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Tragedy At Portland IMC: Censorship Now In Place (this page won't last long! )

Below this article you will find the first "experiment" in censorship by the guys in charge. They call it a "daily compost bin" where they decide which articles are labeled "trash" or "unreadable."
There are a lot of people upset by this. What's more scary, only some of the articles censored can actually be seen. That means the people in control of this website are removing articles and comments all together- POOF.

If that isn't scary and sad enough, it looks like when you click on the "garbage bin"- the authority figures at Portland IndyMedia have purposefully posted a bunch of positive comments praising their idea (or they have just filtered out those who are making a fuss.)

Could this have actually happened under the noses of IMC'ers without the majority's knowledge? The bosses here at this site are now divvying out what Noam Chomsky called "flak" in his propaganda model. This is no joke people!

Where is the discussion on all this?
High wire act 11.Oct.2002 16:13

maxomai maxomai@aracnet.com

Indymedia basically has to walk a high wire act: on the one hand they need to ensure a certain amount of openness, and on the other hand they need to prevent trolls such as Bush Admirer and Trilox from filling the "open publishing" board with their flamebait.

To be honest, I won't be sad to see Bush Admirer go. He's a fucking nonce who hasn't posted anything meaningful in the last few days. By that same token, I hope that the Indymedia folks will be very careful to separate flamebait from legitimate, if controversial and politically incorrect, discussion.

It's ugly. But what isn't these days?

the troll is lying 11.Oct.2002 16:27

pdx indymedia activist

The troll writes:

"There are a lot of people upset by this. What's more scary, only some of the articles censored can actually be seen."

lie #1

"That means the people in control of this website are removing articles and comments all together- POOF."

lie #2

"If that isn't scary and sad enough, it looks like when you click on the "garbage bin"- the authority figures at Portland IndyMedia have purposefully posted a bunch of positive comments praising their idea"

lie #3

"(or they have just filtered out those who are making a fuss.)"

lie #4

"Could this have actually happened under the noses of IMC'ers without the majority's knowledge? The bosses here at this site are now divvying out what Noam Chomsky called "flak" in his propaganda model. This is no joke people!"

lie #5: the whole process has been very open, as readers here know.

"Where is the discussion on all this?"

you've been reading it. hell, you probably started a lot of it. but the community has spoken and it has no place for you and your lies on this website. you've lost the argument.

want discussion? 11.Oct.2002 16:38


I come to indymedia to be informed about the world beyond corporate media. I want to know what's going on in the world, to hear informative analysis/discussion. I do NOT come here to be abused and assaulted by endless silly diatribes about "you hippie assholes" and "die tree huggers" and etc. This is a waste of my time, and a waste of this resource. If u want that side of the story, see the oregonian.

I, for one, am pleased to FINALLY have some protection from the kind of mind predator who would post something like the "Hilarious" message regarding Naya's fall from a tree sit yesterday.

If IMC wants to "censor" that kind of fecal matter, then so be it. I applaud.

Trilox, Lame valet, BA: Talk amongst yourselves.

Perhaps.... 11.Oct.2002 16:42


For matter of clarity, perhaps you can make the discussion surrounding this a feature or something. Further, you should make a link to the Compost Bind on the front page, not just in that one email.

Just some suggestions. However, I for one appreciate it.

It's fine with me 11.Oct.2002 16:45


If you went on the Rush Limbo show and grabbed the mike and started calling everybody offensive names you would not last long and nobody would worry about your free speech.

What is to be edited out is the same crap we have heard again and again and again. Corperate media is full of it. It's not like there is a shortage.

Others should have a chance to express their views without being shouted down and abused. Sure it would be better if this were not nessasary, but things have gotten to a point where it was out of control.

At some point you have to use common sense. There is still plenty of choice. If too much FOX NEWS comes to Indy Media then we will no longer have that choice. The ideal thing would be to have a seperate catagory for that sort of thing so you could read and respond if you want to.

It is not free speech to insist on putting business news on the sports page. There is a place for everything.

If at some time in the future we begin to miss Bush Admirer I'm sure the editors will yield to overwelming outcry of popular demand.

The policies need to be addressed 11.Oct.2002 16:47

concerned historian

Censorship or enlightened policies, the fact is that the policies do need to be reviewed. Even as I write this comment, I see under the "Guidelines for commenting on news articles" that appears on the comment webform the following:

"The response article can be in any type of format you want, from traditional academic discourse, to passionate personal rants."

The fact is, "Bush Admirer" posts can easily be classified as "personal rants." Frankly, there should be more clarity on the policy statements throughout the site. My suggestion (and I don't know what is right): As long as the policies note that all comments have to have at least some grounding in an attempt to address the specific facts and statements within an original post of subsequent posts, that post is legit, even if it is seen as vile to 99% of the Portland Indy audience. Most "Bush Admirer" posts had no grounding in addressing the facts. For example, see his comments to my editorial:


And that comment was actually an example of a "tame" Bush Admirer post. Should his posts that had nothing other than to say that protestors are "smelly hippies" be seen as worse? Where does one draw the line? Again, I don't know. But be aware that Trilox said that he's have to rethink some of his views after reading my editorial above. In that statement and others I've seen him post, it was clear that Trilox wasn't always posting just for the sport of flaming.

The easiest thing to do is to have a default of no censorship at all. But at some point, that becomes impossible. That's just a fact of life, regardless of whether one sees excessive "right-wing" or "left-wing" posts. I don't envy the job the folks at Portland Indymedia have on their hands. They're screwed no mater what they do -- some will always find fault. But the answer probably rests in some attempt to separate messages that have absolutely no content other than personal attack or short quips (often posted in duplicate, as was the case with Bush Admirer) without address of the facts or arguments made.

bushites ruined it 11.Oct.2002 17:08



why did you spam this site so heavily. you morons. if you hadn't brought about the editorial policy, we could have subliminly posted our counter analysis. no, you boneheads had to go and spma the shit out of this site. you did it at SF imc also. now you'll move onto another effective indy site. have some tact. do it once in a while to raise the left's frustration level. we all like to troll and send spam, but you have to do it subliminaly.

or maybe you can just reak havoc for a month and then those who are involved with the site on a regular basis putting in lots of volunteer time, will be justified removing spam.

an editorial policy is not any threat to open source publishing. why should those from afar be able to take over the site. the right doesn't even wish to debate, they just take pot shots.


Censorship 11.Oct.2002 17:21

dude dj8956@yahoo.com

censorship in indymedia

here we report to the choir. the pastor's or pastoress's
cull the documents commensorately. its natural dissonace.
i have not monitored this on indymedia but would expect such.

real censorship (as oppose to cyber) is in the streets and tv. the billboard is most regulated. very few progressive bill boards exist. thats censorship.

Uh Oh 11.Oct.2002 17:40


well shit, I actually respected you guys for the non-censorship stance, but I guess when it comes down to it, we all have a little facist in us don't we? LOL, leftist thought police are just as fucked as right-wing ones. ahhh, hypocracy knows no bounds... There is no such thing a "free media" is there? You guys make me laugh, you are just like the Bushloving chumps, you only want to clap each other on the back and hear what you want to hear because Gods forbid your illusion is shattered by the reality that your opinion is not the only one. Feel free to edit me too in true facist fashion, I guess the liberal sheepskin has come off the facist wolf that is "Indymedia", just as we thought... Later hypocrits, haha.



Is it too late?? 11.Oct.2002 17:51


The non-censoring way of doing this would be to add a disclaimer in the news article section that would read something like the following:

"IMC allows ideas and opinions to be expressed in an open forum. Anyone and everyone is allowed to post an article (following the 4 guidelines). However; not all posts reflect the opinions and views of the IMC collective. If you see a post that is offensive our recommendation is that you do not respond to it. We here at IMC are committed to the freedom of speech and encourage thoughtful insight and debate. We realize that not all publishers are here for that reason."

By moving voices that are disruptive and opinions that are "different" it is a form of censorship. IMC has obviously already justified this move, but unfortunately they now are operating in the same format as Rush Limbaugh or any other "One Way" host of political commentary.

As an observer who has been following this, in my opinion, it is disappointing. I have found this sight to be enlightening, funny at times, informative and I've been impressed with a lot of writers. Over the last few weeks I have seen people learn about one another, for the better. The Famous Three "Trolls" (and some others) are here to challenge you and I witnessed a few of you who just simply arent equipped to deal with it and you felt compelled to consistently respond. By doing that, you played into their hand. And to those IMC'ers who support the change, it is a little hypocritical, since a lot of you condone putting your "uninvited" messages in front of other people in the streets because you think your message is greater. (ie. blocking traffic was justified because your trying to save the world and after all were driving those damn oil guzzlers) The most effective way to cope is simply to never comment on an article that is obviously posted to get your goat. (pun intended) But some of you couldnt help yourselves....and it gave the "Trolls" a purpose.

Everybody has a voice and I thought that IMC was a place for us to talk to eachother. If your response to this is "well BA was here just to lay personal assaults on us" Just remember that a lot of you responded in kind, which makes you just as guilty. (I saw a lot of IMC'ers telling the trolls to Fuck off and Die.)

So, thats my $.02 worth. I dont expect everyone to agree with my opinion, its just food for thought.

It's NOT censorship! 11.Oct.2002 19:05

David B/

It's NOT censorship, doofus.

Censorship is when the GOVERNMENT decides that NOBODY can express certain opinions ANYWHERE.

Indymedia is a PRIVATE, NON-GOVERNMENT entity. Moreover, Indymedia's decision that certain kinds of speech are unwelcome on their web site is in no way stopping you from posting them on a web site where they ARE welcome (check out freerepublic.com for starters).

Moreover, you free to start your own web site (or newspaper, or zine, or whatever...) which since it would be yours and yours alone, you could decide to your heart's content just what does and does not go in.

You wouldn't respect my right of "free speech" to kick down your front door and stand in your living room delivering left-wing political oratory, would you? Well, Indymedia's decision is no different!


Portland, OR

The funny thing is... 11.Oct.2002 19:32


As some of you may have read from my previous posts I grew up on a hippie commune as a child. I went to the Country Fair every summer and lived a clean and cheap eco-friendly lifestyle that most of you only dream of.

Needless to say, as I got older I saw what a transparent sham the whole "hippie" movement really was. Over time everyone in the family eventually showed their true self centered individualism regarding money, property, and sexual relationships.

This is why I feel as though I'm uniquely qualified to point out the hypocrisy of 90% of the crap that people try to pass off as news here. I can tell that the majority of you liberal minded people come from wealthy families and should your professional career in protesting not work out I'm sure mommy and daddy will bail you out and let you live in your old room.

You people don't even come close to leading the lifestyle you want everyone else to lead. For instance, you say you don't want any trees to be harvested but I bet every single one of you wipes your ass with toilet paper. Or how about the fact that almost every one of you in Portland lives in a house that was made with "old growth" trees?

You don't want anyone to drive SUV's but yet you drive an old Volvo or VW twice as far as I do in a year and create four times as much pollution. I'd like to analyze some of your livestyles and see just how "green" some of you really are. I bet the results would be surprising.

So, you liberal minded people go ahead and try to fool each other but you can't fool me because I've been there and done that and in the end you will finally grow up and get your shit together and realize that you can't change the world after all...

Thanks a LOT! Now we've got that little . . 11.Oct.2002 19:51


Now trolls who can no longer get off on responses here are leaking into our site . . . .

I guess they have to go somewhere, and frankly, I like this site better, so I'm okay with it. Just a nuisance no matter what.

I support the efforts to keep things under control here. It's a battle, but its important work to simply be a part of that - to learn first hand what free speech means.

As far as I'm concerned, a posting that makes fun of an activists - or anyone's - recent local death from a fall, while trying to better the world, is equivalent to pornography.

One can argue all aspects of that the opposite way in the name of free speech. So there you have it.

David B. 11.Oct.2002 19:57

Volksfront Portland

Well if it's "left wing" only then don't advertise it as open publishing, maybe it should say "Open publishing for communists and extremist liberals only". Maybe YOU should go somewhere else David and post on the Revolutionary Communist party site eh? Open Publishing means just that, otherwise don't claim indymedia is something it isn't. If Indymedia is strictly a communist/socialist forum and news source then get some balls and just say it will ya. Perhaps "Red Media" would be a more fitting title for your internet empire...


Newsflash: Nazi's disappointed in IMC 12.Oct.2002 00:05

clark kent

Now that we've lost the respect of the nazi's we'll never get Connie Chung!

Kind of a shame, really... 12.Oct.2002 03:26

Relatively Exact

Having to resort to censorship, even level-headed "moderation", sort of degrades this site because it takes away from the "open" in "open forum". I always thought the beauty of this site was its commitment to being a sort of free "open mike" for the community, so to speak. It's not free if there isn't total freedom, is it?
I agree that these troll/spam/flaming bile attacks have gotten way out of hand, and it's not just the right-wingers who are to blame. There are plenty of knobs on both sides of the fence. Still, it's kind of disappointing seeing these irrational rants being filtered out, even if they are only being put in the composter instead of eliminated outright. I actually get a kick out of reading them. They add a certain spice to the page, kind of like toothpicks in a cake, bunkers in a golf course, or a virtual opponent with a chain gun.
Besides, not all these rants are completely useless. Trilox, for example, is at least speaking to some extent from personal experience, which gives him justification, whether you agree with him or not. If he could turn his thermostat down just a bit, he might actually have some good points to make for the sake of argument. And real argument, not just different versions of the same thing or meaningless shyte-flinging, really makes a site like this cook!

Still, you gotta admit it's pretty bizarre how these people that say they hate this site and the people who frequent it so much obviously take so much time and trouble to read the posts and respond to them! That makes one wonder about their true agenda...or their true age.

trilox, what are ytou still doing here? 12.Oct.2002 09:34

Nancy Sinatra

Growing up in and rebelling from a dysfunctional new age "hippy" commune does not give you the supernatural objectivity, to declare that the people on that the people here or anywhere on IMC follow a ridgid philosophy or lifestyle. NOR does it give you the spectral capabilities to see everyone here fails in their ideals. Take me: I have never owned a car, I dont purchase new clothes made from sweatshops, eat from frito lay or taco bell, I recycle, yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah ...I ALSO have no desire to live in a dysfunctional idealistic hippy commune, dread my hair or be a FUCKING hari krishna. so what? just because YOU THINK people here are a certain way does NOT mean that we should sit back and allow the planet to DIE or our contry become the fuher of the New World Order with our eyes glued to fox news.

your "personal testimony" that you keep repeating doesn't prove anything. It and your persistent trolling DOES however strongly suggest that you have some serious issues regarding your folks and your miserable hopeless life.

AND what are you still doing here anyway? are you trying to prove something? go make up with the failures that are you parents and stop with the trolling. Jeez, just deal with it.

and an FYI:

the people *CAN* change the world but you won't change our minds.

what a load of HORSESHIT 12.Oct.2002 15:03


"I grew up on a hippie commune."

what a fucking goddamn tankerload of horsehockey.

this one's old as the epaulets on King Tut's underwear.

how many trollspooks have used this tactic, spamming their "identity" to emotionally appeal in some microscopic fashion to the people they harass?

Know Thy Spook