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Sheffield IMC Newswire Moderation Debate

This page has be created to track the long debate about this post: images from sheffield. This debate has also been mentioned on UkModerationDiscussion. See also SheffieldHiddenPosts.

This page so far only has about a third of the debate on it.... it is a work in progress.... frown, sad smile


29th July 2003 14:43

Newswire article posted by Mozaz.

29th July 2003 19:19

Chris posted a comment to the article:

Spamming the newswire...

Mozaz have you ever read the editorial guidelines?


30th Jul 2003 14:59

Steve hid the post and posted an email to the list about this.

OK I took off another article which was just 3 images of a painted fence somewhere (probably Sheffield). There is no context or written explanation for these.


To me this doesn't qualify as news - by the same logic I could take photos of brick walls and describe at as valid middle class art, part of the culture etc. But maybe some will disagree so take a look.

I also don't think one class should have preferential treatment over another when it comes to reporting news. That is to say that just because something has some connection to the working class that makes it more news worthy than something that has not.

I'd also recommend taking a look at some of the stuff that get's hidden by UK Indymedia for comparison. (do you need an account for that?)

For now it is off the newswire. It can go back at any time if people think this needs reporting but I think if so there should be some discussion first coz for me it's definitely not news and be happy to argue the case.

30th July 2003 12:44

Mozaz posted a follow-up comment to the article:

http://indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/sheffield/2003/07/274189.html here you will find more work of the same.. now in consideration is this news.. we could have this mass-debate for weeks i feel.. but my point is this.. i have sparyed lots of walls here in sheffield a lot of my friends are the same working class people who on a sunady afternoon take over this grey-mono culture and add colour.. for me this art form is an expression of the urban-paranoia isolation - desperation - poverty and so forth our class feel and suffer on a daily basis.. we cannot afford oilpaints, canvas, renting an art studio etc.. for people like myself the walls of this urban landscape are our means of self expression.. so why when i post images of the same nature being told i'm fucking spamming the newswire etc.. take into consideration this http://indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/sheffield/2003/07/273815.html now is this news.. the working class are being shafted in this city of sheffield and slowly we are finding ourself in ghettos, a conversation i had this morning with friends.. the middle class of this city would be happy to place down our spray cans.. happy to stay in our ghettos of lowedges etc.. while the city centre become the playground.. the city centre that has been built on the labour of the very people who are now finding themselves excluded.. i'm an artist and it has liberated myself from the ghettos of working class / i chose to live in lowedges not because of poverty.. because i feel more at home there than say in nether edge or indeed the city centre of sheffield.. it was the middle class who started administrating this class war.. for me i see them as irrelevance and prepared to work with them for the emancipation of human beings no matter their status.. we will see who is truly on our side come the barracades etc.. for now, lets get on with the task in hand fighting the beast that we call capitalism not each other.. i'm 38 on friday and have grown fucking tired of this class war.. this post was not intended as spam or self promotion.. no, these images were posted because there good images and secondly theyre an expression of working class culture and in my thoughts this is news.. as often our self expression on this scale is consdered by the state as vandalism while the likes of picasso are treated by the established order of the middle class as non-meaningful art.. now his work sells for thousands etc.. david bomberg ( http://images.google.com/images?q=david+bomberg+&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search) was doing the same shit in 1938 he was to some extent part of the futurist movement.. now we go onto what is art.. another debate for another day..

30th July 2003 13:52

Chris posted a further comment:

OK, OK, I'm sorry!

30.07.2003 13:52 Mozaz said:

lets get on with the task in hand fighting the beast that we call capitalism not each other..

Yep, good point, I'm sorry about the title of my comment above, please accept my appologies.

One tip for the future, if you tick 'Culture' when you submit things like this then they will show up in the Culture section of the site...

I think that graffiti is on-topic for the culture section of Indymedia, and if people want to look at more stuff I just found this great site:

Art Crimes : The Writing on the Wall http://www.graffiti.org/

It has loads of photos from around the world and a section of ant-war graffiti:


30th July 2003 14:28

Bill posted to the list:

however, we need to be very clear about what we're doing and maybe even giving the individual notice of where he's breached editorial guidelines - he seems to argue better when provoked, i must say.

for example, we have this post here - http://indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/sheffield/2003/07/274941.html - which chris took him to task for over 'spamming' the newswire. i think that mozaz's rejoinder is pretty well argued drawing on previous examples and objective evidence - good effort, moz.

30th July 2003 14:49

Steve hid the article and posted to the list about it:

OK, I hid those posts mentioned before and also this one:


which was just some pictures of a painting somewhere, blatently not news. Mozaz put a response to Chris's comment here but it just seemed like nonsense to me.

And added this internal comment to the article:

30.07.2003 14:49 steve hide - despite the comment this blatently not news (again - yawn!!) - should we delete the pics to save server space?

Sometime on the 30-31 July 2003

Chris un-hid the article and since the list server was down didn't post to the list about it but added this internal comment:

server space is not an issue, I'm not sure that graffiti is off-topic for the culture section. also since the list server is down we can't have a debate about this so i have un-hidden it -- why don't we have the debate as comments to this post? -- Chris

31st July 2003 04:10

Steve posted to the list:




I understand (through Bill) that since removing this post Chris has reinstated this because the author phoned up Chris and gave him 'earache'. Not too sure of the accuracy of all this since it's third hand. Can you let us know Chris?

However for me this raises two seperate issues. First is what we would like the content of our site to be. Secondly is the process of removal/reinstatement. I will deal only with the latter here.

Although we have been planning to discuss process/decision making at a meeting in the near future since we are now being forced to act (by one person!) I think we need to establish a few things right now.

I would like to propose the following:

1. We use the UK guidelines (see below) for the time being - until such time we have met, discussed and agreed upon something different. Without some kind of shared ideas I can't see as we can do anything as a collective effort in regard of editing the web site.

2. That anyone who removes or reinstates an article (or is thinking of doing so) informs this list ASAP. And that this includes a reason as to why this was/will be done. As a collective we have to let each other know what we're doing - otherwise this is not going to be a collective effort and we will fragment as a group.

3. Newsworthy posts differ in their content from being obviously unsuitable material to right on the edge of acceptable/unacceptable.

For the former I suggest its OK for someone to remove something immediately (it can always go back). For the less obvious we propose the removal first giving a time limit for objections and comments. Those that are more obviously unsuitable have a shorter time limit than those where it is less obvious. However obviously such judgements are largely subjective. So I would say as a safety mechanism anyone can reply and extend the time limit if they feel that this post needs more time for discussion.

4. The above proposals are only for the time being to allow us to get on and work on the site. It is to be used only until we have had a full meeting to discuss and agree more something more permanent.

Lastly I want to say something about what has happened with the reinstatement of the above article where its author phoned one IMC person and asked/persuded/intimidated? that person to put it back up.

I think this way of resolving a decision has several problems and we should avoid such in the future.

Firstly the decision has not been made as part of the collective. If we want to remain as a collective we have to think and decide things together - however tiresome this may be at times.

Secondly I feel very unsure about asking the opinion of others outside the IMC collective at all about what to hide or not. They won't have put time and energy into thinking and discussing the issues and guidelines etc. But why should we need the opinion of outsiders anyway? Surely we are capable of deciding as a group what is and is not fit for news on our site.

If people want to contact us as IMC to complain or comment they do so through the channels we have set up, preferably to the email list or if not the mobile phone.

If we don't insist on this it is possible for someone to simply ring around different people until they get one to agree to do what they want. This biases decisions to be made in favour of our mates or those willing to threaten and intimidate us. And it hardly favours the term 'Independent'.

I would still like to see the above article removed and this one too:


I'm well aware of the behaviour of the author of these. For those who don't know he has been imprisoned several times for threatening and abusive behaviour and assault. (I've been attacked twice myself and had malicious night time calls on several occasions). However I hope everyone realises that it's very important that we don't make our decisions out of fear of reprisals.

Both of these articles transgress several guidelines below IMO, namely: non-news, advertising and disruptive. I can discuss this more tomorrow if necessary. But I would like to hear some arguments as to why these should stay too. Now I'm off to bed.

31 July 2003 13:20

Steve forwarded a message from Bill to the list:

atw wrote:


'>I would still like to see the above article removed and this one too:


i hear you steve but could you just make clearer on what grounds you would like these two posts removed and how they are qualitatively different to your postings of grafitti.

i'm not knocking your pix at all as they were viable news stories at the time - sharrow festival and a new piece of 'subvertising' - good stuff! it's difficult to know whether M's pix are new or old so we may have to think about giving him the benefit of the doubt on this occasion.

31st July 2003 13:16

Steve forwarded another email from Bill:

The Internal Comment for this article - http://indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/sheffield/2003/07/274941.html - which was hidden by Steve and then reinstated by Chris is this:

30.07.2003 14:49 steve hide - despite the comment this blatently not news (again - yawn!!) - should we delete the pics to save server space?

server space is not an issue, I'm not sure that graffiti is off-topic for the culture section. also since the list server is down we can't have a debate about this so i have un-hidden it -- why don't we have the debate as comments to this post? -- Chris

Because it is an internal debate for Sheff IMC. Having it as comments would just increase the amount of non news on our site.

I think if people are going to hide articles and then reinstate them, we're going to need better internal commentary than this - I've had to read it several times to work out who said what. Perhaps we should have a protocol date/time/name/action - reasons. A little like Steve has done above but laid out more formally e.g.

2003-07-30/14:49/steve/hide - blah

2003-07-30/15:49/chris/unhide - blah-blah

Furthermore, I don't think the Internal Comments section is the best place to debate whether a post is hidden/unhidden - many of the above comments should have first been aired to the list, I believe.

31st July 2003 20:02

Chris posted to the list:

I don't think that we should hide this post: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/sheffield/2003/07/274941.html

On Thu 31-Jul-2003 at 06:07:36PM +0100, Steve wrote: '>
'> I've explained at length why I think this should go but
'> no one has argued why it should stay. The list server
'> has now been working for 24 hours since it went back up.
'> If there are no reasons then we should remove it again.

As a comment to the above post I have said that 'I think that graffiti is on-topic for the culture section of Indymedia' and I still think that this is the case.

One thing that probably isn't apparent from reading the UK IMC editorial guidelines [1] is the way that the decisions about hiding stuff from the main UK IMC newswire (which also contains all Sheffield newswire posts) have been made on the features list [2] is different from the approach that you seem to be advocating.

For example in the last few days a post that attracted a load of comments [3] was proposed to be hidden because 'it isn't really news and the comments all seem to be tit-for-tat sectarian bollocks' [4] and this proposal had two replies [5] [6] saying it shouldn't be hidden and it ended up not being hidden [7] -- the list culture is one where by most things that it could be argued break the editorial guidelines are actually not hidden and only really out of order stuff is hidden, often just one person saying they think it is OK to leave it up results in it staying up.

Everyone who has an admin account and who can therefore hide things is supposed to be on the UK features list [2] -- what do you think about taking this discussion and future discussions about hiding things onto that list because all these items also show up on the UK front page newswire.

I think you are almost arguing for a newswire policy of having everything hidden by default and only showing thing that are approved. This is a model that some IMCs, like Germany [8] do have. There are other people and other IMCs in the UK that are in favour of this model and there have been list and irc discussions about this before and it's an item for the planned UK network meeting -- how do we feel about moderation b4 or after? [9]

'> If you're worried about Mozaz then just say it's not
'> your decision and he has to address complaints etc. to
'> this list and not you personally. After all we are a
'> collective.

I'm not worried about Mozaz and I don't consider myself to have been bullied or threatened by him.


[1] http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/static/editorial.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/mailman/listinfo/imc-uk-features

[3] http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/07/274905.html

[4] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-features/2003-July/004285.html

[5] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-features/2003-July/004287.html

[6] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-features/2003-July/004288.html

[7] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-features/2003-July/004290.html

[8] http://germany.indymedia.org/

[9] http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Local/UkNetworkMeetings
Topic revision: r4 - 25 Jan 2011, ChrisC
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