aliens for two years while being a meteorologists for the military is on the ATS homepage, having 78 stars. And it's not about my ego. Its about the fact that the highest profile artcles/threads are those with the most flags (and stars???) and there are a lot of ATS'ers with poor judgement of what constitutes newsworthiness setting the standard for this.

It would even be nicer if such a filter were implemented, that one could also weight the flags and stars of others for one's own ranking of article pertinence, i.e. weight upwards the flags and stars of users you respect, and weight downwards those of folks you aren't too impressed by. Again, this would be for one's own personalized ATS homepage, not for anyone else.
edit on 29-3-2013 by MrInquisitive because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 06:41 AM
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Originally posted by Corruption Exposed
reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


I share the same concerns that you have mentioned.

My only difference in opinion is that sometimes I actually enjoy reading threads from bizzarro world from those members that I disagree with since I have a warped sense of humor and I guess I am a sucker for punishment


I'm not a programmer so I'm unaware how difficult it would be to implement this customization of the home page and whether or not the staff would even consider it but if it were put into place I would probably use it to some degree.

There are certain trends around here that I avoid, especially the gun threads. I respect everyone's right to bear arms, and side with those who consider themselves pro-gun or whatever you want to call it, but I have nothing to contribute to these discussions and those threads usually bore me. The infinite amount of those gun threads can also be overwhelming at times but that's just my opinion.


Yeah, well with my filtering system, you could always look at the raw view of AYS or even make sure you get certain bizarro-world threads, if that's your cup of tea.

Like you, I have had more than I can take of all the gun threads, and would like to blacklist everyone of them. That alone would make my ATS experience better by about 30%.

I don't think it would be a monumental programming feat. Seems like small potatoes for whoever has done this site, which I think is purdee sophisticated. It would involve some computation (for weighting and rendering pages differently) and certainly more disk storage for a few large matrices, but nothing overwhelming, I don't think, in this day and age. But I'm no expert on such things either.





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