[imc-uk-process] Deleting personal information,
mishd at fastmail.fm
Wed Feb 9 07:44:15 PST 2005
This has been discussed before, and there have been objections. My
previous thoughts on the matter.
As time goes on, I am leaning more and more towards a policy of always
deleting personal details (by editing the post) unless posted by the
person to which they relate. (more detailed definitions below). It
would certainly be good to have a consistent line on this, instead of a
case by case debate.
Indymedia is primarily a site for *news* - a "platform for news, issues,
actions and analysis" to quote the UK editorial guidelines. Established
practice also allows announcement of events and calls to action, though
these are - strictly - outside the remit of Indymedia. Indymedia is
not, and has never claimed to be, a free speech website.
Campaigns generally have their own websites. They can publish personal
details there if they so choose. They are free to link to their own
websites from articles published on indymedia.
Publishing the personal details of others has no news value that I can
see. The only reason I can see for publishing the personal details of
others is as information to be used for something.
But then that could be true for a lot of information published with
calls for action eg. details of a corporation, which I would not object
I'm not sure if there is a really good argument why personal details are
different from corporation details. My gut feeling tells me they are,
but I can't find a good argument. And I think this is what the argument
So on the above grounds I have a draft proposal. As I know this will be
controversial, I suggest we debate on the process list with a view to
resolving this at the network gathering in march - this is already on
the list of things to discuss. Hopefully communication on this list
will mean we will have a good idea of the core issues before the
gathering. That gives us a few weeks to sort this out.
Personal details posted on indymedia will be deleted unless they are the
personal details of the poster. If a poster asks for their own details
to be removed, (we will do this when volunteers are available to do it).
They will be deleted by editing the post. The details will be replaced
by [PERSONAL DETAILS DELETED BY INDYMEDIA UK] so it is obvious what has
If the personal details are already public knowledge or posted elsewhere
on the web, then a link to the details will not be deleted.
"Personal details" includes home address, home phone number, mobile
phone number. It does not include email address, workplace address or
On definitions, I'm not sure about email address. Should personal
details include other things such as private medical information? Any
others have thoughts? Any other detailed changes.
The key argument I think is whether personal details are qualitatively
different to other "information for action" such as the details of a
if this proposal is rejected, can anyone come up with a form of
guideline to decide which personal details are deleted and which are
not. It is definitely time to come up with an agreed guideline so we
don't have an ad hoc debate every time this issue comes up.
On Wed, 2005-02-09 at 14:33 +0000, Chris wrote:
> On Wed 09-Feb-2005 at 09:41:30AM +0000, Ilyan wrote:
> > Because the legal threat might provoke some lunacy, to
> > protect lunatics unknown from the consequences of their
> > own actions, the names and addresses should not only be
> > hidden but removed.
> I think a consistent approach to this is *desperately*
> needed, in the past personal information *has* been
> deleted, not only of activists but also addresses of
> *fascists* -- I think the idea behind this is that people
> don't want to see Indymedia being a place where people can
> post their hit lists...
> If a policy if agreed on this it should be added to the
> editorial guidelines. I guess there sould also be some
> exceptions, like it's not exactly a secret who lives at 10
> Downing Street...
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