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A case for eliminating annoymous authors

What credibilty does Indymedia gain through accepting anonymous reports?
Joe Mickey, speaking on tibet and China at Colorado College
Joe Mickey, speaking on tibet and China at Colorado College
If there is one thing mainstream media has over alternative media it is accountability.

Send a letter to the editor of a major newspaper or magazine and the author has to Sign his or her name, and provide a phone number for verification.

All it takes is a read though the comments to see that discussion often disintegrates into libel and blather. It's too easy to hide behind a pen name. With the right pen name, a person can change nationalities and therefore change the perspective of the comment or article.

If your leading neighborhood paper runs a letter signed by the leading Republican in the area then you have a point of reference to the agenda of the letter.

Sure, if you stick around here long enough you can figure out who is who and who is trying to sell what but that only works for the regulars. Most people don't know that Star Boy gets his political insights from comic books and lawyers for the porn industry.

Anonymous authorship and the acceptance does damage to a lot of credible and important work being done here. An outside visitor sees authors named for constellations and cartoon characters and its easy to discount the entire effort.

In my own encounter here, a bull shit artist was simply clipping articles and attaching his own fake name in the Authors slot. Once his source was figured out it was easy to discredit all of his information, but most visitors to the site are not going to go to that much computer work to verify or qualify information. Most visitors don't have the computer skills to trace an author. They see an article by Star Boy and say this is all horseshit, therefore everything here becomes horseshit.

Lets forget this is the internet and its so dangerous to post a persons own name. That argument does not fly in ANY respectable effort at journalism. Accountability and credibility are first and foremost. What public difference is there between posting a real and verifiable name here with verification information left off the screen, than it is to have to meet the requirement to have a letter to the editor posted in the NY Times or the Podunk News.

If you see an op-ed in the New Your Times authored by Donald Rumsfeld or Bono on Africa, you have a perspective with with to judge the position. There is no way to judge the position of an essay that can run under any name that comes to mind at the time of the posting.

Having ones name attached raises the level of discussion above slop and insults often hurled by cowards who only come out when they can not be seen as who they are in their own neighborhoods... much like the Klan.

Indy media and the supporters who send their hard earned dollars needs to decide if it has important information to deliver or its only entertainment and diversion carried by authors like Fuck Rat and Star Boy.

homepage: homepage: http://www.tibetanphotoproject.com

You fucking annoy me 28.Dec.2003 13:32

Aunt Sam

Just becuase Gringo has refused to argue this one point you refuse to debate or argue any others with him. You personal vendetta and egocentric viewpoints are hogwash here.

You are full of shit. You want names and address and emails. Fuck you! This is the internet. You are just as anonymous as me. Just becuase you post a picture doesn't make it you, becuase you leave an email adress doesn't mean that is your name. Your shit stinks to high heaven. I am tired of your bating Gringo on this issue. This is silly ass shit. Why don't you research what he said. You admitted that you need to. You admiited that you knew very little info. When he refused to give you personal information you posted this attack. Why do you persist with this stupid fucking shit?

I am really sick of your twisted head games and weird psychosis. Come on, debate the real issue and stop spamming us and posting weird stuff like this. You are very weird individual who seems to be far more intersted in collecting peoples info than in really discussing the articles on indymedia. Everything relates to you and your fake picture.

anonymity and incarceration 28.Dec.2003 13:39


I think that there are some good points here. but I feel that if we are forced to give our real names then the FBI or PDX PD can just file them away and who knows what else.
accountability is an issue on indymedia as well as anywhere else in the internet world. electronic communication affords a certain anonymity and that is why so many people post comments that are inflamatory and derogatory. I think that the key is for people to hold themselves accountable and be honest about what they are posting.
don't just talk shit. another concern of mine is this; how would you double check and know if the name a person gave was the real one or not? I know for a fact that a lot of newspaper reporters don't use their real names.

To Aunt Sam 28.Dec.2003 14:04

Joe Mickey

As my position points out, the verifiable information could be kept off the site but should be included for the integrity of the editors of Indy media

And look at your post... where is the discussion of the issue...It is nothing but a bait fest

On that person you defend who could just be you posting under another name in all CAPS (and this is why anonposters are so annoying, they often talk to themselves and often make up their own fan clubs) what I actually said about his singular point of view research is that I had not seen it presented in that text anywhere else...And that I would research it. .. In fact, I even intend to present the Articles as an example of how communists represent and write history. I have no problem with varried points of views, but I do like a clear picture of who presents those points of views and anonymous authors are like actors, just made up characters.

What I did say is that I would research it and during that time would be happy to have a conversation and debate off the board. If you look at the exchange of comments. He or she refused.

Getting it right means nothing to you or both of you
Because you are anonymous and this helps make my case.

Unfortuantely Tony I would 28.Dec.2003 14:04

Aunt Sam

say this directly to his face. After all he keeps pretending to post it..

I like how common sense you are about this. See a lot of people have already been very nice and stated all of this very kindly to anonymous Joe who insists we should trust him just because he posts a picture.

He keeps asking for personal information from Gringo Stars. Now he baits Gringo again on this asking that we help in bating Gringo. Oh yes, he sounds very reasonable doesn't he? But he is trying to provoke angry attacks to get personal info out of people. This is not acceptable or OK.

I believe in leaving the Internet anonymous. This is a tool not a big corporate sales devise like they would like to make it into. You take away the anonymity and you take away the tool. As you said.

He has been doing this for two weeks, every day. He has admitted that he needs to do more research. he then asked Gringo as he does in every post for personal information. Gringo has wisely refused to priovide this. Now the guy says loudly that Gringo's information is faulty. Because Gringo refused to divulge personal info. I am sorry to turn this into a soap opera like he insists on creating. I just should explain why I am so irritated by this.

If he would bother to read about the patriotic act and other info collecting devises would he be so interested in this? Yes. Because we have gently explained over and over that he can't have our persoanl emails, or names, or addresses. Don't be surprised if this guy, every time he debates you asks for your personal information. I personally wouldn't give it out.

To Tony 28.Dec.2003 14:18

Joe Mickey

If you know of a news paper where the reporter does not use their real name... Call them on it. Email the editor and the publisher and nail em on it. I've worked at newspapers and never known the practice.

For verification, Newspapers require a phone number and address. These are not published with op eds or letters to the editors and they are theoritecally protected from Law enforcement. Why a newspaper requires them is that if a law suit were to result because of the publication of false or libelous material, the newspaper can show how it verified the Author and was not involved in an anonymous smear or printing intentionally damagin information.

With a phone number, and it is not every letter, some letter writers become known for their issues and verification is skipped. Also in the case of community thanks or praise for a job well done but a person is less likely to write shit if they have to be identified with it. also when the verification call is made the person is asked if they wrote and what the subject of their letter is. Its not fail safe but its better and not often fooled.

And if it is fooled, the real person comes forward, proves who they are and a retraction is made and the original author is discredited. Plus there is a phone number to trace if there are legal implications.

Again, it boils down to whether you feel its more important to put this information into a larger public dialogue... Perhaps the Butt Wads and Star Boys of the world ought to start an Anonymous Media Center for the type of discussion they think is real and if no one ansers they can write themselves under other names :-)

Sorry, couldn't help myself... and if you are working from a standard PC, Mac or any lap top ... thecnology has you if they need to find you... most people are not working with a system or methods sophistocated to hide them ... from even another lap top user...

Anonymous Joe 28.Dec.2003 14:21

Aunt sam

I was discussing the issue with you. We have discussed this issue several times now.

I am telling you I am sick of your shit! You are rude, you make silly demands.

You just amedded your proposal. This is all in the guise of having people register so that the list can be hacked. You are scary to me.

I do not like you. I do not trust you and I want you to quit bating as you call him in a derisive overbearing way "Star boy" when you damn well know that he goes by Gringo Starrs. You do not have a ground to stand upon.


Require email address only 28.Dec.2003 14:21

Hedvall@aol.com Hedvall@aol.com

There can be a good reason for not posting one's real name. All of us have private thoughts and beliefs that we don't want to reveal to everyone. For example. I have a business. If I were to blatantly tell every one of my customers what my politics are or what my religion is, I could lose many of my customers who don't think or believe as I do.

So I think that we should compromise here. I certainly want to to protect the good name of my screen name here and not have anyone be able to quote me and discredit me because of any foolish statements or outright lies that I may have made previously in other posts.

But one who does not post his email address is equivalent to a cowardly sniper.

Emails can be traced and hacked 28.Dec.2003 14:24

Aunt Sam

Nope. Doesn't work either.

Joe admits corporate media 28.Dec.2003 14:29

Aunt Sam

So you admit that you have worked for corpoarte media and now you want to make us more like them. Homogenize all media sources. This doesn't work here. I find you less trustworthy than ever.

You know when I was a boy 28.Dec.2003 14:31

Joe Mickey

Government watching is not new. In the 60's the FBI etc used the technology of the day to track people, a lot of film and move stuff... Know what the protestors did. turned to the camera an raised the middle finger... Then they wrote music that took on the government out loud and in public. Now everyone is afraid and because of the tecnology they are easier to find than ever. The only real protection is in numbers.

In Tianenmen Square, the Chinese put up democracy wall then photo graphed and busted the leaders , not to mention killed a whole lot of folks.

If you are on the net you are on the radar... the technology makes it so... If the Government wants to Watch Aunt Sam they don't need a real name... but the reading public does in order to believe you

The government really has you beat if you are already this afraid of it.

You don't have to like me... but I have my right and invitation to post here and I sign my name and every time you tell me its a phoney name you just discredit yourself on all other points to me.

I am not going to do the govenments work for them 28.Dec.2003 14:42

Aunt Sam

I am not going to compile a list for them. We are one of the most legitimate community based media sources. A lot of people use indymedia gladlly in very repressive regimes.

Your heartwarming story gives me heartworms.

The fact is we live in a society where wwe are holding people without charges for the last two years. We are politically corrupt, just experienced a judicial coup, are using faulty voter machines, keep experienceing political assisnations, and have a media coverup. Basically 95 % of all media outlets are owned by 3 companies. We do not need to be another one.

Your kid days are over Joe, grow up!

If you have a problem with the indymedia forum please go back to reporting for fox news.

I am ending communique for now.

Assumptions 28.Dec.2003 14:43

Joe Mickey

Aunt Sam

You didn't even ask what news papers I worked at an you label corporate media
Both papers were indepdent papers of record for small communities. they simply had standards and practices for the quality and more importanly the reliabiltiy of information.

Why was the quality and reliability of the information important? becasue it makes or breaks what the reader believes. Some people are willing to believe things because the person who wrote it drives the same type of car or shares the same philosophy...

I believe things because I believe the writter made every effort to check the facts in spite of their personal feelings and philosophies.

Its ok if you want to fit me into a box. It fits all the paranoia that hides you behind an anonymous label.

This is not a CIA plot, a Portland Police scam ... its about the integrity of the information for the readers...

I lost nothing when what's his name refused t take the discussion off line... I still have to do the research on his material... I was only hoping to spare the readers and as the research progressed I might have questions and I had hoped to take it out of the public showplace where he needed to puff out his chest for his fans and we could actually be constructive. As you saw, it just deteriorated on both sides.

Its all about fear 28.Dec.2003 15:01

Joe Mickey tibetanphotoproject3@hotmail.com

Let me put it another way. answer this question?

If you are afraid to put your name, your reputation, your business, your politics and your religion that comes with your name, then why should you expect anyone else to support a cause you have commited nothing to?

When I worked for the small town news papers my By line made me a target for every photo and every word I wrote... The attacks came from the public, the politicians, law enforcement and any other aspect of the community under scrutiny... The only way I could protect myself was not through fear and giving in but by printing the truth as i could best find it ... in the end thats what stood up but i could not have won a lot of battles if I wasn't willing to stand behind my own effort and to do that I had to put my name on it, take the hits, the victories and the losses... Once in a great while I had to put my name on a piece and say I was wrong. But at least my name isn't Butt Wad.

What I see here is a lot of people living in fear... protest is nothing new... but the evolution of fear and the retreat to the underground means you are losing ... If coward is a good enough name for you and if your information needs no accountability to any source...

If the only courage you have comes from quoting others who have the courage to put their names to their words then you are useless to the whole effort and you only degrade the effort with your fear.

Stand up and be heard 28.Dec.2003 15:12


but it means nothing if we don't know who we are listening to.

The present government bullies us with "scientifically designed" polls-- of anonymous people (or maybe dogs, or maybe made up entirely-- who knows. IndyMedia isn't alone in making policy by anonymous dredging of the bottom.

Democracy only works when people are empowered to speak in open session and be accountable for their words. What we have now-- whether corporate or Indy media-- is a phony democracy that is totally marginalized by a power structure that has been regrouping and consolidating since they apparently lost (and are now finally winning) the American Revolution.

I agree with joe mickey. This sort of anonymous posting has all the significance of freeway graffiti. It is interesting, but not of any real significance.

Couldn't Get Booked In At the Academy 28.Dec.2003 15:22

Poor Richard

Such a blessing to have sage, reasonable monitoring of the sand box, nurturing the naive, fumbling, unruly discontents by lending advice on how better to make their points and cleave to legitimacy! And it certainly is well taken that the establishment media and conventional fora provide models for accountable, credible public discourse! HUH?!!

In those brief fleeting moments of initial revolutionary fermentation, when the germs of justice and freedom begin to cell-divide, before the "legitimizers" take over (if we let them)--reams of expression flood and litter the walls, lamp posts, sidewalks--pamphlets of insurrection of every shape and color blow before the gathering wind along the roads and streets--authors anonymous.

My Almanack was published under pseudonym for 25 years! I like to think its content was judged for relevance and not on names traceable by the King's agents! There were hundreds of others issuing tracts, sheets, articles and pamphlets counter to the colonial administration--building the cases for change and, finally, rebellion--all pseudonymous. I guess we were all "alternative" media, back then--but we got read, and the people organized!

I also think that this IMC format lets posters and readers address the benefits and responsibilities of freedom--thoughts and issues expressed for judgement on quality and relevance by the individual read--some crap, some embarrassing, some silly, some poisonous, some entertaining, some instructive, some informative, some inspiring, some transforming. Does it solely matter on "who" wrote it? If the issue is critical enough, do your own research. Smash the crutch of the "named expert" with "acceptable" credentials!"

Think for yourself: egalitarian peer review!
A Couple of Anonymous Sisters
A Couple of Anonymous Sisters

finally support... Well, sort of 28.Dec.2003 15:24

Joe Mickey tibetanphotoproject3@hotmail.com

Well "Tom" LOL LOL LOL

Having names would elimninate much of the graffiti and leave more of the issues thanks for the support ...sort of...

Fear has been the smokescren of this administration... and as long as they keep teling us the alert level and everyone here keeps hinding out (or thinking they are hiding out) The enviroment suffers, the poor suffer, every child left behind continues etc...

why because the protestors, the Americans, the politicians, the poets, the musicians, the writers remain in hiding. And every Anonymous Name seems to be sitting on the left and every Rat Boy and Star Gazerdiscredits the left by perpetuating the fear.

He who hesitates is lost...
He who hesitates is lost...

Joe Mickey 28.Dec.2003 15:30


Telling you my name or a name you would permit on IndyMedia will not change the fact your interests parallel an informant. It is the ideas expressed not the person expressing them that is of value. "There is no way to judge the position of an essay that can run under any name that comes to mind at the time of the posting." You could read the statement and judge it that way. Try this "The sincerity of a man has nothing whatever to do with sincerity of the idea he expresses" Oscar Wilde. There are so few places for open, free speech you would have us reduce the most effective site or is that your 'hidden' message?

You are in a nation which has bypassed its Constitution there are no safe guards here so what is your purpose? The importance here is not whether it is Anut Sue, jlii or Don Franks that points out the saboteur, but that the saboteur is pointed out. If you want personal credit for what you write, publish commercially or use your name here. We have more important issues here than your dictates to others.

Action now or research now? 28.Dec.2003 15:33

Joe Mickey

Let me ask you this... Do you want people to act or do you want people burried in research becasue the Author refuses to offer any credentials? Frankly why should I research an author who is afraid to show any credentials? I have no respect to begin with.

If research is the answer, when the credentials of the author might be enough, you might be researching the next time you are really needed on the streets.

And if you are so afraid of "The King" how the heck are you going to show up when you are needed if you are afraid to put you name on an epost.

I just don't get people living in fear in this century

I love indymedia's anonymity 28.Dec.2003 15:39

so there

I think that it's great (for a change- you can't do this in a face-to-face meeting) to have political discussions, arguments, and try out thoughts and ideas that one might not be completely committed to- under the protection of anonymity. Sure there are those who abuse this privelege, and rant and rave, and post garbage- but I find Indymedia's selfpublishing a great way to think outloud (in print, sort of) and explore what I really think, and what others think of my ideas. So- I really, really value this aspect of IMC. Personal growth and radical education is one of the main ideas, right? I hope we never lose this

An Argument Must Stand on Its Own Regardless of Author 28.Dec.2003 15:42


What about, "A government source", "AP", "an executive, speaking on condition on anonymity" . . . etc. etc. I see stories and quotes all of the time where an individual, named byline does not follow.

If someone makes a compelling, well-supported, documented argument, I will accept it on its own merits (just as if I see dreck from outer space posted without any point, proof, or reason, I will reject it regardless of the author).

Most of us are not important enough that someone would rush to read our comments based solely the presence of our "real" names.

Do you want to enlarge the audience or talk among yourselves 28.Dec.2003 15:43

Joe Mickey

Certainly when information is stated as fact, its a lot easier to know if those facts are true if you know the source or if you know by stating those facts what the agenda of the Author is. to do this you need to identify the author.

Yes, you can see an Idea and say, great I agree... but if you want to reach more people with the information then you have to respect the needs of those people or this can be a site that just grumbles among itself and the Aunt Sues and the Jiii' and the star gazers.

Printing the information in hiding among the same group of people is not exactly taking back the constitution .

For every bumper sticker on the power of an Idea there is one for The strength of one's character to stand behind ones conviction. "Give me liberty or give me death"

Well folks ... have fun with this... Somewhere out there Star Boy is changing his or her identity so that just as you get going in one direction he can come back as your favorite aunt or Unkle and mess with your head... now may that is your CIA plot.

Come to think of it 28.Dec.2003 15:48

Joe Mickey

Come to think of it, I doubt if, "Give me liberty or give me death," would have roused the troops or a revolution if it had been said from behind a wall and when someone shouted, "Who said that?" the answer was "Its me, Star Gazer and Aunt Bee"

good night folks...

anonymity better than anything else: less crowd control manipulation, more 28.Dec.2003 15:56


There are huge benefits of the respectable IMC model, over the disrespecting corporate media:

1. Based on my feelings toward this anonymity model of IMC, and my expeience analyzing my feelings coming to the IMC and reading, the anonimity is preferred because it accustoms people to weigh arguments as an individual, as they read, instead of glibly following like a herd gathered around an easily 'faked' and co-opted respectability. You come away from IMC exercising this discretion of your senses much more than if you were following along the well paid media whore of Peter Jennings or Koppel or Drug-Rush Limbaugh. Such 'media respectibiity, once socially created, is always a form of mass opinion management and stopping people from thinking for themselves about an argument and it plasters over local variations in news and opinion. Once you create some 'talking head' that people believe, you can make it say the silliest things as long as the respectability of a 'name' has been created. There is more to disrespect in the television or newspaper propoganda model of corporate news than there is to admire. There is more to admire about the internet as a news medium because one can so easily find the state bias immediately with a change of the country of origin in the URL bar of the news source. This is in the interests of the world's people.

2. anonymity assures that the crowd control type media that follows along is demoted.

3. anonymity encourages in the reader a form of critical thought that is less likely in an attributed piece.

4. anonymity protects the writers from the police state.

5. anonymity encourages the type of reader/writer mix that IMCs are generating worldwide. The last thing that IMCs should do is to encourage a handful of limited popular opinions that can be easily manipulate and direct mass opinion.

6. Anonymity encourages honesty and openness. You get someone's actual feelings and attitudes. For a comparison you will be forced to admire and admit to, the same principle here at IMC applies in the widely supported secret ballot for elections remember: it provides protection and honesty in voting more than a framework of visible names and voting records for citizens. IMCs and secret ballots encourage individual level honesty instead of group level peer pressure and manipulation. This means more local variation can be transferred into words and news this way.

7. IMC is important for local voices, in an era of global ClearChanneling of the world's news.

8. Anonymity encourages plurality of opinions.

9. IMC is already respectable, sorry Charlie. The original author implies that IMCs require something--that only he can provide. Sorry, IMCs already have respectibilty. There was something posted on the main IMC several weeks ago (before it was down for repairs), that pointed out that according to Alexa.com (Alexis?) records (or something like that), the IMCs--without any advertising budget--are nearly ranking globally along side in popularity/hits with such media empty headed financial giant propoganda models like RushLimbaugh.com! IMC has its global base, is providing a hugely valued service already, so sorry Charlie! This is a old line of salesmanship that the original author is presenting, "you have a lack I am identifying, so here's how to have me sell you the solution." However, as I pointed out with the global popularity rankings, the first premise of the original author--that IMCs have a lack of respectability--is entirely bogus. What it has is something that is unco-opted and the media version of the secret ballot--something very valuable. The original posters arguments seem bogus to me because we are supposed to take it only on his authority that IMCs are disrespected, even though they widely are. So, because of this, the original poster's arguments are based on a false premise and thus only useful to print out for toilet paper or to place below kitty litter.

10. Anonymity is important in an era where so much of 'attribution' is little help or way to guage whether it is a huge pack of lies that you are reading, simply because you recognize the name. Name-sold news is a branding phenomenon, and as such, name-sold news hurts your ability to keep alert when reading.

11. Anonymity encourages a learning experience because it allows the "all too human" sense of pride to be curtailed and separated from the writer. You can post your opinoin, then reevaluate it, post that, without a bit of pride getting in the way. If all named based, then people become concerned about respectabilities instead of information, and a battle of egos are instituted as a consequence.

12. In the United States, because the Morgan interests were unable to coearse the US populatoin into being a war mongering frothing idiot to serve their interests, they did a study. The study decided that they would buy up around 20-25% of the papers of the United States to manipulate public opinion by getting purchase rights to the editoral opinions of 'attributed' editors.

Finally you get it, though you may not like it 28.Dec.2003 16:09


Joe Writes

"Let me ask you this... Do you want people to act or do you want people buried in research because the Author refuses to offer any credentials? Frankly why should I research an author who is afraid to show any credentials? I have no respect to begin with."

This is so transparent it is your surrender. People letting others do their thinking for them got us into this mess. Doing your own research or not being allowed to will show you much more than "outsourcing" the responsibility. Each of us have to donate to the common good, the commonwealth. When we have Governors acting as if they care and actors governing what's in a name a rose or fart would smell the same. Actions and thoughts speak louder than words or names. In this land nameless people will be able to speak longer. Yes, I want people to research the truth all the time. Don't you?

Heads up, If you click on his link your register your ISP with his network. 28.Dec.2003 16:11

Aunt Sam

Your logic doesn't add up. First you say you want names. Then you amend that to emails. How would an email be verifiable info unless you planned on hacking who it is Joe? Your arguments are emotional hogwash. You sidestep any of the information those in opposition to you say. You simply call us cowards. And you keep baiting Gringo Starrs. Your true agenda is to mention Gringo every chance you get. Your male macho postering is nauseating to me. You are trying to bully him through typical male bullshit. That's right Joe, you came to sight run by one person, who posts under a thousand different names. We are all untrustworthy and you and your picture, and your previous media expertise are here to save us from being ridiculous.

Your idea is lame. We don't want to keep registration files. If let's say Earth First decides to post here I do not want the person who is acting as spokesperson to have to leave and email address. Last I heard there were a lot of earth activists serving time for their beliefs. For breaking the law of sitting in a tree. I want their valid, trustworthy points of view posted to the indy site. Under your proposal we would have the FBI tracking them as they have said they want to do because they are looking for "eco terrorists". One of things the FBI would value highly would be their email address to read their communications.

So are you going to try and respond to this by calling me or Gringo or jlii a coward. Are you going to redicule his pen name? Are you going to tell us that nobody trusts earth first for their information. That they though Julia Butterfly was untrustworthy because she used a pseudonym? Then you can mention how Gringo insulted you again.

But most of all you can include the link to your ego driven "accomplishements." We can believe you are trustworthy then.

I do not recommend clicking on his link as it will register your isp with the network, he will then be able to research your name and address through your isp provider.

this is your 10th post to pimp your site, Joe 28.Dec.2003 16:16


...and that's only here. I see you have been spamming IMCs across the globe. Free advertising for you, isn't it?

Joe, the US government has been performing "counterintelligence" programs against its own citizens, mainly activists. This site has an activist bias, and many activists don't want to be on a government list for future conviction/harassment in the present PATRIOT act era. This site is heavily monitored by government agencies. Why do you think activists should all be known to the authorities? How will this help activists?

How do you propose that "real names" be verified when commentors post their comments?

Also, why do you suggest:
"I think the board needs to sepperate its comments from the articles...
News should be news and comment should be letters to the Editor"


Why do you think this would improve IndyMedia? Do you believe that discussion is counterproductive?

When you suggest to "send stories to the major media" I think you do not understand, Joe; IndyMedia is independant and in opposition to the corporate (or "major") media. Our motto is to "become the media" rather than to beg for attention to th ecorporate world. I see that your website is well-represented in corporate media. I also see that this is your 10th post here on Portland IndyMedia, your first being Dec 15th - all of which simply introduce and have links to your corporate-media-advertised website. Why does your website refer to the present Chinese government as "communist" when it is clearly a capitalist state? China has not been communist since 1976 when the Maoists were overthrown and murdered. Why red-bait, Joe?

How is the Dalai Lama a "Tibetan" if he hasn't lived there since 1959? Does the God-King Dalai Lama truly speak for Tibetans? Why aren't you talking about how sexist, homophobic and violently oppressive Lamaist rule was in Tibet before 1959? Why doesn't the Dalai Lama talk about the Kalachakra publicly? Is it because the Kalachakra promotes a holy war on all non-Buddhists which will establish a worldwide Buddhocracy? Will the Dalai Lama reintroduce the legal slavery and system of serfdom that made Lamaist rule in Tibet such a horror the last time the Lamas ruled Tibet? Why did you choose to repost an original post made by *mother* only to add suggestions which would essentially halt any discussion on IndyMedia?

8 questions for the Dalai Lama;

Friendly Feudalism, The Tibet Myth - by Michael Parenti

extensive links concerning Tibetan Buddhism/the Dalai Lamas;

former Tantric sex slave for "celibate" Lama Kalu Rinpoche (under threat of death) by June Campbell;

The Dalai Lama justifies WWII, the Korean War, and the Afghani and Iraqi invasions/occupations;

History of the 14 Dalai Lamas;

The warlike, anti-democratic nature of Lamaism;

The Dalai Lama admits to being a paid CIA asset for decades (NY Times Oct. 1, 1998);

Tibetan lamas charged (fleeced) Steven Seagal (movie star) a lot of money to be called a Lama himself;

Interview with former devotees initiated into the highest ranks of Lamaism;

The true story of Maoist revolution in Tibet;

Buddhism and misogyny - a historical overview

Sadly, this "no more anonymity" is all from Jow because I provide information critical of the Dalai Lama. When you have no case in facts, I guess you just limit discussion like Joe is attempting. How corporate of you, Joe. I'd appreciate answers to my questions.

How Condescending of you, Joe 28.Dec.2003 16:21


"Give me liberty or give me death" Patrick Henry's sporting interest in freedom. Give me Liberty, or Give death, whatever. I by the way capitalized Liberty so did Henry you choose not to, interesting.

Giving us permission to carry on how totally revealing.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it... and sammiches 28.Dec.2003 16:25


>> Do you want to enlarge the audience or talk among yourselves

What makes you think that relinquishing anonymity (such as it is) will increase the audience?

Those who wish to remain anonymous should do so and those who wish to post in full view should do so.

Yes, admittedly anonymous posting contributes to spam. But this whole indy reporting thing is a messy business to begin with. And the artificial corporate facade of "reputable" spokespersons and correspondents who are accountable is a sham. Lies are disseminated daily by the cleanest, most hygienic reputable journalists. The fact that they are clean shaven and issue their reports from a state-of-the-art studio means absolutely fucking zero as relates to the integrity of their information.

A keen mind will take information for what it is and apply skepticism and reason to divine its value. CNN.com meets all of the criteria for an accountable, reputable news source and indeed it is reputable and accountable if you are looking for news on pet gifts, celebrity pregnancy updates, Michael Jackson, and the Pentagon's official line on the ongoing war against terror.

Americans need to think for themselves and get beyond packaging.

The whole point of independent media is information without the imprimatur of a corporation or government. Sometimes it ain't pretty. Sometimes it's nice to have someone make your sandwich for you, but if they consistently fuck it up, you are better served making that sammich by your damned self.

Some of the sammiches on this board can be downright ugly. But at least they have nutritious good stuff in them.

Joe Mickey: craving attention? 28.Dec.2003 17:11

Poor Richard

Has JM made his point?

Hits on a Google search include the below website. This isn't to deny JM his soapbox, but maybe to give some background--without prejudice--to his zealous interest in bringing an establishment journalism kind of "structure" to the IMC alternative open forum.

The government isn't the only enemy 28.Dec.2003 17:23

George Bender

I've often thought twice, over the years, about writing letters to the editor because they AREN'T anonymous. Mostly what held me back was that I had a job, and if my employer found out what my politics are, by reading my letter to the editor, I could be fired. A lot of the comments on articles posted here are crap. People go off on tangents and write shit. But I still prefer this freedom to any other system. I'll decide for myself what makes sense and what doesn't. Unless I know you personally, it wouldn't help to know your name anyway.

AAAAAARRRRRRRRRGH! 28.Dec.2003 17:45


Joe Mickey: Give it up! You aren't even from here. Nobody knows you. You didn't like that somebody dared to criticize your little pet project, and now you are on a personal mission to fuck with this person and all the other "anonymous" people here. You don't even fully understand the issue about which you are posting, and you refuse to hear criticism of it. Why don't you crawl off back into "mainstream liberal wannabe land"?

Phony names for Gringo Stars? Whoever he is? 28.Dec.2003 17:57

Hedvall Hedvall@aol.com

Is Gringo Stars using all kinds of phony names, such as "Aunt Sam", "Jlii", "Nemo", "so there", etc. Well, one just doesn't know.

Joe Mickey, I greatly admire you. You certainly are no phony like Gringo Stars.

Sorry Gringo, it looks like you got yourself a nutty stalker on hand 28.Dec.2003 17:59

Aunt Sam

Ya know Gringo, it's funny that on that site he weasled out of the arguments with the cry of censorship. He also was accused of cut and paste over and over. Funny that he accused you of the same thing. Pretty funny really.

But I don't feel like laughing.

Good work on the research every body! Indymedia rocks!

IndyMedia Editors 28.Dec.2003 18:05


How much of IndyMedia do "WE" want to donate to Joe's commercial interest?
By Editors I mean all of us, of course.

IndyMedia beholden to moneyed interests? That what you want, Joe? 28.Dec.2003 18:08


"Indy media and the supporters who send their hard earned dollars needs to decide if it has important information to deliver or its only entertainment and diversion carried by authors like Fuck Rat and Star Boy."

Not only is the above a pretty limp (yet funny) ad hominem on me (well, my pen name), but Joe - you give away your corporate leanings with this last paragraph/sentence in your original post. Do you realize that you are parroting corporate rhetoric here? Have you ever given any thought to why corporate media is so corrupt? Do you realize that the stated purpose of IndyMedia is diametrically opposed to the bought-and-paid-for system of corporate media?

Nice site at  http://www.pacificsites.com/~lakenews/joescorner.shtml
Thanks Poor Richard.

Joe, I also like where you call my postings "horseshit" - teehee.

To Joe's mommy 28.Dec.2003 18:22


Playing into your nonsense GRINGO STARS has never used my name. Joe has used our website for his money making schemes. Of course he uses his name it's who the check is to be payable too. But it is part of life. The grown-ups are talking here and Joe has to bang his new toy. Happens all the time, last weekend we had a guy and his favorite T-shirt on. It's life. Aunt Sam and GRINGO are known commentators with patience and good points, Joe's here to bang his wares.

Anonymity encourages open debate 28.Dec.2003 18:33


I do wish Indymedia had at least the option of user accounts though. On the Internet, there are no voices or faces to establish identity. Only writing style and author names. On a few seperate occasions, people have posted in the same thread as I with the same author name I was using, sometimes out of coincidence, sometimes out of a desire to confuse. Optional user accounts would prevent that from happening, so long as you prevent anonymous users from posting with the same name as an active user account.

User accounts would also make it easier to keep track of active discussions.

It'd also be nice if Indymedia posted poster's IP addresses, or if that concerns people, then perhaps a one-way hash of a poster's IP addresses. This would identify (most) cases of a single individual posting multiple times under different aliases. (Which admittedly isn't a big problem, anyway).

Indymedia and the Internet in general are distinctly different than the one-way top-down news dissemination coming from the traditional media. There's no reason to try and make them the same. But adding a little accountability with user accounts would not be a terrible thing. I don't believe (optional) user accounts would affect privacy, so I don't believe there's a downside. (Especially if Indymedia writes logs to /dev/null).

James 28.Dec.2003 19:18


"It'd also be nice if Indymedia posted poster's IP addresses, or if that concerns people, then perhaps a one-way hash of a poster's IP addresses. This would identify (most) cases of a single individual posting multiple times under different aliases. (Which admittedly isn't a big problem, anyway). "

This would mean one poster from one address. That would only limit people's access to IndyMedia. DO we want to do this?

lotsa folks feel threatened here 28.Dec.2003 20:00

nn nnanncynnannny@hotmail.com

Losta anarchists sure want a lot of control to have it their way.
Lotsa Anons sure sound threatened and as usual There goes the discussion
degenerating into name calling and me me me

Who cares about the information and if its credible and if people who need to think we are all nut cases
You're an ass... no! You're an ass .. no you're an ass

Ok next subject

A case for eliminating annoying assholes 28.Dec.2003 20:06


Joe Mickey just posted an article which was quickly hidden called "Indy media needs bucks". In the body of the article he professed to be an indymedia workerbee calling out for finacial aid from "freeloaders like gringo" etc.

On the one hand, this guy pisses and moans about anonymity on PIMC, and then he turns around and abuses that same priveledge by impersonating an IMC worker and trying to cause rifts between IMC and a specific person who posts here under the name of GRINGO STARS. I think this guy has now officially defined himself as an agent provocateur.

mark twain 28.Dec.2003 20:07

gallbladder 34

mark twain...nuff said
anonymity is not about fear
is not about a lack of accountability
the fact that children are at play here is an irrelevant part of the discussion
the adults can choose to ignore them at any time
like you, mr. 'must have a name to be accountable'
give evolution a chance
you are a neanderthal wrapped in fancy but archaic arguments

this is the new frontier
the old rules don't apply
if you don't like it
go read the daily propaganda sheet

i've got news for you
they ain't accountable, either

Did anyone notice this 28.Dec.2003 20:17

Jliii / aunt Sam by nn

this was posted by Jlii, did anyone notice it
"There is no way to judge the position of an essay that can run under any name that comes to mind at the time of the posting." You could read the statement and judge it that way. Try this "The sincerity of a man has nothing whatever to do with sincerity of the idea he expresses" Oscar Wilde.

My notes (NN)
did anyone notice that in Jliis post in defense of postin' anonomously Jlii found it to her advantge to note who she was quoting.

or this one by Aunt Sam in defense of the good name of an anon poster who joe did not even mention in his original post
"Just becuase Gringo has refused to argue this one point you refuse to debate or argue any others with him. " She was defending Gringos good anon name because joe used Star Boy in his example and she saw this as baiting... So let me get this straight, Fake Gringo Stars is an honorable name and the assumption that fake gringo star is being called Fake Star Boy in the premise is an insult? Ok my head is spinning,

Kinda does get a little out of hand don't you think...

How about this and this is my premise (NN)
... if you have an important quote from one of your heros
and you hear George Bush use it without attribution to your hero and the nation jumps on the quote as a real brainstorm from george bush... is it still a good idea or does who it comes from impact the meaning?

Ok just asking? not looking to get beat up

Just asking

on the Mark twain quote 28.Dec.2003 20:22


If authors names are not important then why would the mark twain quote need to be credited to Mr. Twain. It it really reflected a worthy idea then why would that change if it was credited to John Ashcroft?

on the imc worker thing 28.Dec.2003 20:33

thats mine nn nnanncynannny@hotmail.com

I read the posts... I made the comment about gringo.... your assumption that that is joe just proves the point about Anonymous posters ... you just never know who is who ... I've read the posts and followed tha threads your are referring too ... sorry but nice try. I made the Indy needs money post and I put in the two cents on Gringo Oh and Indy medai does need money and rather than repost the whole thing visit  http://www.indymedia.com
and Gringo has already said he has no intention of supporting IMC

that thing about Joe not being here is pretty weak since you support Gringo deciding whats right for the entire Tibetan population.

I am pretty sure Joe signs his posts and while I don't I applaud him for it

NN 28.Dec.2003 20:37

Aunt Sam

A name is chosen or not. We are not saying that folks should have their posts all run together as a stream. I was not protecting Gringo's good name. I was sick of Joes male postering on this site. I had been following their communique for sometime and I could see this degenerating into a bunch of bullshit. This was the spirit of his writing.

He has a history of this. In fact their is a web page dedicated to this. I was not going to tolerate his abuse.

Sure, if you want to use your name, do so. But as long as indymedia keeps an anonymous format without logins it deters the FBI from supeoining information about posters. Because of the patriot act it works best if we overwhelm the site in sheer anonymous numbers. They will likely then be overwhelmed at the herclean task of going through and cataloging online protestors.

This is an organizing tool. For me I see the wonderful posibility to plan protests on line wiith brainstorming sessions. I absolutely do not agree with anyone adding their name to this action. I guarantee you the majority of people asking to have IP adresses posted do nothing more tahn critique. I don't think anyone in America today who is trying to storm the Bastille or Gutanamo Bay is going to like registering their IP.

Indymedia was born out of seattle as an organizing tool, not as an info source. We use both. Please respect the people who are organizing and their need to use the site as well.

Thanks for quoting me. You would be better served if you kept doing that. Just kidding.

A couple outsider observations..... 28.Dec.2003 20:37

Anonomous mouse

I'd like to say that I often read portland's IMC. You folks got a lot more going on than the NY site which suffers from partialy from rightwing troll raids and partially a grinding "bad news everywhere" mentality. Hey, I'm as pessemistic as the next prole, but Portland IMC has lot more variety and even a sense of community. Anyway, being anonomous has a lot of advantages for people who want to say something and not have the whole world down there throat about it. Some people get pissy and cop and attitude, true, but just keep saying what you need to and don't let it grate you.
Anyway, I'm an out of stater and I just wanted to encourage this site.
And Oregon, keep working to legalize pot, socialize medicine and save the trees, activists are inspired by your radical streak!,
Keep on keepin on....

thank you spudnut 28.Dec.2003 20:43


it's a slippery slope when we try to gain "authority" to tell the news. It is the failure of "authorized" journalists to do their job that has left Democracy in this country on life support. When we have "authority," we have something to lose. Corruption follows. Beacon principles like anonymous posting are precious to the mission of Portland Indymedia.

Ok Aunt Sam / thank you 28.Dec.2003 20:58


aunt Sam, thanks for your notes. I really think this is a valid discussion when it stays on the subject

the Indy Media you refer too bills it self as a media center... this site bills it self as a media center

it lists elements of a news organization in its logo etc. many of the other IMC site designs suggest email with a space for validating emails for authors some of them require a sign in to post a story... In short, the appearance is here that the effort is here to get news out that is not being published anywhere and the question Joe Poses is very valid in asking if this style will allow others to accept the information.

Does a name affect the content... anonymous poster keep popping up quotes and they feel a need to attribute the quotes to the Author so the Author seems to prove itself important to the content of the quote

Its been said that the power is an Idea... and I have asked if GW or Ashcroft used one of your guiding quotes would it impact its meaning?

I tink its a valid discussion and I think if you look at Joe's notes he admits that his discussion with Gringo deteroriated and you can't blame Joe for having the same tenacity as his detractor.

Thats certainly his right. and he offered from the beginning to take it off the board since he was being asked to accept a lot of new information on blind faith...

Now how do you know you are talking to a woman? I mean for sure.

Oh and indy does need money and Gringo said he wouldn't be contributing ... heck I could be talking to him right now ... anon names allow for schitzophrenia on the web.

Signing off and sleep well ... on indy needing money visit  http://www.indymedia.org

Many good points are being made... 28.Dec.2003 21:21


...but none of them are being made by NN. You see, NN's previous comment is what I'm talking about, when she (I assume her name is Nancy from the email address) says "...since you support Gringo deciding whats right for the entire Tibetan population."

I NEVER decided what is right for the Tibetan population. My whole point in the 10 previous posts of Joe-spam was to question whether the Dalai Lama is really speaking in the interest of Tibetan people, since there is no evidence of that. I came up with many good sources with ugly facts about the true nature of Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama's public hypocrisy and traditional feudal Lamaist rule over Tibet, which has been brutal. Once I came up with these facts, Joe's immediate tactic was to forget discussing the issue of tibet entirely and focus solely on me and my credibility. He decided I have none since I have "anonymous." Every comment was devoid of any discussion of the merits of the criticism I brought up and was instead entirely on my "anonymity" and what kind of person Joe assumed I am (with precious little evidence, I might add). How DARE I question the holy word of the God-King of Tibet!

Now let's get this next part straight, because NN is talking like a moron (the truth hurts) when she says things like "...defending Gringos good anon name..."

Guess what, NN - "anonymous name" is an oxymoron. There is no such thing. "Anonymous" means "without a name", genius. My name is GRINGO STARS. Your name is what people call you. It's what you go by. When I post here on IndyMedia, I use the name GRINGO STARS. You and Joe are correct in assuming that my state-issued ID does not say my IndyMedia pen name.

This has all gotten very bizarre - my name keeps coming up (WAY too often I might add) and only because of a personal vendetta on the part of Joe Mickey, who it should be noted, feels that the Dalai Lama should be returned to his "rightful" position as ruler of Tibet. It seems that JOE is the privileged white male deciding things for Tibetans. It certainly isn't me. I would prefer Tibetans decide how things go in Tibet, not someone raised to rule them (the Dalai Lama) who hasn't been to Tibet since 1959. Let the *Tibetans* decide, not the capitalist Chinese regime OR the Dalai Lama.

I have been inspired by the example of Joe Mickey, who posted a picture of a dazed-looking white guy speaking at a podium which he says is him. He can be believed because how could anyone POSSIBLY post a picture of themself and lie about that? So I will follow his bold and virtuous example by finally posting a picture of myself. this way anyone that recognizes me on the street can stop and say "Hi" or "Wow, are you a prick" or whatever else they feel.
GRINGO STARS skating along in a rare shirtless moment
GRINGO STARS skating along in a rare shirtless moment

To NN 28.Dec.2003 21:39

Aunt Sam

"Now how do you know you are talking to a woman? I mean for sure. "
I don't believe I would care to verify. If you refer to yourself as a woman I would respect that. If you were doing weird male posturing I would do that.

If Georgie or Ashy quoted me and everyone thought it was him and tehy threw praises on him I would be shocked and maybe pleased, after all he would be stopping animal testing, taxing religion, implementing a 13 month calendar, paying farmers over time, breaking up the corporate monopolies which are tearing apart our country, we would be promoting HIV drugs in Africa and not GMO's. etc, etc...

My ego should not be involved in this. I know yours is and you are smarting from what Gringo said to you. Gringo should have apologized. But maybe you shouldn't have said that if somebody could not afford to donate they should stop reading the site and posting. You then adhominem personally attacked him about whether or not he was working. Then you came over to this discussion said you posted as Joe and stated that we couldn't really know who was who.

I said you should respect the need to use this as an organizing tool as well. Please do not play dumb by listing the media logo.

Those login websites do not have the sheer numbers of trafiic. They have very little traffic. I do not mean to overly criticize but this site works. If you want to do some culture jamming against this site we are powerless to stop you. However, if your posts end up being hidden to many times you do get blocked from posting. Because you have lost credibilty with us.

I know that you want to do some good and spread the word of Indymedia. Why let one interaction drive you away? Why do that when their are enough people who are supportive who have good ideas. I don't want you to leave this site.

Look, I often get miss quoted. What makes a difference whether it is someone stealing(copyright) my ideas? Why should my name have to be involved? Everyone quotes Eric Blair but they call him George Orwell. Does it matter?

Fuck you shit-heel. 28.Dec.2003 22:07

Profesor rat

If those cracks at rats are directed at me then FUCK YOU mate!
I publish my name address and fucking two phone numbers. ( probably why I am now up on charges)
I support all the vital info published on Tibet and I support the vital principle of anonymity but the spooks and the cops don't scare me as much as idiots and jerkoffs and losers like this fruitcake. FUCK OFF ASSHOLE. Fork yr own distro. profrv@etc

another thing 28.Dec.2003 22:12


Joe Mickey, your whole project consists of sending cameras to anonymouse (as far as you are concerned) people overseas and waiting for the pictures to come back. You don't do any research into the stories you get back from these people. Your site consists of photos and testimonials from people overseas, yet you've done nothing to verify their content. What's up with the double-standard?

Case for assassination politics? 28.Dec.2003 22:12

Profrv aKa proffr

To:  mickspics5@hotmail.com
Subject: Comment

Who or what rat are you referring to in this great steaming pile of shit?


It better not be me arsehole.

Professor Rat 28.Dec.2003 22:15


Was a fucking GREAT book. Or was it Dr. Rat?...

NN 28.Dec.2003 22:27


How does anyone here know you aren't Joe Mickey? Whatever the case may be, we judge what people say here on Indymedia by the content of their messages, and not by their names. Joe Mickey is spouting off a bunch of bullshit, and so are you, and maybe you are one and the same and maybe you are not, but the point is that articles like the one you posted are bullshit. Impersonating people who put in hard work to maintain this site in an attempt to deceptively create an unfriendly environment for certain posters is just plain wrong. I wonder why you aren't ashamed to show your "face" here anymore.

my thoughts are mixed...here's why>>> 28.Dec.2003 22:38


my thought's are a bit mixed on this! first, I want to remain "unknown" as to who am really, but I've
long since given up that illusion, as I KNOW these damned people myself, and have no doubts as
to whether they're tracking most of us anyway, as they ARE! So, I've written my little rants in number
of names to keep 'em off balance...give 'em something to do besides getting all of that ass-sitting
comfy time...make 'em do some cross-checking! While I'm retired, disabled, invalid, and indeed
most harmless, I'm sure these "types" are annoyed, and that's just WHAT I want, as do you!

Now, on the other extreme is this viewpoint>>>since we already know that most likely they're into
serious tracking of most of us anyway, why not just do our writing with our names, BUT in doing
so, we do more writing, more posting, more boldly, more aggressively, and less obliquely as it'll
give 'em MORE to do. Recall Johathan Swift's masterpiece GULLIVER'S TRAVELS (empire was
Gulliver..metaphor for his "agents") and the little Lilliputan's (we are them!) who were forever
running around trying to trip big Gulliver's ass, make him tired, run him ragged and in circles, so as
to make him "relax" and take long naps, and thus, get frustrated, lose interest in "empire" and
such forth...go back where he come from!

See, if we were open with our names...then these character's would actually have to do some real
work on checking us out, keeping tabs on us, hiring yet more bureaucrat's (don't kid yourselves, as
that is exactly WHAT these people are to begin with....bureaucrat's, albeit with guns/badges...they're
nothing but bureaucrat's with that sordid bureaucratic mentality, and IQ's to match!), building yet
more of a complex organization that eventually will topple from being so top-heavy and so top-down
hierachical in management...the "typical" government organization that people are more and more
getting fed up with, sick 'n' tired of paying out endless $$$ to fund lazy-assed wanabe non-produc-
ing joker's, and the horrific wanton waste associated with such. People are NOT always going to
remain "sheepeople" and eventually they'll wake-up, see things for WHAT they really are and not
what these joke's tell 'em, and then changes will come. If "revolution", then so be it, as far as I'm
concerned. The point being....the sooner it comes about, then the sooner we get it over with, and
then once these non-producer's are dispensed with, then those wanting to live in harmony with
each other, with the planet, and with their God (as THEY individually so define Him/Her) can get
on with such! We all damned well know a titantic "battle" of some sort is shaping up for future...
we can be "passive" participants being "acted" upon...OR, we can be participating "actors" who
are effective "change agents" bringing about "changes" we can control better than mere passive
acceptance of whatever happens!

So, let's put 'em to WORK, shall we? I will await a clear consensus of this before I start putting my
"name" to my postings...but, even at that, how will any of you (but the "trolls") really know if that is
a valid name or not. Only a handful of people are actually likely to know the person's name, and
to most, it merely that...a name. This whole thing is about pushing some government bullshit off
on us under some childish ruse that "they" think we're childish enough to buy! So, if we do...let's
do so CREATIVELY...or, stay the way we are already. Either way...let's not be put to fear and kept
from expressing our opinions...as the truth is>>>that's what a part of this is about, albeit subtlely!

Another Award from the Enemy 28.Dec.2003 22:58


This site is attacked because this site is effective. Trolls, we know their names no star board here, would not spend their time attacking if this site didn't matter. Thank you very much, I know by your nonsense we will win because we cannot be stopped. All your energy entertains us in a way, thanks for the support. Don't think of yourselves as sharks you're just toothless mutant Guppies.

Aunt Sam, Gringo carry it on see you at the barricades, thanks for stepping on the bugs.

Anonymous is OK 28.Dec.2003 23:32


its just not as effective.

Benjamin Franklin and Tom Paine and the other great writers of the 1st American Revolution were accountable. They would not have been so effective if they had hidden.

IndyMedia can do with both. I am, however, more interested in reading posts by people who maintain a consistent name-- doesn't really matter whether "real" or made-up. It is the flow and development of ideas over many posts that is interesting to watch.

good idea 29.Dec.2003 00:01

Landon Mascaranez

i've been a longtime Indymedia reader, but I have been reluctant to ever write anything. The feds can get our info anytime they want, and we all know that. The only reason people want their names kept a secret is because it helps them feel safe. It's easy to spew out anything when you know that you will never be personally connected to what you write. It is much more difficult to do so when you know that you must take personal accountability. And as for the importance of personal accountability, well, I doubt that our nation would be as great as it is today if the framers of the constitution were afraid to sign their names.

I for one think that we should begin a change from within. Let's be proud of our views, and sign our names.



Defense of Anonymity (with apologies for excessive length) 29.Dec.2003 00:06


First off, Portland IndyMedia has to be one of the best independent media sources on the planet. You guys are well organized, well trafficed, and seem to have really comprehensive coverage on your local area to rival any corporate source.

As someone who came from a corporate web development background, it was very hard for me at first to give up the idea of "ownership" of articles when I was helping to set up an IndyMedia site (in Charlottesville, Va). But I came to realise that the benefits from ownership of articles or non-anonymity are really only benefits from a corporate perspective. One great form of public education can be a well-placed poster or banner with a meaningful, provocative statement. These are generally anonymous methods to spread information. In contrast, people who are involved in commercial media have a vested interest in promoting themselves (to maintain or advance their careers), rather than promoting education.

To be fair, I like being able to find out that the letter to the editor in my local paper supporting a new road is being written by the head of the Chamber of Commerce. But, on the other hand, I don't expect to see misleading pro-corporate rhetoric on IndyMedia sites. I do expect to see conflicting opinions on a particular topic -- such as the issue of Tibet. In such a case, having access to sources for further information is more important than knowing who wrote it -- the bias of the article will suggest more about the authorship of the article than the author's name. The willingness of an author to include sources/references for their article -- possibly including sources that disagree with their premise -- does much more for accountability than having a non-anonymous byline.

As for Gringo Stars -- I've had my own online discussions with him/her. I disagree strongly with Gringo over a particular issue (Israel/Palestince). But in the process, I found out that Gringo is generally well researched on many issues, even if I disagree with his/her ultimate findings. Seeing Gringo post throughout the site on different issues means I'm likely to respect those posts later on, even if I can't attribute them to a specific individual in the real world.

You say that its too much of a burden for the average user to become familiar with people's IMC handles. It's probably just as onerous to have to do research into a person once you have their real name. And, since we don't use bioinformatics on IMC, you can't really guarantee that I'm actually Toby Reiter, even if I say I am.

In any case, Joe, if you really care about people being able to "act" then you should let people get back to the business of posting useful information. There probably are a lot of discussions about process that could be made about this and other IMC sites, but I feel like there are obviously enough people for whom anonymity is important that it should be considered a "given" part of the IMC structure.

Please leave us in peace. Thanks. (I apologize to all about the length of this comment. I did, in fact, try to pare it down a bit).

Anonymity has its place, but... 29.Dec.2003 00:45

Bison Boy

I think that accepting anonmous articles is fine... but users who wish to identify themselves should be able reliably to do so.

Posters should have the option of declaring themselves accountable for their content. Personally, I *want* to take a stand for what I believe in, and part of doing that means to post under a consistent name. People know that when they read a post by Bison Boy, they should expect a certain point of view. The idea that anyone else can dilute this name's reputation (for better or worse) limits my posting here. Let us each have the option, at least, of "owning" our voice.

Look at the model presented by slashdot.org. It is a good example of a system that allows a community to evaluate itself. It's certainly not perfect, but it's a better model than the current one, to my mind. (Also, the slashcode is free.)

Always thought IMC was Instrument Meterological Conditions 29.Dec.2003 02:01

Susan susanshocks@hotmail.com

I'm pretty new here, having just recently found this place on my jouney. I like what I read here. Actually I don't like what I read here, most of it just rots my socks but can't blame the authors for that. Truth is always beautiful but not always very pretty.

I press the big button at the top that says PUBLISH. That single word, almost imperative, is so warmly inviting. The form page comes up that gives me so many wondrous options. I can be me, or not. I can tell you all about myself, name, address -- or not. I can use the author field to create a new persona to enhance editorial impact. I could use a consistent name to establish an identity. This is called freedom and I like that a whole lot.

I am free to speak. That PUBLISH button makes me feel to be at the helm of a powerful machine, a powerful free speech machine better than a printing press. But with that power comes an overwhelming sense of responsibility. I could lie -- but will not. I could rant -- but don't want to today. Today I feel like contributing, with information that others may find useful or points of view that might be worth considering. I realize that someone may read what I say and may be influenced. What kind of an effect do I want that to be? Do I want to rile, infuriate, incite? Shall I inform, or mislead? Will my conscience smile at me after I press the submit button? A lot of responsibility, this free speech thing. But there ain't nobody telling me what I have to do. Oohh I like that.

To the original post and the topic of credibility: Well, some of the articles are pretty incredible! And face it, some are just not credible at all. But that's OK. It's OK to sometimes rant and blow off steam and if your grammers not so good so what. I can read, and posts and comments not written out of good will are pretty obvious. Articles that are well written and researched tend to stand on their own. If one of these is yours and you want the credit and recognition, this machine allows you to do that.

But why am I not in bed. Thanks to everyone who has written on this topic, flames and all. It's been making me think about this whole IMC thing. I'm learning. It's also keeping me up past bedtime.

to joe (no name print articles) 29.Dec.2003 02:16


it is a well known fact that many famous journalists and authors use pseudonyms and false names for publishing different points of view....
check your self and be realistic.

to Joe Mickey - 29.Dec.2003 04:21


why would you want to be "eliminating" authors--

"annoymous" [sic] or otherwise?

A Legal Question 29.Dec.2003 05:06

An Anonymous Reader

If THEY come to Portland Indemedia and grab your equipment. can a case be made against those who post by using the seized information (i.e. the TCP/IP addresses that hit the site?) If they do, then doesn't that kind of put this whole anonymity issue as pointless?

corp.media UNRELIABLE because its name driven attribution 29.Dec.2003 08:03

ha ha

quoting from the article

"Of late the Times has run into trouble. One of its reporters was revealed to be a cocaine-using wingnut who for months found it more convenient to invent the content of his news dispatches than to get on a plane and report them. It turned out that the newspaper's internal controls were too feeble to recognise what was fact and what was creative writing. That scandal had no sooner subsided than it was learned that Rick Bragg, a senior reporter, had been claiming an unpaid intern's legwork as his own.

"These incidents merely confirmed what perspicacious readers have known for some years, which is that one cannot rely on the paper's accuracy as one once could. The noise attendant on these events was deafening, although their significance is not great.

"The New York Times has no plausible competition as the prestige national newspaper, so its readers will put up with an awful lot before they begin grubbing around for a substitute. It is the third, less widely reported uproar involving Judith Miller, a star foreign correspondent, that is causing consternation. In the lead-up to the invasion and afterwards, Miller was the principal Times correspondent writing about weapons of mass destruction.

"Her [reliable name based] copy has been an unending warning that the Iraqis were ready, willing and able to let loose a nightmare of carnage on an innocent world. Since other, less prestigious publications and much, if not most, of television take their cue from the Times, her stories solidified the conviction that these weapons existed and were aimed at the American heartland.

"It is reasonable to assume Miller's work played no small part in building popular support for the war in the face of scepticism almost everywhere else. Long before her weapons of mass destruction hit the page, Miller's critics, mostly other foreign correspondents and think-tankers, had come to believe that she is less of a reporter than a conduit through which powerful people and institutions get their side of the story out.

"Their suspicions about Miller were confirmed when it popped out that her main source for her weapons stories is Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi exile with a troubled past whom the White House and the Pentagon once hoped to govern their newly conquered territory. It also came out that at least one of her stories concerning WMDs had been all but dictated and edited by the army before Miller sent it to the Times, which put it on its front page.


comment: So someone tell me once more how reliable are names and attribution in the corporate media of the media--when they are simply an arm of the military? America has a martial media. Nothing could get me to gather my 'news' from these bogus empty sources. They are only forms of crowd manipulation and distraction. That is why so many Americans go overseas for news, typically to Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and Asia. It is because the US corporate media world is a wasteland of military propoganda. There is nothing the matter with professional media workers, if they are actually professional. However, what passes for professionalism in the U.S. is the ability to be spineless because the US has such a repressive corporate/military media environment that distrusts the people. Yes, read the reviews at www.amazon.com about Gross's 1980 book Friendly Fascism!

Cloak & Dagger 29.Dec.2003 10:46

Major W WhittingtonMaj@hotmail.com

It's good to have your personal info on the IMC, but there's always the risk that you'll post a picture of yourself on here and then write a caption under it in third-person narrative. It's kind of self-defeating.

But anyway, I'll play the game. I've got a million spider holes I can hide in. So here are some clues:

-I live in a city just north of Portland named after a British sea captain

-I've lived here for __ years. When that number is attached to Friday, it denotes bad luck

-I call myself Major because I have self-esteem problems

-My ancestry is mixed northern European & Am. Indian

-I would say I'm left of center politically

-my pet peeves are rainy days and mean people

the case against requiring legal names on posts 29.Dec.2003 12:37


Anonymous = Fear and they win 29.Dec.2003 13:04

NN nnanncynnannny@hotmail.com

A few points on anonymous
1. There is at least one posting using my NN name that i did not make.

2. This may be called Portland Media but its the internet. What gets said here is open to the world and this conversation turned into nothing but an insult fest from the first comment by Aunt Sam on the article so I am sure the world will not be impressed by much here or at indy media if its fisrt visit is here.

3. Gringo has said I am someone else. I am not. Because whatever you want to say, I know the truth between Gringo Star and Myself. But others have abused the ability to be anon to use my name. That mis use is in itself reason to support the opening argument. I support the Tibetan struggle and because my interest actually incudes visits to Tibetan settlements and contact with Tibetans my interest dictates that I read andy and all material published on the subject that I come across. But unlike Gringo, my interest is not armchair. I have read his entire rant and thus my own reference to his sillyness. His accusations that I am someone other than NN simply prove the point about his credibility on all subjects. Where he has no facts, which is most of the time, he uses smoke.

4. Imagine the Declaration of Independence being signed by Aunt Sam and Uncle Rat and Gringo Star. It would have stood for notining.

5. If the quote is "Our Actions will lead to lasting peace" the the Author matters. Apply the quote to Bill Dix or George Bush or Nelson Mandella or Mao or Che and each time it is said it is the same thought but it carries quite a different meaning.

6. Anonymous posts can be justified 100 ways but they are just FEAR created from paranoia. Next comes fear to sign petitionsm... fear to write and callenge the media...fear to register to vote and when there are enough people afraid of even thier own names, they win.

many here borrowed quotes and credited the authors ... some like Gringo just steal others words thoughts and names and demonstrates absolutely no interest in truth.

There is only one person here who had the courage to put his name on what he had to say.

Today there are 2

Maryanne "Nancy" Horne

If I Had a Name 29.Dec.2003 13:52

A. Rose

If I had a name, I'd wear it out. I'd be sick of signing it, and everyone would be sick of hearing it. That might be a shame, because when you see my name, you'd know 95% of what I have to say is probably poorly-conceived garbage I wish I could delete, and you might forget altogether about that other 5%.

The question would always be how I know I'm seeing someone else post by their real name. I may feel like trying to strike a few keys for a Google search to try to corroborate what someone is saying, the real inconvenience might be adding doing background checks on everyone else who might post. I don't have any pretenses that my own "real name" (well this pagan's Christian name anyway) isn't widely available to the determined. My real concern is posting my real name and becoming a target for the petty garbage inflicted by petty, self-apppointed guardians of bs that just up and volunteer to make life more difficult for anyone who's views are to the left of their own. I've posted my "real name" before and had trolls post every personal piece of information on me they could find using it for what intimidation it's worth. I've posted my "real name" and had trolls who delude themselves they can make no mistakes, post the personal information of other people with the same real name, for that innocent person to be harrassed on account of my remarks.

"4. Imagine the Declaration of Independence being signed by Aunt Sam and Uncle Rat and Gringo Star. It would have stood for notining."

I beg your pardon???? If those words only have meaning because of who signed them, or the fact they were signed with "real names", we've got a serious problem around here somewhere. Confusion of the message with the messenger must be one of the most favorite tactics of those because of whom this is even an issue. Don't play along. Insist that words be judged by their content and their merit ALWAYS, anywhere, regardless of which celebrity endorsement they do or do not have pasted on them.

"6. Anonymous posts can be justified 100 ways but they are just FEAR created from paranoia. Next comes fear to sign petitionsm... fear to write and callenge the media...fear to register to vote and when there are enough people afraid of even thier own names, they win."

But the point might be that if there's anyone to really worry about having this info, they already have it. Internet trolls may be good for endless kinds of harassment up to 24 hours a day, once they're spared from having to do any actual research as to who is who, but I've yet to be physically harmed. The Men In Black must already know my name and what I think as well. When I become more of a threat than one vote and a big mouth, then I may have to worry about that. I doubt I would ever post here anonymously at all, but the name I sign on petitions and ballots, is my own, thank you. I couldn't keep my views a secret by not signing them, all those visits to Kucinich's site alone must give me away. :-)

A response NN 29.Dec.2003 14:44

Aunt Sam

Nice site at  http://www.pacificsites.com/~lakenews/joescorner.shtml

1. Joe has a history of harrassment. In fact there is a web page dedicated to it. My coming undone on him eventually set the record straight. The above link is to a news sight taht he so proudly claims he was published in. Joe is more ego driven that informational. If anyone read down a couple of posts that was new to the sight they would have probably quickly seen that my response was out of the ordinary.

2. The debate of free speech is an extremely important one and whether or not you realize it that is what this debate comes down to. I am proud to say that most of us are for keeping up free speech. We are regular contributors to the site, we use it on a daily basis, and so we are known: Mark Twain, George Orwell, etc, etc... We do not get paid, or ego's are not invested in attribution to our ideas, the necessity of getting America out of the hole it is in has preepted these childish corporate games of masogyny.

3. You are playing a head game with us NN and anyone who chooses to read your previos post on the issue will easily see this. Go ahead and include you phone number. I am sure curageous Joe would be happy to call you to commiserate about teh site dedicated to his harrassment.

4. The declaration of independence wasn't worth the paper it was signed on anyway. They were so busy inslaving Native Americans and Africans that they were more commonly known to be adled of the head to term it Indepence they were offering. For you to compare our work that we are doing to such a highly known piece of drivel actually reflects in your heart how important you think this site can be and is.

5. I am proud of my psuedonym and I have no problem saying- hey! I didn't write that! People would know I hadn't and they would say- oh that was uncool. It is so basic. If I change my moniker all I have to say is used to be known as Aunt sam. It is not hard to do. You head game is that you do not identify what it was you just make refernece to someone else stealing your initials. All you have to do at this point is go back and take responsibility for what you have or have not previously said in this debate by highlighting and repasting it. If you chose to not do so you are in danger of being seen more as a nut who wants to play head games. You might then have your opinion discounted by the majority of readers.

6. Especially becuase in one of those last posts you refeer to stealing the Indymedia Editorial Staff moniker. If you don't volunteer on Indy Eddy then you can't use that, besides theis would be a descion they would talk about for months before implementing it. Of course it will get composted that one moniker you can't use. Wow, I guess that would mean I should now give you my real name and my phone number. Nope sorry again, you would have to show up to the meetings and do some real work first.

7. I like my moniker girls, boy, and tranies, I hope you like yours, too!

Now about the topic of free speech if I yell virus in an internet chat room is it against the law?

This topic is moot 29.Dec.2003 16:08

pdx indy volunteer

no one has made any compelling argument why the portland indymedia website should only allow posts from people who aren't "anonymous".

nothing will be changing. please continue to post with whatever name you'd like.

mark twain 30.Dec.2003 03:55

post it

NN: about forty posts ago, you completely misunderstood my post about mark twain; i wasn't quoting samuel clemens, nor did i imply that in any way. the assertion had been made that no credible journalist or newspaper allows for anonymous bylines; apparently, like everything else in the world around you, i see you didn't get it. the point is that samuel clemens, socio-political satirist extraordinaire, published under a pen name; and his accounts, then and now, which were widely published in the periodical media of the day, are extremely relevant, full of integrity, research, wit, courage, insight and insightful commentary on american culture at that time.

but mostly, i just wanted to get in on this epic, end-of-the-year thread, again, not argue with lower life forms.

the evolution (sic) will not be televised