AFRINIC AFRINIC Community Discuss list's broken moderation

The AFRINIC Community is cut off from AFRINIC Discussions list. A censorship call from the former CEO, which was meant to last more than a few days, has now reached one whole year.

Ish Sookun

2 min read

On 24 June 2022, the former CEO of AFRINIC, Eddy Kayihura, announced a temporary moderation of the Community Discuss mailing list, mentioning the AFRINIC Code of Conduct issues. The temporary moderation lasted for three days.

Then, on 27 June 2022, Eddy Kayihura sent an email to explain that because the mailing list was getting out control with members violing the Code of Conduct, the Community Discuss mailing list will be moderated until further notice. He mentioned that all emails will be archived on Only emails that are approved by the moderators will be received by the recipients of the mailing list and the emails will be archived at Eddy Kayihura mentioned that the moderation will be carried out based on advice from the Governance Committee.

There was no mentioned about the Board of Directors being involved in the decision to moderated the mailing list. It appeared solely the former CEO's decision to do so.

On 4 November 2022, Eddy Kayihura's contract with AFRINIC expired and with the Board of Directors not having quorum, his contract could not be renewed.

Eddy left without reverting the moderation decision and with no quorum on the Board, the Directors cannot overturn Eddy's instruction that was given to the technical staff.

What's broken with the mailing list?

Now, let's fast forward to February 2023. A Resource Member sent an email to the Members Discuss list, which is private and its archive is accessible only to AFRINIC Resource Members. The Resource Member also copied the Community Discuss list.

With the moderation still in place, that email should be available on the public archive of the unmoderated Community Discuss list. However, it was not there. Therefore, I sent an email to the Members Discuss list and copied the Community Discuss list, in which I asked Kishna Dhondee, the legal officer of AFRINIC, whether the Community Discuss list is still being moderated and if yes, then by whom.

The next day, I spoke to Kishna on phone and the emails appeared on the list. I can't explain what triggered the emails to appear on the unmoderated Community Discuss list.

Now, fast forward to June 2023... I replied a few emails on the Members Discuss list and copied the Community Discuss list, on the interest of the AFRINIC Community and to have some transparency on the mailing list censorship. However, those emails did not appear on the unmoderated Community Discuss list — which prompts me to believe that the unmoderated list is in fact moderated!

I sent an email to AFRINIC Comms, asking them again about the censorship of the list. I also sent an email to the AFRINIC Board Director, S. Moonesamy, asking him for his technical opinion on the matter.