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Commentary :: Media
this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
13 Dec 2005
Modified: 04:27:33 PM
who's at fault, him or us?
ok, in the last few weeks, the center-column article with the most comments has been the one on torture in iraq ("new anti-insurgency tactic..."), with 83 comments at last count. but instead of a spirited discussion of the article and of torture's use by the usa, a quick read of the comments shows that people strayed far away from the point of the article, distracted by what most observers would call trolls.

31 of 83 comments were by someone called 'veteran' and most of the rest were responses to his provocations, a mix of unquestioning obeisance to military decisionmaking and blind patriotism. shouldn't we be savvy enough to see that taking these comments at face value is a waste of our time? i mean, nobody wants to deny a free discussion from all respectful and relevant perspectives, but after the 10th or 15th repetition of the same idea, there's just no point trying to convert someone like 'veteran' to an enlighened way of thinking.

i guess i'm just suggesting we keep the discussions focused and don't allow ourselves to stray too far past the intent of the authors of the articles to which we are, after all, replying. to indulge in a free-for-all on all manner of side topics goes against the purpose of the comments section. we ought to be conscious that indymedia is a service to our community, and a free space for discussing ideas which don't get circulated by the mainstream media. to allow trolls to subvert that meaning by steering discussion elsewhere is silly and counterproductive.

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Re: this is getting ridiculous
13 Dec 2005
No. We should pay more attention to trolls. They are a valuable members of the digital, online blog-o-sphere.
Re: this is getting ridiculous
13 Dec 2005
Taking Sharpie's writing seriously is a ---

hahahahahaha

--I can't even finish that thought.
Re: this is getting ridiculous
13 Dec 2005
Sort of ironic that this appears on an "anarchist" blog. How will you subvert the dreaded divergent agents in your utopian society?

I think any input is valuable, no matter how polemical and off topic. Every voice has meaning and value. If we want to be taken seriously we must include everyone.

Vet enoys me as much as anybody, but we need to reach out and attempt dialoge with all, no matter how entrenched in ideology.

Or was I not supposed to disagree with the post. Am I trolling?
Re: this is getting ridiculous
13 Dec 2005
Brad's right. But so is Shake. We have to learn to talk to people even if they are entrenched in their ideals. At the end of the day, we can't condemn Veteran for arguing tenaciously. Although I find Veteran’s views morally repugnant, he doesn't strike me as someone who reads this sight and gets absolutely nothing from it. He's in a dialogue with the other readers. We can always just ignore him.

{This post has been improved by running a spell check. Thank you for the suggestion.}
Re: this is getting ridiculous
13 Dec 2005
Hi folks. As a member of Boston IndyMedia's Editorial Collective I feel confident saying that the Editorial Collective is aware of the current user situation on our site and we have been discussing various ways to address the problem (or lack of problem, as the case may be). We have an online list serv that includes mose of our online discussion of editorial issues that anyone can post to with public archives that can be found here:

http://lists.indymedia.org/mailman/listinfo/boston-editorial

If you would like to send a comment to the Editorial Collective our public list e-mail address is: boston-editorial (at) lists.indymedia.org.

Our private e-mail address for posts that readers wish to keep anonymous is here (*please* specify if you want your post to remain anonymous!):

imc-boston-office (at) indymedia.org

We are an open concensus based collective and some of our Editorial decisions take longer than most people would like, especially people who are not directly involved in our concensus process. We welcome *any* and all constructive input that the IMC community has about our site, our editorial decisions and our general processes. We are an all-volunteer group that is working our hardest to provide a good balance of news with local commentary - please let us know if you have any further suggestions!
Re: this is getting ridiculous
13 Dec 2005
You people can't spell for shit. Svea, Chester take a class.
Re: this is getting ridiculous
13 Dec 2005
Just in case folks are curious, I've just looked through the archives and found several of the "hidden" posts that were originally posted to the "anti-insurgency in iraq" article. Where you now see approximately 83 posts, there were originally 124 posts - thats approximately 41 posts from this article that were hidden because they were side-tracking the topic. These posts were hidden because Editors considered them to have violated our open-publishing editorial guidelines as spam, empty content, disruptive or violent content, or any number of other combinations. Just in case you haven't seen the link in the left hand column of this page, our Editorial Guidelines are located here:

http://boston.indymedia.org/mod/info/display/policy/index.php

Some examples of the posts that *have* been hidden from this particular article are listed here:

http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/46370/index.php
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/46232/index.php
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/46225/index.php
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/46179/index.php
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/46177/index.php
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/46072/index.php
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
14 Dec 2005
Another way to look at a person like Veteran is that he provides an outlet for the articulation of ideas. Without a person like that showing up, with a definite opinion, who actually cares about it and is ready to argue for it, BIMC is just more left wing, radical, progressive, independent, amateur, or (choose your adjective) news. That has been done. In fact its one of the big problems in the world. The people with differing views don't talk. The right wingers, or those with a so-called mainstream mindset, go to THEIR sources for news and radicals, leftists, and transcendentalists go to theirs. No one is in conversation. A person who has not yet developed a personal ideology must read and listen to the differing views in a sterile environment. Veteran shows up, argues the same point over and over, and a bunch of people totally dismantle and expose his views for what they are. Even if he never concedes defeat, he may still be defeated, and an intelligent reader, who is just trying to sort things out will realize this. Dissent is good.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
14 Dec 2005
So long as it doesn't turn into,
Not Veteran: FUCK YOU VETERAN!
Veteran: Viva Bush!
etc.
I think that alternative opinion is healthy. Know your enemy, right?

See what happens if you try to go against the mainstream on a site like FreeRepublic.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
15 Dec 2005
I agree.
And I agree with others. Veteran has to be either lonely? Or a government paid employee.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
15 Dec 2005
The Boston Indymedia collective is an open collective, HA. what a laugh.

I heard that Pete Stidman left because he was constantly being called a racist and sexist by Sofia! If that's an open discussion I'd like to see what a closed one looks like!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
15 Dec 2005
"I heard..."

BIMC isn't perfect I don't think any one will argue that, but it is open, showup online or in person if you want to improve it (see the about us section on the left of email me if you can't figure out how to get involved)

Simply pointing out problems real or rumored isn't really productive.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
15 Dec 2005
I showed up online and in person and Sharpie threw a hissy fit.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
15 Dec 2005
Flipside, I'm all for an open forum, and some posts that are "hidden" shouldn't be, but people who post have to be somewhat more civil and respectful of the opinions of others, especially when they disagree. Labelling, name-calling, and other forms of trolling aren't doing anyone any good.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
15 Dec 2005
Once AGAIN I offer nonadversarial participation in IMC. I take seriously anyone who does not hide behind anonymity and demand prior restraint. I have been saying the same thing since the DNC.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
15 Dec 2005
I love the verbal jousting, when the quality is there. Veteran would seem to be one of the more well-paid "trolls" because however wrong he is, he does a pretty good job of providing us most of the best arguments of the right-wing for us to test our own steel on. Flipside on the other hand seems too often flippant, and more often than not is posting about his posting instead of about issues. I don't think there's anything wrong with hiding posts, except maybe that for the convenience of those of us who are fascinated by censoring (the good or bad kind) there could be a button on each post to toggle on and off the hidden replies. I know, you all are a volunteer collective, etc. and that kind of programming isn't necessarily easy. But I have confidence in you--remember, we who post, comment, and generally make each other's lives interesting aren't being paid for the content we provide either. In all seriousness, keep up the good work, BIMCers!!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
15 Dec 2005
Touche. I am not issues oriented.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
15 Dec 2005
Hey look. I have double d's!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
16 Dec 2005
jon writes:"BIMC isn't perfect I don't think any one will argue that, but it is open, showup online or in person if you want to improve it (see the about us section on the left of email me if you can't figure out how to get involved)

Simply pointing out problems real or rumored isn't really productive."

You're avoidign the topic, If you're in the collective i'm sure you know fucking well that its not a rumor but a real fact.

Second of all, discussions in an open colective should be based on the facts. Instead people are attacking each other with fake accusations. That isn't open and that isnt productive .

Maybe you need to learn something abotu organizing.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
16 Dec 2005
There is truth and myth in every rumor, but I think it would be a mistake to begin a discussion here over personal issues (ie, Pete & I) that go beyond the collective's scope of things.

Let's not gear off the editorial discussion, which I think was so useful to all.

I agree w/Anonymous that leaving some right-wing post could generate thoughtful discussions.
It's a useless topic.
16 Dec 2005
discussion of process really should be either on the lists http://boston.indymedia.org/mod/info/display/lists/index.php or at the meetings, as this affects the collective not the community.

Discussion of policy, such as the editorial policy, on this site makes sense as these policies do affect the larger community. where as wether the collective meeting is a love-in, blood bath, or somehting in between really doesn't directly matter.

That said since process has been brought up, I'm going to respond once rather against my better judgement.

Jim said:
---
You're avoidign the topic, If you're in the collective i'm sure you know fucking well that its not a rumor but a real fact.

Second of all, discussions in an open colective should be based on the facts. Instead people are attacking each other with fake accusations. That isn't open and that isnt productive .

---

I'm avoiding the topic because it's a bullshit topic, mountains of it on all sides, I can't tell how much of what about the situation is true and I don't see any value in trying to figure it out.

name calling and personal drama isn't terribly relevent to me, keeping the site up and running is.

Clearly they held rather troubled opinions of each other. I could work with either in a reasonable manner.

If you've been in the collective or lurking on the lists you know way too much time was spent on trying to resolve this. Ultimately they're both adults, they couldn't get along, and one chose to leave.

I don't understand your statement that this isn't open, it was all too open.

Again I say, you who are so wise in the ways of organizing, share your wisdom, we see the problems.

I belive this is my only statement anywhere on this topic and I'm quite sure it's my last.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
16 Dec 2005
Thanx anonymous, good post.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
16 Dec 2005
thanks symbolic. its too bad im anonymous... anyway, keep it real!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
shutup!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
No! You Shutup!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
I will not FUCKING SHUTUP!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
OH YES YOU FUCKING WILL YOU FUCK!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
LISTEN YOU FUCKING SHITASS FUCKING SHIT...SHUTUP RIGHT THE FUCK NOW!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
DON'T YOU CALL ME A SHITASS FUCKING SHIT YOU FUCKING FUCKBAG! I HATE YOU!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
WELL I FUCKING HATE THE SHIT OF YOU!
NOW SHUT UP!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
NO!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
YES!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
NO!!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
YES!!!!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
NO!
FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCKING FUCK!!!!!!!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
Oh, real mature, buddy.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
OH YEAH, WELL YOU'RE A FUCKING INFILTRATOR, YOU ASSHOLE!!!!
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
Its people like the person above who try to ruin it for everyone else. If the editors don't move these posts, such things will dominate the site and make it almost impossible to read.
Its like someone coming into our shared space and shitting right in the middle of it.
In the attempt to clean up the mess, sometimes things get messy and the wrong stuff gets moved as well. Its a real hassle. I hope that the editors will let this stay up so people can see how ridiculous it is.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
17 Dec 2005
right on. trolls suck, then you die. too bad an open publishing policy doesn't really allow for the "silent treatment" punishment... shunning really can work wonders for people who act out. you gotta do what you gotta do. editorial policies, et al.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
18 Dec 2005
jesus, it was a frickin joke.
humourless jag offs such as yourselves create the illusion that whatever movement you consider yourself a member is nuthing more than a clubhouse for self satisfied artisans of arrogance and snobbery.
wait, maybe not an illusion? reality perhaps?
yup....
anyway, i thought it was fucking hilarious.
go back home to your "shared space" or whatever hole you hide in. if i ever catch you in lowell, i'll make you cry.

and get a sense of humour. your "movement" will die without one.
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
18 Dec 2005
Wick, you make a good point. Does the BIMC have room for humor and creativity?
I think so. There are many posts in the mood of political cartoons. Tons of sarcasm. Left and Right's exchange humorously mock the debates and conversations that take place here. But they take up a lot of space too. A reader must wade through them to get to something more substantive. Do people want to do that all the time?
That's part of what this conversation is about. Where do we draw the line?
I’m not telling you, I asking you.
Why should the community allow two or three person's "jokes" to destroy all the possibility that the IMC offers?
One person thought it was funny to write a huge list of racial slurs against Rosa Parks in the comments to a recent article. Some people may find that funny and there are groups they can join to share in that type of humor, but that is contrary to the principles of the IMC collective, which is what this is.
That type of humor has nothing to do with effecting positive change in the world.
IMC needs to be self critical but this little bit of cyberspace is valuable; Just as I don't want chemical companies dumping toxic chemicals in my neighborhood, the IMC collective has agreed not to let people dump their racism, homophobia, sexism, and other venomous hatred here. Just as we take out the trash at home so our homes don't stink, when people attempt to drown thoughtful comments in mountains of hollow mockery and disruptive name-calling, somebody has to clean it up.
So Left and Right are funny, but does what they have to say matter so much that it should take up that much space? How about half the site? Would you still come read it then? Would it still be funny when no thoughtful or concerned person would bother reading this site?
Of what value would the IMC be then?
Re: this is getting ridiculous [Discussion on Boston IMC Editorial Policy]
19 Dec 2005
I visit here because most of the stuff here is funny and misguided or science fiction. Most has a slight hint of truth but for the most part is twisted and one sided. Just my two cents!