[Community-Discuss] ID verification on the Database Working Group mailing list

Ben Maddison benm at workonline.africa
Mon Jan 24 09:35:11 UTC 2022

Hi Mike,

On 01/24, Mike Silber wrote:
> Andrew
> You make some good points. Not sure if the IETF also has an issue with
> sock-puppets, astroturfing and posters using pseudonyms?Maybe you can
> enlighten us?
> My personal view is that the key point that is missing [and the *real*
> issue on the mailing list] is not identity verification, but failure
> to disclose affiliation.
> Along with the suggestions you made [code of conduct, well enforced]
> is a disclosure requirement [see ICANN’s SOI / statement of interest
> process for all working groups as an example].
> I have no issue with comments from users using pseudonyms - provided
> they have a complete SOI setting out their affiliations to avoid the
> *real* concern with such users, namely sock-puppets and astroturfing.
I think that we are conflating two separate problems.

If the WG chairs are doing their job, astroturfing *should* be a
non-issue. A valid argument ought to be taken as seriously whether it
comes from one individual or one-hundred.
The additional noise that it creates is certainly irritating, but then
so are flies.
We should collectively take a deep breath and ignore it.

The question of affiliation disclosure is, imo, more important.
I believe that the expectation on every list should be the same as at
the microphone at an in person meeting: identity yourself and state your
affiliation before you speak.

If a sender's affiliation is not obvious (From: domain, signature, etc),
then the chairs and/or moderators should challenge them to state it.
Failure[*] to do so should:
A)  be an indication to the community (and particularly for the purposes
    to considering consensus) that any arguments presented should be
    viewed with great skepticism; and
B)  be a CoC violation, eventually resulting in a ban.

In both cases, however, I think that the solution is for readers of the
list to to so critically, rather than for AFRINIC to become an identity
In any event, seeing someone's passport tells you nought about how their
rent gets paid.

    I consider "private individual", "internet community member", "no
    hats", etc, to be bogus responses in this context.
    It may be important for individuals to make it clear that they are
    not speaking on behalf of their employer, but that should not exempt
    them from stating who their employer (etc) is.
    For example, I work for Workonline Communications (AS37271). The
    above is my personal opinion.


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