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Re: [ga] List censorship and publications

  • To: Elisabeth Porteneuve <elisabeth.porteneuve@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [ga] List censorship and publications
  • From: kent@xxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 13:58:29 -0700

Hi Elisabeth -- long time :-)

On Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 12:17:29PM +0200, Elisabeth Porteneuve wrote:
> Greetings,
> I think I understand what Eric/Hugh says, and recall explanation given to 
> me by Kent Krispin a couple (5?) of years ago.
> There is no censorship, but very inconvenient rule, that GA archives do not 
> update immediately, but a couple of hours later (2 or 4, do not remember).
> Look on attached PDF with archives as at 24sep09 11:58 Paris local time. I 
> already received Jaap's message (quoted below), whilst his message does not 
> show yet in archives.
> I do not know why Kent did it, neither his explanation why,

There were a variety of technical/security reasons associated with this

The mail server is different than the public web server; the web archives are
generated on the mail server, and a cron job copies them to the external web
server every two hours.  Average delay due to this is therefore 1 hour. 
However, there are other things that can cause delays -- ICANN uses a variety
of anti-spam measures, including greylisting, which can cause delays, and
also, email by it's nature has many other possibilities for delay.

> it was very 
> inconvenient for me at that time and still is. I prefer much more read 
> archives (messages recorded in chronological order), than my mailbox (do 
> not necessary have time to do it live,

"very inconvenient"???  If you don't have time to attend to the email
on a regular basis, and only look at the archives when you have the time, I 
can't see how an hour delay is causing you any significant inconvenience.

> furthermore at the end point it may 
> happen the order is not chronological, depending on SMTP and firewall's 
> rules).

Email is intrinsically subject to delays and out of order delivery,
especially in these days of extensive spam filtering.  The archiving process
preserves the order the mail is received at the list server. 

Many people, especially those who mostly communicate within an intranet, get
used to email being extremely quick, and they can treat it like a "chat"
mechanism.  However, email is not chat, and in an international context, with
different time zones and sometimes poor connectivity, email is a weak medium
for interactive conversation. 

Regarding "censorship" of the GA list: 

The GA list is not censored, not by any reasonable definition of the term. 
On rare occasions people have been put on "timeout" for various periods of
time for exceptionally offensive behavior. 

Most recently, Joe Baptista and Jeff Williams were banned from the list a
because of offensive behavior; when their timeout expired they were
resubscribed to the list, but the people who resubscribed them weren't
aware that there were also pattern matches that needed to be adjusted, so
there was a long delay before their posting privileges were completely
retored.  This wasn't deliberate; I think it is fair to say that most
people simply don't pay that much attention.

Years ago I argued strongly for the creation of the GA list.  I consider it a
small tragedy that the list has become a playground for a small set of people
with obvious psychological problems.  They undermine and demean the extremely
valuable contributions of serious longtime ICANN critics like Danny Younger,
George Kirikos, and others. 

(Just for the record -- I really respect the contributions of these critics,
and sometimes I agree with them.  I believe that sentiment is shared by many
people on the ICANN staff.)

Best Regards
Kent Crispin

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