The draft article stated, "what has never been openly stated before is that the CMS system we use has a number of anti-abuse measures which include the ability to monitor for particular IP addresses and log their behaviour." The draft goes on to say, "site admins believed that they would never be able to gain the trust of posters, if the range of anti-abuse measures were made public. As is often the case, once a body has failed to be completely open about something, it becomes 'the elephant in the room' and so a situation was created where the new and current admins were actively blocked from bringing these measures into the open. The stalemate continued until now, with site admins proposing a new approach of coming clean about the measures that are in place, and others in the collective blocking this."
Prophetically, that stalemate over coming clean about the IP logging meant that no consensus was possible on publishing the article. There was no way that the information about the governments disinfo campaign could be published without revealing that indymedia had been lying about IP logs. Apparently some suggested it could be published via a different alt media outlet while leaving out the info about indymedia but the story would have been weak without the evidence gathered by indymedia admins.
The impasse remained but then the draft article was leaked by a disgruntled admin using the name 'indyleaks'. The posts were repeatedly hidden from the indymedia sites it was posted to and a filter set up on IMC UK to automatically hide it whenever posted.
There remains no consensus about publishing the article which includes a frank admission that indymedia has misled its user since 2003. However the lack of consensus is now a moot point since SchNEWS has ran the story and Birmingham IMC has published the 303 gateway article as a feature on it's own site.
Both the story about the government running a disinfo campaign via indymedia, and the story that indymedia UK has been hiding the truth about IP logging for all these years, that is big news for activists at a time when trust is already in short supply.
As the article says "continuing to gloss over the reality in a misleading way was detrimental to Indymedia UK, and that there was no small likelihood that at some stage we could be outed." Now that the truth is out, lets hope indymedia can recover from the damage to its credibility and move on to become more open and honest with its users.
Looking in the archives of their respective moderation lists we can see the excuses given for these acts of censorship. The anonymous moderator at Northern states, "this article does not have the consensus of the network to publish". ( http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-northern-moderation/2011-January/0125-xh.html)
Meanwhile the London moderator, Startx, gives the laughably circular justification, "repost of imc uk article" despite the fact that this was a new version of the article written to address the objections of the London collective and that attempts to post the original article on the IMC-UK newswire had been persistently frustrated by a filter set up by another London moderator which automatically hid the lot.
The censorship of the news about police use of indymedia has not been restricted to just moderators in Northern and London but some apparently more sane moderators did voice some concerns. Owen asked whether indymedia was "now in the business of information control rather than open publishing?" after a moderator using the pseudo name FTP reported that he had hidden a number of articles because they merely linked to the SchNEWS piece based on the article 'which is subject to blocks'. ( http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-moderation/2011-January/0123-kl.html)
Owen replied, "That's not a valid reason for hiding. Schnews have published a story. Someone proposed making a feature out of it. The proposal to make a feature about it was blocked.
"None of that is a justification for hiding a newswire post. You can block a story from being made into a feature, but you cannot block *users* from publishing on the *newswire* unless they have breached the editorial guidelines."
"Unless I've missed something and we're now in the business of information
control rather than open publishing? Do those articles breach the guidelines in some way?"
He concluded, "I'm upset that we as a collective are exacerbating the loss of trust some
users will feel after reading this story, by trying to censor it when it's already out there."
To sum up, since at least June last year, people within indymedia in the UK have individually and collectively worked to prevent news of widespread abuse of the indymedia site by police. Those attempts at censorship are still ongoing. Something has clearly gone very wrong within indymedia.
For more on this issue see http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/01/472618.html