Friday, January 13, 2006
Second Annual Call for Indymedia Seppuku
In that year, what has Indymedia achieved? Has it succeeded in its goals? Have its positives outweighed its negatives? Has it resolved disputes? Has it satisfied critics?
As I said one year ago:
Indymedia attempted to be a viable alternative to the corporate media. It attempted to encourage a diverse range of opinions. It attempted to be "a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth" (What is Indy Media). It attempted to be honest. It attempted to be accurate. It attempted to be fair.I am not looking to offend anyone with this. I am not trying to censor anyone, nor am I interested in gloating after Indymedia's demise should this take place. I am simply stating that Indymedia is seriously broken and at this point can confidently say it isn't likely to be fixed. Rather than inspire Indymedia advocates to dig in their heels in spite of my comment, I would ask that they take a long hard look at themselves, and someone - anyone, accept a bit of responsibility and act with honor. That's all. I am of course skeptical... Denial's funny that way.
It is now nothing less than a breeding ground for the exact opposite of what it set out to achieve. It contains no content which offers any tangible value that even begins to outweigh the negativity, hostility and downright ignorance of its usual content. Racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, fraud, defamation, lies and hate-speech are the norm and this is apparent to anyone who takes even the most cursory look. Serious readers have vanished, serious contributors have left. At best Indymedia sites syndicate and repeat content readily available from elsewhere. At worst it encourages publication of content fair-minded people would run away from quickly and with good reason.
I am not the first to identify the problem and it is abundantly clear a solution or fix is not imminent. The prognosis is negative. Indymedia will continue to wither and any disbelief is merely denial. I propose Indy Media die with honor.
I therefore formally call on Indymedia to salvage whatever honor it ever had by commiting seppuku.
I will repeat this call until it is heeded and ask you all to join me. We implore Indymedia to do the honorable thing and fall upon its sword.