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Indymedia Ireland To Formalise Its Operating Rules
indymedia ireland |
Wednesday June 15, 2005 16:04 by Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group - Indymedia Ireland
It only took us 4 years to decide who we are, what we do and how we work
Over almost 4 years of operation Indymedia Ireland have evolved a set of working practices and processes for keeping this site running and making it live up to its goals as best we can. Until now most of these operating rules have been hidden away among mountains of posts on the newswire, or even hidden inside the heads of individual editors. At our recent meeting we discussed the following documents which formalise how we work. We hope that they will make it easier for new people to get involved and understand how we work.
These documents are scheduled to be fully discussed, amended and agreed at our next meeting on June 29th. In the meantime, we offer them up to our users for any constructive criticisms that they might have. This is in keeping with our philosophy of facilitating as many voices and opinions as possible in all discussions about policy. The last major document that we agreed, our editorial guidelines were initally discussed on this newswire article and some of the suggested amendments were finally incorporated into our current document.
We are on the verge of updating our software to the new Oscailt 3.0 version which should give us the technical capability of expanding indymedia Ireland in a number of new areas. We hope that local collectives can start in areas around the country, with their own newswires on the site. We also hope to provide space to new types of material. Although we might be technically capable of all these things, we are in need of as many people with ideas and enthusiasm as ever.
So why not think about getting involved in some of the work of indymedia Ireland? At this stage, you need almost no technical skills to provide useful assistance in running the site and if computers aren't your thing, there are a huge number of other ways in which you can help out in making Indymedia Ireland a real voice of the people. We have nothing to lose but our mental chains.
Indymedia Ireland Collective - Basic Rules
- The indymedia collective is the ultimate decision making body for indymedia Ireland.
- Membership of the collective is made up of all those who do a
certain minimum amount of work for indymedia and who the collective
accepts as a member. (merely contributing material to the newswire
publicising one's own events or group is not considered indymedia work)
- All members of the collective have an equal say in decisions.
- The collective is the sole responsible body for setting mandates
for working groups, for agreeing communications with the international
network and for agreeing the aims and principles of indymedia ireland.
- The collective makes decisions at real-world meetings which should
be held once a month and should have an agenda circulated in advance.Members who can not attend collective meetings can vote by proxy on any of the agenda items.
- Although we have yet to produce a statement of our basic aims and principles, we adhere to the principles of the global indymedia network and the network's Principles of Unity
- Collective members are encouraged to join the Independent Media Support Group, which currently funds our operating costs.
- The running of the web-site is mandated to the internet collective.
Indymedia Ireland Internet Collective - How We Work
Section 1. What is the Indymedia Ireland Internet Collective and what is its mandate?
- The indymedia Ireland Internet Collective is the group responsible
for the Internet presence of Indymedia Ireland, in particular for the
management of the site and domain www.indymedia.ie. It is a sub-group
of the overall Indymedia Ireland Collective [see above] and fulfills the mandate given by that
group. Roughly speaking this mandate is to run all aspects of the
indymedia.ie website in accordace with the aims of the indymedia
- All members of the Internet Collective have the following rights
- The right to vote on promotion of articles to features. If any 3
members vote for an article before there are any objections it is
immediately promoted without any delay.
- The right to vote on the promotion of photos to the top of the
newswire column. If any 2 members vote to feature a photo, it is
- The right to vote on the appointment of members and the definition
of mandates for the sub-groups and the distribution of administration
and moderation priveleges on the site. These decisions follow the
default decision making process.
- The right to create and propose features and any other general privileges decided by the collective.
- The right to vote on changes to the editorial guidelines, to add
new topics, regions etc and to vote on any major proposed changes to
Section 2. General Rules for Internet Collective Members
- Collective members are people who have been granted a username and
password by the collective. All members have equal say in decisions.
Decisions are made on the email@example.comSTOPSPAM.org mailing list.
- Anybody can apply to join the collective Alternatively an existing member can propose a new member.
- The internet collective operates according to the maxim
'dictatorship of the doers'. This means that applicant members will be
expected to have demonstrated a willingness to do work for the
indymedia project before they are accepted as members.
- An applicant member becomes a full member following a decision by the internet collective to accept their application.
- Any member who has been inactive for 3 months will be deemed to
have resigned, although they can of course rejoin by going through the
membership process again.
- Members should work to develop the site in line with the aims and principles of the Indymedia Ireland Collective.
- Members should follow all decisions related to their role as an
imc volunteer taken by the editorial collective and act within their
mandate. Otherwise members are free to carry out whatever political
activity they please as long as they make it clear that they are not
acting or speaking on behalf of indymedia. We suggest that members
specify that they are "1 of IMC" or something similar when acting in a
- Members should disclose any significant political affiliations
such as membership of political parties, organisations, etc. to the
rest of the collective.
- Members should respect the privacy of other members and not use
their privileges to access or share any information about others
without the explicit agreement of the collective.
- Membership privileges can only be revoked by the request of the
member him/herself, or by a decision of the collective that the member
is no longer trusted to follow their mandate.
Section 3. Sub-groups of the Internet Collective.
- There are three sub-groups of the Internet Collective, Adminsitrators, Techies and Newswire Moderators (daleks).
- The Newswire Moderators' mandate is to moderate the content on the newswire in line with the editorial guidelines.
- The Admininstrators' Mandate is to carry out any changes to the
oscailt configuration, such as adding new topics, adding new members
etc. that the collective decides.
- The Techies' mandate is to ensure that the site is functioning
properly, to take care of the hosting and to guard the security of the
site and the privacy of users, to the best of their ability.
General Rules For Decision Making
- All decisions require somebody to propose it. Anybody can put
forward a proposal, whether they are a member or not. The proposer
should carry out the decision once approved or should find a member to
volunteer to do so.
- Generally decision making methods for actions specify the number
of approvals required, the time allowed for objections and a mechanism
for resolving disagreements in cases where there are objections.
- The collective, or any subgroup can agree a particular decision making mechanism for any specific action within their mandate.
- If there is no specific decision making method defined for a particular action, the following default method will be used
Default Method For Decision Making
To be used in cases where there is no more-specific process agreed.
- The decision is approved if a proposal is supported by three members and there are no objections.
- For online decisions, the proposer should specify a time limit. If
there are any objections to this time-limit it defaults to one week..
- If any member objects to the proposal, the proposal is debated in an attempt to reach a consensus.
- Debates should have a specific time limit. For online decisions
this defaults to one week. The proposer can, at any stage in the
debate, modify their proposal in an attempt to reach consensus.
- At the end of the time limit, each member can express their opinion.
- Yes - signifying support for the current proposal
- No - signifying that the member is against the proposal but has no problem going along with it if it is the majority opinion
- Extension - signifying a wish to extend the debate
- Block - signifying a strong opposition to the proposal as it stands.
- If any member votes to extend or block, a new time limit is agreed and the debate continues. In the case of real-world meetings, the decision is deferred until the next meeting.
- For any particular decision, each member can only vote to extend
once. Members can block repeatedly, but only the first one
carries an extension.
- Whenever a time limit is reached and there are no outstanding
extensions, the votes are tallied. If there are no blocks and more Yes
votes than No votes, the decision is passed. Otherwise it fails.
- If a majority vote yes and there are outstanding blocks at the end of the process, the collective will engage in a crisis discussion to attempt to resolve the problem. This discussion will culminate in one of the following outcomes:
- The blocker(s) being excluded from the collective (requires agreement of 75% of members)
- The collective dividing in two and sharing the existing resources of the collective to run two autonomous IMC's which will cooperate in those areas where they do agree.
- The overturning of the original proposal
printable PDF file of organisational structure chart
View Comments Titles Only
Comments (59 of 59)Jump To Comment: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
In my day, we didn't know what a flowchart was. We had text, and for a special treat, every year someone would draw us an ASCII dog. Or maybe it was a bird. Or a tree. But we were happy, damn it!
If it''s OK to comment:
a) I do not understand the substantive difference between an article and a feature - is this just a position on the web page thing?
b) The names of the collectives should be *published* on indymedia.ie - pseudonyms are fine.
c) "Members should disclose any significant political affiliations such as membership of political parties, organisations, etc. to the rest of the collective." Good. Except it should apply to the overarching collective too. Furthermore, these affiliations and interests should be *published* alongside the names/pseudonyms. That way we might understand some editorial decisions and allegations of bias better.
d) why don't you put these documents to a vote - you could use a free online survey sites - http://free-online-surveys.co.uk- that would be democratic.
Umm, have you guys ever been thru the pit falls of majoritarianism ie voting? This seems to me to be an effort to define a organizational structure not an inclusive social process which was what the founding spirit of IMC was about. Did you consider the formal facilitated consensus process for your collective?
also I found your definition of facism telling. Do you mean that people who question the central pillars of Zionism ie its advocates manufactured victimization mythology will be censored by your voted for membership?
here you go said he, this is your job, and no more opining from you, we'll have belgium in no time. how can you get in if you're not on the list?
1. features are published in the centre column of the front page. They normally involve a bit of work on the part of the editors - finding pictures, writing introductions and compiling links on a particular subject. They are normally based on stories submitted to the newswire. Anybody who thinks a story is particularly interesting can propose that it be made into a feature and they almost always get accepted.
2. I don't really see what the point would be of publishing a list of pseudonyms on the site - any practical reason why this would be good?
3. I don't think that publishing the individual affiliations of editors would be a good general rule to have. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that we might, one day, include members of proscribed organisations - something that we have no opposition to in principle. Maybe we could publish a summary of total affiliations?
4. As the documents say, indymedia is a 'dictatorship of the doers', so a general public vote on the documents wouldn't really be appropriate. We're accountable to the people who put work into the project, not those who use it to read and distribute information. Of course, we are interested in their opinions, which is why we invite debate and feedback from the community wherever possible. If people are genuinely interested in getting involved and having an input, there is nothing stopping them and it's pretty much as easy as sending an email to the editorial list or turning up at a meeting.
Furthermore, there is the problem that online polls do not discriminate between people who are supportive of the aims of the indymedia project and those who are not. I'd expect any poll to include a fair number of votes from people who are hostile to us in principle - from the comments on the site, it is obvious that there are a fair number of these people and they tend to be hyper motivated for whatever reason.
To 'rejecting this process'. I think that we are very aware of the various debates about decision making mechanisms and this document is the outcome lengthy debate and much consideration.
I don't think that your comment about the pitfalls of majoritarianism is reflected in the process outlined here which I think amounts to a pretty detailed and formal decision making process designed to acheive consensus. What exactly are the differences with what you refer to as "the formal facilitated consensus process".
Also, I think that having a well-defined and publically available decision making process is a necassary prerequisite to being an 'inclusive social process'. If people don't know how decisions get made, how can they feel included in the social process of creating free media?
I am not aware of us ever having defined 'fascism' and don't have a clue what you are referring to although your allusion to a Zionist "manufactured victimization mythology" makes me wonder.
To mr bloomsday: any chance of some substance? I take your comment to be nothing more than an obscure but nasty but of mud flinging. Nice.
a website and much much more...
customer / client / collective / member aftercare and in the words of tippy toppy marketing experts advance the cause of "low level love"*.
* Saatchi & Saatchi define brand or service loyalty according to a "low level love" index, if you feel loved by the likes of Mr Chekov, you come back again & again to the site.
This is great work -- Thanks and well done to everyone who made it possible. Indymedia Ireland is still by far the best alternative news source from .ie, and it's probably one of the main reasons that there are so few leftwing Irish blogs out there (there are some great right wing sites, many started by DCU and UCD graduates... hmm).
Thanks again. Keep up the good work!!
The anonymous trolls are destroying Indymedia Ireland
Theres' something the matter with Indymedia. It has not turned out to the independent source of information, news and reasoned comment that we would have hoped for.
Sometimes, sure enough, as with the inveterate Limerick people who are our eyes and ears at Shannon airport, or the brave Mayo people who are struggling against the might of Shell, we do get excellent up to the minute news coverage. For this alone, Indymedia is worth its salt.
But the trolls are waiting everywhere. Trolls have been allowed to infest the best threads. Every now and again there is an excellent item posted, but immediately after the posting come either irrelevant flippancy, irrelevant irony (often misunderstood), prolonged and sometimes inane chatting, and what appears to me as a set of trolls bashing one another with abuse and sarcasm that takes away from the original posting. Lost in the mélange is the odd serious comment, link or reference.
As one recent example of this, see the posting by Paul Mac Giolla Bán entitled "Ireland v Israel". It's a piece of writing that is succinct. lucid, measured and non-abusive - as journalism ought always to be. He makes valid points in favour of a number of theses as in the following:
" Israel is sometimes referred to as the only democracy in the middle east. And yet, Israel is in violation of over 60 United Nations resolutions - more than any other nation. The Palestinians, in contrast, are targeted by zero UN resolutions.
The two main Palestinian homelands, Gaza and the West Bank, are under Israeli control. Palestinians are the victim of routine human rights abuses at the hands of the Israeli state. These occupied territories function like a prison the size of a small country.
As the so-called peace talks continue, Israel is constructing a literal wall around the Gaza Strip. This wall will be 8m high, and the International Court of Justice has stated that the wall “violates certain international and humanitarian laws”.
Palestinians in Israel live under an apartheid system, similar to that in operation in South Africa in the 1980s."
The whole article is well worth reading as would an article written in the same well-mannered style either supporting or opposing what Mr Mac Giolla Bán is saying. But the trolls drown out the reason. Reasoned voices are smothered in a plethora of 62 comments. Valuable links are lost (one such link, below, provided by comment writer "Democratic", lists about 170 Jewish or joint Jewish/Palestinian movements, associations etc who oppose the wrongdoing in Israel and Palestine that Paul Mac Giolla Bán has highlighted. http://www.eccmei.net/j/orgs.html )
For some people, access to the Internet is very expensive. For such people, time is money. Valuable information and serious discussion, not available elsewhere, should be nurtured on Indymedia Ireland. If it takes too long to access, or if it is too troll-ridden to take seriously, the poor might have to search elsewhere.
Can Indymedia do anything to rectify the situation? Could they perhaps identify the "resident" trolls and abuse-mongers and consign them to a Chatroom or a "Humour" section where only their friends can read them. Or, if that doesn't work, maybe delete to spam.
trolling is a part/problem of the internet not a problem of indymedia, the only solution is to increase relating news
The point has been made:
"For some people, access to the Internet is very expensive. For such people, time is money. Valuable information and serious discussion, not available elsewhere, should be nurtured on Indymedia Ireland. If it takes too long to access, or if it is too troll-ridden to take seriously, the poor might have to search elsewhere".
The lumpenproletariat are as much a threat to the working class as is the bourgeoise.
If people are unable to afford a decent ISP, get themselves to the local public library or spend a few euros in an internet cafe, then clearly they are not in control of their own lives.
If you are not in control of your own life how can you presume to seek control of other peoples lives, which in a revolutioanray situation is the task of the revolutionary?
My experience is that the type of whiner who goes on with nonsense like " I can't get to the meeting 'cos I'd miss the last bus home or "I can't print out the flyers because I've no ink cartridge" or I can't get to the conference because I've got to look after the kids" is usually more trouble than they are worth.
Sometimes you just have to separate the Clongowes Boys from the Christian Brothers Men.
If caring enough to get the resources neccessary to do your political homework and research on the internet is the pons asinorum so be it..
The worls has moved on and the working class cannot afford to be dragged down with dead weight.
Long live indymedia.ie
Damn the begrudgers!
In a post-modern society, class is a relic of revolutionary dogma - millenialism which has not come to fruition. Power differentials ought to be addressed, as do social inequalities, but there are more than one ways to skin a cat.
CBS-man doesn't appear to think there is any real poverty in Ireland, or if there is, their excuses make them more trouble than they're worth.
Most workers i know don't even have a land-line, let alone a broadband connection.
Booking an hour a week at the local library doesn't give equal acess. I not, CBS, your comment was made in the wee hours of the morning.
the more effort something involves, the more incentive, but with the most disenfranchised, hope is not abbundant, and incentives are preferably immediate.
broadband should be supplied by the state, toll-free.
the troll thing is a matter of taste; one person's troll is another's Kropotkin. Once editorial guidelines are abided by, people should be able to say what they like.; otherwise, we find what is 'acceptable' comment, eeked away and IMC becomes propaganda rather than democracy at work.
>Great article – it hits a key nail on the head.
>Comments that follow fail to hit that nail at all – as such they prove the point.
>Could/should comments be limited to brief indications of assent/dissent. If more needs to be said why not let it be a well-developed contribution in its own right? As said above, chat should be for chat rooms.
I first started reading Indymedia about 3 years ago using a (very) slow dial-up connection to the Internet. It found it to be a frustrating experience to try and sift the wheat from the chaff. Nevertheless, I felt that Indymedia had enough good quality pieces of original writing and interesting photos to make the effort worthwhile.
I felt that the Indymedia idea had great potential but that the site wasn't going to attract much wider readership from people who weren't already somehow involved in political activism or who didn't have lots of time to kill on the Internet while at work or in college. Regardless of whether you had access to the Internet or not, you still had to invest a certain amount of time in order to pick out the newsworthy nuggets out of all the articles and comments when faced with the mass of text in articles and comments that is Indymedia. Doing this is an acquired skill and it's easy for people who have been using the Internet for some time to forget what it was like when they first started out.
After I got better Internet access, I subscribed to the open email lists and saw how much effort the collective of that time put into running the site. I was suitably impressed with the work they did and after quietly observing for a while, I started to contribute on the lists and eventually became an editor myself.
There are no easy answers to the problem as pointed out by Justin. As other posters have pointed out, trolls are a fact of life on the Internet and from what I can tell, always have been. While the Indymedia site is a platform to publish news articles and not a bulletin board, the nature of Open Publishing means that it does take on some of the characteristics of a newsgroup or other online forum.
It was often pointed out that the solution to the trolling is to have more people publish quality newsworthy articles but in my opinion the problem with this approach is that it's unsustainable. Someone can easily post 50 articles of copy and pasted material or a 100 irrelevant / trolling comments in the same time that it takes someone else to write one carefully worded or well researched article.
I should mention that over the past two years, the editorial collective have developed a fairly solid set of editorial guidelines and that as a result of their adoption, the the site is a lot more accessible as a source of news and information. At the very least, readers don't have to wade through articles such as the "10 reasons to hate the SWP/SP/SF/WSM/Labour/FF/FG/etc." that we used to get 3 years ago and reasoned intelligent comments on a well-written article such as Paul's would otherwise be well and truly drowned out by numerous irrelevant and vacuous comments. To see what I mean, it's worth taking a look through our site archives or some of the other Indymedia web sites which ended up as honeypots for all sorts of fascists and loonies.
Re. Paul's article, stories dealing with controversial issues such as Palestine or Israel always attract a large number of polarised views on Indymedia sites all over the world. If you check the newswire mailing list archives (related link below), you can see that already a fair number of comments have been hidden on this particular article - most of them for either being racist, abusive or being in response to one of the hidden comments.
As always, the editorial collective encourages readers to contact us to point out breaches of the editorial guidelines and we're always eager to have more participants come on board. Many hands make light work and all that.
Hidden for expressing an opinion. Isn't that what a comment is? Of course, if you don't agree with the opinion, you can ban it. Sorry, "hide" it.
Official Reason : not news not info from "righteous pragmatist", typically short "opinion"
--- Comment 89708 ---
Parent Story : http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=67049
Title : The solution
Author : righteous pragmatist
Related Link :
Time Posted : Tuesday, Oct 19 2004, 10:29am
--- Comment Content ---
eastern eye i salute you.
I think one must forget the past and move on.
what is done is done.
Israel exists and will remain existing and the Arabs should stop attacking it especially with vicious suicide bombings that do nothing but kill innocent men women and children.
It's obvious that the Israelis will withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza and dismantle their settlements only on condition that the terrorism stop and that any Palestinian state should become a democracy rather than an Islamic hellhole run by Yasser Arafat.
Israelis have a duty to give aid to its neighbour to enable it to become a viable state and the Palestinians should in turn begin a dialogue between the Jews and Muslims in order to understand and tolerate their cultural and religious difference and try to live in harmony.
Don't bet on it though.
"And we have Ciaran who hides the following post on the gounds of "abuse". This is an example of you silencing opinion because you're a Sinn Fein/IRA fan, is it not..."
Of course it is - the post has now been removed from all except the amazingly smart like yourself as part of my plot to ensure indymedia remains a pro SF site. Ask Justin Moran, he'll agree.
BTW - spending voluntary time building indymedia may be, in your eyes, some form of juvenile indulegence . Spending voluntary time criticising attempts to build independent media is of course an important political project which will see fruition in, em.... something or other.
Great blog though. ;-)
Justin Moran writes: "As one recent example of this, see the posting by Paul Mac Giolla Bán entitled "Ireland v Israel". It's a piece of writing that is succinct. lucid, measured and non-abusive - as journalism ought always to be. He makes valid points in favour of a number of theses as in the following:"
And then goes on to list a completely unbalanced invalid point by mentioning that "Israel is in violation of over 60 United Nations resolutions - more than any other nation. The Palestinians, in contrast, are targeted by zero UN resolutions."
Therein lies a problem shared between Indymedia AND the UN.
The UN is overrun by dictatorships and countries which are not democracies. IT is no wonder whatsoever that Israel is the victim of constant and often banal resolutions whilst terrorist states are not. Witness UN's inaction on Darfur where one dictatorship scratches the back of another.
INTERESTING FACT: When one considers that the majority of U.N. member states are Arab nations (22) or Islamic nations (52) or dictatorial, anti-democratic nations or nations in desperate need of Arab oil or nations desperate for business investment opportunities within Arab countries or countries fearful of discontent among their growing Arab/Muslim populations (namely ALL of Europe!), it's no wonder why so many anti-Israel General Assembly resolutions get introduced AND passed! In fact, of over 700 General Assembly resolutions passed since the UN's 1945 establishment, nearly 450 condemn Israel. None have been passed against any Arab country nor any Arab terrorist organizations!
As Abba Ebban observed, If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions."
I am loath to turn this thread into yet another discussion of Israel, but the amount of anti-Israel material on IRELAND Indymedia does prompt one to ask if there is any possibility of balance let alone good reporting. I fear not...
The strange, obsessed individual above is a pretty good example to prove my point that it is not really feasible to run internet projects as public opinion polls - thanks for that cameo.
But, regardless of that, it would be interesting to get more input from readers of the site. Thanks to Justin and others for putting some time into thinking about the site and its problems . People should realise that the editors get an awful lot of communication from people who accuse us of being a stalinist - illuminati - mossad - cia - ira - space alien thought-censoring front and we rarely enough hear from people who think that we should be more strict in our editing or who simply think that we are doing a good job.
That "strange, obsessed individual" that Chekov refers to is very likely to be "Toneore", who also posts as "indyfreedom" or "indywatch".
As for being more strict in your editing, that would certainly help to make the site more readable. Many of the comments posted on Indymedia do not contain any information useful to activists, frequently contain deliberate misinformation, and often are just personal attacks on genuine contributors. Those comments seem to be designed for the purpose of discouraging people from engaging in the discussions and driving them away from Indymedia.
Don't let the trolls have their way, clean them off Indymedia.
Is not to post a short, unoriginal "opinion". It's to add information. Bar stool summaries of complex and detailed topics are not encouraged especially if the opinion has been expressed before. This confusion over the use of the phrase "add your comment" has been explained to you before.
Brevity can be useful when coupled with originality. Often though it's an example of a lack of thought.
As has been explained to you many times: do not post comments requesting information on why specific posts are hidden. This falls under the rubric of "commenting on editorial matters". Fill in the contact form or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do you have to be told this AGAIN toneore?
Congrats to those dedicated volunteers and contributers who have maintained and developed Indymedia here in Ireland over the years!
For all the critiscms levied against the Indymedia crew they have sustained this space democratically and provided space that quite a few activists the length and breadth of Ireland have found to be a very valuable resource in getting information out there and debating, yes it does occur at times!, the best ways to develop campaigns. I for one have gained and learned a lot from using and visiting the site on a regular basis..
One of the problems naturally of open publishing is the fact that certain Trolls, disruptive elements or the downright surreal have access to voice their concerns or indeed nonsense. I believe the Editorial Crew have provided a sterling service in providing well sourced features for the Front Pages and in their moderation of the headbangers.
I believe it is all our responsibility as regular users and readers to help develop the news worthiness of our contributions. Most of us are involved in various diverse progressive campaigns as such we should utilise the site as best we can.
One of the key tenets of the site is the opportunity not to follow the standard corporate media viewpoint, but to be the media and that as an activist to me is vital.
At the last Indymedia meeting held a few weeks ago, what struck me most was the openess and honesty of discussion as to how we all can develop the site. We all have a part to play. I would encourage those who have concerns, suggestions and critiscms to get along to the next meetings.
Myself and others in the North have suggested that we should attempt to set up a Belfast Working Group as to how best develop and publicise the site here, which looks like we will attempt to to do very soon, most likely after the G8 due to most heads being invoved in the build up.
Basically, we should follow the basic rules of thumb as per all forums
(a) Dont feed the Trolls c/f http://www.searchlores.org/trolls.htm
(b) Remember quite a lot of activists and individuals in your area visit the site...Keep us informed of the various current campaigns/ events going on .You would be surprised as to the heads who will get along and support in some capacity
(c) Not only should we announce events, but report back from them so we can all learn from the successes and what elements we could have done better so we all learn as to how best progress.
(d) Quite a few journalists use this site for news sources. On a number of occasions journalists have contacted me and helped to raise positive awareness of various campaigns Ive been involved in.
Im sure people have a host of great ideas as to develop our space and I look forward to hearing from others opinions. Nobody has the definite model or idealogy for success yet.
It is up to us, a collective responsibility if you like, to choose to accept to assist Indymedias continuing effectiveness.
At Redjade's suggestion, I'd have to ask, can we at the FI post stories and make comments here without them being deleted without trace?
Would anyone care to remove the stories accusing us of being neo-Nazis or of taking funding from the CIA or of running an electronic warfare campaign?
More comments on the FI blog at haloscan on
The original post is
as I mentioned on your own site - if you cannot point to the page where the comment was deleted, then its a bit hard to review the situation, no?
You know where to go looking for it - or at least give some clue.
The indymedia people who work hard to weed out the trolls and others, in my opinion, usually get it right - they are not above criticism and past deletions (hides actually) can always be reviewed.
So please, if you want this, spend the time to research it so people can help you.
Given that the collective controles this web site I am surprised that the process for getting onto the collective is so unclear.
Would it not be more transparent to hold elections for new members in which the members if indymedia would vote people onto the collective. At present you can't get on unless you are affectively invited on.
In answer to the question who is a member of indymedia I would say that people should be allowed to register on this site after they have payed a subscription fee they become a member.
At present the collective is limiting itself to a small pool of activists.
Peter writes: "At Redjade's suggestion, I'd have to ask, can we at the FI post stories and make comments here without them being deleted without trace?"
All editorial actions including hides and deletes are archived on the publically available imc-ireland-newswire list. They are NOT deleted without trace.
You can post any information that you like as long as it does not contravene one of the clearly stated editorial guidelines.
You can contact the editorial collective using email@example.com if you have concerns about a particular story. Specific URLs and specific objections will be dealt with. General accusations of unfair treatment will be met with a request for specifics.
KO'S writes: "Would it not be more transparent to hold elections for new members in which the members if indymedia would vote people onto the collective?"
What do you mean by "members"? If you mean present members of the editorial collective then that's what the formalised guidelines above are stating.
I like your suggestion - forgive me if I don't have the time to take your invitation to click through each and every one of the 500+ messages for May to find the ones I'm looking for.
And the .gz archive isn't accessible for some reason, even when I'm logged in on the list.
I'm going to have start writing here as "Banned Poster"!
Why do so many people, including the "collective" (that phrase has a nice Pol Pot-like ring to it) not post using their real names?
I dont know if I should be posting on this link and if I shouldnt I apologise, feel free to wipe my post but I just wanted to say that in all the time I have posted here not once have I had a post wiped or hidden and the one time I contacted admin/mods they dealt with my complaint very well.
On the other hand I think you should have to register, it would reduce the one hit wonders and reduce/destroy impersonation. On more than one occasion I have been impersonated for no other reason that to spread shit and insult other users. Who did this I dont know but if you had a set username and password then at least people could be safe in the knowledge that the poster is who they say they are.
Well anyway, apologies if Im out of line on this or other threads, if I break the rules then feel free to pull me up on it.
"Why do so many people, including the "collective" (that phrase has a nice Pol Pot-like ring to it) not post using their real names?"
I find it deeply ironic that someone from the 'Freedom' institute would fail to realise what this data told him.
"Why do so many people, including the "collective" (that phrase has a nice Pol Pot-like ring to it) not post using their real names?"
1. If you think a word like collective has a pol-pot like ring to it, you must exist in a bizzarely individualistic ideological world. Do you get shudders down your spine every time you hear the word 'sharing', (reminiscent of gulags?) 'co-operation' (hint of stalin?) or 'free association' (ring of the stasi about it?). A collective is simply a free association of individuals who cooperate as equals - it speaks volumes about your ideological conditioning that you make such sinister assumptions about simple concepts.
2. People use pseudonyms for many reasons. Sometimes it might be because they are a member of the freedom institute masquerading as a leftist in order to post peurile attacks on themselves and hence damage the credibility of the site. For others, it is simply a means of protecting their privacy as posting on indymedia is probably not generally seen as a positive on your CV. In this respect, indymedia is quite different from the freedom institute/my first think tank.
3. Despite the fact that we already have quite enough rubbish by the hard of thinking on the site, people from 'my first think tank' are free, like everybody else, to post on the site and their offerings will be judged against the editorial guidelines like all other posts.
Keiran: "At present you can't get on unless you are affectively invited on."
Guideline 2: Anybody can apply to join the collective Alternatively an existing member can propose a new member.
Is the meeting scheduled for 29 June taking place?
Would be handy to get some notice (Time/Venue) for people who have to travel..
I'm noy sure what exactly this has to do with issues of biotechnology:
Over the past few years of her marriage this horny mature lady has been continually neglected by her husband - thats what she told me. So I, as her boss, had to calm her down... Of course as usually, I put my camera secretly on while she blew me passionately.
"Sometimes it might be because they are a member of the freedom institute masquerading as a leftist in order to post peurile attacks on themselves and hence damage the credibility of the site. "
I think y'all are more than capable of damaging your own credibility without any outside assistance. However, if you want to remove the threads describing us as BNP supporters:
please, be my guest.
"For others, it is simply a means of protecting their privacy as posting on indymedia is probably not generally seen as a positive on your CV. "
Are the Predator drones circling over Dublin at this very moment?
write to the contact form of that site if you want to comment or complain: http://biotech.indymedia.org/en/static/contact.shtml
I agree with the complaints in comments on this FI blog entry btw: I agree that racism in ireland needs to be conffronted especially as hate of anyone different is being formented by MOJ. I do however it is disgusting to manipulate sources to try to prove racism and anti-semitism is eminating from the left.
Leftists do distinguish between Jewish people and supporters of the policies of ariel sharon.
that's biotech indymedia - not Indymedia Ireland.
Each indymedia website is run autonomously - there are over 140 Indymedias.
Is http://FreedomInst.org responsible for what is published on the sites of your blogroll? such as the Heritage Foundation? http://www.heritage.org/
then again, maybe.
Where in that "threads" (why make it plural when you only quote one?) does anyone even _mention_ the BNP? Wild accusations like the one you make (coupled with your near-Stalinist demand for a deletion) make it look as though you haven't a clue.
(In case anyone decides to add something to the thread the last post on it was made by Sherlock Holmes Wednesday, Mar 9 2005, 11:42am, as of my checking it today Jun 23 2005).
So how exactly do I search these damn mailing lists? It's not looking very open from where I'm sitting.
look at my link to fi - he is a dissimulating shitstirrer who is more worried about scoring points in a dishonest manner off a small bunch of leftists than he is about racism.
there was a working search engine of indy lists
but it seems to be down at the moment
try playing with this:
Try that link and you might understand my contempt for your standards of journalism.
So what's wrong with Heritage? Are they a front for the BNP too?
While too socially conservative for my taste, I'd be happy to work with them on most issues.
There's plenty of people we don't link to. If you point to something objectionable on their site or others, then the FI would rapidly remove the link.
You can hold us to that because you know our names.
Redjade, I had already tried google searches on lists.indymedia.org and indymedia.org, which no trace at all of any mention of me or the FI.
Kind of like the Vogon planning information in Hitchhiker - available in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years.
Eeekkk (or may I call you eeee?),
I didn't write the post and I haven't commented on it yet, so your drawing conclusions about my style of argumentation from it is unsupportable.
"Leftists do distinguish between Jewish people and supporters of the policies of ariel sharon"
I think you're committing the "No True Scotsman" fallacy here.
Or maybe I'm missing the nuanced message behind the Nazi salute, telling me that I'm free to live as an Israeli citizen in a state at peace with a Palestinian state.
Peter, the link that you provided is to an article written by an anonymous person and there is no evidence whatsoever that it was written by anybody connected with indymedia in any way. What it does show, on the other hand, is that the indymedia model of assembling stories through comments is very successful at exposing idiotic arguments. I'm still waiting for any reply whatsoever to my detailled critique of the text in question. I'm guessing that you consider it 'beneath you' (ie you are incapable of answering the charges). That thread shows the FI puppies characteristically running away and hiding as soon as anybody seriously examines the idiocy which they spew.
What's more, your positing of the no true scotsman fallacy in this case is itself a good example of another fallacy, what I like to call the 'introducing a logical fallacy without demonstrating why it applies to this situation' fallacy. To explain (and to avoid the fallacy myself) where your problem is, you refered to "the nuanced message behind the Nazi salute" as evidence that the statement "Leftists do distinguish between Jewish people and supporters of the policies of ariel sharon" exhibits the 'no true scotsman' fallacy. The thing is anybody who gives nazi salutes is _by definition_ not a leftist according to all but the most bizzare meanings of the term. But, as I pointed out in my still unanswered critique, you and your rich kid mates have apparently unilaterally decided to redefine the meaning of the term to incorporate anything that you don't like in the world and allow you to spin your self-serving theories without any danger of reality intruding.
So, Pete, away with you, back to your fantasy world of seich-heiling leftists, flying pigs and anti-fascist activists who monitor your site every 20 seconds so they can denounce your oh-so-relevant spoutings.
Did you actually read the wikipedia entry for 'no true scotsman' pete? If you had, the very first line should have told you where you had gone wrong. To substitute in the facts of this question into that sentence:
When considering this argument in a context of rhetorical logic, this is a fallacy if the predicate ("making nazi salutes") is not actually contradictory for the accepted definition of the subject ("leftist").
Under all accepted definitions of 'leftism,' 'making nazi salutes' is clearly a contradictory act - so the fallacy does not apply.
Since when is Nazism not an ideology of the extreme left? It was national SOCIALISM after all and most of the rank and file of the German communists turned their coats after Hitler came to power and often back again under the Russians, happy to take on the functionaries of the state right down to the block wardens. Now its the ex-communists again who dominate the east German neo-Nazi groups.
Heinrich Mueller, who carried both Nazi and KPD membership cards and later headed the Gestapo was one example. Peter Drucker wrote in his memoirs of his confusion, not knowing whether he would be arrested or not.
There's plenty of more modern examples: What would you call the German members of the PFLP who seperated Jews from non-Jews on the hijacked Air France plane at Entebbe?
Are the Provos part of the far right - given extreme nationalism and xenophobia - or the far left, given their affinity for Cuba and anti-capitalist rhetoric?
Extremism is extremism, hate is hate and one form of totalitarianism is pretty much identical to another.
Your contention that declaring oneself a leftist somehow makes it impossible for you to be an anti-semite is laughable in its blinkered self-righteousness.
I'm happy to have plenty of enemies to my right as well as my left - maybe you all should be more careful as to who you mingle with.
Since when is Nazism not an ideology of the extreme left? Since the very moment the ideology first came into existence.
Ye'd think with intellectual starlets like Waghorne, a former Philosophy Society Auditor you'd have a refined sense of the differences between political ideologies. Instead you are very much still reliant on that ridiculous junior cert history book graphic that places politics in a crude circle with communism and fascism right beside each other. Is there no room in your head for the not so subtle differences in economic and social aims? Is there anything in your head besides a very, very crude junior cert appreciation of history which leads you to hail Allende as a dictator, rave about Pinochet as a liberator and to equate German communists and fascists as interchangeable factors?
peter, your self-serving sophistry is simply silly. Sure you can pick a few individuals who were formerly of the left before they became extreme rightists, you can find leftists who later became priests, cultists and even empty headed flag waving freedom tooting whipsersnappers like yourself. It doesn't change the meaning of the word at all. Ask any leftist in the world whether nazism is of the left and you know what answer you'll get. Indeed you'll get the same answer no matter who you ask (beyond a certain bunch of rich kids who know nothing about the world except that they are somehow naturally superior to the rest of us). You may have all sorts of funny definitions of the meaning of the term 'leftist' ("evil!!!!") but claiming that others are employing fallacious arguments when you are working from a bizzarely unusual definition of the word is just pig-headed arrogance.
By the way, I did not claim that leftists can not be anti-semitic. I counsel you to stick to arguments I actually made. I was very clear in what I was arguing. You were arguing that fascist salutes were evidence that leftists were anti-semitic. I pointed out the fact that people who make fascist salutes are very clearly not leftists and it would be a very silly person who would try to argue otherwise.
A network is more than a movement of autonomous parts
So I'm in Mexico City staying at an open media house called the Centro de Medios Libres (Free Media Center), which houses different media collectives and projects nationally and internationally. Before, I was in Chiapas staying at the hostel that was conjoined with Chiapas indymedia, which takes volunteers locally, nationally, and internationally. So, since I've been to these places and travelling around Mexico and Guatemala, I've met up with people from 7 different indymedia collectives. I met Marcos from New Mexico Indymedia, Jen from Richmond Indymedia. Steev from Portland Indymedia, Kev from Tennessee Indymedia, Jose from Mexico Indymedia, Timo and Luz from Chiapas Indymedia, and Aymara and I from San Diego Indymedia. There's been some awesome colloboration, conversation, and sharing. Well, all I want to say is thay its really fuckin great to meet up with these different nodes, strengthening the arteries of this network, this network which I think is more than just a union of parts, as some people think. A network is much more than its parts, and this one is especially more organic than one can ever think. Its a complex nonlinear feedback giving network of networks which produces media and events that re-enter the mediascape and mindspace to reproduce even more nodes and pathways of information and community that decentralize themselves within the network they are continuously reinventing and producing.
. . .
read jacobito's other blogging...
Free lessons available to all comers 24/7 at www.freedominst.org/blog.html
"Sure you can pick a few individuals who were formerly of the left before they became extreme rightists"
Eh, let's see -
Nazi-Soviet pact? The Doctor's Plot? The post-67 purges?
What do you think of the SWP making common cause with the Muslim Brotherhood stalwarts of the Muslim Association of Britain?
"not so subtle differences in economic and social aims?"
Such as what? Killing tens of millions of people through artificial famines and concentration camps? Why do you think they danced on the Berlin wall?
What part of the concept of totalitarian are you having difficulty understanding?
I am I going to be only one to use my name and contact details or are we continue with the "10-4 Rubber Duck" nonsense?
I think you could all learn a good deal by adopting the 12 traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous:
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
A comment under the name of "Seeking balance" confuses my name with that of Justin Moran of Sinn Féin. We are different people.
Peter's comment once again shows him to have a fine grasp of junior cert history. The evidence that nazis are leftists is the following:
"Nazi-Soviet pact? The Doctor's Plot? The post-67 purges?"
Going by the logic of the first point, anybody who entered into temporary alliances with far right governments is a nazi and anybody who entered into an alliance with a warsaw pact country is a leftist - meaning that every country in the world during the 1930's was at once leftist and a nazi. The situation in spain in the 1930's, becomes nazis fighting against nazis and leftists fighting against leftists - brilliant.
The following two examples of the bolsehvik leadership purges prove um something.
You see, Pete, if you actually want to understand the world, you need to examine the ideas that people have, the traditions from which they came from and their motivations. Simply defining everything bad as 'leftist' and using a few contextless historical examples plucked almost at random from your junior cert history textbook will only serve to confirm your prejudices. If you were in any way serious or rigorous about your 'research' you would see immediately that your method is sufficent to define everybody in the world as just about anything. Although, since you and your rich kid chums are only interested in providing ideological justification for your own privilege, the colouring book view of history is fine. Just get our the red crayons and apply it liberally to anything that might cause you to question anything about the world - thought is 'leftist'.
"What do you think of the SWP making common cause with the Muslim Brotherhood stalwarts of the Muslim Association of Britain?"
It's quite clear that it's another example of the left really being nazis / religious fundamentalists and nazis being trots, isn't it. No nuances, no differences, just take out the crayon and get colouring.
"not so subtle differences in economic and social aims?"
No your right the differences between wanting an all powerful master race and wanting universal human equality are hardly subtle.
"Such as what? Killing tens of millions of people through artificial famines and concentration camps? Why do you think they danced on the Berlin wall?"
Because the bolsheviks were murderous tyrants? Oh no, it's because lefties are nazis.
"What part of the concept of totalitarian are you having difficulty understanding?"
No part of it. Are you saying that you are talking about totalitarianism when you use the word leftist? Could it be that you have conveniently and ahistorically decided to equate the two in what passes for your mind? If you want to criticise totalitarianism, I'm all for that, but you actually have no interest in that. You are merely interested in applying your crayon to anything that questions the impunity of the elite to deny freedom to the rest of us. You will happily pretend that stalin is exactly the same as, for example, the anarchists and that allende was pretty much a fascist while pinochet was a champion of freedom.
Your history is crap, your understanding of ideas is non-existant, your historical method is infantile, your intellectual dishonesty and laziness is stupendous.