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I’m not kidding, ICANN is flirting with banning jokes | Domain Incite

I’m not kidding, ICANN is flirting with banning jokes | Domain Incite

ICANN has come a long way since 2005 or thereabouts, when, at a public meeting, I made deputy general counsel Dan Halloran laugh so hard he vomited out of his nose.

Now, the increasingly po-faced Org has crawled so far up its own arse that it’s openly talking about banning — or at the very least discouraging — humor and lightheartedness during its thrice-annual get-togethers.

Ombudsman Herb Waye today blogged up his traditional pre-meeting reminder about the Expected Standards of Behavior, ahead of this month’s ICANN 72 AGM, which is taking place virtually.

There’s nothing wrong with this — the ESOB is merely a form of institutionalized politeness — but it’s being embellished this time around with a warning not to joke around in the Zoom chat rooms.

Waye wrote:

the intention of a comment can be difficult to ascertain without the benefit of vocal tone and body language. What was intended as a joke or light-hearted observation online to a group can unintentionally make the subject of the comment feel unfairly targeted.

I consulted with the ICANN community and organization (org) leadership for thoughts on how to promote a respectful virtual environment while also supporting the spirit of open dialogue that drives ICANN. I am grateful for their input. To ensure our Zoom sessions are engaging, inclusive, and productive, please remember these tips:

  • To avoid confusion and to respect the session’s planned agenda, please keep your interventions in the public chat on the topic that is being discussed.
  • Use private messages for off-topic comments.
  • Before commenting or adding a joke, please remember the cultural diversity of the ICANN community and consider how your comment could be perceived.

Remember, ICANN meetings are designed to be soul-crushingly dull, and attended only by sensitive North American children, so let’s keep them that way.

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