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Following the editorial process of Indymedia Ireland

category national | indymedia ireland | opinion/analysis author Monday October 04, 2004 00:33author by pc - Indymedia Ireland Report this post to the editors

Uncover Please

A new login has been created for the Admin Page which allows you to see (but not edit) the administration of Indymedia Ireland. Just enter in the text boxes

Editor: uncover
Password: please

and click login and you will now be able to view the site via the usual newswire, latest comments and events links but with the [hidden] posts marked in red.

These hidden posts were either in breach of editorial guidelines or moved/collated to the relevant sections of the site, based on the these guidelines, which are continously reviewed.

(You will also be able to see new features being worked on, which you can then contribute to by emailing ../imc-ireland-editorial@lists.indymedia.org)

A record of all editorial actions, which editor performed the action and the reason for it, are sent to the newswire mailing list which anybody can join. After subscribing, you can then go through the archives of the list to see all past editorial actions. So if you want to keep an eye on the evil censorships of the imc-cabal, you know what to do. Contact page.

If you have any questions about hidden posts email the editorial list at ../imc-ireland-editorial@lists.indymedia.org. *note* Because of the voluntary nature of the site there may be a delay in getting back to.

You can reference the hidden post you see on the newswire by taking note of the story's and/or comment's number in the address bar and finding that number on the imc-ireland-newswire list.

The main lists that are used to create the site are imc-ireland@lists.indymedia.org and ../imc-ireland-editorial@lists.indymedia.org. If you subscribe to them, lurk or get involved in discussions, then you can begin to learn how the site works and contribute your own ideas and passion.

author by Eoin Dubskypublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 08:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a great initiative, well done!! People wondering how much stuff is hidden, and what exactly, can go through the entire database of newswire articles and comments.

Suggestion: If there were a little field where editors would say what the problem was (a select drop-down box of editorial guidelines perhaps?) then we could also tell quickly *why* things are being hidden. Someone could then run queries against the database to show things like: "Number of hidden *discriminatory or hateful posts* filed under *EU*" or something similar.

Again, great work!

(P.S. If this text is italics or this text is bold then fine... but make sure to filter out html tags like *table* -- or worse -- which could mess up the layout of the website.)

author by Joepublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pretty impressive, I even found myself outraged when I spotted articles I liked that had been hidden! Could probably do with a 'why' field as I think I worked it out in most cases but would be useful to have this confirmed. Also might be a good idea to have a 'comment on the hiding of this article' button so that outraged of Tunbridge- Wells could send angry mails to the editoral list.

BTW tried to post this while logged in as uncover, lets see if that works, if it does it may need to be fixed.

author by hpublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So all we need to do to comment on hiden articles is sign in and go ... excellant.

Also with the advent of Jpeg virus's will you be scanning all the photos and the like that get uploaded to this site?

author by seedotpublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 13:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great work pc on getting this together - as per usual the functionality has been available for a while and nobody bothered telling anyone.

Comments on the comments:

Eoin, I have no idea what your ps is about and think the drop down box is completely unworkable and a bad idea. If someone hides they should type their reason and the guidelines are too fluid for a dropdown.

Joe - yeah the 'reason why' field might be worthwhile, and is probably feasible since an editor fills this in when doing a delete. However I would be nervous that it would result in a lot of comments on the same issue to the list - which is not necessarily a bad thing but they are unlikely to be replied to more than once (that whole volunteer thing). Maybe put a link to ed guidelines instead which should contain instructions on how to get the reason and how to comment. People contesting a decision should have to work too, as well as the volunteer editors.

On the posting, if i recall correctly, you can post the same as anybody else but cannot use html the way editors normally can - i haven't tried posting to a hidden article and am not sure whether this is a good or bad thing (i.e. should debates continue after a thread is hidden and would the hidden area become a new, shadow site, with a large number of users staying logged in by default?). What were your reasons for saying posting should be disabled?

author by Joepublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 13:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ethics didn't allow me to try it out but it looks as if posting as uncover allows you to set the time your comment was posted. So for instance you could set the time as just before an existing comment and post 'Here comes an asshole'. But maybe its just me who thinks like that.

Otherwise its probably not an issue (and maybe this is disabled). If anything the continuation of pointless rants in the hidden section might be otherwise useful as it would keep them off the visible site!

I see what you mean though about the reasons thing it could leave the heroic volunteers with even more work in needing to answer mail. But from that point of you Eoins suggestion of a pull down tab might be useful if it just had 'point 6 of guidelines, point 7 of guidelines etc'.

author by padraic - Indymedia Ireland, editorpublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 15:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

yeah my only worry is that rascists, fascists etc could post stories happily knowing that even if they're hidden that they'll still be able to get their message accross. I wonder could we have another way of hiding these posts?

author by Mikepublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 16:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On Westerm Mass IMC where I am an editor we have both "why" and "by whom" (which editor).

Having a "why" field can be very useful in defusing arguments since the editor doing the hiding won't hide something without a reason and anybody questioning the matter can see what the violation of rules was.

In our experience, being prompt hding material in violation of the rules and being clear about why has meant that we end up having to hide very little.

author by .:. fraternitépublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 16:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

on my collective's site (where I'm bone idle and haven't translated for weeks) we edit nothing. its the 4th busiest indymedia site.
the only thing that gets moved to hidden list is duplicate postings (comments or articles) and sustained porn / pop-up links and naturally there are trolls and organised systematic disruption happens, and ISPs get blocked but a defence of such a system is that you see a "full picture", fascists and racists dont post every day no more than disident bolsheviks or mouthpieces for arabic militancy post every day. Open publishing is a media of internal communication within a wider community as well as all those other things they tell you about on the "who we are what we do" page.
So the main fare is the feature articles. thats where it happens. right hand column or newswire reflects the "background noise" which accompany anything which interests or provokes a section of the wider community. Somedays its depressing to see what gets written, some days it seems like a failure of the project, then later it seems like one of the truest records and archives yet, with all those in-jokes and behind the scenes bitching out in the open and less cryptic with time. Somedays nothing gets published, and those boring days the collective itself airs its prejudices.

things that seem to work to keep the environment useful for everyone-

mutual respect.
fairly consistent names.
critical reading ability.
and a sense of humour / irony.

author by seedot - avoiding paid work for the daypublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 16:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just a clarification - both these are submitted as part of the deletion and are in the email - so you can see them but its more work. (have to look at lists).

Mike, I notice the dada ratings system isn't really used in the wmass site except to generate features - is this the case? Do other users promote stories? We got a request for ratings in Oscailt and are still thinking.

re .:. - what is your opinion on the use of punctuation? Does the site really function with no editorial - sites like nigeria have died from this.

author by brkopublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 17:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I will never read indymedia with out uncover/please, ever again. Much better. Loads better. Brilliant.

author by Joepublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 17:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While the overall impact of viewing the hidden stuff leaves one feeling a little dirty I can see why 99% of it is hidden. There are some rather odd decisions in there though, not least the hiding of 'Toms' last comment in the thread I was replying to him on. I think it does show a need for a 'why' and maybe 'who' box as unless you guys know something I don't I'm not clear why its been hidden.

author by imcerpublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 17:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

we were editing this out of his stuff for the last while - but he hasn't taken the hint - and we agreed straight deletions until he does -

author by .:.publication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 18:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

punctuation, syntax, the normal rules of written english (or whatever language) assist others understand what you think, or feel, but in this interactive media, a lot of the time, users just type.

and that includes typing mistakes.
and that excludes, parsed phrases.

It would be shameful if a feature article which is more often than not the fruit of collective labour, was filled with spelling errors and didn't have a comma.
But the language many people use in the comment fields is not formal, it is closer to the spoken word. Over on ours, we see a lot of comments made in SMS txt abreviations, and because it's a multilingual site, a lot of comments and a few articles which are themselves written in hybrid languages or phonetically.

Deletions happen as well for "spoiling the aesthetics of the page". An example of which is when someone just hits the cut and paste and repeats a taunt a hundred times, or if they leave big huge gaps, (it's probable those gaps are meant to communicate something, but it's not clear, therefore the "page effect" is lost. We're interested in how textual communication alters in this new media. So far not a single indymedia site has developed which uses illustrations to support text in a "normal print format". That's un-surprising, because reading text on a screen is not the same as on a page. Nuances, humour, all the rest have to be communicated in other ways.
Take as an example the use of "_underscore_" as a textual way of expressing "in inverted commas". One can almost imagine the user at their little interactive "add your comment box" or "publish your article now" waving their fingers in the air, like some terrible schoolteacher. Or thinking _how_ do I make that word more important or more ironic than the last?
I believe most write here as they speak. complete with comic voices, and hence the variety of character names. Which is why three thousand word articles get no readers.
You love punctuation and parsing and stuff don't you? It doesn't occur in spoken language.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 19:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

QUOTE: Take as an example the use of "_underscore_" as a textual way of expressing "in inverted commas".

No. Completely wrong. When people want to use inverted commas in written text all they have to do is type a set of inverted commas.

When they wish to emphasise a word, not to question its validity. This originate from Usenet usage where the ASCII character set did not provide underscored letters, hence the underscores had to pre- and postfix the word being emphasised.

If I write about your "text" you should assume I am being snarky or questioning, but if I write about your _text_ in a long screed then you should direct your attention away from some other concept that is also being discussed and focus on the text again.

The underscore is also commonly used (according to the _Chicago Manual of Style_ and other standard reference works to delineate proper titles of works.

author by pcpublication date Thu Sep 30, 2004 20:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

glad to see a positive response to this... it came from seeing lots of people questioning editorial on the site rather then through the mailing list... to be honest i never knew /admin.php existed until c + v knocked up the uncover login..., it again shows up the cleverness of this code , i reckon there will be alot more questioning of editorial decisions but hopefully we'll get more editors out of that aswell .... editors edit whenever they happen to be on the site and see something that needs fixing....

a faq and clear links to this feature is on its way, its pretty much done but not solidified...

just to be clear again the mailing list http://lists.indymedia.org/mailman/listinfo/imc-ireland-newswire

has the who and why which you can either subscribe to and have coming into your own mailbox (bewarned its lots of mail everyday) or simple click through the links to the archive via your brower... if your that concerned by something you'll take the few extra clicks... btw if you ever wondering about editorial guidelines just stick dalek in the search engine and they'll be the first story, thats what I always do when im trying to find that page.

author by Ezetzpublication date Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My question is: Why do posts have to be hidden? I do not think it is right to apply censorship. Indymedia.euskalerria doesn't do censorship, so, yeah, you get a lot of crap from Spanish cops and the like, but at least you won't have possible valuable posts censored, plus, as per what they go by in that Indymedia, we have enough wits and answers to reply back to them, or don't we?

author by TTpublication date Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As we can all now see, there is a lot of deeply offensive stuff posted, most of which is hidden fairly quickly. Stuff like straighforward abuse, racist insults and so on, to which there is no point in replying to as the people who post those comments are not interested in genuine debate.
If that junk was not hidden the site would be almost unreadable, and people would not bother to come here.

author by Piotrpublication date Mon Oct 04, 2004 22:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hopefully the denial of access is just temporary?

author by pcpublication date Mon Oct 04, 2004 22:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

yeah just fixing the time posting thing as mentioned above it'll back in a day or two... :)

author by seedotpublication date Tue Oct 05, 2004 10:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

With the ability to post to hidden articles but without the ability to edit time of comment.

author by curiouspublication date Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why has the debate about punk been removed? That was quite interesting.

author by Jerpublication date Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It was not interesting. It was a pile of crap

author by curiouspublication date Wed Oct 06, 2004 13:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So who is the judge?

author by Raypublication date Wed Oct 06, 2004 13:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not only was it uninteresting, it was not news. If you disagree, disagree on the editorial lists, not here.

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