IMC UK: media molotov
Here are my thoughts on why I think IMC UK remains a vital tool for all of us:
1] Like a good Newswire, it’s updating constantly, and therefore there’s a continous feed of news, analysis and photos; its exciting and dynamic. Local IMCs are useful (and maybe more relevant) for posting, but not that much happens in a day, therefore its more a Wall than a Newswire (good for events, local updates, etc). With a Newswire, contributors do all the work and fill it with content; administrators can just sit back and enjoy the ride (with the odd removal).
2] It’s the main gateway to our world. The activist ghetto is small, fragmented and closed to the outside world for good reason (we hate spooks). IMC UK provides a platform for both local issues, and global struggles, from highlighting corporate property-damage to riot porn to opinions on world affairs (sometimes dismissed as “conspiracy theory”), from personal feelings to theoretical tracts, from call-outs to content. Its content brings us a sense of solidarity, inspiration and common purpose (especially if you’re trapped behind a desk most days).
3] While lazy journalists use IMC UK to populate their vacuous articles, for their equally smug mainstream publications, it also means that “the world is watching”. We are all able to read stories about police brutality, State abuse, demonstrations, etc. , unadulterated, raw, without the skewed lense of editorial. Hopefully it makes people think, or inspires them to take action, if they are not already involved. It’s a form of “protection” for the moment, because it means information gets out there without the corporately-controlled media filter, conveniently sanitized (even by the Guardian, that bastion of lefty liberalism).
But saying all this, there are obviously problems too, which have not escaped most:
1] Trolls: These sad, twatish degenerates contribute to the “noise” on the site, often twisted, derogatory and off-key; they drain the debate with their negativity or inflammatory statements. And that’s what they intend to do, whether State-agents, or otherwise, and they need to be blocked, and have their balls cut off...oops, what I mean is whittled down to an absolute minimum.
2] Security: While I think many understand the actions taken by some to identify Gateway 303, 404 posts (regarding State interference), that one’s post is anonymous is why many people use IMC to publish. At the same time, we should have some way of identifying Gateway posts, and those with a history of being disruptive. An open, transparent policy on tracking is important, for our peace of mind, and because we need to be aware of the amount and type of disruptive activity taking place, so that we can put it into perspective. A balance needs to be struck.
While the two branches seem to be going in two, relevant directions, closing down the IMC UK site is not the answer. IMC UK should remain operational, as it is, because its simple and it works. It is open to all, not just the radicalized. It gives people a voice, which is exceptionally rare in these times. Thus it is also anarchic, the very pinnacle of free speech. While I see the BeTheMedia offering as a more intellectual, strategic forum, that may inspire a discussion between activists, for activists, which is also needed. However activism is not enough; we need inclusive, open and useful forums, otherwise we are stuck in the ghetto, and nobody’ll give a shite what we have to say. Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot, or reinvent the wheel. Sure, it needs a bit of a rethink on how we tackle people abusing it, but it scares the authorities; why else would they seek to shut it down or infiltrate it? I hope that you guys can work this out, and I look forward to continuing to read my favourite daily “paper”.