ATS EXPOSED - hard facts not included

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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts included

Postby torbjon » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:47 pm

(I was in the process of replying to ryguy on the previous page when TheSkepticOverlord beat me to it and we became sidetracked. Anyway, this is what I wrote then but post now)
Ry,

ya, but I'm talking about stuff that goes Beyond ATS Watch, basic business practices that are implemented on the ATS side, not third party stuff like this. (This is needed, to be sure, but some Serious Refinement of the ATS machine is needed even more).

It seems that a certain percentage of people are banned from ATS on the whim of an individual or small group of individuals regardless of T&C or the "warning" system. Just Whamo! You are gone because I (we) said so.

That was fine when it was just a small sand box... now they are a bigger sand box and want to be taken more seriously. Fine. Implement the same procedures used by other volume driven industries to insure quality control, customer satisfaction, consumer safety, and the smooth operation of the bureaucracy of the ATS machine.

Both my run ins with ATS were due to the same cause: hot headed "mods" ignoring the pre existing procedures and taking action into their own hands a la dr. strangelove.

Many people here and elsewhere seem to have experienced the exact same thing.

If owners and mods can arbitrarily ignore / bypass the pre existing procedures when it comes to editing / deleting posts and banning members then there's something Wrong with the pre existing procedures, ya know?

Safety guards, quality control apparatus etc. should Never be circumnavigated... that results in dead workers and contaminated products....

But circumnavigate they do and here we are.

oh well.
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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts included

Postby TheSkepticOverlord » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:52 pm

torbjon wrote:It seems that a certain percentage of people are banned from ATS on the whim of an individual or small group of individuals regardless of T&C or the "warning" system. Just Whamo! You are gone because I (we) said so.

Do you have a sense as to what percentage that is? On what are you basing this?


If owners and mods can arbitrarily ignore / bypass the pre existing procedures when it comes to editing / deleting posts and banning members then there's something Wrong with the pre existing procedures, ya know?

Do you have one or two examples of what you're suggesting here? I'm not sure I'm following you exactly, and just a couple of examples would help a great deal.
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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts included

Postby Zep Tepi » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:44 pm

Springer wrote:@Ryan,
I think I actually could "embrace" ATS Watch to some degree as long as a little REALITY is kept in the neighborhood when the facts present themselves. For example it would be nice to see the subject line of the "(no)Hard Evidence" thread changed to reflect reality. I change topic titles for this reason a few times a week on ATS, it's just the right thing to do.


I agree with you and have changed the thread title accordingly.

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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts not included

Postby torbjon » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:02 pm

Springer:

I'm sure if we were to chat about my little run in with masqua and that "super mod" we'd reach relatively the same conclusion so there's no need to hash that now, yes?

And being vindicated feels groovy and the apologies are greatly appreciated and and maintaining this dialog is a wonderful thing...

But suppose everything you assumed was correct, that I was out ta gitcha, we'd still have the same "problem"... (And to be honest I don't even know if it IS a problem. Perhaps this is by design, and having a certain number of reasonably articulate reasonably entertaining individuals banter on boards like this is good for business or something, I dunno.)

But if it is a problem then I see it stemming from your current boards power structure, which is pyramidal. Those with the most access and authority over the system are at the top (you guys) those with the least amount of access and authority (members) are at the bottom.

That's a 'dictatorship' and it's FINE for small empires. They can be really cool, benign, productive entities...

A big entity like what you're becoming needs a more lateral power structure and a few more safety nets.

As mentioned to Ry above, right now those people who can 'push the buttons' are also folks who generate content and / or may have some emotional involvement with the content or the authors, this allows for "dr. strangelove" type results (button pushing + 'breakdowns in communications')

Since complete re-design of the power structure interface is insane at this point in time an 'air bag' solution could be something like a 'ban countdown clock'... this way when gen. Ripper hits the button all it does is activate a timer, and notify the target (and whoever else). In my little world the 'grace' period would be like a week long, it would display the countdown timer next to the members name / avatar so 'friends and foes' can rally around and bang their shields, while the offender has an actual chance to 'redeem' them self in the arena.

That would give everybody ample time to cool down and might even generate some really exciting spectacles for consumers.

some T&C would have to be added, and the code to implement a delayed banning sequence / notification system would have to be created and installed and tested and what not... cheaper than hiring a bung of civil servants though, yes?

Look, you make cars, I'm sayin' they need more air bags, tha's all.
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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts not included

Postby torbjon » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:14 pm

TheSkepticOverlord:

a) the percentages are minuscule, I'm sure. Not even single digit with your current population base.

b) certainly, just pick up the conversation from where we left off yesterday, back on page twelve of this thread.
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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts not included

Postby Springer » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:52 pm

@Torbjon,

We have already eliminated the "BAN" button from anyone but senior staff (Super Mods and admins only). The "Post Ban" button is available to all staff but only does what it says, stops the ability to post. The other change we implemented was nobody gets banned without a consensus of staff. (Obviously porn spammers and returning nightmares are excluded from this courtesy) You'd be blown away about ow much discussion a "red flag" warn typically generates before it is meted out much less a full blown account ban.

edit to add: The "post ban" is typically a three day cool down for the member. If they respond acknowledging the TAC and promise to abide it they are allowed to post again with no stigma attached to their account. We actually send a message (u2u) to the banned member that includes a link to a post titled "If you've been post banned" that gives them directions on what to do to reverse the action.

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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts not included

Postby ryguy » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:59 pm

Learning a lot about the inner workings of ATS today...fascinating stuff. Steve - thanks for moving so quickly on the thread title, I agree too...it definitely needed changing.

I'm thinking maybe a few other thread titles may be due to be looked at as well, but we can discuss that tonight during our usual "work" session. lol

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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts included

Postby remus » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:05 am

TheSkepticOverlord wrote:
Boondock
Beachcoma

This has been explained that we had complaints of T&C violations in that they were recruiting ATS members... as well as public recruiting in threads by Boondock.


I'm not sure about Boondock? But the continued lie about Beachkoma actively recruiting is a blatant falsehood.
And after numerous attempts to contact someone at ATS via your contact form as well as a Super Mod promising to look into his banning to find out why he was banned he gave up in disgust.
Which in the long run is your loss as from what i knew of his posting he was an excellent and intelligent contributing member who had never received any warnings.

Be that as it may you will obviously continue to deny any wrong doing, which is a pity.

torbjon's suggestion regarding the growth and management of your site was an excellent point which you seem to have dismissed.
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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts included

Postby JiveTurkey » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:56 am

Springer wrote:
Torbjon, I think we owe you a huge apology... I have to agree that we ASSUMED your intent was to incite drama or cast doubt where there was no reason to cast it. Looking back we were catching all kinds of crap from hoaxers posting phony pictures and the "media" crediting them to us when we were the guys who were clearly labeling them as [HOAXES] and had two top level imaging experts working their butts off in an attempt to make some sense of it all.

Well, every time I assume something I generally make an ASS out of myself and someone else, looks like this time was no different... I won't speak for Bill but I believe your intentions were as you indicate here and we did, in fact jump the gun out of frustration and a huge amount of external pressure. The very same moment all of this (the O'Hare flap) was happening we were in the middle of creating our company out of thin air. There was way too much on our plates and we screwed the pooch.

I am sorry bro. I mean that.




There, was that so hard? haha

In all seriousness, that was big of ya.




Perhaps you (mark) could address the comments made by remus.

While Boondock MIGHT be questionable (or understandable...however you wish to read the statement), could you please explain the banning of beachcoma?

As remus said, he was an excellent member and fell 'in line" pretty much 99% of the time over at your site.

His banning has remained unexplained to him.

He never partook in any of the B.S. he was accused of at ATS or my forum.


Perhaps he is another that is owed an apology?


Bill,

The AccessDenied/Firestar situation is unjustifiable. So I suppose asking you to justify it was the result of a lack of judgement/thought on my part. While I honestly don't believe it has much of anything to do with her "dating" Lombozo the sales guru (with the wife and SN kid), it's still a pretty pitiful situation and one of the main reasons for certain people's hatred/distrust of you guys and ATS.


Staff of RU,

I'm in total agreement about the change of the thread title. It was needed.
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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts not included

Postby Springer » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:41 pm

@JT

I am unaware of Beachcoma's situation, I understood (s)he was recruiting via U2Us or something along those lines. Torbjon is going to laugh at me here, but, please ask Beach to send me an email (you have my addy JT) and I'll look into the situation.

If we screwed up I assure you I will apologize and reinstate the account.

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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts not included

Postby torbjon » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:56 pm

Springer:

I believe that the bulk of those procedures you've mentioned were already implemented when my two events took place. The "banning" apparatus seems unchanged:

A group of like minded individuals with emotional ties to the content can still get together and based upon a false Assumption they can 'push the button' and whamo! Game over.

A senior staffer (S.O.) made the decision to pull the plug on FS, and a Super Mod placed the post ban on me.

The other item, "consensus of staff", may not have been in effect at that time but what exactly is involved in that "consensus" (simple majority? two-thirds majority? 100% united consensus?) and why isn't the accused allowed to participate in this "behind the scenes trial"

Currently, in regards to banning, there is no grace period for the accused to 'redeem' them self. There are no 'rights' for the accused... no rights to trial by jury of peers, no rights to present evidence, no rights to see the 'error of your ways' and edit your content... The accused, (and any supporters or detractors the accused my have), are eliminated from the process.

As for "post banning", "typically a three day cool down" was in effect back then but "typically" is also not clearly defined. MY post ban went on for some weeks and was only lifted because our mutual buddy Dave Rabbit interceded on my behalf and chatted with you behind the scenes.

In both instances the "officially sanctioned procedures" failed and those procedures don't seem to have changed.

On another thread here (weclome to ats watch) S.O. is talking about the banning of Chorlton and says:

"But complaints are only part of the equation."

What exactly IS "the equation"?

Currently it feels like the equation is extremely flexible and open to interpretation... in short the seat belts suck and the air bags don't always deploy.
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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts not included

Postby remus » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:21 pm

Springer wrote:
I am unaware of Beachcoma's situation, I understood (s)he was recruiting via U2Us or something along those lines. Torbjon is going to laugh at me here, but, please ask Beach to send me an email (you have my addy JT) and I'll look into the situation.



Just one thing that i have noticed regarding your process, and that ive read on this and other forums by you guy's is that any banned member has an ability to contact your staff via the "contact" button even after they are banned.
What i am seeing and reading both here and on other forums from banned members is in fact the opposite.
Many of these banned members claim to have used the contact feature numerous times but never received reply's.
Perhaps this part of your process is in need of review?
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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts not included

Postby Springer » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:52 pm

torbjon wrote:Springer:

A group of like minded individuals with emotional ties to the content can still get together and based upon a false Assumption they can 'push the button' and whamo! Game over.



Now you are making assumptions. :P

The 60+ people we have on staff are as VARIED as any group of humanity I've ever seen. There is nothing even close to a "like mind" in our staff. :lol:

The varying points of view are amazing to watch during the discussions about staff action, even if it is by design that we have such varied perspectives.

As I said in a previous post the post ban has several ways to redeem oneself. "PremaBans" are reserved for the repeat offenders, blatantly disruptive, spammers, etc... and happen so infrequently compared to the number of users and they don't need one.
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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts not included

Postby torbjon » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:40 pm

remus wrote:Just one thing that i have noticed regarding your process, and that ive read on this and other forums by you guy's is that any banned member has an ability to contact your staff via the "contact" button even after they are banned.
What i am seeing and reading both here and on other forums from banned members is in fact the opposite.
Many of these banned members claim to have used the contact feature numerous times but never received reply's.
Perhaps this part of your process is in need of review?


well stated.

Springer:

I have to 'assume' because I ask but do not receive answers (when you guys 'assumed' you didn't even ask)

okay, so it's a 'diverse' group.

What constitutes a 'consensus' from this 'diverse' group? (simply majority? two-thirds majority? 100% united consensus?) and how 'diverse' is this group? (basic demographics)

what is the 'equation' for determining if a member or content should be banned?

I mean, here's a question for you: what if the majority of the STAFF feel that member such and such is a 'bad egg' and should be banned BUT the majority of your membership just LOVE member such and such and don't want to see them banned...

who is 'more correct', you or your membership?

currently the accused and the membership have little to no say in the matter.
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Re: ATS EXPOSED - hard facts not included

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:52 pm

Based on my observation of torbjon's behavior since he came here to RU, I fail to see how any MOD in their "right mind" could find him worthy of banning! :shock: While I do not personally believe Chorlton's demeanor is "disruptive", if you were to compare torbjon to Chorlton I would find it hard to believe that anyone could find fault with torb's attitude. Chorlton's just "spicier"...like a nice curry that gets your nose running. Torbjon is like that red wine that just keeps getting you more and more sloshed....if the wine is not good enough and you keep drinking, you may wake up with a nasty headache... but that is not the wine's fault now is it? *pokes*

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