[Community-Discuss] Continuous Negative Narrative Towards AfriNIC in the Press

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Mon Oct 28 23:01:08 UTC 2019

> On Oct 28, 2019, at 2:16 PM, Noah <noah at neo.co.tz> wrote:


> Dear Community,


> It's been a while since I last posted and I hope everyone of you here is healthy and well. Something has been bothering me lately and I can't help but to share with you all in an attempt to understand why this is the case and perhaps seek your views as well. Pardon me for the long email after all it's not my style.


> Lately, various matters related to AfriNIC have appeared in some online press platform [1] [2] [3] with some matters being mentioned or announced on the specific media platform before even AfriNIC itself informs the community which should not be the case. For those who remember the UK based "theregister" and how they used to post negative news about AfriNIC will resonate with my concern.

When you say “which should not be the case”, is your intent to criticize the speed with which the media is disseminating the information, or, are you intending to criticize the slowness of AfriNIC and the AfriNIC board in informing the community?

> These media discussions for some reason are coming from a specific South Africa online media platform and as usual the news is often very negative and unfavorable toward AfriNIC. For a continent of over 54 countries, this is very sad to say the least that most negative reporting about our RIR, will often stem from the same specific community. It's seems as if the strategy is to continuously paint a negative narrative towards AfriNIC within .za community.

Do you take factual exception to any of the reporting or are you just annoyed that they choose to publicly air the dirty laundry of AfriNIC?

> Link [1] article mentions inaccurate IPv4 records and impugning deliberate manipulation of records for gain. I am not sure if AfriNIC is aware of this article and if there is any truth to it warranting any investigation and reporting.


> Link [2] article mentions the departure of a staff member of AfriNIC as announced in the same media platform. No such information has been published by the organisation itself anywhere on its website or mailing lists.


> Link [3] article raised a perceived conflict of the AfriNIC bylaws and the Mauritius equal opportunity act and the illegality of the CEO search process which was just completed. The very wish of a particular member of this community who is constantly agitating against AfriNIC with constant negativity.

It’s unclear what, exactly, you are attempting to claim is “the very wish of a particular member”. I can guess, but it would be better if you outright state to which “particular member” you are referring.

> It will help to understand what is continuously fueling this continuous negative narrative which is now playing out in the South African press. What is hidden under the agitation? Did something happen in past board? How are the leaks or planted media stories occurring?

Are you actually defending the lack of transparency on the part of the board and criticizing a free press for doing what a free press is supposed to do?

Rather than whine about the continuous negative narrative, perhaps looking into whether or not the claims have merit and addressing the issues if they do would be a better approach.

In my experience, an organization or group that is afraid of outside criticism is generally an indication that the criticism is valid and the group in question does not wish to correct the issues.

> Any organisation whose internal discussions are somehow made public in the press is doomed and this sort of toxic behaviour should never be accepted. I am very concerned with the endless negativity and polarization this is causing toward our collective community which needs more cohesion at a time when a new CEO has been appointed.

This is patently untrue. An organization which is operating legitimately and transparently as an RIR should has little to fear from factual reporting in the press, beyond possibly some embarrassment over isolated incidents. An organization operating legitimately should have no problem addressing and refuting baseless reporting.

The problem here is that because of a persistent lack of transparency and multiple failures by the board to embrace an open transparent process, the trust of the community in the AfriNIC board has been diminished. Sunlight remains the best disinfectant and having the issues come to full light regardless of the vessel can only help the legitimate progress of the organization.

> The Board and AfriNIC would help to inform the community about any investigation to this end and advice the incoming CEO appropriately.

That would be nice.


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