Sunday, March 26, 2006


Gehrig Responds

Further to my responded to my recent post about a whacko environmental posting on Urbana-Champaign Indymedia, someone posted a comment that
one of BC Indymedia's resident trolls has copied and then altered a story that appeared in the "other press" section of BC Indymedia.

You can confirm this by visiting the original post and viewing the timestamp.

There's really no other reason to do this other than to negatively impact the reputation of the original poster (who is apparently one of the editors of BC Indymedia).
David Gehrig has posted a subsquent comment saying:
I agree with the previous poster -- it's obviously someone trying to stir the shit, given the crap on BC Indymedia.

And, although I'm not as closely associated with UCIMC as I used to be, I have to say that it's one of the more functional IMCs in the world, owning its own building, running a low-power FM radio station on volunteer labor, publishing a monthly newspaper, and keeping its newswire comparatively shit-free.

Do I wish the signal-to-noise ratio was a little higher? Yes, I do. But I also think that UC-IMC does a better job than most IMCs its size, maybe even a far better job.

The future of Indymedia as a movement is, I think, in serious doubt, for many of the same reasons you've mentioned in your blog. But in this case I think you've picked some low-hanging fruit and used it to tar the entire site.
I should point out, I posted the 'modified' article having stumbled across it via a tipoff from a fairly reliable contributor (i.e. likely not the troll in question). In many cases, I find such examples of lunacy by accident and there are no shortage of them. As I visit so many IMC sites, I cannot reasonably be expected to identify the full historic context where this may be the case. That is, I'm not aiming for the 'low hanging fruit' and merely publishing it as I see it. Again, there is generally no shortage of this.

However, as always, I am happy to stand corrected.

Despite this, Gehrig raises some interesting issues. Firstly, excepting the above example, I believe he acknowledges most of the problems I have identified. He mentions that UC-IMC appears to be doing a "better job than most IMCs its size". Perhaps. Heaven knows it wouldn't be hard in many cases, however in replying to this argument, one might argue that there were some cabins on the Titanic which were much, much nicer than most of the others.

So what? The broader picture however is the same. It is unfortunate that the more 'successful' (read: responsible) IMCs don't pull the others into line, or remove the association, lest they be dragged down to the lowest common denominator.

Quite by coincidence, I made a nearly identical point recently in relation to UCIMC here.

"via a tipoff from a fairly reliable contributor (i.e. likely not the troll in question)"

That's an interesting assertion. What exactly makes you think that the regular contributor is not the troll in question?
What exactly makes you think that the regular contributor is not the troll in question?

What makes me think you aren't either?

A hunch. That's all. Trolls have certain traits which weren't demonstrated over an extended history of emails and tipoffs, coupled with my knowledge of this person's online identity which seems fairly consistent.
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