Indymedia Collective statement over the recent revelations concerning former editor Pat C
On Thursday evening it was reported through one of the comments on this site that former editor Pat Corcoran had been convicted of possession of child porn images. When we became aware of this information, former Indymedia moderator Pat Corcoran was immediately asked via email for his resignation from this collective and he duly resigned from the IMC collective. Clearly this is not something that this organisation or any other tolerates and we unreservedly condemn it.
A number of questions have been raised concerning how he joined Indymedia and moderation. Pat C joined Indymedia in Feb 2009 through the procedure outlined in this link http://www.indymedia.ie/HowToJoin whereby he showed an interest in the work of Indymedia, was proposed by another editor and was voted in. Prior to this his involvement was to subscribe to the Indymedia email list which anyone can join and he regularly used the reported post facility people can use to report or query stories or comments. There was a comment suggesting that somehow the collective should have been or may have been aware of his behaviour at this time. This is simply not the case and it would be utterly ridiculous to think that anyone would even consider someone as a member if there was even a hint of such behaviour.
Regarding the moderation by Pat C. The moderation is carried out by whomever is logged in and then when there is a conflict of opinion, the idea is that it should be discussed on the email editorial lists. All moderators are supposed to have equal authority as it is not a hierarchical organisation. In an ideal world all the other moderators would have read all the relevant comments and the context of the thread and would then have to debate the issue. The reality is that all moderators have always been volunteers doing this in their spare time and very often would only catch up much later and certainly when the site had more traffic, it was physically impossible to wade through the emails and argue the case. Thus it is the case that the result was very often less than ideal. The editorial guidelines were and are supposed to be part of the toolkit to make this process easier and it does work to a degree, but like the laws of the state, the more rules you introduce the more complex can be the interpretation used for both sides of an argument. There is sometimes a perception that democracy is easy. It is not in practice and it takes a lot of time, effort, patience and endurance and we have yet to see it functioning properly anywhere. And in some instances Pat C clearly got his way. In hindsight more effort should have been made to reign him.