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Forum members claim world famous thread on Julian Assange corrupt and sabotaged.
THE DUCKPOND (Radsoft) — Contributors to the Flashback forum discussion thread on the case of 'Assange in Sweden' have begun to protest wanton behaviour on the part of forum moderators who they claim are corrupting and sabotaging their investigative work.
Flashback is an online forum of unparalleled format, with over half a million members in a country of a mere 8 million native speakers, regularly with over 40,000 members online at any one time, and with over 35,000 posts and over 3,000,000 views in the Assange thread alone.
The Assange thread began a mere 25 minutes after Swedish tabloid Expressen started blasting out the news on Twitter of the arrest in absentia of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at 05:00 local time Saturday 21 August 2010. It soon became the premiere source for information for journalists worldwide.
The number of 'scoops' the thread is credited with can't really be counted. Almost every major news flash in the case either originated at Flashback or was covered there within minutes of it appearing elsewhere. The leak of the police documents for the preliminary investigation into the case happened at Flashback. Journalists the world over have been able to source the forum for information.
The twists and turns in the Assange case are myriad and show no signs of being finite in number. Every possible player has been brought in, details tossed about, theories and new investigative directions staked out. Sofia Wilén was first identified at Flashback through a sophisticated system of collating public records for residence addresses, census details, and the like. The very nature of the case shows there are no limits, nor can there be any limits imposed in the discussion.
The forerunner to Flashback ran into legal problems back in 2002. A court verdict from the Swedish Market Court on 5 September 2003 ruled, after an incredible eleven month trial, that all posts to the forum would in the future have to be first vetted and approved by moderators, making operations practically impossible. Both owner Jan Axelsson and Flashback Media Group were fined $40,000 each and stuck with court costs for an additional $25,000. The forum moved abroad as a result, first setting up shop in the UK and then finally moving to New York City in 2010.
Flashback moderators have to be on the lookout for many things. Not all discussion threads are as erudite as the Assange thread. Members have to be acquainted with and abide by a jungle of rules, most notably a rule of staying on topic. It's this rule which has caused consternation today.
The idea of policing a forum thread where members are 'a breed apart' is somewhat counterproductive, especially when the moderators who pop in from time to time are not at all as familiar with the subject matter. Several crucial bits of information have thus been lost over the past year.
√ Sofia Wilén's 'rabbit pictures'. These pictures were used to first overwrite her collection of Julian Assange pictures until the Google caches had replaced them all, then were removed along with other vestiges of her web presence.
√ Sofia Wilén's '[fl|th]ing' with Lou Reed in 2006 through the UK, Norway, and northern Europe. Wilén evidently followed Reed around in the summer of 2006, gaining backstage access to his performances as a photographer, and also as a 'groupie' that on one occasion purportedly disturbed an acoustic performance of 'Perfect Day' on stage. BaalZeBub remembers it well.
'I think it's a real pity that the posts that showed the private relationship of one of the claimants with Lou Reed was removed long afterwards. This was investigative work with links, photographs taken backstage by the girl, and more. Those posts stayed around a long time. Then one year after being posted they're removed - and now none of us can go back and investigate the matter further.'
√ Karl Rove in Sweden. Recent contributions again connected Karl Rove to Sweden as far back as 2009, with further connections drawn to a number of questionable public relations firms believed to be behind the '#prataomdet' campaign against Julian Assange. Vital data was lost when Flashback moderators broke into the thread and removed the better part of two full days' work.
Forum member Stuxnet started the new thread today at one minute past ten o'clock.
This is about the thread: https://www.flashback.org/t1275257
This thread at Flashback is one of the most read and closely watched within and without the country. Several members do excellent investigative work and contribute with vital source material. The thread has been victimised by 3-4 major 'cleaning' operations since its inception in August 2010 where crucial information and links with important details have been removed, and the management of Flashback have never adequately explained what's going on.
Most recently a link was posted to an Australian television interview with Assange which SVT Agenda had edited and completely skewed, but this link was removed, and when a forum member found a new member of the claimants' circles of friends who has a direct connection to the White House, that post too was removed.
The past two days' work has principally been removed, whilst other items of lesser interest are allowed to remain. This concerns the 'off topic' rule, but the details dug up are part of the mess we today also refer to as the 'police preliminary investigation'. The contents of the thread have now become so corrupt that one has to ask what's going on.
Stuxnet and the others aren't attempting to 'occupy' Flashback per se: Stuxnet consulted with the moderators first before opening the new thread. But it's clear that the Assange crew have a legitimate complaint and that tin foil headwear may even be appropriate for the occasion. 'petterpeppar', who also runs a well known blog in English concerning the Assange case, has seen his contributions disappear too.
Yes - for example it should be considered 'on topic' that the mainstream media are being disingenuous in describing Julian Assange's house arrest as 'Here's Where Julian Assange is Hiding'. Yes, the post would also be suitable for a forum dealing in media matters, as a media organisation [Swedish state television] is mentioned in the post. But the actual criminal case is also mentioned in that post and that's obviously the real central issue. If you remove all posts that can possibly be appropriate in other forums, you'll end up with nothing. And most importantly: it's impossible to discuss matters and get anywhere.
The process against Assange is a political process, not an ordinary criminal case. The legal process has been corrupted and politicised, foreign powers are involved, and the media have betrayed their duty to investigate - instead they've run a hostile campaign designed to influence the legal process. This has been a theme in the thread as far back as I can remember.
Should this theme now be removed because the thread is supposed to be about the legal process? What we'll have left is a pretension of freedom of speech. This theme must be discussed in the thread, together with the activities of JA/AA/SW and the judicial aspects.
Sources in contact with this site also point out that modern Swedish state feminism has also infiltrated Flashback. The moderator names given are not named here but they're known to be part of the extreme feminist elite amongst the social democrats, the party of Anna Ardin.
'So don't expect to be treated fairly in a thread about Julian Assange that's moderated by a social democrat feminist.'
Relocation & Removal
There can be times when moving a new topic to its own thread can have far reaching consequences. BaalZeBub cites the discussion about '#prataomdet' as the key example of when a topic should be broken out on its own. Thanks to that being done, the international media were able to out the conspirators; had they tried to search amongst 25,000+ posts, they might have found nothing.
But the moderators in that case showed respect for the material and didn't destroy it. What Stuxnet and the others are objecting to is not the relocation of important information but its outright removal.
The major contributors to Flashback's Assange thread are very positive (or at least patient) with the moderators at present. But there have been cases in the past where the forum was infiltrated by partisan influences to prevent information from seeing the light of day. The worry is that's happening again in the discussion of Julian Assange and the future of Sweden.
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