After publishing a an article describing DotConnectAfrica’s campaign for the .africa gTLD as “unhinged” and “nutty”, the gTLD applicant fired back, shooting themselves in both feet with a lengthy riposte that Domain Incite republished in full with comments.
The original article on 22 February noted that “DotConnectAfrica’s increasingly unhinged campaign for the .africa gTLD has seen it take the unusual step of complaining to the US Congress about ‘wholesale illegality’ in the contest.”
“The company also appears to be running an astroturf campaign on Twitter and bogus blogs to advance its case.
“In a rambling nine-page letter to the chairs of the House and Senate telecommunications committees this week, DCA chief Sophia Bekele outlines a series of ‘corruption’ claims against rival .africa applicant UniForum.”
The article goes on to outline the bizarre antics of DotConnectAfrica in their seemingly futile application for .africa, largely because the African Union “wanted an experienced, Africa-based registry operator to run the TLD, and UniForum, which runs South Africa’s .za ccTLD, was the only qualified candidate.”
So in an email to media outlets on 2 March, DotConnectAfrica sent out an open letter to try and set the record straight.
Domain Incite republished the rambling letter as requested by DotConnectAfrica, adding its own comments, saying “The nutty .africa applicant took issue with a recent post describing the company as ‘nutty’ and trying to make sense of a rambling conspiracy-laden letter it had sent to the US Congress.”
DCA complained about Domain Incite’s description of them as “nutty”, however in the reply, Domain Incite said:
- “‘Nutty’ is a generous, whimsical way to describe the company’s recent antics, which have included:
- nuttily wasting >$185,000 on a gTLD application that has no chance of being approved,
- nuttily applying for the wrong gTLD (.dotafrica),
- using fake online identities to make it appear that DCA has grass-roots support for its nutty ideas,
- throwing around nutty allegations of ‘wholesale illegality’ without a) specifying what laws have been broken b) by whom and c) presenting any credible evidence to back up the allegations,
- overabundant use of bold text, underlined text, colored text and font changes to distract from the fact that its nutty missives lack substance — a tactic favored by online conspiracy theorists since the dawn of the ‘net.
“In short, if you think ‘nutty’ is bad, trust me when I say it was the least antagonistic adjective I could come up with.”
Domain Incite even wonders if “DCA read the [Applicant] Guidebook” since “ICANN makes it abundantly clear throughout that it will defer to governments on geographic gTLDs [and IC ANN] won’t approve any geographic gTLDs that don’t have the support of the relevant government.” Which clearly DCA doesn’t have.
The full Domain Incite reply is available here.