Saturday, November 11, 2006
Censorship in NYC
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.We do. In particular:
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.
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 IMCLongtime 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.
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.
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.
Keep up the good fight
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.
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?
One can only marvel at the dangerous Orwellian nonsense of the Unbathed.
Pretty obvious that MOVE has something to hide? What could it be, um?
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.
For example, I post very occasionally on a website rickross.com 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.
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.
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 . . .
nessie is persona non grata amongst even his own in the indymedia.
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.