Talk:Internet Society

Active discussions

The Internet Society and ISOCEdit

I have never seen the Internet Society referred to as "the ISOC". ISOC is, I think, "not quite an acronym". --Alvestrand (talk) 06:17, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Quite right. I guess it's the official abbreviation. Wwwhatsup (talk) 07:12, 11 December 2007 (UTC)


I'm just curious about the Internet Society's stance on user anonymity on the internet.

It is my opinion that an alias can allow us to share the feelings we have without trying to conform to society's expectation of us. Furthermore, without anonymity, the internet would offer nothing new. Schalos (talk) 20:18, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Yet with anonymity comes all kinds of problems, people hiding behind false identities, and the general believe that nothing which happens on the internet matters. When you remove your identity, the notion follows, you are immune to anything and everything. Which is largely a myth perpetuated by the idea that most people are either too lazy to care or don't know how to find out someone's identity.-- (talk) 22:00, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes (talk) 20:38, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

External LinksEdit

Can we get a consensus to remove the external links to the chapters? There is a tag on that section, but before I remove what looks like a lot of hard work, I want to make certain that it is appropriate, and that I am interpreting Wikipedia's external link policy correctly. Lynden Price (talk) 18:05, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

New NEWS today, for future editingEdit

Is this the proper Wikipedia article for this discussion?

Headline-1: GOP cannot give in to Obama's 'great Internet giveaway'

QUOTE: "The government's job is simple: to protect freedom and promote free markets. And the Republican Party — which currently controls both chambers of the U.S. Congress — bills itself as the party of individual responsibility and economic growth" -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 00:14, 23 June 2015 (UTC) -- PS: FYI for future editing.


In 2016 the Internet Society launched a new logo, which is visible at the top of The logo now on this Wikipedia page is no longer accurate. I can provide a new logo as I work for the Internet Society Communications team. However because of that affiliation I am hesitant to update the page directly. Does anyone object if I make that change? Dyork (talk) 15:12, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Hi Dyork, I would refer you to WP:BOLD. What I will do is define you as a 'connected contributor' above, so it is all above board. Wwwhatsup (talk) 07:55, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Oh, and, correct form is to add new talk sections at the bottom of the page. Thus I have moved this down. Wwwhatsup (talk) 07:58, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

External links modifiedEdit

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training and IPv6 .. only issues?Edit

. . .

This page reads rather ... public relationsish.

For example, the only references I can find on this Wikipedia page under "issues" relate to training and IPv6 implementation. There is a lack of other major events in ISOC history that would seem fairly essential to reader understanding of where the society fits into global internet governance.

Here's a few more issues here.

Avaiki (talk) 16:12, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

Page obviously needs work. Perhaps you would like to step up? Wwwhatsup (talk) 08:03, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Page has been edited by an Internet Society employee without declaring this conflictEdit

This page has been edited by Wwwhatsup, who is on the payroll of the Internet Society. It is not appropriate for me to name them here, but I am reversing their edits as they have an obvious conflict of interest which should prevent them from making revisions to this wiki page. Ferdeline (talk) 10:48, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

And I have reversed your reversal. My edits were prompted by your earlier edits which served to push a non-neutral POV i.e. opposition to the sale of PIR, plus some added cruft. I fleshed out some of the history, and current activities, in a neutral way. I am not on the "payroll" at ISOC, but a vendor. The services I provide to them have nothing to do with wikipedia editing, but they do mean I am familiar, and yes, support the work of this organization. Wwwhatsup (talk) 13:02, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

Hello, Ferdeline. I should make you aware of WP:3RR which you will violate if you revert again. I note yours is a single purpose account. May I ask you which of my edits you consider does not reflect WP:NPOV? Wwwhatsup (talk) 14:04, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

Hello Wwwhatsup. I am new to Wikipedia, but I am a subject matter expert and thus have been revising this article to be an accurate history of the Internet Society. I have added sources to support many of my statements, and where these are lacking, I will go through now and add links to additional primary sources. I note that you are the administer of at least one official Internet Society social media account, and represent the organization (as a vendor you claim) in its communications work. Members of the Internet Society's senior leadership team have retweeted your tweets in the past week. I believe you have a conflict of interest and should retain from editing this page. I will be reverting your most recent bad faith edits now. If you continue to revert mine, I would like to know why you are removing my edits, such as incorporating finances from the 2018 IRS form 990 into the info box, and changing these to the outdated 2016 figures. No one is served by an article with out-of-date information. Ferdeline (talk) 15:00, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

Hi Ferdeline, I understand you are new to Wikipedia, and perhaps don't fully understand its tenets. The fact is, it doesn't matter who you are, what matters is the nature of your edits. In your case, in the cause of your opposition to the PIR sale, you appear to have scraped around to find a number of negative sources, to which you then applied further negative analysis. If you look at my edits. You'll see I started by removing some of the more egregious examples. This left the article thin. As pointed out by Avaiki over a year ago, there was already a lack of information about ISOC, so I remedied that, in a neutral manner. If we swap reversions again you will have violated the 3RR. I will ask admins to step in. Please read up on edit warring. Wwwhatsup (talk) 15:26, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

I notice that you have asked the admins to step in before I made any additional edits, but that is okay. I hope they are able to help us reach a place we are all happy with. I noticed that you have written about this incident on Facebook, outing me as the author in an attempt to shame me into leaving these edits as is, which I believe violates Wikipedia's rules on identifying individuals. I did not "scraped around to find a number of negative sources" - I did a comprehensive literature review of respected publications, and I am afraid even if you search you will not find any praising ISOC. If you do, please send my way - if I've missed one I'd like to know and would be very sorry about that.Ferdeline (talk) 20:35, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

If I started scraping around looking for articles praising ISOC, I'd be falling into the same POV trap as you. Wwwhatsup (talk) 21:57, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

Looks like an ISOC employee may be trying to cover up crimes relating to the .ORG sale. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:34, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

Never mind the bad faith and edit warring. Which is the better article?Edit

Rather than continue to edit war, I reported User:Federline to the Admins. Hence the current protected status. I would welcome comments on which version more neutrally informs wikipedia readers, and why. Their version or mine. In my opinion, rather than reverting, User:Fedeline should have taken my bare bones just the facts rewrite, and further edited it to make their points, which could then be judged on their merits WP:N, NPOV etc. Myself, I would characterize much of it as "dirty washing" and not worth of inclusion. But other editors can make that determination. I do feel myself to be a victim of WP:AOBF. Wwwhatsup (talk) 19:50, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

I welcome the involvement of other editors in reviewing the changes that we have both made, and bringing us to a neutral place. I think that is the best outcome here. But the article must be an honest one. Whether you are an ISOC employee, contractor, or vendor, you have a deep financial relationship with ISOC, and that in my opinion should disqualify you from editing this page. While I realise your duties do not include editing Wikipedia on behalf of ISOC, as someone who administers at least one of their Twitter accounts and performs other activities (which I am not mentioning here as it would lead to your identifiability), you are performing communications work for ISOC and thus should not be editing this page lest it appear you are attempting to manipulate public opinion. One could easily reach that conclusion from your edits. Ferdeline (talk) 20:28, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

You are avoiding this question. What is it about my edits, that made them appear so manipulative? They were very basic facts, unlike the spin you reverted to, repeatedly. If there was something I took out that you thought should be back in, you were free to do so. Wwwhatsup (talk) 21:50, 16 December 2019 (UTC)

Protected edit request on 17 December 2019Edit

I suggest that this version be instated as the current protected page, since its content is neutral. Wwwhatsup (talk) 02:54, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

I oppose this edit. Wwwhatsup is an Internet Society vendor/contractor and has an undeclared conflict of interest. Ferdeline (talk) 03:13, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

I think I have a COI declaration on this page. I have placed that version at User:Wwwhatsup/Sandbox/Internet_Society where further proposed edits may be made. Wwwhatsup (talk) 03:20, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  Not done for now: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit protected}} template. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 03:49, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

I believe that given the newsworthyness and high tensions around this topic protecting this article for the moment would be appropriate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:BB6:2461:1658:CCFC:7C8D:69B6:9B0B (talk) 09:17, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for your input. What we need here are editors willing to get their hands dirty.Wwwhatsup (talk) 11:59, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

POV much?Edit

Sustaining a POV-damaged article is of dubious merit. POV that IMO should be taken out.

1) It has consistently struggled for recognition and influence.[1] (Cherry-picked 1999 paper used in lede to cast shade on the organization's entire 27 year existence.)

2) The Internet Society is an independently-funded trust consisting of individual members, organizational members, and Chapters. Individual members do not get to vote determine policy, but organizational members are represented on an Advisory Council that can determine policy and the direction that the Internet Society will take. The function of the Internet Society's chapters is to execute their own plans where they align with Internet Society policies created by the Advisory Council, subject to approval and funding from the central body. (This is in there to serve the editors POV which is that Internet Society did not adequately consult before committing to sell PIR)

3) While once boasting a large global membership base, the Internet Society lost 40,000 members in 2018 alone, and as of December 2019, the Internet Society indicates on its homepage that membership has declined to 64,538 members.[2] (The membership number fell due to rigorous GDPR compliance, in 2018 all members were required to opt in to a new privacy policy [3] This is added to the article to portray ISOC as a failing organization.)

4)The central unit of standardization in Internet standards is performed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The IETF is split into numerous working groups covering various functional areas.[4] A steering body, the Internet Engineering Steering Group, coordinates the activities of the working groups, assigns group chairs and approves the results of the groups' work. Before standards are adopted, at least two independent implementations must have demonstrated that they really work. Moreover, when a standard is proposed, it is published electronically and at some stage of the standards track it is introduced as a "Request for Comments" (RFC) in the RFC document series. Thus, a broad and unrestricted discussion of the proposal is made possible. (This is cruft. This information is available in the wikipedia IETF article. The reason it was posted was to lead in to the nest para.)

5) However, in 2018 the IETF began to become independent of the Internet Society, by forming its own legal entity (IETF Administration LLC). The Internet Society has committed to making payments to the IETF until 2020 to help it build up an endowment and reserve fund, after which time it will be financially independent.[5] (This is worded to give the impression that the IETF is breaking away from ISOC, to reinforce POV that ISOC is no longer a responsible steward. If you read the ref, which is a draft, it says " Specifically, the IETF LLC is a single-member Limited Liability Company created in Delaware (USA) in August 2018. The member (i.e., its legal owner) is ISOC." )

6) The Internet Society is the parent company for the Public Interest Registry, which manages the .ORG top-level domain. They are currently in the process of selling this public good to a venture capital company, Ethos Capital. (The casting of this registry business as a 'public good" is POV. I replaced this with the neutral "In 2019 the Internet Society agreed to the sale of Public Interest Registry to Ethos Capital for $1.135 billion. a transaction expected to complete in early 2020. The Internet Society has said it plans to use the proceeds to fund an endowment. [6] The sale has met with some opposition, since it involves the transfer of what is viewed as a public asset to a private equity investment firm. [7]

7) The Internet Society is not a membership-driven organization, but an independent trust. Individual members have little capability to be able to control the direction taken by management. Similarly, Chapters of the Internet Society have struggled for funding where their positions do not align with the views of management or the organizational member Advisory Council. The Chapters work together in a Chapters Committee to develop recommendations and to share best practices. However, their recommendations are not always acted upon by the Board of Trustees. In 2017, all Chapters endorsed a proposal that Chapters should have control of 3% of the overall Internet Society budget with sensible provisions against financial abuse introduced. Currently, the Internet Society spends five dollars "administering" each dollar controlled by its Chapters. However, in a closed Board meeting this recommendation was rejected with no explanation offered.[8] (Spun cherry-picked dirty washing from a well-known internal dissenter in ISOC used to cast a bad light, reinforce the editors POV)

8) The Internet Society claimed on its homepage to have over 100,000 members in 2018. As of December 2019, the Internet Society claims to have 64,538 members. Questions have been raised as to why over 40,000 members left in 2018.[9] (Yet again with the membership decline!)

9) The board of trustees consists of 13 members.[10] Four members are appointed by Internet Society chapters, four members are appointed by the Internet Engineering Task Force, and four members are appointed by organizational members of the Internet Society. In addition, the President and Chief Executive Officer serves ex officio. (Cruft posted to support the following statement.)

10) As a result, a majority of the board of trustees are appointed by corporate interests. (Supporting editor's POV that ISOC's board is tainted, as is its decision to sell PIR).

11) Until 2001, there were also trustees elected by individual members of the Internet Society. Those elections were "suspended" in 2001. This was ostensibly done as a fiscal measure due to the perception that the elections were costing too much (at the time, the organization was in a dire financial situation). In later Bylaw revisions, the concept of individual member-selected trustees went from "suspended" to being deleted altogether.[11] (Indeed ISOC changed structure at this time from a "professional" cause-based organization, to an open and free membership model with a multistakeholder structure of board election. However, the way this is written, and why it is in there, is to suggest that ISOC disenfranchised its members and to further the POV that its sale of PIR is illegitimate.)

12) This sale to private equity was concerning to civil society, because the sale of PIR to a private entity will significantly alter the Domain Name System and further weaken the Internet Society's influence. PIR played an important role, as the only remaining non-commercial top-level domain registry operator, in serving as a counterbalance against commercial exploitation. PIR ran .ORG, .NGO, and .ONG for the benefit of its users, whereas other top-level domains are run by private companies with purely financial objectives. While the interests of companies and users do at times overlap, they can also conflict, and when this occurs there are significant human rights implications. PIR, as a subsidiary of the Internet Society, could be relied upon to do what was best for domain name registrants, and had a proud history of doing just that. However, PIR also gave ISOC legitimacy and influence. It allowed the Internet Society to take an active role in shaping Internet infrastructure. In relinquishing its control over PIR, the Internet Society loses its ability to directly impact how millions of people around the world positively experience the Internet every day. (POV via WP:SYN)


  1. ^ Werle, Raymund; Leib, Volker (1999). "The Internet Society and its struggle for recognition and influence". MPIfG.
  2. ^ "After 70,000 member loss, can Andrew Sullivan revive the Internet Society?". Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  3. ^ "Update: ISOC's GDPR Compliance Eforts" (PDF).
  4. ^ Werle, Raymund; Leib, Volker (1999). "The Internet society and its struggle for recognition and influence". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Camarillo, G. and J. Livingood (2018-12-13). "The IETF-ISOC Relationship". Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  6. ^ "Advancing the Internet Society's Mission Into the Future". 30 November 2019.
  7. ^ Kieren McCarthy. "As pressure builds over .org sell-off, internet governance bodies fall back into familiar pattern: Silence". The Register. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  8. ^ "After 70,000 member loss, can Andrew Sullivan revive the Internet Society?". Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  9. ^ "After 70,000 member loss, can Andrew Sullivan revive the Internet Society?". Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  10. ^ "Board of Trustees". Internet Society. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  11. ^ "ISOC Board of Trustees Minutes, Meeting No. 25 (December 8-9, 2001)". Internet Society. Retrieved 2019-12-06.


Also there's this

13) The Internet Society conducts a range of activities under the categories of public policy, access, and education.

Under the public policy category, the Internet Society works with governments, national and international organizations, and the private sector to promote policies about the Internet that conform to its core values. The Internet Society has been criticized for not supporting net neutrality and for not engaging with civil society.

Under the access category, the Internet Society works with community partners to support network development, interconnection, and Internet traffic exchange, and to train individuals who can build and maintain the Internet infrastructure in their regions.

Under the category of education, the Internet Society pursues its goals by coordinating and delivering hands-on technical training, seminars and conferences on topical Internet issues; supporting local and regional Internet organisations; issuing briefings and white papers on Internet technologies; and funding participation opportunities for Internet experts in developing countries. (Not posted by User:Federline, but this is a an edit of vintage copy pasted from the ISOC site. ISOC's action plan has advanced more than once since then. I included a summary of the latest one in my rewrite.[1])

Once one takes most of this out. There isn't a lot left. Hence my rewrite of a brief neutral article.[2]. Wwwhatsup (talk) 11:59, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

RfC on proposed base version of this article.Edit

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Editors prefer Version #1 to #2 by a small margin. One editor mentioned the 'unsourced editorializing' in Version #2. User:Rhododendrites favored taking out the sidebar and nobody else commented on that, so I removed the sidebar. (i.e. removed {{Internet}} and {{Internet history timeline}}). Since this was only a vote on what to use for a 'base version' it is possible that further RfCs may be advisable for specific questions. Though I reverted the article to Version #1, it is not protected and is only intended as a starting point for further editing. Try to ensure that your additional changes have consensus. EdJohnston (talk) 02:38, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

The RFC is whether to restore this version as a base upon which a good article can be built, or keep the current version, protected as a result of earlier edit warring. I have a COI and will not do the restore myself, consensus is required on the change. Wwwhatsup (talk) 03:45, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

Can you summarize the arguments in favor of each version? EdJohnston (talk) 03:50, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for your continued interest! I think I've fairly comprehensively delineated the problems with the current version above: 1) it's a synthesis to portray the subject negatively, 2) it doesn't give a history of the organization, 3) the 'Activities' section is out of date. The proposed revision remedies all of those. Wwwhatsup (talk) 19:15, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
So version #1 is the one you are proposing, and #2 is a version proposed by User:Ferdeline. So, if I try to condense some of the opinions above, #1 is likely to be written more from the ISOC's own point of view, and version #2 is likely to include some criticism, and possibly some original research. (See for example the Controversies section, which does not exist in #1). It's not my place to rule on any of this, we just need to get others' opinions. EdJohnston (talk) 19:30, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
In case you want to break down #1/#2 into a series of more specific questions, analogous to the numbered itsms in #POV much?, how about asking: Should the Public Interest Registry be described as a public good in Wikipedia's voice? EdJohnston (talk) 20:01, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

Thanks again for your continuing interest. My theory is that in #1, unlike #2, there is no point of view, ISOC or otherwise, and thus it is a good base for the article. That's what I tried to achieve. It's just a brief collection of facts, a fair portion of the history merely links ISOC to other existing Wikipedia articles on its activities. As to further questions, if individual edits are added to that base, then they can be asked. Thus this RFC is, given the flawed nature of almost the entire article as it stands, shouldn't it be replaced by #1. The choice is Keep or Restore, can we get consensus on that? Further comments welcome. Wwwhatsup (talk) 06:45, 22 December 2019 (UTC)

I have very limited knowledge of ISOC these days, although IIRC I was a member briefly several decades ago when it first started. As to these two versions, it seems clear that #2 is by someone who has an axe to grind with it, and makes several deliberate misrepresentations to make ISOC look bad (e.g. casting the creation of a separate company for the IETF as an attempt by the IETF to separate itself from ISOC). As such, it is wholly unsuitable as the base for a neutral article about the organization.
I do think the dust-up over the sale of the PIR should be covered in more detail than #1 does, including giving details on why some consider it bad (just saying it "will significantly alter the Domain Name System" makes it sound like the technical functioning of the DNS will be affected, which is extremely unlikely), although the linked Register article is a good source. Those details must be clearly labelled as claims by the opponents of the sale (who don't seem to be offering to step up to fund the operation of the IETF, so the ISOC wouldn't need to sell the PIR). Noel (talk) 10:56, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. Arguably, it would better to include further info about proposed changes in Public Interest Registry, or even Ethos Capital, rather than this article. I interpret your comments as a Restore. Wwwhatsup (talk) 22:31, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
On the other hand, you could treat it as an invitation to add your own description of the PIR dispute to your version, the one currently labelled #1. Unclear why you would want to immediately exile this material to the other two articles. EdJohnston (talk) 03:33, 23 December 2019 (UTC)
Indeed I did note the controversy, as quoted in 6) above. Speculation probably doesn't belong anywhere, although it could be notable, I guess. But if it's about PIR, and its future under Ethos Capital ownership, surely it doesn't belong here. Wwwhatsup (talk) 04:36, 23 December 2019 (UTC)

And EdJohnston, I'm tempted to regard your comment as at least a weak Restore :) My purpose here was/is to establish a good base article. My admitted COI probably precludes me from doing much more than that. Once #1 is restored, other editors are free to make edits, which can be judged on their own merits. Wwwhatsup (talk) 04:56, 23 December 2019 (UTC)

As an admin I'm not voting in this RfC. Your COI may restrict you from changing the article, but you are free to advocate for anything you want on the talk page. But if you don't subdivide the issues more finely, it is unclear how progress can be made. EdJohnston (talk) 05:06, 23 December 2019 (UTC)
Well. I already did that above. If each of those pieces were removed, as they should, there would be nothing left but the lede and the ELs! Hence this RFC. What's needed here is more editors. I don't know what else to do to recruit eyeballs. Wwwhatsup (talk) 07:28, 23 December 2019 (UTC)

Version 2 has a block of unsourced editorializing in a "controversies" section. No, that obviously should not be there. The "Today" section is also mostly unsourced. Several claims rely on NetPolicyNews, whose reliability is unclear to me. That said, there are many more sources criticizing the sale that aren't included yet. How much of that should be here, I don't know, but since I see several sources which talk about ISOC in relation to that sale, it makes sense to include in nontrivial detail. Not a single controversy in a plural "controversies" section, of course. Version 1 seems more straightforward, but itself has the problem of relying too much on primary sources. It also turns the article into a sort of timeline with too many lists. Too many factors to just say "version 1" or "version 2" here. Neither is ideal. Speaking of timelines, get rid of the sidebar. It's absurdly long and seems intended as a navbox, but isn't -- it's just a tangential timeline tacked onto the side (and bottom, and wayyy bottom). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 22:41, 23 December 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for comments. I take your point about the list, but I was constrained to 'just the facts' minimalism by my COI. My aim was to construct the basic elements of what might become a good article, rather than the current axe grinding. Hopefully further editing might smooth that out, perhaps into sections e.g. 'Protocol Advocacy' and "Community Networks' . The first step is to establish #1 as a base. Can we get consensus on that? Wwwhatsup (talk) 03:29, 24 December 2019 (UTC)
Regarding the content of the lede: the current version is succinct, hence, more appropriate for me. As previous posts noted the second version tended to editorialize. It also had specific details that should just be included in the body such as the info about membership and policymaking. Darwin Naz (talk) 23:17, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
"the current version is succinct" Don't you have that back to front? Can you give an opinion -- Keep #2 or Restore #1? Wwwhatsup (talk) 01:52, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
My bad. I meant the old version (the shorter one) and not the current version. As previously stated, the current one editorializes (e.g. the org struggles for influence). Let us just describe the organization and if there are criticisms, you can always create a section in the body except if such criticisms eclipse the organization in terms of notability. And, again, details like membership and policymaking should also be included in the body. Darwin Naz (talk) 09:28, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I'd interpret that as a Restore #1. Could we be approaching consensus? Wwwhatsup (talk) 08:28, 29 December 2019 (UTC)

I have put in a Request for closure on this, which will hopefully establish #1 as a base. Once that is done, work can begin on improvement, including the suggestions above. Wwwhatsup (talk) 08:11, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

I see today that in this diff DustinICW has amended #2 with a partial restoration of #1. It would be helpful if DustinICW responded to the RFC, in particular, why they think only that section merits restoration, rather than the whole thing. Wwwhatsup (talk) 20:09, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
My "partial restoration" was not intended to be an endorsement of any other parts of the article, but was just me not being up-to-date with the talk page and not realizing it would be interpreted in such a way. I've self-reverted my edits, pending a resolution of this discussion.

DustinICW (talk) 20:20, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

Hopefully that comes sooner rather than later! Might you care to make your opinion known on the overall Keep vs Restore question? Wwwhatsup (talk) 20:43, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Thanks, EdJohnston, for your attention! Wwwhatsup (talk) 06:26, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

Proposed revisions?Edit

Onward and upward! Obviously the PIR sale has had further developments that may merit inclusion. However there should be some triage 1) if something is better posted to the PIR or Ethos Capital articles, 2) whether of sufficient notability, and 3) not evidently pushing a particular POV. Perhaps this and this on the one hand, and some responses/announcements on the other?

Another issue that was raised elsewhere is one gap in the history, the INETs and Training Workshops, particularly in the 90s, which helped spread the Internet globally. Possibly merits its own article. What I also noticed is that there is no NDSS article. Surely notable?

I'm not sorry to see the sidebars go. TMI! But maybe they should somehow be in a See Also section. There was one of these before but I took it out as I incorporated links to the IETF, IHOF, Postel Award etc into the history.

And, on the history front, could/should the various activities broken out to sections with narrative, so the whole thing is less listlike? All suggestions, and comments are welcome. Wwwhatsup (talk) 07:00, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

Introducing User:Neville at Internet SocietyEdit

Hello! My name is Neville Hobson. I am Director, Digital Marketing at the Internet Society. I created this account this month to serve as the Internet Society's official representative on Wikipedia and suggest updates to this article. With this conflict of interest in mind, I will work with Wikipedia's dedicated community of volunteers to propose Wikipedia-appropriate improvements. Given recent discussions on this talk page, I hope I can be a resource to assist Wikipedia editors in bringing this article up-to-date while also respecting Wikipedia's content policies to ensure the article remains a valuable encyclopedic resource to readers.

Thanks. Neville at Internet Society (talk) 17:04, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

Hello User:Neville. Do you have any comment to make on a 19 February article in The Register, which describes some opposition to the proposed sale of .org? There was also a previous complaint by staffers of the Packet Clearing House in a 17 December article. EdJohnston (talk) 18:46, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi User:EdJohnston: There have been many people who have voiced their concerns about the proposed transaction. We welcome the input and having a balanced conversation where facts inform opinions on all sides. Facts can be found at [3].
Today, Ethos Capital announced several key initiatives that strengthen and reinforce their commitments to the .ORG community as part of their acquisition of Public Interest Registry. The sustainable funding offered by the investments will ensure the Internet Society community efforts to build, promote, and defend the Internet can continue, and that these efforts reach far and wide. Learn more: [4].
Neville at Internet Society (talk) 20:39, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
Neville, your response is noted but it may not address the concerns raised. The two articles in The Register are full of detailed comments and questions which may not have been answered. For example, the new .org will be run by a profit-making entity, so it will no longer be eligible to receive the existing charitable donations that were helping to fund it up till now: "96 per cent of .org’s current operational funding will disappear.." according to a letter from the Packet Clearing House quoted in the 17 December Reg article. EdJohnston (talk) 20:09, 22 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi Ed, I appreciate your questions but I'm also aware that a Wikipedia Talk page is not the best place for this discussion. My focus here on this Talk page is on improving the complete Wikipedia entry for the Internet Society, through dialogue and discussion with the community. Regarding your request for comment on specific media reports about the PIR transaction, please refer to for FAQ and also the Contact page for the names of the official spokespeople to whom you can address such questions, as I am not authorized to speak on behalf of the organization with regards to addressing these issues here.
Neville at Internet Society (talk) 17:53, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Unreferenced additions to historyEdit

On Jan 10 2020 User: made this edit, adding several unreffed assertions. These should be verified or removed. Wwwhatsup (talk) 22:37, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

A reliable source of reliable sources?Edit

A thesis Coordinating the Internet (Linköping University Electronic Press - December 2019) by Swedish scholar Fredrik Lindeberg is available for free download. It includes a brief section on ISOC, and several further references elsewhere. It is useful in that digests many other reputable sources and includes a comprehensive bibliography. Wwwhatsup (talk) 15:45, 25 April 2020 (UTC)

Hi Wwwhatsup: That's a good suggestion, thanks for sharing details and the link.
Neville at Internet Society (talk) 14:37, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
Can anyone cite any material from that document that we can use here? EdJohnston (talk) 18:28, 27 April 2020 (UTC)

Hi all, I have read through the relevant section (pages 136-138) and do not see any material that would make a useful addition to this page. In my opinion it really just reiterates what is already in this article under the "History" section. Ferdeline (talk) 20:09, 27 April 2020 (UTC)

More unreferenced additionsEdit

Hello! Editor Ferdeline added significant changes to this article on April 26. Most of the content is unsourced, so I would like Wikipedia editors to consider its appropriateness on Wikipedia. For instance, should claims such as the following include citations from reliable sources for verification, weight, and accuracy?

  • This was ostensibly done as a fiscal measure due to the perception that the elections were costing too much (at the time, the organization was in a dire financial situation).
  • This caused considerable distress to ISOC members in Iran, who were thus unable to launch an Internet Society chapter in Iran, and saw a fellowship revoked that the Internet Society had awarded to fund the travel of Iranian student to visit the Internet Governance Forum in Mexico.
  • In 2018 the IETF began to become independent of the Internet Society by forming its own legal entity (IETF Administration LLC). The Internet Society has committed to making payments to the IETF until 2020 to help it build up an endowment and reserve fund, after which time it will be financially independent.

While I see several issues with some of the material that was added (eg, the IETF issue is more complex than what is described in the article), the most basic issue with it is that it could be seen as failing to meet Wikipedia's sourcing standards. Per WP:Verifiability: "Readers must be able to check that any of the information within Wikipedia articles is not just made up. This means all material must be attributable to reliable, published sources."

This is not the only instance of the addition of unreferenced content that should be reviewed. In early April, Wwwhatsup noted other unsourced content added by an IP editor.

With my conflict of interest in mind, I’m bringing up this issue as a discussion point in place of editing the article myself.

Thanks. Neville at Internet Society (talk) 10:22, 29 April 2020 (UTC)

Hello Neville at Internet Society (talk),
Thank you for noting your conflict of interest because you are the Director, Digital Marketing at the Internet Society. Your colleague Wwwhatsup is not as forthright about his conflict of interest.
ISOC has scrubbed much relevant material from its website, however the Internet Archive has maintained copies of crucial documents and I am in the process of reviewing their historical archives.
Regarding this line:
"This was ostensibly done as a fiscal measure due to the perception that the elections were costing too much (at the time, the organization was in a dire financial situation)."
In the fuller context of the article it reads:
"By mid 2000, the Internet Society's finances became precarious, and several individuals and organizations stepped forward to fill the gap. Until 2001, there were also trustees elected by individual members of the Internet Society. Those elections were "suspended" in 2001. This was ostensibly done as a fiscal measure due to the perception that the elections were costing too much (at the time, the organization was in a dire financial situation). In later Bylaw revisions, the concept of individual member-selected trustees went from "suspended" to being deleted altogether."
This language is supported by the minutes of Board of Trustees meetings 22 (10 December 2000), 27 (17 June 2002) and the Internet Society Executive Director's Report of 9 December 2000. I will add citations shortly to the article.
In the course of my research I have uncovered an omission that I would like to append to the end of the above-paragraph along with relevant citations:
"Then-Trustee Alan Greenberg argued that such an action would measurably disconnect the Internet Society from its individual members.[1] Today, the Bylaws of the Internet Society dictate that corporate interests determine the majority of Trustees.[2]"
As to your other comments, when time permits, I will gladly add citations directly to the article.
Thank you, Ferdeline (talk) 15:05, 29 April 2020 (UTC)

Hello all,
For the third point in the unsighted references:
  • In 2018 the IETF began to become independent of the Internet Society by forming its own legal entity (IETF Administration LLC). The Internet Society has committed to making payments to the IETF until 2020 to help it build up an endowment and reserve fund, after which time it will be financially independent.
Would the following be good references / citations for the first sentence (that the IETF began becoming independent)?
Problems with current structure:
RFC describing changes (maybe this should be a link under "independent"):
New article showing changes are moving forward:
I don't have any stake in this, but I was surprised by the statement about IETF independence and fell down a rabbit hole trying to figure out if/why it was happening. Those items seemed to explain it. Surprised how little media coverage there is on anything ietf.
Thank you, Uncommon banality (talk) 20:17, 2 June 2020 (UTC)

Article UpdatesEdit

Hello! I created a draft of this article with updates throughout. It is available in my user space. Keeping in mind the amount of effort required for volunteer editors to review edit requests, I will present my requests by section. I'll start with Organization primarily because the live article's Organization section does not cite any references. In my draft, you will see that I’ve tried to add information citing independent sources and the Internet Society for very basic facts in line with Wikipedia’s principles, practices and spirit, taking into account my previously-disclosed conflict of interest. I also included points from the Activities section, which would render the mostly unsourced Activities section unnecessary. Will editors review this draft proposed to replace both the live Organization and Activities sections? Thank you.


The Internet Society is a 501(c)(3) that works to promote the open development of the Internet and expand access across the world.[1][2] The Internet Society's main focus is on Internet policies and increasing accessibility.[3] Its projects include helping to build community networks and infrastructure, secure routing protocols, and advocating for end-to-end encryption.[4][5][6]

In addition to its main offices in Reston, Virginia, and Geneva, Switzerland, it has regional bureaus worldwide.[7] The Internet Society comprises various chapters, organizational members,[5] and, as of March 2020, more than 67,000 individual members.[8] The Internet Society is governed by a Board of Trustees.[9] Its leadership includes Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Gonzalo Camarillo; and President and CEO, Andrew Sullivan.[10][11]

The Internet Society is the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force.[5] The society launched the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012,[12] whereby new members are inducted every two years to chronicle the Internet and those whose work contributed to its development.[13]

The Internet Society Foundation, created in 2019, awards grants to Internet Society chapters, nonprofits, and people.[14] Another initiative, Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS), seeks to prevent malicious abuse of the Internet's routing infrastructure.[15]

The Internet Society organizes the annual Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) to expand Internet infrastructure in Africa.[16] The Internet Society publishes the Global Internet Report[17][18] and creates tools, surveys, and codes to improve Internet use.[19][20][21] It hosts Internet development conferences in developing markets[22] and community network summits.[23]

In 2002, the Internet Society created the Public Interest Registry (PIR), which sells Internet domains using the top-level domain .org.[3]


  1. ^ "2018 Form 990" (PDF). Form 990. 2019. p. 1. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  2. ^ Doctorow, Cory (April 17, 2012). "Why did an MPAA executive join the Internet Society?". The Guardian. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  3. ^ a b McCarthy, Kieran (November 29, 2019). "Internet Society CEO: Most people don't care about the .org sell-off – and nothing short of a court order will stop it". The Register. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  4. ^ Gilbert, David (January 24, 2020). "3 Billionaire Republican Families Are About to Buy the Dot-Org Domain. That's Terrifying Nonprofits". Vice Media. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Higgins, Kelly Jackson (June 1, 2017). "Internet Society Takes On IoT, Website Security, Incident Response via OTA Merger". Dark Reading. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  6. ^ Singh, Manish (January 9, 2020). "Over two dozen encryption experts call on India to rethink changes to its intermediary liability rules". TechCrunch. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  7. ^ Duffy Marsan, Carolyn (March 26, 2012). "Internet Society celebrates 20 years of standards, advocacy". Network World. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  8. ^ "Internet Society". Internet Society. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  9. ^ "ISOC Board of Trustees".
  10. ^ "Domain Wars: Nonprofit .Org Addresses Could Soon Belong To A For-Profit Company". On Point by WBUR-FM. January 21, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  11. ^ Finley, Klint (February 4, 2020). "Who Should Control the Internet's .Org Addresses?". Wired. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  12. ^ Asmelash, Leah (September 27, 2019). "Larry Irving is the first African American inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame". CNN. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  13. ^ Finley, Klint (September 27, 2019). "Enjoy Free Internet at the Library? You Can Thank This Woman". Wired. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  14. ^ McCarthy, Kieren (December 3, 2019). "Internet Society says opportunity to sell .org to private equity biz for $1.14bn came out of the blue. Wow, really?". The Register. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  15. ^ Higgins, Kelly Jackson (August 13, 2019). "Internet Routing Security Initiative Launches Online 'Observatory'". Dark Reading. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  16. ^ Batambuze III, Ephraime (March 30, 2016). "The Internet Society brings African Peering and Interconnection Forum to Tanzania for first time". PC Tech Magazine. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  17. ^ Deb, Sandipan (April 2, 2019). "The Internet @ 30: Big hope to big bother". Mint. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  18. ^ Ikeda, Scott (July 22, 2019). "New Cyber Attack Trends Report Reveals That Digital Criminals Made Off With $45 Billion in 2018". CPO Magazine. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  19. ^ Feldstein, Steven (June 13, 2019). "To end mass protests, Sudan has cut off Internet access nationwide. Here's why". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  20. ^ Molla, Rani (May 13, 2019). "People say they care about privacy but they continue to buy devices that can spy on them". Vox Media. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  21. ^ Zurier, Steve (January 25, 2019). "Internet Society to Issue Privacy Code of Conduct". Dark Reading. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  22. ^ "Forum to propose how to build the internet ecosystem in Ethiopia". Aptantech. February 29, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  23. ^ "More Than 60% Africans Not Connected To Internet, Says Internet Society". EABW. September 4, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2020.

I created this account to serve as the Internet Society's official representative on Wikipedia and suggest updates to this article. With this conflict of interest in mind, I will work with Wikipedia's dedicated community of volunteers to propose Wikipedia-appropriate improvements.

Thanks. Neville at Internet Society (talk) 10:52, 3 June 2020 (UTC)

Hi Neville at Internet Society. Thanks for your efforts and I note the total reliance on secondary reliable sources. Congrats on that. However, I believe any experienced Wikpedia editor would nevertheless flag the above for tone. It reads like a pr release. Nothing that can't be fixed with a bit of rewrite. Wwwhatsup (talk) 12:19, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
Hi Wwwhatsup: Thanks for your opinion on the proposed text. Can you share an example of what you see as "it reads like a pr release"? Thank you. Neville at Internet Society (talk) 13:54, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
Neville at Internet Society, It's the overall tone. I will try a rewrite, given time. If you like I can do that on the talk over at your user page. Wwwhatsup (talk) 14:39, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
The changes are entirely inappropriate, and I would like to note my strong opposition to ISOC's communications department rewriting this article. Current text is accurate. Thank you.Ferdeline (talk) 19:50, 11 June 2020 (UTC)
I am noting here that I've started seeking some fresh eyes to this article as well, starting at WikiProject Internet. Thank you. Neville at Internet Society (talk) 10:27, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

@Ferdeline: do you have any refs to support your assertion that the current section is accurate; The entire Internet Society § Organization section is currently unsourced. I'm not particularly enamored with the proposed replacement. There seems to be a WP:CITEKILL issue, the voicing needs work and the scope goes beyond Organization. ~Kvng (talk) 14:23, 25 June 2020 (UTC)

Hi Kvng: Thank you for providing this feedback. Can you also provide specifics about what issues there are with voicing and scope? I’m happy to collaborate with editors and adjust my language as they see fit, but I want to make sure I fully understand the issues raised before doing so. I do want my proposed content to be in good standing, so I appreciate any advice to get this in better shape. I was attempting to create a sourced section that includes information on the organization and its activities. Thank you. Neville at Internet Society (talk) 17:09, 29 June 2020 (UTC)
@Neville at Internet Society: the 4th and 5th paragraphs are not about Organization, they're about things the organization does. The first paragraph reads like a mission statement. ~Kvng (talk) 17:37, 29 June 2020 (UTC)
Hi Kvng: This is helpful, thank you. I will take your points and review my proposed content to see how I can present it in a better form for you and others to review. Thanks. Neville at Internet Society (talk) 13:33, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Support to United Nations Internet Governance InitiativeEdit

Hi, I am not sure who added the section "Support to United Nations Internet Governance Initiative" to the article, but I believe the current language is not adding value to this article. It reads like a press release and does not outline precisely how ISOC contributes to the IGF. I believe there is something here and the section can remain - ISOC has been a major funder and supporter of the IGF, and started the IGF Support Association - but we need better evidence. Ferdeline (talk) 15:50, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

Participation in Controversial Conference sectionEdit

I request that editors consider removing the latest addition by User:Ferdeline, as significant portions of his edit are not supported by reliable sources. I will explain my rationale line-by-line.

  • "The Internet Society had two speakers present at the Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference in 2020: Robin Wilton and Dan York."
    • Indeed, "HOPE Conference 2020" (Internet Society website) verifies that Internet Society speakers are scheduled to speak at HOPE Conference 2020.
  • "This was first time that the HOPE conference had been hosted since 2018, and the conference in 2020 was being boycotted by many technology companies, civil society organizations, and technologists, including Chelsea Manning and the Tor Project, because HOPE did not take appropriate action to expel persons wearing Nazi flags in 2018."
    • Internet Society is not mentioned once in "Twitter 'Blacklists' Lead the Company Into Another Trump Supporter Conspiracy" (Vice), nor are "Nazi flags"; the article notes people wearing MAGA hats. According to the article, the person was expelled later in the event.
    • There is also no source about a boycott of events, and the list of HOPE 2020 speakers includes many technology companies, civil society organizations, and leading technologists. There is a letter of "no confidence" that was signed in 2018, but that is not what is written here in the Wikipedia article; it also relates to the HOPE Conference, not Internet Society.
  • "In 2018, a journalist asked a HOPE staff member if the wearing of 'fascist symbolism was appropriate' at HOPE, to which their employee answered 'yes.'"
    • This article does report these facts, but the article does not mention Internet Society at all. It's not clear why this material is added to this Wikipedia entry.
  • "Internet Society individual members denounced the decision by the Internet Society to allow its staff to present at this conference."
    • This source shows one person saying they do not support the HOPE conference. The person is not identified as an ISOC member. Are email discussion list archives reliable sources for Wikipedia?

I also wonder if Ferdeline's edit would be considered an instance of Wikipedia:Original research?

Wikipedia articles must not contain original research. The phrase "original research" (OR) is used on Wikipedia to refer to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published sources exist.[a] This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to reach or imply a conclusion not stated by the sources. To demonstrate that you are not adding OR, you must be able to cite reliable, published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article, and directly support the material being presented.

The 2018 incident at HOPE Conference is not an Internet Society issue. If the article is going to say that people protested Internet Society's involvement in the 2020 conference, shouldn't the article cite reliable sources that explicitly state that?

For all these reasons, I believe this section should be removed as it does not abide by Wikipedia's best practices, at least not as I understand them. As Director, Digital Marketing at the Internet Society, I have a previously-disclosed conflict of interest so I will abstain from direct editing of this article.

Thank you. Neville at Internet Society (talk) 06:13, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

I implemented some of this from my topic knowledge, it still needs work. The conference is not particularly controversial in it's social sphere, but I couldn't think of a better section title for now. jrabbit05 (talk) 15:43, 30 July 2020 (UTC) has removed the section. I think the article is better without it. Perhaps the material can be restored to Hackers on Planet Earth if not already discussed there. ~Kvng (talk) 13:57, 2 August 2020 (UTC)

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