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What is PDX Indymedia Really?

What is PDX Indymedia Really?
Here is the officially-stated editorial policy of this website:

"Anyone can post to portland indymedia's open publishing newswire. Anything you upload with this form will appear (nearly) instantly on the website. "Every reader is a reporter".

Occasionally, the editorial committee will remove an item from the newsire, but only if it falls into one of the narrow categories of the editorial policy, below. Participation in the editorial committee is open to everyone.
contact:  imc-portland-editorial@indymedia.org

portland indymedia editorial policy

portland indymedia reserves the right to hide or edit posts that:

1. advocate criminal activity indicating a specific time, place or manner
2. are duplicate posts; the most recent is kept
3. are obviously libelous or slanderous
4. interfere with the functionality of the website

This policy does not exist to "censor" the newswire. Rather, it is meant to provide indymedia with legal protection (in the cases of #1 and #3) and to keep the site clear and functional (in the cases of #2 and #4). You can see the posts that have been hidden here. The vast majority are duplicate posts.
If you wish to comment on the ideas in a particular post, use the add your comments link at the bottom of that article. The free-wheeling discussions that take place through such comments are another interactive feature of the indymedia website.


Please post news items only; post your comments after existing articles."

Is this what actually happens in practice? Not exactly.

(1)Some posts get hidden for advocating criminal activity, but not at a specific time or place. Allegedly, some other posts threatening violence were not hidden. There seems no clear-cut standard.

(2)Duplicate posts usually get quickly hidden. This is good.

(3)There are lots and lots of obvioulsy libelous posts. Some get hidden. Many do not.

(4)This one is the most troublesome. The criteria of "interfering with the functionality of the site" is vague. If it means in a strictly technical sense--fine. If it means deleting stupid posts, spam, and trolls--that requires discretion. This is not a "narrow category." Obviously there is a lot of silliness that goes on at this site, and much of it deserves to be hidden. But what constitutes "interference" by a troll, and what constitutes ironic, humorous, or pointed comments by a serious conservative interested in genuine dialogue, or at least making a point?

Part of the problem is that there are really two functions served by the site. One is a source of independent news. "Free-wheeling discussion" is welcome in the form of comments. The other unstated function is as a political forum. Perhaps separate sections for news and forums? As it is, it is too cumbersome to really be a good news source--one has to wade through all the other stuff.

I also think that the stated policy and the reality need to come more in line with each other. If idiotic and abusive posts will be deleted, that should be part of the policy. If comments that fall outside of a certain range of political opinions will be hidden, that should be made explicit in the policy. As discussed elsewhere, the administrator who deletes a post should be identified.

I make these comments in the spirit of helpfulness. I've come to really appreciate PDX Indymedia, and think of it as a good source of information and a potential source for positve change. To the people who spend time making it happen--thank you.
trolls 28.Apr.2003 17:44

troll f*cker

Trolls should always be hidden. They are irrelevant and interfere with the functinality of the site as it relates to being an information source.

yes 28.Apr.2003 17:54


Yes. Quash all dissent. This is the IndyMedia way.

DIY 28.Apr.2003 18:08


If you are disatisfied and would like to see somes changes, please go to meetings and volunteer your time. Suggest and HELP impliment solutions. Meetings are Saturdays 5pm at Red & Black cafe.

no, that's the clear channel way 28.Apr.2003 18:10


which you seem to like, Michelle. Why are you here?

autonomous 28.Apr.2003 20:37


No matter what statement PDX Indymedia makes about its editorial policy, whether they are narrow or wide, autonomous editors will make the decisions.

It is possible that in some future there will be, and have been from time to time, someone who hides a comment and someone who unhides it...a discussion and then a consensus.

The editorial policy of PDX IMC, in my individual opinion, is not the same as, and should be be viewed through the same lenses as, a corporate or non-profit ORGANIZATION's policy.

In every way, IMHO, PDX IMC policy is better.

iwe dissappear them, do they get stronger 28.Apr.2003 21:11


i dunno you guys
i think that i would rather deal with these folks standing tall and true with all of you than on the street with these fuckers sometime all alone.
unnecessary space should be avoided but how bout an area where regualr peeps like me could go and respond to these creeps. i promise i won't poke at em with a stick or nothing i just want to talk some reason.

when we ignore them here- than who do they say this sit to?

perspective 28.Apr.2003 21:19

indymedia operative

portland indymedia is a tactic, an activist tool, for furthering the work of the global justice movement towards a sustainable future. it is just one of countless approaches. it is a forum for open exchange of ideas and viewpoints, and independent reporting. it is a "virtual safe space" for people with voices of dissent which are regularly silenced in the mainstream media and society at large. it is an opportunity for volunteers to learn, grow and become empowered to create real personal and social change. it is fiercely non-commercial--it will never accept advertising dollars, and no volunteer will ever be paid for their anonymous, often thankless, work. it is a collective that is non-hierarchical and participatory, with no legal structure and only guidelines. it survives through donations of computer and technical hardware, internet bandwidth, and countless hours of challenging passionate volunteer work. and it can continue to grow into anything else we want to make it...it is YOU and I.

.... 29.Apr.2003 08:34


IndyMedia is, can be, a beautiful thing.
Trolls and abuse and losing sight of what we're all doing here isnt.
Maybe sometime we can remember our principles?
See you all in the streets.

freedom of expression 29.Apr.2003 14:56

Maya G

Although many people are using this forum to spread venom, it is still a free space. If you are insulting the so-called trolls then you are indulging in troll-behavior. I'd like to see everyone raising their voices whether they are positive or negative, but remember what you want out of this world and Indymedia. If you are going spew close-minded insults, expect that in return. Indymedia is a difficult thing to edit or monitor and I am indebted to the brave souls out there making this possible. I believe they are trying to provide all of these resources to improve their communities in this world. Those of you that are rancorous are not really benefiting by being here unless you are looking for hope, encouragement, and freedom to express yourself in an effort to better your community. This is a community. Plant what you need to create roots in your community; don't poison it.

well, 29.Apr.2003 17:46


"when we ignore them here- than who do they say this sit to?"

I'm guessing they'll go say it to someone else, which is really the extent of my concern over the matter. Hopefully that someone else is someone who wants to know what they have to say, but I suspect they've already tried that and failed to get attention, so they've moved on to using this site, which has been working quite well for them.