Denouement

And now the denouement.

Indymedia UK has decided to create a third category of posts, disputed posts.

A disputed post is one over which the collective is clearly deadlocked, with at least one editor recommending hiding and at least one editor against hiding. Going to the post instead presents a page with the following disclaimer: “Disputed Article — The UK Indymedia collective does not have consensus on the status of this article; one or more admins would like it hidden, while one or more would like it displayed normally.”

Then follows a link from which you can see — but cannot comment on — the disputed post.

How it looks.

Under the circumstances, I think that this is a good second-best solution, in that it indicates that the Indymedia UK collective has marked the anti-Semitic post out for a special sort of quarantine, rather than simply treating it as if it were as valid as any other post. If Indymedia UK continues to do the same for Atzmon’s writings, it’s not an unbearably bad outcome.

The best solution of course would be for the Indymedia movement — and the Palestinian Solidarity movement in general — to rid itself from anti-Semites of the Atzmon style altogether. But this proved impossible for such a short meeting.

Indymedia UK is to be thanked for dealing with a thankless topic, and for recognizing that their internal deadlock should not force the collective to leave a racially offensive post up unremarked upon.

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2 Responses to Denouement

  1. azvsas says:

    I don’t agree that this is the best outcome. If anything it is the worst outcome as it resolves nothing and clearly has strengthened the hands of ftp and his cronies.

    We saw that last night when the post in question, was heavily marked with ‘disputed’ on it such that it was difficult to read. Today it is difficult to read the ‘disputed’ logos!

    By all accounts at least one person has resigned but more importantly all the anti-Semitic posts are up, and actually the Hunters of Goliath article was not the worst – his Esther article where he validates revisionist historians is.

    One would expect IM to take a clear position in accordance with their guidelines. Instead process has gone to their brains.

  2. geniza says:

    I don’t claim that this is the best outcome; clearly the best outcome would have been for the editor in question to educate himself enough about the history of anti-semitic rhetoric to be able to recognize what the rest of us see quite clearly, at which point he would discover that he has been tilting at the wrong windmill all along.

    But one can’t legislate morality, and one can’t enforce wisdom. In the current Indymedia UK it was impossible to expect unanimous consensus on the banning of the anti-semitic Atzmon, and one could not expect Atzmon to be banned without such a consensus. Sad but a pragmatic reality.

    What those opposed to Atzmon did was demonstrate their deep displeasure with Atzmon’s post by creating a new purgatory especially for his posts, a collection of scarlet letters embroidered onto it and without the ability for his supporters — the Rizzos and the Spennatos — to lionize him in the comments. Although I would prefer the post gone completely, I do not consider this outcome so terrible given the constraints under which it was made.

    My stance all along was that Indymedia UK needed a third category between hidden and displayed, and while again I would have preferred posts in that category to be hidden, being plainly institutionally disparaged the way Atzmon’s post now again is not the worst compromise. It sends the message that Indymedia UK does indeed see anti-semitism in Atzmon’s writings, even if not unanimously.

    I also don’t expect Indymedia UK to go back and hide previous posts from Atzmon, but I would expect new posts from Atzmon in the future to go straight into the land of the scarlet letter.

    Perfect solution? No. The best solution that could be obtained barring the enlightenment of Atzmon’s support? Probably.

    The fact that this is quite clearly a defeat for Atzmon/Rizzo/Spennato is demonstrated by their complete silence on the topic. Another indication is that Rizzo’s presumably self-penned plea for what amounts to a “sign my Facebook page friends list” was hidden on Indymedia UK.

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