Sunday, September 04, 2005


Alleged Lunatic: I can't handle Indymedia

Further to my recent comments on censorship, Indymedia Ireland Watch has pointed me to this article by Kirsten Anderberg which announces she is fed up with Indymedia.
When you submit comments about articles to the mainstream press, they are called "letters to the editor." You need to provide your name, address, and often a contact phone number, to submit a letter to the editor to most publications. An effort is made to verify the claimed author is the actual author. If the identity of the person writing the letter to the editor cannot be verified, then the letter will not go into print. As a person who has submitted many a letter to the editor, I always hated jumping through those hoops, and thought taking such precautions just to print a letter to the editor was extreme and stupid. But now that I am a writer/columnist, I am starting to see this differently.

As I said, at first I thought the IMC's open comment areas were progressive and the rigorous verification process for normal letters to the editor in mainstream press was excessive. Now I am shifting to the exact opposite point of view. Now I think that the writers of comments to my articles need to be identified. Why? Because posters will say outrageous things behind the veil of anonymity. They will slander me. They will divisively reinterpret my articles to their own agendas, trying to put words into my mouth. They will try to flamebait as well. Most of these things would not be occurring in the comment areas after my articles on IndyMedia if these posters could not be anonymous.

After giving IndyMedia a fair shot, I am through with it. It may be fine for announcements of events, but for op/ed and analysis pieces, it is more hassle than it is worth for me. I will work for 5 solid hours on an article only to have it shot to hell my 5 anonymous posters within an hour of posting it.
Regular readers will recall Kirsten Anderberg was the same woman who last week gave the world this: Genocide in New Orleans. Not exactly a sane, rational or reasonable argument and yet even for her, Indymedia is too hopeless. Wow!
Putting writing out there for the public to see does not mean I am now a punching bag for any idiot in the passing. To regain integrity and respect, I feel I must quit allowing myself to enter the IMC boxing ring. I do not want to box it out with every article there. I would prefer to write the article, then move on to the next article. I would prefer to write and be respected for my articles, not dread every article due to anticipated disrespect, which most oft times does manifest in one form or another on the IMCs.
On a side note, whilst her article is undated, it appears on other websites as early as 2004. It's certainly possible someone else reprinted it without permission like so much other material on Indymedia. If however she announced her intention to ignore Indymedia then, why is she back on Friday, Sep. 02, 2005?

Her article concerning letters to the editor versus unmoderated comment is largely reasonable and I note I have written her off based only on her most recent article and not read her prior work. She ignores however that no one can reasonably blame her personally for the insane comments which follows her pieces. Merely the content itself, which was in the latest example, simply appalling. Sorry.

After her most recent comments concerning New Orleans, for Anderberg to "regain integrity and respect" will require a lot more than simply boycotting Indymedia.

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