[Community-Discuss] Breach of the Code of Conduct by Mr Ronald Guilmette

JORDI PALET MARTINEZ jordi.palet at consulintel.es
Wed Feb 24 09:49:35 UTC 2021

Hi Sunday, all,

While I understand your point, we also need to understand that the Internet communities are multicultural and we should not ban someone because is language is not up to anyone local culture.

I fully agree that sometimes, the way some of us (and I'm including myself here) speak in mails may look offensive, but is not necessarily the intend (with the exceptions of very clear "ad hominem"). I may look sometimes very "abrupt" in my emails, and is not an attack to anyone, is our different way to speak and express, what should matter is the real intent: not just complaining about the problems or issues that affect this community but also trying to make our best to resolve them, and if that means thinking loud, without a clear personal attack to anyone, it must be just fine.

Note that I'm not defending Ron here, I know him just because email exchange and we had once a skype chat, if I recall correctly, so I know him even less than many folks that we met often in AFRINIC or other RIR meetings.

I'm speaking "in general", and for that, I'm using also my previous experience as almost 12 years as sergeant-at-arms in IETF (RFC3005), when I needed to take difficult decisions with several people across those years, and always trying to understand their own cultural backgrounds.

Now, speaking about this specific action. There is something called freedom of expression. If someone believes that a Court, never mind is a Court, is making things wrong, it is perfectly licit to say it with total freedom. If the Court believes that that person is acting against the Court, is up to the Court to take actions against that person, not this community. As Sunday said, if you don't like that way of expressing himself, you can just ignore his emails.

Because it is clear everywhere that the comment about the Court is from Ron, and not anyone else, and even less from AFRINIC, the Court can't take any actions against AFRINIC and if that happens, even if we only suspect that is happening, then AFRINIC will be better established in another country that respects our open and transparent culture, because we can't "live" in a country with Courts that may be taking arbitrary decisions or based in personal comments from others. Even more, if that's the case, then the mailing list can be just hosted somewhere else and maintained by a more neutral organization, in a more neutral country. There are many options here.

With all the respect, in my opinion this consideration from the Communications and PR Team is beyond their scope and totally exaggerated. To be clear, I'm talking about the specific paragraph about the Mauritius Court.

Just as an example, if we discuss in the list and criticize the Mauritius Government if the cut Internet for political reasons, should be that disallowed and censored in the list? What if it happens with any other Government in Africa or in any other side of the world, affecting this community? Can you see how ridiculous is doing that in our open and transparent context?

Moreover, removing any posting from the mailing list archives is a clear attack to this community. This is called censorship. If AFRINIC, as an organization, is providing the service, it must be an open and transparent service, and that includes not making any kind of censorship.

Moderating someone for a specific time, because he is committing "ad hominem", is fine and necessary in my opinion, but not censorship. Otherwise, we are not any longer respecting the open and transparent community that we are supporting and voicing over all the time "we allow you to say whatever you want, but if that's not good in our perspective, we will delete it". Is that making sense?


El 24/2/21 9:55, "Sunday Folayan" <sfolayan at gmail.com> escribió:

Painful, but necessary.

In my culture, when you rent an apartment, you do not wake up each
morning to insult your landlord.

The last time I tried to correct him on the use of a "tar brush" on
anyone and anything when he writes, he condescended to attacking my
faith. I thereafter chose to ignore him, as the faith I profess (indeed
anyone's faith) is not important to the issues being discussed.

We should not be too dull, not to know how to keep intellectual bullies
at bay.

Thank you for taking some action, and I urge the community to accept
plenty of help, but with some level of dignity.


On 2/23/21 7:51 PM, AFRINIC Communication wrote:
> Dear AFRINIC community members,
> Mr. Ronald Guilmette has repeatedly violated the code of conduct of the AFRINIC community mailing list despite being notified of this on several occasions including the following:
> On the 31st of August 2020, AFRINIC’s CEO filed a complaint against Mr. Guilmette due to the violation of Code of Conduct on the Community mailing list to the Governance Committee (Gov Com)
> https://afrinic.net/ast/gc2020-04-violation-code-of-conduct.pdf
> The complaint was later referenced in the blogpost AFRINIC published on the code of conduct: safeguarding the processes that built the Internet.
> https://afrinic.net/20200903-code-of-conduct
> As a result, Mr. Guilmette was officially notified by the Gov Com of the investigation of a possible breach of the AFRINIC code of conduct to which he offered the following response.
> https://lists.afrinic.net/pipermail/community-discuss/2020-October/003717.html
> We have not taken action against Mr. Guilmette till now as we are still waiting for the result of the above investigation.
> However, due to the repeated personal attacks that Mr. Guilmette launches against others that may or may not be subscribed to the list, in addition to the statements, in his last email, pertaining explicitly to the Supreme Court of Mauritius that could expose him to legal actions for an offence known as ‘’Scandalising the Court’’ and that may jeopardise AFRINIC’s position in front of the Mauritian court.
> In light of the above AFRINIC has taken action in this matter to preserve the open and inclusive nature that this community is founded upon.
> Mr. Guilmette’s posts to the community mailing list will be subject to moderation for a period of 30 days effective immediately as of 23 February 2021.
> This means:
> • Mr. Guilmette will continue to receive emails as the rest of the mailing list subscribers.
> • Mr. Guilmette’s emails to the list will be subjected to approval from the mailing list moderator to guarantee that his posts are in line with the Code of Conduct.
> • In case the moderator finds the content of the email in breach the email will be dropped and will not be forwarded to the list, otherwise Mr. Guilmette’s email will go through after review.
> • Finally Mr. Guilmette’s last post will be removed from the mailing list archives.
> We rely on our community’s usual collaboration to create a healthy space for discussion where we can trust each other and hope you will endeavour to continue to promote meaningful interactions on this mailing list in line with our code of conduct in place.
> Regards,
> AFRINIC Communications & PR Team.
> _______________________________________________
> Community-Discuss mailing list
> Community-Discuss at afrinic.net
> https://lists.afrinic.net/mailman/listinfo/community-discuss

Sunday Adekunle Folayan
Managing Director
General data Engineering Services (SKANNET)
16 Oshin Road, Kongi Bodija, Ibadan - Nigeria
Phone: +234 802 291 2202, +234 816 866 7523
Email: sfolayan at skannet.com.ng, sfolayan at gmail.com

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