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re: Phase II of Public Comments Process Enhancements

  • To: "public-comment-enhancements-ii@xxxxxxxxx" <public-comment-enhancements-ii@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: re: Phase II of Public Comments Process Enhancements
  • From: Alina Syunkova <alina.syunkova@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2011 15:24:02 -0700

Dear Sirs,

 1.  Do you support the goals and objectives of a robust threaded discussion 
forum for ICANN Public Comments?

I firmly support the goals and objectives of a robust threaded discussion forum 
for ICANN Public Comments. Furthermore, I believe that it is essential to 
implement the threaded discussion format. Not only will a forum format result 
in a qualitative improvement of comments submitted, but it will engage members 
of the ICANN Community who otherwise would not participate.

Part of this stems from the nature and role of threaded discussions in the 
development of the Internet and social media – which occurred outside of the 
ICANN system but clearly has implications for our system of open and 
transparent, bottom-up policy making. Threaded discussions are engaging. Time 
and again, individuals have shown themselves more than willing to voluntarily 
submit comments, evaluations, reviews and/or redact enormous quantities of web 
content – for no other "remuneration" other than the sense of having benefitted 
the community and contributed part of their knowledge towards the community's 
distinct intellectual commons. However, part of this sense is lost when 
comments are "dropped into a box". When users are able to see others respond to 
their own comments, and to carry on a dialogue with the entire community in one 
forum, their efforts appear to be worthwhile. For this reason, I believe that 
in a threaded forum format, there will be more Public Comments, overall.

The quality of the comments will also improve. In order to have their ideas 
accepted by the entire community, users will have to articulate their arguments 
clearly and effectively. Ideas or comments that have no power or do not draw 
the interest of the majority will gradually fall into the background; the best 
ideas will be carried on in the thread, responded to and argued about. The way 
that Wikis have worked outside the ICANN ecosystem clearly shows that, while 
negative or "improper" comments always remain a risk in such systems, the 
majority of participants tends to prevail, carrying through constructive 
dialogue. Therefore, for the evaluation of Public Comments by ICANN Staff, the 
results of a public forum discussion will be a qualitative improvement over 
comments submitted by users in isolation.

Furthermore, how can members of the ICANN Community be asked to make statements 
and/or judgements on community matters, without having in return an opportunity 
to see how other members of the community will respond to those comments, and 
to defend their ideas?

Public forums are meant to test ideas – to benefit from the sieve of community 
dialogue – ideas submitted and discussed transparently and openly have the 
benefit, speaking figuratively, of having passed an initial "survival of the 
fittest" test of sorts.

Therefore, my answer to question 1) Do you support the goals and objectives of 
a robust threaded discussion forum for ICANN Public Comments? Is absolutely yes.

As for question 2) Do you concur with the idea of a one-time pre-registration 
for posting privileges if it can  be minimally invasive and easy to perform – I 
am not opposed to such an idea, but believe that it will not deter those whose 
intention is deliberately destructive. In practice the requirement for 
submitting an e-mail address still enables all potential users to gain access 
into the forum. On the other hand, enacting stricter measures for access into 
the forum would arguably undermine its fundamental transparency. Finally, the 
forum should remain anonymous even if users must pre-register, through a User 
Name system. Anonymity will ensure full transparency in the comments and equal 
weights for all of the comments submitted by ICANN community members, promoting 
genuine and natural competition of ideas.

Thank you for your attention,
Alina Syunkova

Board Support Coordinator
4676 Admiralty Way,  Ste. 330
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+1-310-301-3859 (direct)
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