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Binghamton Independent Media Center is a grassroots organization committed to using media production and distribution as a tool for promoting social and economic justice. It is our goal to further the self-determination of people under-represented in media production and content, and to illuminate and analyze local and global issues that impact ecosystems, communities and individuals. We seek to identify and create positive models for a sustainable and equitable society free from the interests of profit driven media. Binghamton IMC is sponsored by the Center for Gender, Art, and Culture which is responsible for our financial management and is a mutual resource sharing organization.
In accordance with IMC-Binghamton's overall mission, the online Newswire is designed to empower individuals to become independent and civic journalists by providing a direct forum for presenting media, including text articles, audio and video recordings and photographs to the public via the Internet. People can also post comments to anything published. Within that general framework, we specifically encourage individuals to publish:
• Well-researched, accurate, timely articles
• Investigative reports exposing injustice
• Coverage of Binghamton and regional issues
• Stories on events affecting underrepresented groups
• Stories on issues ignored by for-profit media
• Stories on people or projects working towards social and economic justice
• Eyewitness accounts of progressive actions and demonstrations
• Media analysis
• Information on new forms of organizing and of technology that promote social justice
copy & paste from another source:
If an article from other sources is relevant we recommend posting the first paragraph, plus a link to the original article.
IMC-Binghamton editors reserve the right to hide images, video, articles and comments that:
• violate other people's rights or censors other people's free expression by discriminating against individuals based on nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual preference, etc., or promote organizations that so discriminate
• incite violence or represents a personal attack
• is spam
• insults, comments based on epithets, uncontrolled outbursts
• contains for-profit advertising
• is signed with a false name in an attempt to thus discredit a person/organization/group, or through its content to sabotage the real purpose of that person/organization/group or to mislead the reader
• are duplicates (we will keep the oldest post)
IMC-Binghamton editors reserve the right to delete images, video, articles and comments that:
• reveal personal information or endangers a person/group/organization through threats or other information
We reserve the right to revise this editorial policy if problems or concerns make it necessary to clarify or modify certain details.
If you have questions pertaining to the editorial policy or its moderation, write to: binghamtonbridge(AT)gmail.com
Policy On Anonymous Posting
THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY SINCE WE NOW ALLOW ANONYMOUS POSTING.
Let us first state that our organization exists because we agree with the spirit of Independent media. Any thriving democracy requires un-biased, un-filtered, truthful accounts of events - unencumbered by political or for-profit interests. Another way to put it is that indymedia provides a platform for people with smaller economic voices to be heard. Concurrent with that responsibility is the responsibility to the reader to provide accurate, authoritative and accountable reporting.
As the internet has evolved so must an internet organization.
It has been 10 years since the inception of Indymedia and since that time internet technologies and behaviors of its use have evolved. It's imperative that any organization providing an internet-based form of communication take a critical look at these internet trends and adjust policies as needed.
Consider this critique of Wikipedia - whose motto is - "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit."
On December 5, 2005 non-registered editors were prohibited from creating new articles.
"Widespread anonymity leads to a distinguishable problem, namely, the attractiveness of the project to people who merely want to cause trouble, or who want to undermine the project, or who want to change it into something that it is avowedly not – in other words, the troll problem.”
WARNING: IF YOU POST ANONYMOUSLY ANYONE CAN EDIT YOUR WORK AND POSSIBLY INSERT SPAM. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CREATE A LOGIN NAME AND USE THAT IF YOU ARE A REGULAR NEWS REPORTER. WE MAKE EVERY ATTEMPT TO CLEANSE THE SITE OF SPAM ON A DAILY BASIS BUT ANONYMOUS POSTING ENCOURAGES "TROLLS".
In addition to the troll problem, savvy internet users can manipulate online communities by posing as different anonymous users with the intent of praising, defending or creating the illusion of support for themselves or their issue.
(See Sockpuppetry) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_(Internet)
Anonymity, Pseudonymity or IP Address?: A Case for True Anonymity
In the case of investigative journalism or whistle-blowing, it's crucial that Indymedia provide a platform that protects a person from surveillance, retribution and censorship. In traditional journalism the writer assumes a code of ethics when dealing with sensitive issues, but on-line there are many ways to track a specific user. Unless the writer uses an internet masking technique or a public computer, the moment you connect to the internet a specific address is assigned to the device. This Internet Protocol (IP Address) is a unique identifier that contains information as to where it is on the network and a route indicating how it got there.
Consider this case where a man was arrested in Bristol, UK after police seized a Bristol Indymedia server and obtained the identity of the alleged offender through their IP address logs.
Now compare that series of events to an incident involving NYC Indymedia's ISP where a subpoena by the Justice Department turned up no evidence because NYC Indymedia was diligent by not logging IP addresses.
So in reality it makes no difference if someone posts anonymously or uses a pseudonym - your IP address will give you away.
Binghamton Indymedia is committed to not logging IP addresses and is pursuing the policies outlined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to achieve this end.
Barring any unforeseeable technical glitches Binghamton Indymedia should have this implemented by February 2010.
Binghamton Indymedia affirms that we are adhering to the IMC's Open Publishing policy as linked from:
#### PROPOSAL 1 ########
A working definition of Open Publishing (OP).
Open publishing means that the process of creating news is transparent to
the readers. They can contribute a story and see it instantly appear in the
pool of stories publicly available. Those stories are filtered as little as
possible to help the readers find the stories they want. Readers can see
editorial decisions being made by others. They can see how to get involved
and help make editorial decisions. If they can think of a better way for the
software to help shape editorial decisions, they can copy the software
because it is free and change it and start their own site. If they want to
redistribute the news, they can, preferably on an open publishing site.
We understand the spirit of anonymous posting but experience has shown that this can easily be abused by just one or two 'haters' in the community. Considerable effort needs to be devoted to hiding comments and such, efforts that take energy away from more productive aspects of reporting, editing and building a positive community.