Blind Links are Bad.. Un Kay... From the Mods of TA

Think Atheist has a policy of No Teaser Posts listed in the Blog/Forum Guidelines. Sometimes this is referred to as Blind Linking. A Teaser Post is one where a poster writes one or two lines and says, "What do you think?" then links to another site for you to go read a story, or point. Recently, many of the discussions have become exactly that. While the topics have been good and the discussions have been great, we need to stop the Blind Linking. It's a simple fix and there are few reasons.

The Fix is as simple as posting the core text or the point of the article. You could write it yourself as you understand it, making it personal. Maybe someone can address that point rather than what they read in the primary author's point as we all comprehend things differently. You can copy and paste the text with the link. If you copy and paste, citing the source is critical. Having the link partially does that for you. It doesn't have to be complex, or lengthy, but saying "Vestigial Organs, Go..." with a link is a Blind Link or Teaser Post.

What's wrong with Blind Links and Teaser Posts? Think Atheist is a social network about content. There are hub sites that specialize in quick thoughts or are designed as centralized gathering of interesting stories. Think Atheist is about your thoughts. It's about discussing your views. It's a community where we discuss those thoughts and learn from others. It's a social network. Sharing a link and not saying anything about it here is like wearing a T-Shirt with a picture of Darwin on it and walking up to someone at a social gathering just pointing at it until they respond. We want you to engage with your thoughts.

Security is a problem with Blind Linking. Blind Links enable people, whom don't like us, to create access to each of us. If you have an article title that appeals to atheists, post it on a site like this then have that link sending folks to a site with malware or ad trackers on it and we all end up with the problem. (Ala David Mabus, Cynthia from Sengal) Bots can do this sort of thing. But if you have text associated with it, it's harder for them to put that in the right places. It's harder to dupe us all. So if we require coherent text and thoughts, most of these problems are mitigated.

So here's what is going to happen going forward. You may see discussions running off of a Teaser Post. If a Mod runs across it, we are going to delete it or edit it ourselves. We will likely notify you that we did it and why. We know every site is ran differently, and this is just how we roll. We care about what you, not just a professional writer, think. We want to be social with you. Imagine sitting at a table in a restaurant with someone who says, "I read this great story today." You say, "OK". They look at you say, "Go over to that table, ask them for the core point, then come back and we can discuss it." That's how we view Blind Linking at TA and why we are actively looking to address the problem. It's so that we may all be sociable.

Thank you for understanding. Hit us up if you have any questions! Mods

Views: 33

Comment by Gaytor on October 1, 2010 at 9:40am
Hi Fred. You can click here to see who the Moderators are. It's also a drop down under the Members tab in case you want to find one of us later.
Many of us are active as members. If we have been active in a thread and we see a problem, we'll call in someone else to address it. So generally the only time you'd see me moderating is because someone has called me in or if you put up a post that violates policy and generally I'd bring that up privately. If you have any concerns at any time, you can contact me or any of the other Mods!
Comment by Galen on October 1, 2010 at 9:41pm
To read my opinion on this policy, go here:

Comment by Gaytor on October 1, 2010 at 9:46pm
ha HA! I don't know if I should listen to the lyrics or think that I've been rick rolled. Galen, your opinion is clear and we love it that way.
Comment by Galen on October 3, 2010 at 5:31am
Actually, I completely agree with this policy and find blind links ANNOYING as hell.


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