Saturday, November 11, 2006


Censorship in NYC

We have received an email from Tony Allen who writes:
Glad to see your site. One of your "fans" hipped me to it after I posted on my blog about being "hidden" (read "censored") for posting information critical of Pam Africa, Mumia, and MOVE.

Fair enough if someone disagreed with me. Let them comment. But I was banned and my IP has also been banned. I tried some other IMC sites and found the same situation. Interestingly enough, the Philly IMC has been steadfast in allowing me to post. I think this says something considering they are closest in proximity to the whole Mumia/MOVE thing.

Anyways here is what I wrote about the matter on my blog. I will post again and will direct people to your site as I think you are doing a great service to those who value true Independant thought and media that sustains it.

Please feel free to post this on your site if you deem it appropriate.
We do. In particular:
Recently, I posted the article I wrote concerning Pam Africa’s birthday party that is to be held in New York on November 18th. I checked back and I noticed the piece was gone from the site. I called someone at the NY IMC who said that he would look into the matter. Today I received the following email from a staffer at the NYC IMC

Mr Allen,

This is a piece written by a right wing troll -- you.

It will continue to be hidden as long as you continue to post it.

Chris Anderson
Longtime readers will know I do appreciate the distinction between editorial 'moderation' versus censorship. I am not, nor have I been, an advocate of a free-for-all Indymedia, which we have seen will invariably become a cesspool in little time.

However, this is not the case here. To their credit, NYC Indymedia have been one of the 'better ones' for some time. On this occasion though it does look as though something has gone awry.

Thanks for the post. I have urged my readers to visit your site. Although I was previously unaware of this site I will make it a destination in the future.

Keep up the good fight
The word "Troll" has long been the quick and easy way to clasify control posting on those Indymedia sites where dissent is not allowed
The use of IP blocking is a contentious issue for all Indymedia sites because for a long time the official line was the IP's were not logged however of course they are.
Some blocking is quite legitimate and when I was working on the UK site we blocked Facist nutcases and "9/11 was shape shifting lizards" types and that I felt was ok however where this policy is wrong is when it is used to stop dissenting voices or those not following what might be called the 'party line'.
An example of this was an activist who posted information about protests outside of the Cuban Embassy in London and tried to gain support for the small Cuban group in the UK that lobbied the UK government for action to support Political Prisoners in Havana. Cuba is beyond any critical analysis as far as the UK moderators are concerned and so despite this individual breaking none of the guidelines that control what is retained and what is hidden he or she was stopped from posting. The poster was then subject to a period of ridicule with an attempt to link all the dissenters together as some sort of one Super Troll. The suggestion was that one person (Zionist, MI5 agent - the usual) was posting 24 hours a day on several subject to try and discredit the UK newswire. When some regular posters pointed out the absurdity of this idea they too were called "Trolls". It was interesting that even here on the Blog the same tactic was tried by Chris from Sheffield (who posts here as Sam Wilson) a couple of weeks ago to try and shut down discussion of the bias against Jews on Indymedia UK.

Since my last post here control of the UK site is now centralised with a small clique who have cut of password access for the majority and have taken to constructing their own posts about non existent events and campaigns to try and give the impression of activity. Meanwhile previous regular posters have now moved to either the regional sites or activist boards like Urban 75 to get their message out.

ex IMC'er
We at Philly IMC are not fans of Tony Allen's work. His pieces verge on hate speech & when they cross that line they are hidden. However, free speech is paramount and he does present a point of view and information that is not available in other places. In Philly we feel that if his posts are wrong, they are better up online with comments that refute his allegations. That is much better for the community than hiding his posts and leaving people to not know the truth, whether it is in what he says or in what others reveal.
Although I have always known that the PhillyIMC as a whole has not been a fan of my work. Still I applaud their not striking down my work. To my knowledge nothing I have ever posted on that site has been blocked. Perhaps the poster from the PhillyIMC knows otherwise. And obviously I am dubious about the notion of "hatespeech". I don't believe that I espouse it and I am not sure of what the definition of it is.

To me, "hatespeech" would generally be classified as lies presented for lies sake. And lies that disparage someone not because something they do, but something that they are not in a position, (such as someones race, sex, etc...) to change.

So my point is that nearly every post put on the IMC could be classified as "hatespeech". There need to be agreed upon standards.

I am banned for saying what I know MOVE to be because I was with them, yet MOVE is allowed to post allegations that people who speak out against them are "racists" and "police informants" and these are the nicest things they say, but they are never banned from any site anywhere. Why is that?
We at Philly IMC are not fans of Tony Allen's work. His pieces verge on hate speech & when they cross that line they are hidden. However, free speech is paramount....

One can only marvel at the dangerous Orwellian nonsense of the Unbathed.
We here at Philly Imc are fans of Tony Allen's post. Unlike MOVE he writes the truth and his facts can be backed up with one click on a search engine. Isn't the internet great.

Pretty obvious that MOVE has something to hide? What could it be, um?
To me it is odd MOVE never denies they are child molestors and murders. They don't present any arguments refuting Tony's charges but resort to having him banned from posting as if this will make him and his charges go away.
The use of IP blocking is a contentious issue for all Indymedia sites because for a long time the official line was the IP's were not logged however of course they are.

There's been talk for years about nessie of SF being a stool pigeon, giving IP's to the Feds, ever since the cop killer Andrew MacCrae posted at nessie's sewer.
What is unerving to me about the banning of IP's is just how arbitraily it is done.

For example, I post very occasionally on a website that deals with cults.

It has a message board, but the board is very clear cut as to what is acceptable for posting and what is not. For example on that paticular board you cannot preach any kind of denomination or faith.

You can disagree with that rule, but it is the rule and it is made clear to anyone who posts on the site.

What I find ominous about the IMC's banning of certain people is that it seems to occur rather arbitrarily without any kind of real justification. And than they do it and use an ad-hominem attack while doing so, the very thing they claim to be purging their site of.

Something is rotten here. I don't know much about IMC politics or who is exactly running the show at some of these sites, but I smell the stench of IAC types and various other authoritarian types.
I am surprised that debate still continutes about the identity and motivation of those control the various Indymedia sites. Of course local activists who do the leg work think they are running a left of centre, anarchist, democratic news operation while anyone who has done some digging can see where the money trail leads and the wishes of those who provide it.

It staggers me that otherwise reasonably bright people find it so hard to grasp that governments provide this type of outlet to dissafected people so it can be monitored and controlled.
Indymedia when it started was an independant news gathering group and the phrase Be The News was the big thing however since the copyright and brand were sold to Google it's all gone downhill
>There's been talk for years about nessie of SF being a stool pigeon

Straight out of COINTELPRO.



An actual agent will often point the finger at a genuine, non-collaborating and highly valued group member, claiming that he or she is the infiltrator. The same effect, known as a "snitch jacket", has been achieved by planting forged documents . . .

highly valued group member

Utterly hilarious.

nessie is persona non grata amongst even his own in the indymedia.
Having the "agent" slur thrown in my direction on more than one occasion I am always dubious as to the claims of those who always go for the "unseen hand" arguement.

Still, if the IMC is some kind of govt. entity I would not be totally surprised. But, I would like to see some more proof provided that this is the case. Nobody, at least nobody with any brains know that COINTELPRO occurred and that there are still similar campaigns going on as we speak (or write). But to what extent?

From my view, we on the "left" do ourselves more harm thru embracing crack-pot theories and authoritarian entities than from g-men.

I say all of this as someone new to the Indy-media politcs thing, but I am concerned. I think indy media to be of extreme value in terms of getting messages and views out there that otherwise wouldn't. But it seems to me that we might end up being our own worst enemy through arbitrary and capricious censorship.
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