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News :: Media
Defend Free Speech on the 'Net!
01 Feb 2006
Help defend free speech & the democratization of ideas by questioning the motives of the LA Indymedia editorial collective!
Click on image for a larger version

LA.Indymedia Editorial Collective’s Motives Questioned
The Los Angeles area Independent media site is coming under fire for arbitrarily "hiding" posts that don't fit the precise political bent of its editorial collective. The site lists its guidelines for "hiding" articles as follows:

* "Spam" posting; i.e., posts deliberately designed to disrupt the newswire and its basic ability to function. These are posts that are deemed to be devoid of content or analysis and appear to be published with the sole purpose of disruption.

* Posts the author has requested hidden.

* Posts that are obviously incorrect or misleading. This includes attempts to spread misinformation or to impersonate another individual.

* Posts that contain generalized and negative assertions about any race, nation, creed, class, ethnic group, sexual orientation, etc.

* Posts that advocate the mass physical elimination of a specific race, nation, creed, class, ethnic group, sexual orientation, etc, or that link to websites that advocate the same.

* Posts that treat the newswire as a personal "bulletin board" with non-political content directed at one or another newswire participants.

* Unreadable formats (i.e. photos posted as text).

* Posts titled "test".

* Duplicate posts (including duplicate photographs).

* Advertising of products or for-profit services.

* Pornography, excepting sexually explicit satire.

However, despite these clear & descriptive guidelines, LA.Indymedia regularly removes legitimate posts that don’t break any of the above-listed rules. The posts only connection seems to be that they don’t strictly adhere to the political positions of the LA Indymedia editorial collective.

(I’ve linked to some of those posts below. Please don't take my word for it -- take a look & see for yourself.)

I've tried to contact the group for an explanation, but rather than answering my questions, my post was once again "hidden" from view.

Indymedia is supposed to be about interaction; facilitation of free speech & the free exchange of ideas, uncensored by any political interest. It's supposed to be all those things that the corporate media isn't -- but by censoring alternative points-of-view, the LA Indymedia group is simply shifting the accepted bias. It's not empowering "the people"; just the people who agree with them. And it's giving Indymedia as a whole a huge black-eye in the credibility department.

Something needs to be done. Some action must be taken to correct this. (And some of you should be sure to keep a watchful eye on your editorial collective as well…just in case.)


Below I've linked to a sample of recently "hidden" articles on the site. The second one in the list is especially telling:

From my last (and once again “hidden”) post the

I realize that some of these posts present a viewpoint that many people here might not agree with, but I thought this Indymedia thing was supposed to be about "democratizing" the media.

How is "hiding" all the ideas you don't agree with helping to promote Democracy?! How is this helping encourage civil debate? HOW IS THIS NOT JUST AS FASCIST & REPRESSIVE AS THE CORPORATE MEDIA'S HIDING THE STORIES THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO SEE?!

I'm very angered by this. I know this post will just be hidden like the rest, but for those of you who see it in the mean time, I think you need to question the convictions of the “ruling collective" running this Indymedia site.

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Re: Defend Free Speech on the 'Net!
01 Feb 2006
It would be more constructive if IMC editors had a list of concise explanations on hand, from which they could paste and post, rather than just hiding an article and stamping it with some one-word term.
I Hear You Loud and Clear, sh(A)ne
01 Feb 2006

Read my rant, if you've missed it:

Again, I emphasize that for many good reasons Indymedia should maintain a censorship-free venue, otherwise they are fooling us into wasting our time here fighting the same forces of suppression that oppress us in the mainstream media."
Re: Defend Free Speech on the 'Net!
01 Feb 2006
Thanks you guys. I know we're not going to agree on every political issue out there, but I'm glad to see you feel as strongly about defending my free speech as I do about defending yours. It makes me think that this "open forum for public debate" might just live up to its name.

01 Feb 2006
It would be more constructive if IMC was not a clique of shameless socialist hustlers who block community participation and beg for resources.
Re: Defend Free Speech on the 'Net!
03 Feb 2006
BY whatever label, censorship is censorship.

Socialist, communist, republican, theocrat, breathairian, vegetarian, snowboardian, whateverairian...

It all plays on the same team.
fact about bureaucrash -- they are enemies of the IMC
06 Feb 2006

The Bureaucrash belief is roughly the same as the entire Hayek and von Mises school of thought: capitalism can do no evil, and when it does, the result is still better than anything else possible. It's thought that's immune to evidence and reality.

They are part of a faction of the capitalist side that holds fast to "capitalism" as if it's a religion. Their issue with the WTO/IMF/WB is that it's not purely capitalist enough. These are the people who would (if they could) have supported Pinochet in Chile, and his market reforms and privitization.

They've been around since 2001, but I was unaware of them.