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    ICANN Closes Most Popular Comment Forum | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 58 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: ICANN Closes Most Popular Comment Forum
    by dtobias (dan@tobias.name) on Wednesday March 20 2002, @02:30AM (#5420)
    User #2967 Info | http://domains.dan.info/
    I don't agree very often with ICANN leadership, but I have to agree that, for the most part, the ICANN forums are a joke. While some meaningful information did come to light there, it's mostly a wasteland of whining, bellyaching, repetitive tirades, and (worst of all in terms of lowering the signal-to-noise ratio) huge numbers of one-liner "me-too" postings from people who seem to think it's a chat room rather than a commentary forum. Whoever got the "brilliant" idea that they could write their message entirely in the subject line and end it with "EOM" should be taken out and shot. That's resulted in the visible messages on the forum screen consisting largely of that sort of useless garbage and causing meaningful messages to be lost in the noise.

    ICANNWatch seems to have a higher proportion of meaningful messages, with the exception of a brief period a few months ago when the mindless chatterers seemed to be trying to take it over.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: ICANN Closes Most Popular Comment Forum
    by Richard_Henderson on Wednesday March 20 2002, @01:01PM (#5445)
    User #3269 Info | http://www.atlarge.org/
    The point is, Dan, that consumers do need opportunities to challenge organisations like ICANN which are meant to be run for the public good.

    I cannot agree that the forum in question was a "joke" because (if you use your own judgement to sidestep fun messages which don't go on target) the issues are not ones which should be trivialised by Stuart Lynn as "a joke".

    As with the marginalisation of Robert Connelly by Afilias, or the marginalisation of Auerbach by ICANN, Stuart Lynn was trying to marginalise that part of the Internet public which was actually asking challenging questions which deserved - at least - some detailed answers.

    Instead of which, ICANN has failed to enter any dialogue over a range of issues that had seriously impacted on consumers.

    Again and again and again, both on this forum, by e-mail, or on ICANN's other various forums, Vint and Stuart have been begged to explain... but instead... we get evasion... marginalisation... silence.

    It is absolutely clear that ICANN was running scared from the forum in question, because the fair and serious-minded questions being raised were awkward and inconvenient.

    If ICANN exists for the benefit of the Internet public, we should expect better. We should reasonably expect openness. We should reasonably expect responses. Instead of which, we get what I'd call the NetSol culture of never-answered questions or avoidance of information.

    We deserve better.

    And in the face of this, and in the context of serious issues, NO, I do not think the forum was a joke.

    If you believe in freedom and democracy, then recognise that you're going to have to tolerate some background noise and trivia... but I expect a primarily American institution to practice openness, dialogue, explanation, and be aware that evasion and "insider decisions" are just not acceptable.

    If Stuart Lynn was prepared (himself, or through his staff) to go one by one through ten of the most serious concerns raised on that forum, and enter into detailed dialogue to defend ICANN's actions, then the forums would have even more value.

    It is not the members of the public who have made these forums a joke, but the inability (or unwillingness) of the ICANN staff to participate openly and constructively has reduced their effectiveness.

    I take the view that that is because ICANN has its own agenda and its own standards of business practice, which fall short of the expectations of open-minded members of the public or consumers.

    Many people have been inconvenienced or defrauded as an outcome of ICANN's maladministration.

    I do not call that a joke, Dan.

    And I do not think it is a "joke" to participate in a public forum which raises these issues.

    Kind regards and thanks for your own contributions to the expired forum, and your openness in posting in your own name - but I don't agree with you, and I think Stuart Lynn was wrong, patronising, and offensive to deride the hard work and serious contributions of so many people represented at the heart of the New TLDS Agreements forum.

    Classic marginalisation of those who are a threat to you.

    Richard
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: ICANN Closes Most Popular Comment Forum
    by Richard_Henderson on Wednesday March 20 2002, @12:34PM (#5444)
    User #3269 Info | http://www.atlarge.org/
    Hello "Anonymous"

    Have you been participating actively in that forum? The majority of regular participants would take an opposite view to yours. The problem with the forum has been ICANN's failure to enter into the dialogue, or to respond to the fair and serious points raised there (among occasional wild messages you get in any unmoderated forum or free society).

    Garry Anderson's messages have been fairly clear and consistent. He's not been "flaming" as you put it, but he has regularly raised relevant issues - and the need to repeat serious issues is because ICANN is running scared of answering criticisms that indict them... they get "anonymous" posters to try to back them up instead.

    Garry's main point is straightforward. He has questioned why the New TLD agreements accommodated a "Sunrise" privilege for trademark holders, when it is absolutely obvious that many generic words have scores if not hundreds of trademarks against them all over the world. His point is one of simple logic : what gives just ONE of those trademark holders the right to claim a generic word (belonging to the whole human race) when hundreds of other people may have equal claims?

    Furthermore, the outworking of the Sunrise "abomination" (to quote Afilias director Robert Connelly) vindicated his scepticism about a hopelessly flawed agreement : thousands after thousands of names applied for dishonestly by registrars linked to the staff and board of Afilias.

    Why, in a free society, is it seen as a bad thing to criticise bad systems?

    The people being criticised on the ICANN public forums are not consumers and members of the Internet public like Garry Anderson, but executives who talk endlessly about transparency and accountability - but who run away from dialogue; try to marginalise critics; and seem accountable to no-one.

    Why did Vint Cerf or Stuart Lynn or one of their staff not answer the many fair and serious questions posted on the forum? They evaded the criticism by simply not answering.

    Do you think that there were no legitimate concerns raised in that forum?

    Are you kidding?

    Who are you, my friend? You know who I am. I believe in openness and dialogue. But, my "anonymous" friend - the executives at ICANN run away from forums, run away from disclosure, run away from people who challenge their autocracy.

    The DNS is a worldwide resource - a benefit for the whole world community. If Vint and Stuart can't operate it in a wholly open and responsive way, then they should make way for people who will.

    They have presided over fraud, they have presided over bad agreements, they advertise dishonest registrars, they fail to answer questions (or get their staff to). Why on earth shouldn't people like Garry Anderson and other members of the Internet public raise issues in the face of this kind of management?

    They are not alone. They are being sued by one of their own Directors. They are being criticised by Congressmen. The two most significant TLDs were a farcical shambles - which resulted in loss and inconvenience to consumers.

    ICANN exists for the public, and open discussion is nothing to worry about... unless they have things they should be worried about... it is their management, and not the forum, which is "a joke".

    I wish you'd choose to post messages in your own name. I wish people like you and the ICANN authorities would participate openly in the forums, and engage in open discussion about the serious issues being raised.

    Have a nice day.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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