ICM, IFFOR and Irvine

A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that Joan Irvine, the Executive Director of the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP), was stepping down from her position with ASACP to take on the position as Executive Director of the International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR). I will admit, when I first read this news my initial thoughts were [in order] no way, bullshit, maybe this is the logical choice.

Naturally, on GFY, people were up in arms. Just as naturally, most of those complaining had done nothing about defeating the implementation of the .xxx sTLD. Even more clamor was raised by those that are never going to be affected by .xxx. The mob mentality was rampant. People that really have no clue what the issues are jumped on the bandwagon, presuming that the GFY crusader(s) knew something more than they did. A lot of speculation and theorizing made up most of the arguments.

Since I have some of the loudest of the mob leaders on ignore, I did not read all the claims made. If it was not for the fact that I received emails apologizing for getting me involved, along with Twitter and Facebook messages suggesting that for some reason I had to be involved in some way, I would not even be writing this article. Luckily, I am in the position of not caring if someone does not approve of my thoughts on the matter. Rather than have my thoughts buried by trolls, I have decided to put them here.

First off, PimpsPromo has been a corporate sponsor of ASACP since the beginning of 2011. I personally have supported ASACP for many years both financially and on webmaster forums, and continue to do so. Even though I believe .xxx will never be a personal issue for me, I was against its implementation. That is a moot matter at this point, it is here. I know Stuart Lawley is a liar, as he lied to my face and I have called him on it. I have been involved with this issue since 2007 and there is plenty of evidence to support these assertions. I like Joan Irvine, and have spoken with her in depth regarding ASACP and .xxx. I had to know I wanted to be a sponsor before I was about to commit this site to its promotion.

It is due to these conversations, that I came to the earlier mentioned conclusion that “maybe this is the logical choice.” Anyone that has spent time with Irvine has to admit that she has been very passionate about her job. She is about the welfare of exploited children. I am sure she cares about little Judy, the honor student from Redondo Beach as well, hence RTA, but ASACP is more concerned with child pornography. Irvine is pro-adult industry. Her entire career has been spent telling people that the adult industry is not the ones putting child pornography out on the Internet. There is no question in my mind that she has always had our back in the past. I highly doubt she is going to suddenly change her entire ideology overnight.

We have to accept the fact that .xxx passed. No arguments that I have seen seem to indicate otherwise. As part of the agreement, with .xxx comes IFFOR. So, what is IFFOR? From the IFFOR home page, “IFFOR Charter: The .xxx TLD is intended to primarily serve the needs of the global responsible online adult-entertainment community.” Among the tasks listed, they promote the development of responsible business practices, encourage the adoption of the .xxx and promote the development of business practices to safeguard children online and combat child abuse and child abuse images. There are other things listed, but I feel these are the most worth discussion. You can read everything on their website. But let us start with these four issues.

IFFOR is supposed to serve the needs of the “responsible online” community. One might argue that their only duty is to .xxx domain holders or their stockholders. If we did not have someone on the IFFOR policy council that realized that adult webmasters are responsible, there is a great chance that we would end up with a council that felt that adult webmasters and their websites are the bane of society. With Irvine as the executive director, we have at least one person on our side.

IFFOR will promote the development of responsible business practices. In other words, IFFOR will set policy for .xxx. Again, you are going to have a difficult time convincing me that we do not need someone that knows the adult industry, and has been involved in developing responsible business practices for adult. ASACP and RTA are great examples of responsible business practices.

IFFOR will encourage the adoption of the use of .xxx. I guess that goes without saying. So what? Just do not buy into the hype and do not purchase a .xxx domain. If someone tries to hijack your .com, there are policies in place to protect you. Until such time that it becomes mandatory, just do not buy .xxx. I looked over most of the IFFOR website and I could not find anywhere that suggested they were given the task of securing mandatory use of .xxx.

IFFOR will promote the development of business practices to safeguard children online and combat child abuse and child abuse images. If you know someone better suited for this particular task than Joan Irvine, I am all ears.

It comes down to this, .xxx is here. IFFOR is here. Someone has to be the leader. I would rather have someone that is adult friendly over some teabagger or wannabe trying to break into the political arena by taking on the task of “saving the children.” If you feel Joan Irvine is going to do the adult community wrong with her position at IFFOR, they are currently accepting nominations for the Policy Committee. Nominate yourself. If you want, contact me and I will nominate you. Whining on the boards or blogging that Joan Irvine is a sellout accomplishes nothing. If you sat on the sidelines up until now, maybe it is time to get involved . . . if you really care.

This is my position regarding Joan Irvine’s decision to leave ASACP and go to IFFOR. I believe in Irvine. If I calculated the amount of time I have spent with Irvine and talked about ASACP, RTA, child exploitation and .xxx it would be double digits. I refuse to believe that I can spend that much time with someone, looking into their eyes as we spoke, and believe that all this time she was lying to me. Not going to happen. Until such time that I have reason to believe otherwise, I will continue to believe her. If it turns out I was duped, I promise, I will admit it make a public statement that I can no longer judge a person’s character to save my life.

I will end this by addressing a couple other accusations I keep seeing thrown around. The first is that ASACP gets $10 for every .xxx domain registered. I asked Irvine about this allegation during one of our meetings. As I recall, she laughed at the idea but admitted that there was no way she or ASACP would ever turn down an offer like that. The only problem is, that was never offered. ICM promised ICANN that it “will donate $10 per year per registration to fund IFFOR’s policy development activities and to provide financial support for the work of online safety organizations, child pornography hotlines, and to sponsor the development of tools and technology to promote child safety and fight child pornography.” Anyone that reads ASACP anywhere in that is really reaching. Yes, I think it is safe to say that ASACP would have gotten some of those funds whether Irvine was executive director or not. I like to think ASACP might get more funding now that she is there. They can certainly use it.

I saw another allegation that an XBIZ poll was cited as a proof of community support of .xxx. People thought it was inconceivable that members of two different adult webmaster forums could have different opinions. I can only suggest that anyone that thinks attitudes on XBIZ are the same as on GFY has obviously never spent much time at XBIZ. I was a moderator at XBIZ since before it was called XBIZ. I can assure you, they have never been similar. It would surprise me more if an XBIZ poll reflected the attitude of GFY members. It may surprise them to learn that threads on GFY were also cited as examples of community support.

In closing, those that know me, know I do not kowtow to anyone. I have publicly called out XBIZ, ASACP, Alec Helmy, Stuart Lawley, JohnnyV and Joan Irvine. I have spoken in depth to Irvine and JohnnyV. I play no favorites. That being said, if anyone would like to submit an intelligent, legible rebuttal I will post it here. I do not have to agree with it. If it is accurate, and on topic, I will post it. Just contact me.

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