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ICANN Community Anti-Harassment Policy and Terms of Participation and Complaint Procedure

Adopted on 16 March 2017

ICANN Community Anti-Harassment Policy and Terms of Participation and Complaint Procedure [PDF, 266 KB]

ICANN Community Anti-Harassment Policy and Terms of Participation

ICANN is a unique multistakeholder environment. The ICANN community is comprised of participants from numerous and varied backgrounds, societal values, and cultural norms. A guiding goal of ICANN's Community Anti-Harassment Policy is to emphasize, encourage, and promote the spirit of mutual respect expected within the ICANN community. Society's values and norms have and will continue to evolve. However, such respect is timeless and is a guiding foundation of this Policy. This Policy is not intended to impede or inhibit free speech.

As a condition of participation in ICANN's multistakeholder processes, those who take part must:

  1. Behave in a professional manner, demonstrate appropriate behavior and treat all members of the ICANN community in a respectful, dignified, decent manner at all times, including in face-to-face and on-line communications, irrespective of Specified Characteristics so that individuals of all backgrounds and cultures are made to feel welcome. Specified Characteristics means, but is not limited to, the following: age, ancestry, ethnicity, physical or mental disability, genetic information, medical condition, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex (which includes, among other things, gender, gender identity and gender expression), sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, immigration status, socioeconomic status, pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions related to pregnancy.
  2. Refrain from harassment of any type. Harassment is unwelcome non-consensual hostile or intimidating behavior. Harassing conduct or commentary may take many forms, including, but not limited to, verbal acts and name-calling; graphic and written statements, which may include use of phones or the Internet; or other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating. Conduct does not have to intend to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents in order for it to be deemed harassment. Examples of the types of inappropriate conduct that are prohibited by this Policy include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Inappropriate touching, including, but not limited to, sexually suggestive touching such as grabbing, groping, kissing, fondling, hugging, stroking someone's hair, or brushing against another's body, or touching that the actor may not have intended to be sexually suggestive but which constitutes uninvited touching, such as rubbing or massaging someone's neck or shoulders
    • Use of offensive language
    • Violating someone's "personal space" after being told you are doing so
    • Leering, stalking, or suggestive whistling
    • Gesturing in a sexually suggestive manner
    • Circulating or posting written or graphic materials that show hostility or disrespect toward or that demean individuals because of Specified Characteristics as set forth above
    • Lewd or graphic comments or jokes
    • Use or distribution of sexual imagery in public presentations and displays
    • Harassing photography or recordings
    • Repeated requests for dates, or unwanted communications of a romantic nature, after the individual receiving them indicates that she or he does not wish to receive them.
  3. Refrain from retaliation against anyone for reporting any conduct or commentary that is inconsistent with the terms set forth above ("inappropriate behavior") or for participating in an investigation of any such report or complaint.

Reporting and Complaint Procedure

The following reporting and complaint procedure is available to anyone who identifies inappropriate behavior.

  1. The individual who identifies inappropriate behavior may: (i) communicate with the person(s) responsible and attempt to resolve the issue informally; and/or (ii) promptly report to the Ombudsperson the facts giving rise to a belief that inappropriate behavior has occurred and cooperate fully in the ensuing investigation of the complaint.
  2. The Ombudsperson will review and evaluate the complaint. The evaluation will include the following, as appropriate in the sole discretion of the Ombudsperson, in an effort to obtain an understanding of the facts: (i) communication with the complainant to clarify the facts giving rise to the complaint; (ii) inquiries of the accused to obtain a response to the complaint if, in the Ombudsperson's discretion, the complainant has provided sufficient facts to support the allegation that inappropriate behavior has occurred; and (iii) communication with other percipient witnesses, and review of documentary evidence, if any, and if appropriate.
  3. The Ombudsperson will determine whether inappropriate behavior has occurred and will communicate the results to the complainant and the accused. No "corroboration" is required to support a finding; the Ombudsperson will consider the credibility of each party in making a determination.
  4. The Ombudsperson will determine what remedial action, if any, is appropriate in light of the findings of the evaluation. If the Ombudsperson in its discretion, finds that remedial action is appropriate, that remedial action may include, but is not limited to, excusing any individual responsible for inappropriate behavior from further participation in the ICANN process for a specified period of time, limiting the individual's participation in some manner, and/or requiring satisfaction of pre- requisites such as a written apology as a condition of future participation.
  5. The reporting and complaint procedure will be conducted in a manner to ensure confidentiality to the reporter as well as the person who is the subject of the complaint.
Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."