[Community-Discuss] Final Call for Comments on Code of Conduct

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Sat Jul 17 02:19:05 UTC 2021

> On Jul 16, 2021, at 08:19 , JORDI PALET MARTINEZ via Community-Discuss <community-discuss at afrinic.net> wrote:


> Hi,


> I've sent already a couple of emails to comms about my concerns on the CoC. I can only find right now the last one, but I've the feeling that my previous inputs haven't been considered.


> I think it will be nice, when some inputs are not considered, to explain why, so to avoid misunderstandings, etc. Also, not getting inputs, doesn't help those that contribute to keep contributing (if you don't get feedback, if your inputs aren't considered, why you want to keep contributing?).


> So, some of my repeated inputs:


> 1) The use of emails captured from mailing lists, whois, etc., to send spam, such as voting suggestions, should be explicitly cited as forbidden by the CoC.

I agree with this.

> 2) Distribution of malware in any of the mailing lists.

While I am not a fan of item 13 (which I will outline later), so long as it persists, I think it is safe to say that everyone will generally agree that sending malware to the mailing lists is not acting in the best interests of the community.

> 3) Posting private emails without the express consent of the sender.

I agree with this.

> 4) Posting commercial/advertising content (unless done in the scope of a sponsorship, for example in-person events).

And this.

> 5) Plagiarism.

This would need to be addressed more specifically. Quotation of content vs. plagiarism is a very fine line and very subjective. Indeed, in copyright law in the US, courts still struggle with it since 1934. Absent clear guidance on where this line is drawn in this context, I think such a rule could be quite open to abuse.

I don’t see any problem with the PDWG co-chairs enforcing the CoC WRT the RPD list as they are charged with managing the PDP and given broad latitude in that mandate.

My problem with item 13 is not the spirit or intent as it is written, but in the ambiguity that exists about what is “in the best interests of the AFRINIC community” and how this statement could be abused in an effort to subjugate unpopular ideas or silence the voice of a minority opinion in the community.

Indeed, it seems quite clear to me in AFRINIC’s recent filings with the Supreme court that they intended to claim that my participation in the case on behalf of Cloud Innovation was contrary to the best interests of the community. While I will agree that my participation was not necessarily in the best interests of AFRINIC staff, I will absolutely insist that the best interests of the community were foremost in my mind as I took on this issue. The need to hold AFRINIC board and staff accountable to the rules as written is absolutely in the best interests of the community, no matter how inconvenient that fact may be for those seeking to act otherwise, even if they are executives or board members of the organization.

As such, while I support the idea behind clause 13 and have at all times complied with the spirit thereof (it is also present in the existing CoC). I think it is important that this rule come with safeguards to prevent it from becoming a tool of oppression.


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