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Outrage at ICANN’s new “clown shoes” social distancing mandate

Kevin Murphy, April 1, 2021, 00:02:57 (UTC), Gossip

ICANN has been slammed by community members after announcing a return to in-person public meetings this year, but only to attendees wearing clown shoes.

The Org said the new rule, which will come into force at ICANN 71 in The Hague this June, was “a bold but necessary measure to enforce social distancing in the pandemic era”.

ICANN CEO Göran Marby said in a blog post that the clown shoes will have to be “brightly colored” and a minimum of 3ft (0.91 meters) in length, to ensure attendees are standing at least 6ft (1.82 meters) away from each other at all times.

“ICANN is the most important organization in the world, and it is imperative that we return to in-person meetings as quickly as possible,” he wrote.

“As your leader, I firmly believe that a compulsory clown shoes mandate is the best way to achieve this goal,” he said.

Clown shoes will be handed out to attendees at the front desk of The Hague Convention Center “after they receive their lanyards but before they receive their anal swab”, added VP of global communications Karen K Karenson.

Small teams of ICANN Compliance staff will patrol the halls of the venue, looking for rule-breakers, ICANN warned.

Those found to be not wearing clown shoes will have a bucket of water thrown over them, Marby said.

“I can’t stress this enough — it really is water in the bucket,” he said. “No, for reals, it’s water in there, trust me.”

The new policy immediately came under fire from influential community members, including the chair of the GNSO Outrage Committee, They Them.

“I’ve been coming to ICANN meetings for 20 years,” Them said. “If admitting that wasn’t humiliating enough, now I’ve got to wear clown shoes too?”

Them additionally complained that the policy discriminates against less-abled meeting attendees, such as those using wheelchairs.

ICANN said in response that it has purchased a tiny, battery-powered clown car that can comfortably fit up to 25 such community members for as much as 20 minutes before the doors all fall off in a puff of confetti.

The new rule is believed to be the brainchild of ICANN’s deputy general counsel, Dave O’Hallorohalloran, who has been wearing clown shoes for his entire career.

Sources say he had been suggesting the clown shoes policy for many years before the pandemic hit.

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Comments (3)

  1. Fred says:

    Clown shoes lol

  2. Thomas Rickert says:

    LOL. Well done, Kevin!

  3. Jothan Frakes says:

    Click the heels together, Wizard of Oz style, and repeat… “there’s no place like zoom. there’s no place like zoom…”

Leave a Reply to Thomas Rickert