The need for information and information exchange that can be trusted – Proposition Communication Workgroup Brussels november 4, 2011

Proposal: Daniël Verhoeven

Why?

In daily practice in the real world we trust information from people we trust, people with whom we maintain stable social relationships. These are people we meet regularly face to face. As to the social researcher Dunbar the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships is cognitively limited to about 150 people.

But what is trusted information in a movement wanting to span thousands of people?  The simple answer is: information that was released by some (general) assembly we attended.

There are two problems with this answer.

(1) We cannot attend all assemblies though we are interested in the decisions taken there. How is this information spread?

(2) How can we know that the source spreading some decision of an assembly can be trusted.

Today this is not clear at all because most information, for those who didn’t attend, is spread using the internet. Some people manage to make others believe that they are ‘representing the movement’. Let’s be very clear about this. They do not represent us.

Two examples.

(1)   All around Belgium Occupy X’s are started. Most of these were not decided on a general assembly but by a group of friends. And it’s worse then that, some of these so called occupations are launched by a group of people that prefers to stay anonymous, using one fake id, sharing passwords on Facebook. Sharing  passwords is prone to contamination and manipultion. No Assembly at all, even no real people. Ghosts.

(2)   After the manifestation of the 15th October there was a lot of enthusiasm in our group of Reële Democratie Nu! – Gent. A guy put a poster on our FB group page for an action on the the 23th of October in Brussels. I saved that poster; Here is a link to it. There was an action that day at Schuman as far as we know now at ten o’clock but the posters says the action starts at one o’clock p.m. When we arrived there with our people from Ghent we were fooled and some people got pretty angry. The only reference was some obscure website: www.onzezeg.be. The same guy is still spreading that kind of posters on Facebook and calling an assembly afterwards or not at all . There is no reference on it to some assembly. No reference to indignez-vous.be But he always says to represent the movement.

This is the main problem the absence of a reference to a trusted assmbly.

We can not stop these these misleading messages as long as we do not have a list of unambiguous sources as a reeference and transparent procedures to spread information.

What?

Define and agree on what sources on the movement in Belgium can be trusted, and which cannot. Define how trusted information is spread.

How?

Set up a network of linked sites being trusted references that spread  information we can rely on. These websites should be linked directly to a local General Assembly. This network should be monitored by a national assembly on communication exchange, meeting regularly.

The local assemblies are free to choose who does represent them in the national communication exchange commission. The national communication exchange commission decides on the expansion of the network of trusted references.

Information should be exchanged on a regular basis using a mailing list. I will not argue here why a mailing list, I will write a third proposal on that matter. But you can find the arguments in an article I wrote in Dutch.

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