The Rochester.Indymedia.org newswire works on the principle of open publishing, an essential element of the Indymedia project that allows anyone to instantaneously self-publish their work on a globally accessible web site.
The newswire encouraged people to become the media by posting their articles, analysis, videos, audio clips and artwork directly to the web site. However, in today's world of social media and the ability to instantly self-publish, what was once a revolutionary idea is now common place. (When Indymedia started in 1999, there was no social media and very limited self-publishing.) At best, we get a contributor once every few months to post on the newswire. At the worst, hundreds of pages of spam.
We came to this decision after we had repeated spam posted to our website that caused difficulty with the website's functioning. Please contact us about getting an account. We will still have open publishing and keep our site as nonrestrictive and accessible as possible.
Also, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. As before, we will continue to be Rochester's grassroots news and education site. Thank you for your continued support and remember, "Don't hate the media, be the media!"
While Indymedia reserves the right to develop sections of the site that provide edited articles, there is no editorial collective that edits articles posted to the newswire section. The Rochester IMC editorial collective keeps an eye on the newswire to keep track of what is being posted and to apply basic editorial guidelines to keep the newswire free of spam and duplicate postings.
All articles moved from the front of the newswire will continue to remain publicly accessible through the newswire home page and the "hidden articles" area of the site.
If you disagree with the content of a particular article that someone has posted on Indymedia, you may comment on the article through the "add your own comments" link at the bottom of each post. For more information on open publishing, try Matthew Arnison's excellent essay. http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~matthewa/catk/openpub.html
II. Guidelines for Hiding, Editing and Deleting Posts Guidelines for Hiding Posts
The following are types of situations and posts which may be hidden by the R- IMC Collective, along with guidelines for determining what should be hidden.
•Duplicate Posts - if a single post is duplicated during a relatively short time period, all duplicate posts may be hidden. In determining duplicate posts it should be understood that it may be appropriate to repost information in order to bring information to the attention of website visitors after a reasonable amount of time has elapsed since it was first posted.
•Threats and Intimidation-the IMC newswire is not intended to be a forum for primarily publicizing hate nor for making direct threats against individuals, groups or classes of people. The IMC recognizes that such speech can be harmful in and of itself and may create at atmosphere in which physical action becomes more likely. In any post under consideration the threatening speech should be weighed against other ideas or expression in the post. If the majority of the post nonetheless is intended to contribute to discourse or debate, then the issue of hiding it should be considered very carefully.
•Flooding or Spamming of Posts - this is when a single individual posts multiple times in a short period in a manner that indicates that the poster's purpose is to flood the newswire or push other posts off the front page of the IMC website, which typically only contains ten to twenty of the most recent posts. This type of posting behavior can only truly be identified after several occurrences, and depends heavily on the amount of volume of posts. It can be difficult to stop because posters can change screen names at a whim. Therefore the utmost care must be taken to make sure that only posts that are made by a known "spammer" are hidden.
•Technically flawed or Technically malicious posts
•Commercial Solicitation - the Newswire is not intended to be used for commercial purposes, therefore commercial solicitations and advertisements for commercial products should be hidden.
•Impersonation of Individuals and/or groups- Newswire items will be hidden if it can be established that the post authorship deliberately impersonates a group or individual.
•Content Empty Posts
•Deliberately misleading or false statements
Guidelines for Editing and Deleting Posts
The following types of posts may be edited or have text deleted by the R-IMC Editorial Collective.
•Illegal Speech - very few kinds of speech are considered illegal in the US, however those that are must be dealt with seriously. One example of such speech is a threat against the US president. The appearance of such speech on the IMC website can bring unwanted and unnecessary scrutiny and harassment from police and the government. Any conceivable benefit or contribution such speech might make is far outweighed by the threat it presents to the health and existence of the IMC.
•Direct Threats — These constitute direct threats on specific people or small, easily identifiable groups of people. The purpose behind editing or deleting such posts is to not feed into the violence threatened.
III. Procedure for Hiding, Editing or Deleting Posts
The R-IMC Collective shall rely upon the IMC website editor or editorial group to monitor the Newswire and alert the IMC volunteers when inappropriate posts appear. Additionally, any IMC volunteer, member or website visitor may call attention to a post believed to be inappropriate by e-mailing the Rochester IMC editorial list at firstname.lastname@example.org
When the Editorial collective is made aware of posts that should be hidden, it should make a reasonable attempt must be made to contact the author of the post in question and to explain the IMC's appropriate use policy, asking for cooperation and compliance. In the event that a post is made anonymously, or no valid e-mail address is posted, then no effort can reasonably take place to contact the author. If after attempting contact with an author posting inappropriately the Editorial Collective is unable to reach a resolution with that poster, the Collective may hide any of that author's posts as they deem necessary, according to this policy. The Collective may instruct the website editor or editorial group to hide future posts from such an author.
Whenever a post is hidden a comment from the Editorial Collective explaining whey the post was hidden should be added to the hidden post.
Editing and Deleting Posts
Only posts which pose an immediate threat to the welfare of the IMC and the IMC website may be edited or deleted. Because of this, the editor or editorial group may, at their discretion, hide or edit a post if they believe it inappropriate according to the guidelines of posts that may be edited or deleted. Whenever such a post is hidden or edited, the editors must immediately inform the IMC General e-mail list of the action and the rationale for the action.
If a post is edited, a comment must be added to the post explaining why it was edited. If a post is deleted then there should be no record of it in the IMC website and website database.