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Operating Instructions for the IMC Ireland Daleks: Input Needed

category national | indymedia ireland | feature author Thursday January 29, 2004 20:30author by Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group - Indymedia Ireland Report this post to the editors

Bzzt . . . Delete . . . Delete . . . Delete . . .

In order to clarify the editorial guidelines used by the Indymedia Ireland collective, we are publishing them as we currently understand them to operate. This is a work in progress, which is the result of many arguments over the past few months on the Indymedia Ireland lists. Input, commentary and criticism from users of the site are welcome on this thread, and this will be taken into account before the guidelines are formalised.

Indymedia Ireland Editorial Guidelines: Indymedia Ireland is built on the foundation of an open and democratic newswire. We want to see and hear real stories, news, and opinions from users of the site around the country. Anybody can post a story, or a comment on a story to Indymedia. While we struggle to maintain the newswire as a completely open forum we do monitor it and remove posts. In general, posts may be removed for any of the following reasons:

  1. Comments, not news. If there is a recently published story on the same topic as, or one closely related to your post, then it should be published as a comment on the existing story. Comments belong with the story being discussed - to have your say in response to a story on the site, use the "add your comments" link at the bottom of each story
  2. Duplicate posts. Make sure you've read the newswire and that the story doesn't appear there already. Also make sure that you haven't posted the same comment on multiple stories
  3. Infactual or obviously false posts. The onus is on the author to check and confirm facts - if a clear factual error is brought to our attention it will be removed.
  4. Libelous or slanderous posts. Choose your language carefully. Do not make allegations against named individuals unless you can prove them beyond reasonable doubt. Posts which contain personal abuse against named individuals, rather than against their arguments or their political affiliation, will be removed without delay, particularly if those individuals are not public figures. 'Play the ball, not the player'.
  5. Discriminatory or hateful posts. Posts that contain explicitly racist, sexist or homophobic views will be removed. We don't oppose free speech for people with hateful views, we're just not going to provide them with a platform for distributing those views.
  6. Advertising or other inappropriate content. Advertising of commercial products or services, particularly when they are sold on a for-profit basis.
  7. Cross-posting to multiple IMCs. Posts that are available elsewhere on the Indymedia network (on at least two other IMCs) shall be deleted, although in cases where the article is particularly relevant to Irish readers, it may be allowed to remain at the discretion of the editorial collective.
  8. Articles which have no News Content. Although we aim to have a broad tolerance for all types of news postings, there are limits. In particular, the following types of article are not considered to be news:
    • Incomprehensible 'gobbledygook' postings
    • Asking of questions - particular or general questions without any other content - e.g. this type of thing: "Anyone know when X is on?" or "What do you think of YYY policy on ZZZZ?"
    • Articles which consist entirely of unsubstantiated opinions or personal musings without any supporting evidence or other content. For example : 'I think Fianna Fail are criminals'
    • Petitions
  9. Impersonation. Articles or comments which impersonate other indymedia users by adoption of their names or regular pseudonyms
  10. Fascists. All content expressing fascist views or written by active fascists, or expressing revisionist / holocaust denial positions, or linking to a fascist site. We will not provide a platform for fascist recruitment
  11. Trolling. Comments which consist entirely of abuse towards any group, individual, or article without attempting to situate this in the context of the particular article or debate arising out of that article. So for example, a comment which simply says: "the Popular Front of Judea are wankers" will be deleted, while a comment that says: "The fact that the PFJ have refused this offer of an alliance shows them to be hypocritical wankers in the light of what they have said before", might remain
  12. Continuing debates across multiple articles. Indymedia is not a bulletin board. All comments should directly relate to the article or preceding comments. Users should refrain from constantly bringing up points from previous threads, unless they have a close relevance to the new article. Users should also note that repetitive demands of another user to answer a particular question or point is a reason for deletion especially when it occurs across multiple threads.
  13. Persistent Abuse. Users who persistently refuse to abide by IMC policy are liable to have any and all of their contributions removed
  14. Cut and pastes. Posts that are publicly available elsewhere on the internet, or in the mainstream media. We do realise, however, that there can sometimes by a strong case for articles published elsewhere to be brought to the attention of IMC readers. In these cases, we ask contributors to write an original introduction to the article, highlighting its relevance to Irish indymedia readers and include a link to the article. Users can also choose post a short note and a link in the Media Updates link at the top of the newswire. In particular, articles that consist of an original introduction and contain several links to articles containing background information stand a good chance of being made into front-page features
  15. Comments on editorial policy. Users can appeal for or against deletions by contacting the editors using the 'Contact Us' link at the top of the front page. Editorial actions are debated on the editorial list and users can join the list and join in the frequent debates on deletions there. Commentary on IMC Ireland editorial policy on the newswire will be removed
  16. Comments that refer to Deleted Posts. Comments referring to something that a user can't see as it has been deleted will also be removed.

A record of all editorial actions, which editor performed the action and the reason for it are sent to the newswire mailing list which anybody can join. So if you want to keep an eye on the evil censorships of the imc-cabal, you know what to do. Subscribing to this list means you will see all articles and comments which have been hidden and the reason why they were hidden. After subscribing, you can then go through the archives of the list to see all past editorial actions.

Guidelines are subject to constant review by the editorial list. If you think that these guidelines are not being enforced (or are being abused) join the editorial list and discuss it there. If you think an article that you have posted has been unfairly deleted, the editorial list is the place to bring it up but make sure that you have read and understood the editorial policy beforehand. As with the newsire list, you can go through the archives to see why and how these guidelines were formulated. This list is also used to put together the front page features. If you'd rather not subscribe to the editorial list, you can just use the contact form to send a message to the editors making sure to provide your email address so that you can be CCed on all emails regarding the query.

author by Brianpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 00:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

FUCKIN SPLITTERS

author by R Isiblepublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 01:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Most of the above guidelines concern the deletion of posts, but one thing that's worth pointing out is that a lot of material isn't actually deleted: it's moved to an appropriate thread. So, if something you've posted has disappeared it's worth checking that it hasn't been moved to an existing thread by a kind editor. Also, it helps a lot if you spend a bit of time choosing the appropriate section categories for a post, especially if it's an event. As a final thought: I like the idea of a cap on the number of comments on a particular thread. The recent UCDSU thread which had over 300 comments was hard to follow, took a long time to load and was ultimately confusing and uninformative.

author by Mr Disco - SApublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Since when did IE IMC become a bunch of power crazees

15:Comments on editorial policy. Users can appeal for or against deletions by contacting the editors using the 'Contact Us' link at the top of the front page. Editorial actions are debated on the editorial list and users can join the list and join in the frequent debates on deletions there. Commentary on IMC Ireland editorial policy on the newswire will be removed

16:Comments that refer to Deleted Posts. Comments referring to something that a user can't see as it has been deleted will also be removed.

Yez may all as well go and gets some luminous bibs.

Move along now.

author by Mr Soya Bean Manpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:14author email rburnhan at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

The deletion of yesterday's post bemoaning the deletion of the posts on the SWP is obviously what led to this reiteration of IMC's censorship of censorship guidelines. I would be grateful if the poster KLM would send me the original posts that were removed. Otherwise, could an editor point me to where they were moved if they were moved and not deleted?

author by pat cpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

join the newswire list at:
http://lists.indymedia.org/mailman/listinfo/imc-ireland-newswire

and you can view all deletions, edits, upgrades etc.

join the editorial list at:
http://lists.indymedia.org/mailman/listinfo/imc-ireland-editorial

to particapate in debate about editorial decisions.

author by jeffpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

is evidence of how seriously Indymedia is now taking itself. The site has become extremly active in the last few years, but feels it must now "play ball" as it engages in the political arena. Indeed, this playing ball is more synonomous with the yellow jacketed mindset. This is not a critique of Indymedia per se, but an acknowledgement that indeed, Indymedia must do this. Please read further.

At the moment, I am poor. But when I can afford to buy site building equipment, I'm gonna set up a site dedicated to ALL political nut jobs.

This will include links and even pieces by the following;

Leftists, centrists, rightists.

Maoists, Catholics, Monaterists.

Anarchists, Social Democrats, Fascists.

Liberals, Conservatives, Monarchists.

Nazis, Likudniks, Loyalists, Hamasniks, Islamists, Libertarians, Republicans from Ireland, good ol' boy Republicans from Texas.

Evil people, good people, people who don't believe in such constraints.

That will be one fun website.

Indymedia can't do a web site like this. There is a real danger that someone from the Sunday Indo will engage in their usual muckraking, and accuse the web site of actually supporting these views.

Thus, if Indymedia is called as witness arising from a state sponsored aggression, then Deirdre Crowley will probably write a great big feature on why sensible people should not allow indymedia to do anything.

It is sad but true, so all I can say is adieu to old Indymedia, and God Speed you, Black Emperor, to the New Indymedia.!

May Devils from the Blackest pit in Hell rip asunder the Lives of Those that use scum tactics to try and bring you down ( Deirdre Crowley, Brenden O Connor et al from Tony O' Reilly's prat factory, Smell the Sulpher!

Gardai Special Branch, stop wasting time on non agressive civil society. Get after the RIRA and the Paedophiles. )

Strength Health Victory to all those that follow the true path.

author by Chekovpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 13:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is the editorial policy as it has been practiced for the last few months. We have been discussing it internally for months and have always had the intention of publicising it to seek comments from users before formalising it. As the site has grown we have had to adopt new de facto policies to deal with the continuing growth of the site and the problems that have arisen as a result of more people using it. Until now several of those policies have not been formally stated so we have had to deal with all sorts of accusations of censorship every time we hide something.

The timing of the announcement was prompted by the fact that our latest draft of the guidlines has been stable for a few weeks and also because we were having a slow news week and thought it would be a good time to do it as a feature.

author by T. Brazilpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 14:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It must be a slow news day if indymedia have time to be posting this. Most indy readers understand about guidelines, trolling, etc. This article will become a magnet for the trolls, they will use it as a further opportunity to whinge about this or that being deleted. Most of the existing whinging is IMHO just trolling anyway, most readers support the editors actions in deleting trolls.
And while you're at it there are a number of dodgy comments from "Leon" that need attention.

author by R Isiblepublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 17:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

is for debate of the IMC Ireland guidelines. Not a little private spat between Jeff and Pat C. Please don't derail this thread any further.

I'd like to propose guideline#17 "Deletion of comments that divert a thread from its topic".

The purpose of allowing comments was to allow feedback, correction and information on the newswire item that was contributed.

The use of comments to create offtopic debates between a small number of individuals detracts from that purpose and is essentially using the common resource for the purposes of private pleasure.

author by jeffpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 18:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The use of comments to create offtopic debates between a small number of individuals detracts from that purpose and is essentially using the common resource for the purposes of private pleasure."

So what, we hold our tongues (sorry, fingers)and type absolutly nothing off the record. Thats impossible. The comment box acts like a form of conversation. Have you ever listened to people holding a conversation, do you ever notice the fact that conversations sometime get "derailed" from the original topic.

Whgile I understand indymedia is getting serious about content, I think attacking the "fun" aspect (ie; the comments box) is woefully misguided.

People come to this site to see who said what, because it is fun. You probably get more hits on your server than rte.ie. Why? Because indymedia.ie is interactive.

I completly support the editorial people if they delete racist vitriol, spamming, etc, but when you try to interject in the flow of (typed) conversation, this is a form of restraint.

Let the conversations flow. Its part of the Human animal to balance fun with the serious part, ie; the content. If you start deleting that, then you'll become more wodden than Pat fecking Kenny.

By all means, guys, innovate, but do not forget the inherent informality of your roots.

Health, Victory and Strength.

author by jeffpublication date Fri Jan 30, 2004 18:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Apologies for typo errors,but I feel strongly about the point Mr. R Isible made.

Please do not impinge on healthy conversational flow. Victory to the Comments Box. Victory to all that add positivly to it.

Amen.

author by John Meehanpublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 00:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The guidelines are a good step forwards - I think they could be tighter -
Pseudonyms should be discouraged - there is no automatic link between pseudonym use and personal abuse - but I think experience has shown it is easier to throw out personal abuse from behind a cowardly mask of anonymity.

If a writer refrains from identifying her/himself - in a small minority of cases that can be justified - for example a "whistle-blower" who might face prosecution, or someone who could lose their job - their identity should be known to the publishers - I understand from a friend who is a professional left wing journalist this is a recommended ethical practice in the world of "hard copy" media. I see no good reason for not extending it to cyberspace.

And before we see any tiresome stuff about what I wrote on this subject before - YES - I have changed my position.

author by Dave Opublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 12:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Im surprised at Chekov for his bare-faced Blairism. The timing of this announcement was entirely to do with an item challenging Indymedia for its deletion of a number of pieces critical of the SWP. The item itself was deleted, as was a follow-up that simply repeated the original story. The most worrying aspect of all of this is that when you go behind the scenes of Indymedia to check out the reasons given for these deletions, this is what you find:

Title: Socialist Workers Party (SWP) Unveil New Defence Subtitle: Three stories critical of the SWP spiked by Indymedia Editorial.
Action: hide story 63214 performed by Anthony
Reason: This troll hs already had for more than his 15 minutes of fame.

Title: Socialist Workers Party (SWP) Unveil New Defence Subtitle: FOUR stories critical of the SWP spiked by Indymedia Editorial.
Action: hide story 63218 performed by eamonn
Reason: make that five

Do these constitute reasonable grounds for deletion? Or has complacency set it, so that Indymedia stewards dont feel accountable anymore.

author by Davidpublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 13:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you don't sit in the room and listen to it repeat forever.
Rhetorical criticism of the SWP has all been heard before.
Most people are now as aware as they ever will be of the flaws in that particular organisation.

author by pedantic borepublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 14:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Recently we have had comments referring to Eoghan Harris in less than flattering terms deleted.

However, a comment above referring to "Pat fecking Kenny" and his woodenness has been left untouched ......

Surely this kind of ad hominem insult directed against an RTE demi-god and a leading pillock of the Irish establishment media cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged .......

author by Davidpublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 14:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat kenny is clearly a badly designed robot

author by Mikepublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 15:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'd like everybody to take a look at ONE of the quidelines and consider the implications.

"Libelous or slanderous posts. Choose your language carefully. Do not make allegations against named individuals unless you can prove them beyond reasonable doubt."

Now that's the British legal tradition of "libel" from which over here this side of the pond departed a couple hundred years ago. We call "libel" making allegations against somebody in reckless disreagard of the truth, without having evidence of their truth, or which could be proven false >

With which definition do YOU agree? By which I mean not what is the one imposed by our respective governments but which is the RIGHT definition of "libel" -- by which SHOULD your actions be judged right or wrong. I would like to point out that IF you agree with the American definition but feel you must restrict the activities of Indymedia.ei according to your local government rules -- then you are admitting to being under restaint of a government is precisely the same way as this issue was raised about the Israeli site and its problems with the government there.

My only motivation for pointing this out is to make clear that the troubles of Israel IMC aren't related to the behavior of Israel but are pretty much universal among all our IMC sites in EVERY country where we aren't hosted on servers outside the reach of our respective governments.

author by N Lynchpublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 17:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dave O, you seem to be very selective in which examples (of deletions and reasons for deletion) you chose to highlight. It would be no harm at this stage if you would also show why the other 'anti-swp' stories were deleted. I think these will show that the deletions were justified.
Taken in the context of the editors deleting a whole bunch of trolling and abusive comments, I think in the two examples you gave, the editors may have been suffering from battle fatigue, and assumed that whoever read their reasons was aware of the context when they wrote what they did.

author by Dave Opublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 17:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The most substantial story to be deleted was one that began by slating Socialist Worker. It picked up around 40 comments and was then deleted. Below, the editors give the reason for this deletion: "not specified".
Not very convincing, is it?
If I'm missing something here, I would welcome clarrification by the editors.

Story 63175
Title : The truth the whole truth and nothing but
Author : Alphonso

Date : Tuesday, Jan 27 2004, 3:05pm
Action : edit story 63175 performed by eamonn
Reason : not specified

author by Dave Opublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 17:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In fairness to Eamonn, the Indymedia steward, the previous explanation (i.e. none) referred to some editing he had performed on the story in question. Having studied the Indymedia archive again, where this story is now gathering dust, I see that when Commissar Eamonn spiked this story, he at least came up with an explantion: "because the world is full of trolls". I think I can stand by my previous observation: Not very convincing, it is?

Date : Wednesday, Jan 28 2004, 8:35pm
Action : hide story 63175 performed by eamonn
Reason : because the world is full of trolls

author by Chekov - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group - Indymedia Irelandpublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 17:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dave O - the two deletions that you refer to were preceded by substantial debate on the newswire and on the editorial list, so the editor who carried out the deletions had a clear mandate from the editorial list to carry out the deletion. In that case they didn't bother to fill in the reasons. They should have and hopefully the increased scrutiny that this feature will bring about will cause us to be more pedantic in filling in all of these reasons at every step.

pedantic bore: you can call him Eoghan fecking Harris too if you want. Actually, I think that Harris is a bitter twisted deranged hack whose visceral hatred for the left has clouded his judgement to such an extent that he comes across as a rabid fanatical lunatic with all the intellectual gravitas of a 2 year old. It's not the criticism that's the problem it's the casual use of obscenity without any attempt to back it up (at least that's my interpretation of it).

Mike: Thanks for that comment on libel. We are not lawyers and that definition was written off the top of my head. I do prefer the yankee version. All of these guidelines have to be taken in conjunction with our disclaimer as well - these are reasons why posts _might_ get deleted. We do not promise to delete everything. We often miss things and we do not claim that everything that is on the site is in line with the guidelines. We published this on the site in the hope of getting constructive criticisms like yours - the more brains the merrier.

author by Eamonn (1 of Editors) - Indymedia Irelandpublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 17:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dave O's selectivity neglects to mention that two of the stories that the article 'alledged' had been deleted had in fact been resectioned. A third consisted of a single line of original material. Yes we get battle fatigue and the reasons for deletions when published out of their ongoing context on the ed and newswire lists may sometimes make little sense. Anyone who takes the time can scan thru the context of these by looking at the volume of trolling on the day that precipitated these actions and make up their own minds. They can also debate any of this on the lists. It is also worth pointing out that a majority of trolling on the site is conducted by a very small group of people - 5/6 at the most - who seem content to contribute nothing and fill threads referring to mostly SP or labour with accusations / throwbacks to longone arguments / multiple uses of aliases / personalised abuse and generalised trolling aimed at destroying any opportunity for rational debate on the site. They act in a way anologous to someone in a mask who every time you enter a public house joins in your company and abusively demands awnsers to the same list of questions over and over again. We who edit the site are cracking down on this and I personally feel no need to apologise for this in any way. Trolling editors is not going to stop us attempting to improve the site. I have a feeling the majority of users would agree with this.

author by eamonnpublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 18:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

. . . as it is characterised by Davo was not deleted. It was resectioned after we got a consensus together on ed list to do so due to the volume of trolling that went on beneath it. Spending an hour deleting 20/30 comments or move the thing to where it should have been in the first place? It was an easy choice. It's there within the media updates page at top of wire for all to see. http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=63151

author by Dave Opublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 20:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ah, it was resectioned, was it? Why don't you stop treating Indymedia like it's your own private club with private rules that only the initiated can understand. Too many stories go on walkabout, and in their wake is this: "Sorry, this story has been removed due to a possible breach of the editorial guidelines and is under review by the IMC Editorial Group!" Not, "Sorry, this story has been resectioned and can now be found at (though without the comments, which we've thrown away, though if you sign up for our archive, you'll eventually find them, if you know what you're looking for).

More substantially, your decision to move the story is a form of censorship, since it takes it out of the mainstream, robs it of a headline that might attract attention to it, and finally and THIS is actual censorship republishes it shorn of the comments.

This discussion is going nowhere. If anyone's trolling, it's the various Indymedia stewards who see themselves as blameless and critics as trolls. Chekov's one, grudging admission (he had no choice, since the reasons presented for cutting stories were so lame) is depicted as bowing to pedanticism (oh, the pedants such a bother). If it's that much trouble, Chekov, don't trouble yourself. Don't want to fatigue you any more.

author by Davidpublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 21:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just wondering

author by Dave Opublication date Sat Jan 31, 2004 21:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why? Do you imagine that my observations here are motivated by some imagined advance in the objectives of some unnamed organisation? I'm unattached. However, I still possess my own critical faculties, and I feel their exercising here has been legitimate. My concern is to ensure that the various debates conducted on Indymedia are not subject to unwarranted interence. I happen to think that Indymedia is very useful, and I acknowledge the good work done by those who keep it running. But I believe that sometimes those with the power lose the run of themselves.

author by Badmanpublication date Sun Feb 01, 2004 02:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Since you're unafilliated at the moment, I feel that they are the organisation for you. Your propensity for talking endless crap about trivial shite qualifies you wonderfully.

Just fill out the coupon!!!!

author by Blockypublication date Sun Feb 01, 2004 15:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Keep out of this Badman. You're out of your depth. This has been a worthwhile discussion, and if you don't like it, stay away. Don't attack the messenger, just focus on the message.

author by Badmanpublication date Sun Feb 01, 2004 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was attacking the message. I think that Dave O is harping on about trivial crap. Nothing that he has said has been related to any of the editorial policies, they have been focused on 3 posts that he obviously feels are close to his heart. He has made no attempt to generalise his point from those particular posts to a specific criticism of any editorial policy. He doesn't care a dame about the editorial policy, he just wants to score points against IMC & the SWP (a sport that I enjoy myself I must admit). I attempted to use humour to point this out. You may not have thought it funny, too bad. I don't care.

Your intervention, 'blocky', simply was an attack on me. Out of my depth???? Jaysus, this discussion is an intellectual paddling pool. And blocky, you're wearing armbands.

author by R Isiblepublication date Sun Feb 01, 2004 20:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jeff, the comments are supposed to be where we comment on the story and correct or add to it. That doesn't have to be something that isn't fun. But when the comments turn into an argument about something that has _nothing_ to do with the newswire story that they're attached to then that's a problem.

You suggested that it's like a conversation and I'd agree. It's like someone walking into a pub (to use EC's analogy) and saying

"I just saw this fecking incredible thing outside: the Gardai are guarding this huge american warplane and they're beating the crap out of anti-war activists."

"Yeah right, the americans are shite," says one of the regulars and backs it up with some facts.
Then some old guys in the corner start throwing bottles at each other and roaring about how the SP ate the SWP's hamster and the barman's a bastard because he won't let them break the chairs and piss in the corner.

Meanwhile no one notices the newcomer who's holding a big picture of a guy called Bertie accepting a brown paper bag of greenbacks.

author by Grey Blockerpublication date Mon Feb 02, 2004 01:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"some old guys in the corner start throwing bottles at each other and roaring about how the SP ate the SWP's hamster and the barman's a bastard because he won't let them break the chairs and piss in the corner"

Huh? That's right, blame it on us "old guys", after all, as we all know, young guys would never start a fight, would they?
I'd bet that most of the people causing trouble on indymedia are in their twenties, yet you decide to blame us. I've a good mind to send you'se to bed with no supper, ye cheeky little pups.

author by Slartipublication date Mon Feb 02, 2004 02:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To add to Mike's comment about libel I would say that the guideline as written above is stricter than even the British legal defenition of libel! (Which is among the most restrictive in the "free" world). Libel is a civil not a criminal offence so the test in British law would be can you prove it "on the balance of probabilities", not the much stricter "beyond reasonable doubt" used above.

I'm not familiar with Irish libel laws but I'd suggest that there's no point in going for a legalistic definition unless you expect everyone to consult lawyers before posting! Why not just say "unless you can substantiate them" and leave it at that?

PS: Again, I'm not sure about the Irish legal situation but in Britain the government (local or national) can't sue for libel anyway, as a matter of law, so if you did go for a legalistic definition (and if the same is true here) there should be a caveat along the lines of "but you can say what you like about the government" :) (Although individual ministers can sue if it's a personal allegation...)

author by iosafpublication date Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And as such is a younger generation steel encased alien mutant, who famously found itself locked for millenia in conflict with another race of bloodless unfeeling robots, who had the intelligence to develop stair compatible legs, and wore white beaded dredds and tricked the Doctor into helping them, but _he_ knew better and copped on to their evil ruse, and unplugged their mega computer, this all happened accross a special 6 episode cliffhanger and was felt to contribute not only to better inter-cultural relations, but also the end of Tom Baker's career as the eccentric time traveller as afterwards he was completely shagged and felt there was nothing "new" he could bring to the role, and thereupon recomended the slightly more effete and younger former champion west country vet. as Doctor instead.

Does this mean anything?
& can I piss in the corner now?

author by -fan.publication date Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

generation 2, only a strand of Kaled DNA, and red brake lights. 2nd generation had more powerful rayguns, and could hover over flat surfaces.
The doctor was shocked, "that's a new generation Dalek!" he hissed in shock and horror to his assistant.

author by Leon - Anarchist Drivers Federationpublication date Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would suggest that posts which identify people's addresses and so forth be candidates for deletion.

If you think about an idiot like David Noone (I think his idiocy is self evident), publishing his parent's address and phone number is inappropriate. In a real sense they are not responsible for his actions.

Also Noone in particular migt have some sort of mental illness, so perhaps other 'Fascists' do too and publishing their details is victimisation.

author by Freddypublication date Thu Feb 05, 2004 13:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting you should mention mental illness, Leon. After what happened on another thread yesterday, I noticed that the moon is rather full over the past couple of days, so it explains a lot.

author by hs - sppublication date Thu Feb 05, 2004 20:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Personally I think the only thing that can save indymedia from being made completely irrelevant is the editors. The sectarianism seems to be getting worse and its making the site unreadable. Its become a site for members of one group or unallinged anarchists to attack each other. And there seems to be more and more of this. Commenters are showing less interest in stories rather than attacking their rivals.
As I look at the newswire now I see on "report", on a bin tax action which instead is an attack on Sinn Fein, because one member of SF didn't help! (yes one member!) Of course with no details. http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=63259
I mean this is just silly no more or less. Rather than right a story about the action someone choose to use the example of one SFer, anyway no need to go on.
Another story is a little strange it attacks the SP for not standing up to the SWP in the IAWM but it has absolutely no information and the comments add to the confusion.
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=63273
I think indymedia should have some standards because it's becoming unreadable. And I admire all the editors trying to organise some standards and wish you all the best of luck. Your the last stand between complete irrelevence and some form of quality that people who don't belong to a group or have the "correct ideology" (and I include anarchists in that! ) might find it informative and interesting. Anyway good luck! and thanks.

author by Chekovpublication date Fri Feb 06, 2004 02:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

About a year ago most of the artilces were along the lines of "10 reasons to hate the SP/anarchists/SWP" and there was an awful lot of rubbish on it.

Now, if you look at the features and indeed most of the articles you will find that they are indeed issues of genuine interest which are ignored by the mainstream. Certainly there are many articles which are spoiled by the inward-looking focus of the author, more concerned with scoring points than letting people know what happened. The recent articles on the IAWM steering committee meeting and the one you refer to about the bin tax are cases in point (which was pointed out by many of our helpful commentators btw). However, the majority of the stories are still genuine. If you look at the newswire as I write, only 2 of the stories are overtly about point-scoring. They are the ones with the most comments, but that is to be expected given the controversial nature of such stories.

The thing is that, when things are quiet on the left, the denizens of indymedia often fall into squabbling about trivia. When big things are happening then things change big time. Remember the coverage of the war, rts, the bin tax. During such periods indymedia becomes an essential resource for anybody who is interested in what is really happening. Even in our quiet periods we have a lot of traffic (1,000,000 hits in January) but come May with the Euro-trash in town you will find a lot more information, a lot less squabbling and a lot more traffic. So don't despair. The editors are doing their best. There are only a dozen or so of us and we have to try to balance our goals of keeping the medium open and the requirement to cut out some of the crap.

One thing that everybody who uses the resource could do is to think before they write. To imagine how their story will be perceived by somebody who is used to reading Eoghan Harris. So rather than denouncing indymedia, why not try to persuade those closest to you politically that they should see indymedia as a way of connecting with a wide audience rather than scoring a few points wihtin a narrow one.

author by Anonymouspublication date Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just a few suggestions:-

1. In the main I think the editorial committee are doing a good job - and the overall work on the site is excellent.

2. Regarding "Cross-postings to multiple IMCs".

I think the editors should be liberal when deciding which ones to keep and which ones not to. I think a lot/most people will just log on to the Irish Indymedia site and not spend time surfing around the multitude of other Indymedia sites around the world.

Therefore if something is cross-posted, but it is interesting, I think it should remain. I for one would certainly like to see a lot of cross postings remain.

The other alternative would be to include cross postings in your "Website / newspaper / journal / web based media updates" section. Though I would prefer my first proposal (at least for the better ones).

3. Regarding "Comments on editorial policy".

If you want to be a have a completely open, democratic, unsuspicious and transparent newswire then I think you should allow comments on editorial policy in the comments section.

I accept that this would be difficult to handle. Maybe you could give one response to a criticism and after that direct them to get on the editorial list to continue the debate on their particular criticism.

I should also note that I have tried getting on this editorial list before and had difficulties. I think I was waiting for a response email from you which I never got.

My point being is that not everyone will want to go to the bother of getting on an editorial list but would like to vent a criticism on the spot where ones arise.

4. Petitions

I can understand but disagree with your policy of prohibiting petitions. Petitions involve actual action on many of core & frequent topics of the overall newswire. To this extent I think they should be permitted.

5. This is not on editorial policy but rather on editorial structure - But I feel very stongly about this one, more so than my above points. I have raised this before and will continue to do so.

Today is Feb 7th. If for example I post a forthcoming event for Feb 20th - it will automatically go into the "diary" section of the events folder. Therefore it will not appear as a "new event posting" but rather will get filled away well before it has ever been looked at. In order to find this event it is then incumbent on people to get scrolling through the calender to try and pick out new events.

The event will only finally appear on the main page when Feb 20th comes around. At this stage in a lot/most cases IT IS TOO LATE. The whole idea of posting an event is to try and give people ADVANCE warning of it, so they can prepare and make arrangements to be there if they so desire.

I propose that when an event is posted - it appears as the newest event on the event newswire (i.e. operating the same as the main newswire). This will allow regualar (and all) readers to keep an eye on new events as they are posted - and give them ample advance warning of upcoming events.

I also propose that the event be simultaneiously be posted to the main events calender so people can keep an eye on events that way as well.

I really hope the editorial commitee will take this last suggestion into consideration.

Best regards,

author by Orla Ni Chomhraipublication date Wed Feb 11, 2004 20:16author email nichomhrai at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is there anyway that people could have to log-in so that the use the same identity each time? There is a suspicion that even within the same thread people use different identities in order to back themselves up while appearing to be a different person. Funnily enough someone got accused of being me once, even though myself and the other person were using our real names, didn't know one another, and were disagreeing on a fundamental point . Ironically the person who made the accusation was using a pen-name. This may have been a deliberate tactic by the person to try to damage the credibility of the person with whom he disagreed, but it was more likely resulting from a suspicion people have that people are using multiple identities within threads to support themselves on this site.

I think there is not just a problem though with people possibly using different identities within a thread, but with people using differnt i.d.'s from thread to thread. I know that some people use the same name or pen-name each time they go on to the site. This gives the discussions some continuity. It is also easier to asses where a person is coming from, whether they are consistent in their ideas, whether they have changed their minds on any issues, and a person can decide more easily if the person is a reliable source of information or not etc. Unfourtunately many people sign in as annonymous or seem to use different id's a lot of the time. I think this makes it very difficult to assess the quality of information or take the site as seriously as it could be taken.

I can understand people using pen-names, and I think it is important to allow annonymity, as otherwise people may loose jobs etc. but I think it might be worth considering having a system that the person has a specific on-site identity and that they use it every time. It would just be a name they would pick (either their own real name or a pen-name) and then they would use that each time, and no one else would be allowed to use the same name. (In the case of two people having the same actual real name and wanting to use it, they could be asked to add something such as a location, a second name, nickname if they had one, or something like that) The regular identity would just be a name, which would appear on every posting they would make. Then they could add themselves , on each thread/posting, any information they were willing to give and thought relevant to particular topics (e-mail, groups, location). I am on a few yahoo groups and this is how it works and I think it works quite well.

author by R Isiblepublication date Wed Feb 11, 2004 20:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This has been considered and I for one am not opposed to the idea. I'm working on a possible implementation of it. I like the idea of a voluntarily available login which could be under any chosen name and also allowing fully anonymous logins. That way no form of confusion can be sown by someone posting under someone else's name.

author by R Isiblepublication date Wed Feb 11, 2004 21:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

which of course means that they're worthwhile. I should point out that any responses by me are solely just my own opinons and may be hotly contested by other editors.

"2. Regarding "Cross-postings to multiple IMCs".
I think the editors should be liberal when deciding which ones to keep and which ones not to. I think a lot/most people will just log on to the Irish Indymedia site and not spend time surfing around the multitude of other Indymedia sites around the world."

I believe that IMC-ie should be a place where stories about IE or written by people with some association with IE should be collected. I see the internet as useless unless there are atttempts to collate, organise and index information. Gathering all the IE-related material into one place adds value and saves time. Search engines and other means of finding information are aided by this and order is generated out of chaos and entropy. I feel that if we want "foreign" news then we should go to the other IMC sites and benefit from their specific local organised information. Unfortunately if one goes to a huge number of IMCs one sees the same articles as are posted on most other IMCs and it's hard to get the unique, original and local information. That leaves us at the mercy of global spammers who try to push their spin, swamping out individual voices. That replicates the problems in corporate media and stifles individuality and information. I take your point abot the possibility that people may not bother to find the other IMCs but we already have a "Global newswire" where other IMC editors in the global collective do their best to pick out the best stories. Perhaps we should try to highlight this more.


"3. Regarding "Comments on editorial policy".

If you want to be a have a completely open, democratic, unsuspicious and transparent newswire then I think you should allow comments on editorial policy in the comments section."

Trying to do this before led to a complete abuse of the openness. We provide open email lists where this stuff is discussed that anyone can join and once they've done that they can read the archives and see who did what to which and why. They can post to the list to query and disagree and eventually hopefully become involved as editors themselves. That way the site remains focussed on news itself rather than becoming a meta-discussion of the editing of news.

"I should also note that I have tried getting on this editorial list before and had difficulties. I think I was waiting for a response email from you which I never got."

I am sure a couple of posts have remained unanswered and I apologise for that. If more than a couple of days goes by before you receive a response or you have not seen the issue discussed on the list then that's a problem. Certainly we don't do that deliberately and attempt to answer queries.

"My point being is that not everyone will want to go to the bother of getting on an editorial list but would like to vent a criticism on the spot where ones arise."

Unfortunately the trade-off that those people want to make is that their venting occurs to the disruption of the presentation of information to everyone else. If they can't be bothered to subscribe and take part then they're not particularly bothered about it anyway IMHO.

"4. Petitions
I can understand but disagree with your policy of prohibiting petitions. Petitions involve actual action on many of core & frequent topics of the overall newswire. To this extent I think they should be permitted."

I don't mind petitions as comments on an existing story (as long as they're not long rambling screeds with thousands of signatures attached), but I don't think they're news and there are so many of them on the net that once we allow one then we would be making value judgements if we stopped others. I completely oppose a reinstatement of petitions as newswire items.


"I propose that when an event is posted - it appears as the newest event on the event newswire (i.e. operating the same as the main newswire). This will allow regualar (and all) readers to keep an eye on new events as they are posted - and give them ample advance warning of upcoming events.
I also propose that the event be simultaneiously be posted to the main events calender so people can keep an eye on events that way as well."

Hmm. I quite like this idea. Have to think about it more but I see what you're suggesting.

Thanks for all the thought and input. To reiterate again, these are just my own thoughts and are subject to change and improvement and may well be considered utter rubbish by other editorial collective members.

author by hs - sppublication date Thu Feb 12, 2004 17:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that last post may have come across badly. I'm not denouncing indymedia, rather agreeing that the editors should delete rubbish as if they don't it'll only get worse. keep up the good work.

author by journalistpublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 19:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Your guidelines are quite complex, and not immediately obvious to irregular users of the site. I never intended to spam, as you put it. The two threads were essentially about the same issue, therefore I, mistakenly, assumed it was appropriate to comment on both. Strictly speaking, what i posted was relevant on both threads to both of the newswire items, but i understand the need for some form of rules, no matter how oblique.

I do, however, take issue with your assumptions that i ignored the guidelines. I think you need to look at ways to make the basic rules more obvious to people who don't use the site as often as yourself.

Also, don't patronise or admonish users who make mistakes. It turns people off and surely your site should be encouraging users, not making them feel uncomfortable.

author by pcpublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 20:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

some of the editors do that all the time...

busy as they are they should make more of an effort ot be polite!!!!!!!!!!!!!

author by Stop patronisingpublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 20:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well said journalist, this R Isible is quite patronising to anybody who even barely infringes any of IMC's guidelines. Any chance of a calm, measured response R Isible? Or is that asking too much?

author by R Isiblepublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 21:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Journalist" you accuse me of being patronising based upon this comment: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=64016&comment_id=6671

In it I tell you where you went wrong, what the guidelines are and how you breached them. You admit yourself in the above comment that you didn't know what they were.

How is it patronising if I acquaint you with information which you lack?

If I were being patronising I would have said a lot more about what I consider your _personal_ qualities to be. I eschewed this path preferring instead to acquaint you with the factual, practical problems with your current behaviour.

I agree that editors should be polite and await an example of where I have failed in that.

author by journalistpublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 21:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are extremely patronising in tone. That in itself is rude. I am not the only person to have ever taken issue with you over this, just put in a google search for your name and examples of this pop up.

But to satisfy you, here's one: "Thank you for your co-operation. Would you like fries with that?" written by you, Thursday Jul 3rd 2003 to some poor sod who just asked you a question.

You refer to the fact that you obviously have some opinion on my "personal qualities", based upon my postings on indymedia. This, despite the fact that I have never revealed anything about my personal qualities.

You know nothing about me, apart from the fact that I am a journalist and that I refuse to be bullied by you. That seems to be enough for you to have an opinion about my personality, when you have never read anything I have published, never met me, nor spoken to me.

I know nothing of you either, hence the fact that I would never insult you.

You are not as open-minded as you think you are.

author by R Isiblepublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 21:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How was my comment to you "patronising"?

author by Coward hiding behind anonymitypublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 21:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

patronising: characteristic of those who treat others with condescension

R Isible, you said
"How is it patronising if I acquaint you with information which you lack?
If I were being patronising I would have said a lot more about what I consider your _personal_ qualities to be."

Well, for an example I'd suggest you look at the post in question. Being patronising is _nothing_ to do with a personal attack. It's the style, not the content that is being complained of.

For instance, you said:
"You have now made the same request for information on two threads. We have a policy against posting across threads. Please read the guidelines on how to use this community site (see link below)."

Fair enough, but you went on to say

"You are now spamming and derailing threads for your own personal benefit and either are ignorant of our guidelines (that is you haven't made any effort to research this site and how it operates) or else are selfishly ignoring those guidelines because you want "a story""

That was patronising. I mean, do you really expect that the first thing a new reader does is read the guidelines? Most people read the stories - and possibly get involved in the discussions first. it's what brought them to the site.

Again, it's the tone, not the content that's at issue here. just think about being a bit more polite.

author by journalistpublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 21:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Let's end this irrelevant crap.

You can have your opinions, and I am allowed mine. I believe you were patronising, you say no.

We are chasing each others tails. No one really cares.

author by journalistpublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 21:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Coward hiding..... said what I wanted to say a little better than i was doing it.

Is this over?

author by pcpublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 21:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you not out rightly rude but very short and curt to people.... you and editors know this and never done anything about it,

people sohuld learn from there mistales i think i have.... usually when ppl mkae sugestions about indymedia (other then on the dalek thread where risible seems to be putting in extra effort to nice ,well maybe you have learned) they usualy claim how busy they are... or so if yiou can do better then you try, but if you have chosen to be an editor you should try to do better too

Journalist
by R Isible Friday, Mar 26 2004, 5:54pm


You are now spamming and derailing threads for your own personal benefit and either are ignorant of our guidelines (that is you haven't made any effort to research this site and how it operates) or else are selfishly ignoring those guidelines because you want "a story".

accusing some of being ignorant when they just made a simple mistake once....

and rest is eude and patronising too

"Please cut it out and please don't bother to reply on this thread any further."

short - rude

i have no wish to get personl stuf with peopl but as you see risible is in no hurry to placate and back for his mistake and refusing to recognise the tone he uses so often against new users

author by pcpublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 21:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i hage made mistakes about hte usage of indymedia but im willing to admit some of t
them were wrong,... risible dont


for instance when people send suggestions to vinnie about changes to the code he doesn't get upset and defensive about them he is tahnkful either consdiers them or puts them on a to do list, some of the editors don't

author by R Isiblepublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 21:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You wrote:
>"You are now spamming and derailing threads
> for your own personal benefit and either are
> ignorant of our guidelines (that is you haven't
> made any effort to research this site and how
> it operates) or else are selfishly ignoring those
> guidelines because you want "a story""
>
> That was patronising. I mean, do you really
> expect that the first thing a new reader does
> is read the guidelines?

I think a careful first reader, especially one trained as a journalist who is researching and trying to understand would read the guidelines. I fully understand that other people might stumble across the site and not notice the guidelines. When I come across these people I have two choices: 1. Delete the offending comment/newswire story. 2. Leave the comment/story but include a brief informative notice about the problem.

The problem with 1. is that it frequently leads to a situation in which a persistent, insistent poster will post again and again without trying to find the guidelines or use the "contact us" webform. This leads to a lot of aggravation for all concerned. It is sometimes better to take approach 2. but the problem with this is that instead of just accepting that this is a statement of the guidelines and a brief reminder for the benefit of other users unfamiliar with the guidelines people take umbrage.

> Again, it's the tone, not the content that's
> at issue here. just think about being a bit
> more polite.

Again, you've failed to show how the tone is patronising. You object to being told what the problem is and simultaneously plead ignorance. And I have to say that further discussion with you has convinced me that you are acting in bad faith.

author by journalistpublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 21:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That wasn't me you just quoted, that was someone else, if you look back at who posted it........ it was 'coward hiding behind anonimity'

If you are going to use previous quotes as a tool to beat me over the head with, at least get the source of them right.

author by R Isiblepublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 22:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Journalist, you just said: "Coward hiding..... said what I wanted to say a little better than i was doing it."

If you endorse a set of opinions then it's legitmate to call you on them. I think we've established that you're insincere at this stage.

author by journalistpublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 22:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Insincere!!!!!

Explain to me exactly, where I have been insincere, where I have acted in bad faith, as you put it.

I am a little sick of your incessant goading, and a little pissed off at myself for being sucked into a pointless discussion on it.

author by pcpublication date Fri Mar 26, 2004 22:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the editors and other readers wont get involved in this, and may infact back up one of the own editors even though they know he has a two year history of being atronisgin grumpy and insulting to people, in both personal and editorial form


i think indymedia is one of the greatest things on earth.. (well relatively ) but lest give a criticism of it your doomed) this why it upset me so much to see risible continue this way a


and yes the site has improved hugely since the nirtoduction of strict deletion guidelines
doens't meen there ain't further room to improve

author by Anthony - Indymedia Irelandpublication date Sat Mar 27, 2004 00:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The purpose of this article is to inform users of the guidelines that we use to try to ensure that the site be a useful source of news. Comments to this article are meant to add to, clarify and examine the guidelines - not the perceived personality traits of the editors. If someone has a problem with the posts of an editor acting in that capacity, they can bring it up for discussion on the editorial list which exists for that purpose.

R Isible could have been a bit clearer when he linked to this article. He was pointing out where the current editorial guidelines can be read for the benefit of all users of the site. The guidelines have yet to be formally ratified and when done so, the Editorial Guidelines page will be updated accordingly. I very much doubt that R Isible was inviting you or anyone else to have a go at him for his terse and direct communicating style. Further comments on R Isible's merits as an editor will be hidden as the news value of this evening's discussion on that subject is zero.

author by Browserpublication date Sat Mar 27, 2004 06:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"atronisgin" ??
Have not seen that one in the dictionary.
Would it be abuse to tell you to spell correctly? Then we might be able to understand what you are trying to say.

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