Readers of this blog may know that we also have a very active mailing list, called
P2P Research, which is used both for broadcasting p2p news items
and for discussing internal and external p2p issues. It has really been
at the core of our online community building efforts and where most
interaction has taken place. Humanly speaking this list IS the P2P
Last Friday, we discovered that our messages were no longer distributed and that the info page, see the link above, informed us
there were no longer any lists available. We also discovered on an
another page, that our account has been suspended.
The host of our mailman list has been listcultures.org, a domain owned by Geert Lovink, and the list was created a few years ago by Ned
Rossiter, co-author with Geert of a book on Organized Networks. The
lists are operating on servers from the Belgian firm Alfahosting.
It would seem that all the lists of listcultures.org have been suspended.
Moreover, no warning, no explanation, has been given. After several back and forths, we still don’t know why we have been suspended, whether
we are victims of collective punishment for the misdeeds of another
mailing list, or whether we ourselves did any wrong, albeit unwittingly
since we have no evidence from our own experience that we did.
According to indirect communication received via Geert Lovink, some lists may have been involved in spamming, or that some emails may have been registered without approval.
We can confirm that on our side, we have never received spam via this list, and never sent any. Very occasionally, our listmaster Kevin
Carson has received requests from less internet-savvy subscribers, to be
added to our list, but always acting upon such requests and with their
Of course we are thankful to Geert Lovink and listcultures.org to have hosted us so many years for free, and we assume we were
piggybacking on the general infrastructure investments of the Institute
of Network Cultures.
But it seems to us that a unilateral decision by a commercial firm, to suspend an account, without any reason given, no communication and no
due process, is not acceptable ethical behaviour and endangers the
communication rights of online communities. Suddenly, we find ourselves
without access to a very rich archive, and in the impossibility to
communicate with our sympathizers. With a unilateral act, years of
community building are endangered.
Surely, for the future, we and others will be careful about dealing with ,entities that have ethical guidelines, due process and a respect
for communication rights, and avoid those that have such a callous
disregard for their clients.