According to posts on the Sheffield and Birmingham MIR subsites, the indymedia network will split (or 'fork' as they prefer to refer to it), with the old guard continuing with the MIR site but no longer allowed to refer to it as IMC UK. Meanwhile a new site will be launched to aggregates content from all the IMC regions and a number of other alt media sites. This will satisfy the demands for visibility from non MIR indymedia sites in the UK and finally implement an agreement apparently made at network level four years ago. However it seems that the agreement is that the new site will not carry the indymedia name which maybe a good thing with the feelings of betrayal that name now represents.
But is it accurate to attach feelings of betrayal only to those who administer the MIR site? It is clear that admins have been hiding their use of IP logging tools since MIR was introduced in 2003. Many of the people now running the independent regional sites will have been IMC UK admins before their collectives grew frustrated and ditched MIR in favor of autonomy with their own websites. They must all have known and engaged in a conspiracy of silence to hid the truth from their users.
How can any of them be trusted now? That's the fundamental issue here, the massive betrayal of trust and abuse of power used to hide this information all this time. The use and presence of these anti-abuse features within the content management system is no big deal, all publishing sites need something like this in order to protect the site from spam and other abuse. If they'd been honest and not repeatedly issued misleading statements about there being no IP logs then all would have been fine.
There have been proposals to publish as a IMC UK feature the article now posted on the Birmingham site but the proposal is being blocked by IMC London who are insisting that the article must clarify that the IP logging referred to is not a feature of the London site or any of the sites which operate independently of the centralised MIR hosting. Some of the MIR admins seemed unhappy with MIR taking one for the team so would not accept Londons amendments. As a result, Birmingham IMC has grown impatient with waiting for consensus and published the article unamended.
With silence from IMC UK, users have tried to post on the issue, including posting the Schnews article itself. Their attempts have been frustrated as admins instantly hide their posts. The continued censorships has the admins fighting it out on their lists, agonizing over continuing the pretense or officially coming clean.
The question for us is what do we do about it? There is little point of trying to discuss it on the indymedia site as history shows that murmurings of discontent are hidden as being in breech of publishing guidelines. Instead we must raise this at the next meetings of our various groups, regardless of how irrelevant it might seem to our current campaigns or priorities. Indymedia has been the trusted 'voice' of all of us for a long time but we have to reassess our assumptions and reliance in the light of the news that those who run the site have been lying to us.
watching in horror
Sheffield IMC | 14-12-2010 13:23
Advocating Domestic Extremism - Cops on Indymedia - An Exposé
Birmingham IMC | 22.01.2011 16:02
Gateway 303: Police Disinformation on UK Indymedia
Sheffield Indymedia | 22-01-2011 22:35