Discussion in 'protest, direct action and demos' started by Tom A, Nov 24, 2016.
Evidence based politics!
It's a bit more complicated than that though. There's the question of what facts you pay attention to, and what the facts mean. You can't report 'the facts' without straying into these grey areas. To take a current example, much of the media is propagating the idea that Corbyn has had an inconsistent attitude on Brexit. This isn't necessarily untrue. But should we pay attention just to that, or also to the fact that May has had an inconsistent attitude on Brexit too? Okay, so we can report that both of them have been 'inconsistent' and that would be balanced and factual. Except does the word 'inconsistency' cover it? Not really. They both have very differing reasons for their complex/changing stances - it needs a lot of unpacking. Then there's a question of whether consistency is desirable in a leader. Isn't the ability to change their mind or compromise just as important? So what is this essentially derogatory word 'inconsistency' doing there? What would be the 'factually correct' word to use? And anyway, why are we talking about the leaders at all? Is that what matters? Who decided to talk about the attitudes of the party leaders as though they are important?
Dithering is rarely considered a positive thing when you're a political leader, and while holding a steadfast opinion on an issue and allowing no opportunity to be flexible is not a good plan when new situations call for new approaches, a leader should at least be able to justify to the electorate any changes to his or her views.
What I am getting at is those who will ignore and deny inconvenient truths - even going into conspiracy theorist mode when they are mentioned - because they present their organisation/movement in a less than shining light, and then sweep the issue under the carpet and let it become a festering mess, until everyone except them is pointing out how it's harming the cause. To try and bring this back on topic, that is exactly what happened to Indymedia UK, they took a "see no evil, hear no evil" approach to dealing with conspiracy theorists, the toleration of anti-Semitic posts, and the influence of problematic individuals within the editorial collective, and it then became a cesspit for such nonsense and more besides.
UK Indymedia : 1999 - 2016 - UK Indymedia
This is actually a good summary of all the highlights of the UK Indymedia project, and it's fair to say the G8 coverage in 2005 was the high water mark for Indymedia. I do however note that this list of high and low points of Indymedia ends abruptly in 2011, with the infamous 'fork' - its as if there was nothing really worthy of note going on in Indymedia from that point onwards. If you look of the list of actions covered you can see that this also drops abruptly after 2011, with no reports at all mentioned for the past two years of Indymedia's life.
Killed by social media.
Social media can easily provide a 'free' platform with its business model, which is what most gobshites want and will suffer the advertising and presumably the security risk also.
To me it's more of a case of killed by an editorial collective that (1) didn't know how to react to the rise of social media and (2) allowed infighting and the unchecked influence of a clique (the Mayday half of the fork) to turn Indymedia into something nobody really wanted except those still involved in Indymedia (which was a declining number of people). Social media was well established in 2011, but until the fork Indymedia could still have managed to change for the better and thrive, although the rot was setting in around 2008 with the Atzmon affair.
Social media allows a campaign group to reach out to far more people than Indymedia ever did, and it is a very useful tool as long as you don't put up anything that you don't want the authorities knowing - but that's true of any public site, including Indymedia, and the police did monitor (and possibly infiltrate) Indymedia when it was still an important tool for activists.
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