Introduction

The Open Publishing Newswire is an essential aspect of the Indymedia project. It was set-up to provide a globally accessible space for anyone to quickly self-publish breaking news, articles, commentary, digital photos and audio.

Indymedia NYC itself is composed of five working groups. From these five all-volunteer groups, people volunteer to moderate the newswire. Presently, moderating requires at least 3 hours a day, by any given moderator.

In the last year and a half, the NYC IMC Open Publishing Newswire has been besieged with neo-nazi postings, and other items and commentary which are far away from what the Newswire is meant to be: A vital space of progressive and radical breaking news, commentary, articles, and announcements.

There are no easy or perfect solutions to moderating an open newswire, rich with a healthy democracy of views.

We have consensed on the following guidelines to help us decide what postings are appropriate and what are not. We believe that these guidelines will help to make the moderating process a clearer one for IMC volunteers, for anyone who self-publishes, and finally an unencumbered, useful and open newswire for readers worldwide.

We especially encourage individuals to publish:

- Well researched, timely articles
- Eyewitness accounts of progressive actions and demonstrations
- Coverage of New York City metro area issues
- Media analysis
- Investigative reports exposing injustice
- Stories on events affecting underrepresented groups
- Media produced from within underrepresented groups
- Local stories with national or global significance
- Stories on people or projects working towards social and economic justice
- Original, underreported stories of local, regional, national, or global importance.

When May A Post Be Hidden?

An "open publishing" system is founded, fundamentally, on trust. The editors of and participants in this project trust that other participants will use the newswire to publish news, or, at the least, intelligent and insightful commentary. But as New York Indymedia?s popularity has grown, so has the abuse of our open publishing system. Some of the abuse seems to be juvenile in nature; some it amounts to a deliberate attempt to destroy the project. What?s more, an unsystematic and scattershot moderation policy may have confused other readers, who might not be aware of what constitutes abuse and what constitutes news.

The New York IMC editorial collective, in order to maintain the integrity of the newswire and the media commons it creates for our community of participants, may "hide" posts to the Newswire when the content disregards the guidelines that have been put in place (see below).

We?d like to remind everyone that hidden articles are not deleted from the site. All content posted to the newswire can be accessed through the administrative interface, where hidden posts can be viewed.

While we try to avoid hiding posts as much as possible, the following types of items will merit close scrutiny and may be hidden:

- Spam posting; i.e., post deliberately designed to disrupt the newswire and its basic ability to function. These are posts that are deemed to be devoid of content or analysis and appear to be published with the sole purpose of disruption. An example of this kind of post, titled "Schummer Comes Out," can be found here.
- Posts the author has requested hidden.
- Posts which are obviously incorrect or misleading. This includes attempts to spread dis-information or to impersonate another individual. For example, a poster once posted a cartoon under the name ?Latuff? when in fact it was drawn by another artist. This post can be seen here.
- Posts that contain generalized and negative assertions about any race, nation, creed, class, ethnic group, sexual orientation, etc.
- Posts that advocate the mass physical elimination of a specific race, nation, creed, class, ethnic group, sexual orientation, etc, or that link to websites that advocate the same. The following story, for example, contained a link to a neo-Nazi website and was accordingly deleted. That said, while we deeply abhor both racism and anti-Semitism, such opposition does not automatically entail the complete or partial acceptance of the national agenda of any particular state.
- Posts that treat the newswire as a personal ?bulletin board? with non-political content directed at one or another newswire participants.
- Unreadable formats (i.e. photos posted as text)
- Posts titled "test."
- Duplicate posts (including duplicate photographs)
- Advertising of products or for-profit services.
- Pornography, excepting sexually explicit satire.

Within the above guidelines, we welcome posts that disagree with the opinions held by the editors of this website.

Review

Every six months, the New York IMC collective will review this policy, as well as a sampling of posts hidden during the previous six months. We would also like to emphasize that if any collective member disagrees with the hiding of any post, he or she may contact the editorial listserve or request to discuss the matter at a General Meeting.

Contacting Us

Members of the New York Indymedia collective do their best to moderate the newswire in the manner described above. However, sometimes we miss something, and sometimes we make mistakes. We welcome anyone to email the web list if they have a comment our question about newswire moderation:

imc-nyc-web [at] lists.indymedia.org

IMC NYC - be the media