PhillyIMC Editorial Policy

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This is a new editorial policy which was completed in January of 2005.

Features Guidelines

Feature articles, which reside in the center column of the Philly IMC website, can be suggested to the editorial collective. The writer and the collective will edit the feature generally within 24 hours of its proposal on the webeditorial@phillyimcSTOPSPAM.org. listserv before putting it on the website. Sometimes extenuating circumstances will necessitate posting the feature sooner than 24 hours. This is absolutely fine as long as the poster is not using it to avoid the editing and approval process. Features abusing the editorial process may be edited or sometimes removed.

Only members of the web editorial collective will have the password for posting features. To obtain the password, volunteers need to actively participate in writing features. After participating, they must attend a face-to-face IMC meeting and webeditorial training where they will receive the password.

To alleviate the problem of copyrighted articles from other press sources being reposted on this IMC site, articles posted to the newswire that have been copied and pasted from copyrighted sources by anyone other than the proven copyright holder will be removed from the newswire. Articles with summaries or brief copied content with a link or URL of where to find the copyright article are permitted and encouraged.

Posting Policy

In accordance with PhillyIMC’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 Philadelphia city and regional issues
   •  Stories on events affecting underrepresented groups
   •  Stories on issues ignored by the mainstream 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

At Philly IMC, a ratings system has been established to allow users to rate articles. Article ratings help determine which articles will be listed or featured on the front page. This system allows any site visitor to participate in the editorial process. (note: due to technical limitations, this site does not have a ratings system)

Celebrating and promoting free speech and expression, we try to not censor, but we also want to maintain a site that is respectful and promotes useful dialogue. The ratings system has been designed to allow the Philly IMC community to define its editorial tenor. Articles that fit within community standards are rated higher; those that break with them are rated lower. Nevertheless, there are occasional posts that do not fit within Indymedia and by their nature on the website can threaten IMC’s existence within legal and community frameworks. While we defend the rights to post any expression, the posts that go against our mission AND threaten our existence necessitate our action to their removal. The following is our editorial policy for removing any material from the website:

Hidden Posts

There will be a hidden posts section of the Philly IMC web site to where the following kinds of posted will be will be removed by webeditorial volunteers. The hidden posts section will be available online to Philly IMC visitors. These posts include.

   •  'Borderline' advertising or promotional material (i.e. events charging admissions that are not clearly fundraisers, ecological service businesses, etc.)
   •  Destabilization posts intended to undermine the usability of the newswire
   •  Copyrighted articles that have been copied and pasted that do not contain a link to the original article
   •  Duplicate postings: two or more articles consisting of identical or near-identical content
   •  Empty or incomprehensible postings

Since the hiding of a post is not an irreversible decision it does not require the approval of other members of the collective. The decision to hide a post is at the discretion of individual editors within the collective working within the above-mentioned guidelines. When a member hides a post, they shall immediately notify the webeditorial listserv. If another member of the collective or the contributor of the article chooses to challenge the editors' decision, the post should immediately be unhidden pending a decision by the webeditorial collective on the listserv. Banned Material (Posts that may be deleted from the newswire)

The following types of material are outside the range of acceptable use, and may be removed from publication if posted to the Newswire as an article or comment. This is the most extreme measure that we can take and should only be used as a method of last resort. The decision to remove a post must be consented to by the entire collective, though it may be hidden pending the decision. The following guidelines should be used to determine if a post should be considered for removal:
   •   Pornography and sexist/abuse posts
   •   Racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic and other ‘hate speech’ posts, or advocating illegal activity
   •   Libel, slander, defamation and abusive personal attacks
   •   Posts of personal information designed to harass, intimidate or otherwise threaten
   •   Bomb making instructions and similar paramilitary information
   •   Commercial advertising
   •   Anything fraudulently posted as Philly IMC
   •   Misinformation intended to disrupt activist actions and discussions (i.e. false information regarding an event, with the intent to disrupt the event)
   •   Posts where Philly IMC has received a ‘cease and desist’ letter from an attorney and chooses not to challenge it.

If possible, the poster of the banned material should be contacted with an explanation of the reasoning of the collective and a link to the editorial policy.

Permanently deleted

The following posts will be permanently deleted from Philly IMC servers. This means these posts will no longer exist on any Philly IMC computer or hard drive. As above, this is a last resort used only to protect the IMC from legal action.

   •   Child or violent pornography
   •   Death threats including calls for the death of people