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What's going on with Epik and Rob Monster?

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MapleDots

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I'm catching the tail end of this, seems to be some kind of controversy...

https://domaingang.com/domain-news/rob-monster-off-twitter-after-christchurch-massacre-controversy/

Must be something odd to evoke this type of a response from one of our members.

Picture0016.png
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.

frank-germany

domainer since 2001 / musicianTop Member
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I didn't really care until the numbers were posted, now I'm curious:

As of today, 777,292 domains under management, of which 364,104 directly on our accreditations. We are small but people know that our retention rate is rather high.

Today
777,292 - domains under management
364,104 - directly on our accreditations

what were those same numbers in November 2018?

For anybody, is this the best site for registrar count - https://features.icann.org/compliance/registrars-list
Seems the latest is November 2018.

Or is there something better, I want to have the best/current in my bookmarks.

Thanks
 
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Rob Monster

Founder/Chairman of EpikTop Member
Epik.com Staff
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So how do you read charts like this:

Domain Count (November 2018)
Epik Inc. - 401,249
https://features.icann.org/compliance/registrars-list

You say you have 364,104 now? That would be a drop, or are they different numbers? Is that the Domain Count number, the 364,104?

The number you quoted is from November 2018:

upload_2019-3-30_19-18-4.png


We dropped a lot of new TLDs. However, retention rate is very high. The typical pattern of transfers out versus in is overwhelmingly in favor of transfers in.

Also, a registrar should expect some transfers out as folks sell domains, and sometimes sell entire portfolios or groups of domains.

For anyone who was hoping for a customer defection as a result of the "PR Disaster", I am sorry to disappoint you but that never happened.

On the other hand, I know we were a finalist for ALPNames, and we did not get that business so it is possible that ICANN considered that even though we are in full compliance and on good terms with ICANN.

My guess is that CentralNic paid for the privilege but ICANN has not confirmed that. I am not sure how else anyone justifies giving that business to Moniker of all places.
 
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Rob Monster

Founder/Chairman of EpikTop Member
Epik.com Staff
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Mr Molyneux subscribes to a conspiracy theory about a white genocide.

I am not a follower of Stefan Molyneux. Since you mention him, he did a segment on the UN Global Compact on Migration before it was ratified by 164 UN member nations in December 2018 in Marrkech:


From what I know, Stefan is an atheist.

Mike Cernovich is another one who subscribes to the conspiracy you reference. Cernovich is better known for exposing biased media. I know about him because he said he is bringing all of his domains to Epik.

Incidentally, here is Cernovich's new movie "Hoaxed", running on a US.TV domain, running on uncensorable IPFS:

https://hoaxed.us.tv/

The Covington Catholic incident is just the latest high profile example of why discernment is needed when consuming mainstream media. That incident happened after Hoaxed was aired.

As for Us.Tv, it is not exactly a YouTube-killer. However, an IPFS file can be created anonymously without a specific host and played without tracking. You just need a IPFS gateway.

As stated prior, Epik's technology is non-partisan and is available to all voices who wish to be heard, regardless of whether they are at imminent risk of being censored.
 
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Doesn't this mean you can get around all copyright law by anonymously turning copyright
material into IPFS files and then hot-linking to the copyrighted IPFS material?
And as you would also be using bandwidth and memory from a server that was not your
own, you could also store a ton of data. Why couldn't you use IPFS to make your own
server farm using other peoples servers?
 
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Tia Wood

Digital Marketing Engineer at theWPGirl.comTop Member
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As for Joseph, the arrangement he and I have had there has been a win-win. Epik benefited from his talents, particularly while I was focused on DigitalTown, and before we added Nick Lim and Sufyan Alani. Joseph was not forced out but was mindful of his personal brand, probably has less thick skin than I do and is perhaps more comfortable with living under communism, shariah, or tyranny than I am.
.

What an awful thing to say about someone who spend a good amount of time defending you and taking the heat for you in this very thread.

I think it’s very telling you did all this with Epik and your name out in the open as if you knew it would be ‘good for business’.

I’ve tried to hold my tongue on judging you and remain open minded to what you had to say.

And I know I’m a ‘nobody’ in relation to the bigger picture......

.......But you, sir, are a jerk.
 
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frank-germany

domainer since 2001 / musicianTop Member
Impact
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What an awful thing to say about someone who spend a good amount of time defending you and taking the heat for you in this very thread.

I think it’s very telling you did all this with Epik and your name out in the open as if you knew it would be ‘good for business’.

I’ve tried to hold my tongue on judging you and remain open minded to what you had to say.

And I know I’m a ‘nobody’ in relation to the bigger picture......

.......But you, sir, are a jerk.


the more he posts
the more obscure it gets
 
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frank-germany

domainer since 2001 / musicianTop Member
Impact
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For anyone who was hoping for a customer defection as a result of the "PR Disaster", I am sorry to disappoint you but that never happened.

On the other hand, I know we were a finalist for ALPNames, and we did not get that business so it is possible that ICANN considered that even though we are in full compliance and on good terms with ICANN.


my personal situation is this:
I have 425 Domain - mainly .com - at epik.

The more I read from what @Rob Monster posts here
the more I get worried if its safe for me to have them at epik

( and if I want to support that company where Rob has 80% ownership )

Just recently I couldn't log into my alpnames account no more
and my ( 2 domains - luckly not more ) at alpnames are at risk.

I tried to transfer them to epik but as they are registrar logged
I can't, they are in danger of not renewing.

So what to do?
I might face a situation when I can't log in epik no more
for whatever reason...

But to move 425 Domain at once to another registrar
that is not a small task.

Which registrar? My favorite would apply a 60 days lock
my second favorite would not participate in fast transfers.

And I really don't want to renew them all.
So I would have to do a lot of due diligence first.

On top of that
I am not prepared to spend $3725 USD right now
just to transfer all these names
and to work for 2 days .. just because ( how to say it politely .. )

so what do you reckon?
fellow namepros members?
 
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frank-germany

domainer since 2001 / musicianTop Member
Impact
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my personal situation is this:
I have 425 Domain - mainly .com - at epik.

The more I read from what @Rob Monster posts here
the more I get worried if its safe for me to have them at epik

( and if I want to support that company where Rob has 80% ownership )

Just recently I couldn't log into my alpnames account no more
and my ( 2 domains - luckly not more ) at alpnames are at risk.

I tried to transfer them to epik but as they are registrar logged
I can't, they are in danger of not renewing.

So what to do?
I might face a situation when I can't log in epik no more
for whatever reason...

But to move 425 Domain at once to another registrar
that is not a small task.

Which registrar? My favorite would apply a 60 days lock
my second favorite would not participate in fast transfers.

And I really don't want to renew them all.
So I would have to do a lot of due diligence first.

On top of that
I am not prepared to spend $3725 USD right now
just to transfer all these names
and to work for 2 days .. just because ( how to say it politely .. )

so what do you reckon?
fellow namepros members?

when transfering out of a domain at epik
that will expire within 14 days this message appears

( reminds me of godaddy s upsell pain )

upload_2019-3-31_12-19-20.png




I have learned that ICANN forces a transferred domain to be renewed first
so you always will have to pay when transferring

I additionally learned that when you renew the domain for 10 years
and transfer out that will add another year to the registered period
-makes it run for 11 years-

I learned as well that after 1 year you can renew a domain that has 9 years left
for another 10 years.

so that make 20 years renewals possible
that are valid at any registrar
transfering them out to another registrar
after 60 days would ad another year = 21 years
you can do so 4 times a year at least
how long is "forever" ?


no need for me to register "forever"
as that is supported only by epik

and leaves a lot of questions open
 
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Tia Wood

Digital Marketing Engineer at theWPGirl.comTop Member
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Not sure you’d have to worry too much about Epik as a company. They’ve been around for awhile and they are stable.
 
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frank-germany

domainer since 2001 / musicianTop Member
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Not sure you’d have to worry too much about Epik as a company. They’ve been around for awhile and they are stable.

Rob more or less is epik.com
as he owns 80%
as he said

That is not something that doesn't worry me.
 
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Rob Monster

Founder/Chairman of EpikTop Member
Epik.com Staff
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What an awful thing to say about someone who spend a good amount of time defending you and taking the heat for you in this very thread.

I think it’s very telling you did all this with Epik and your name out in the open as if you knew it would be ‘good for business’.

I’ve tried to hold my tongue on judging you and remain open minded to what you had to say.

And I know I’m a ‘nobody’ in relation to the bigger picture......

.......But you, sir, are a jerk.

Tia,

First of all, if you ask Joseph what he thought of working for me, I think he would describe it as having been a positive experience despite some of our philosophical differences.

As for Joseph's comments on this thread, he was commenting in his own capacity, without prompting or direction. I don't think he was particularly flattering of me but he conveyed his truth.

As for your judgement of my comment of what prompted Joseph to move on, I don't believe I have had said a single unflattering thing about him. Ever.

As for my pattern of speaking openly as an identifiable online persona, I don't believe I have written anything in this Namepros thread that I would not equally say to someone in person.

This entire thread has been an attempt by a vocal minority to vilify overlaid with an attempt by a courageous few to clarify.

Finally, if you think earthly rewards are what personally motivates me to engage in this thread, you have apparently missed the plot. Regardless, I give you my best wishes!

Regards,
Rob
 
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Rob Monster

Founder/Chairman of EpikTop Member
Epik.com Staff
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Why couldn't you use IPFS to make your own
server farm using other peoples servers?

Theoretically, yes. If you overlay IPFS data storage, with peer to peer routing via VPN, you can have a secure anonymous network with distributed storage and quantum-grade encryption.

In this scenario, the domain name convention as you know it could become irrelevant. In other words, it would not be good for domaining. However, if it comes to this, the world may have bigger problems.

I have actually wondered about the power outages of Venezuela. There is an official narrative, but if policymakers were desperate to stop people from using their VPNs, power outages would do it.

And in case you are wondering, I am reasonably certain that in places like Venezuela there are a lot of people using the free Anonymize VPN.
 
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frank-germany

domainer since 2001 / musicianTop Member
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Internet.Domains

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What are you people looking for? What do you want?

If your views differ from the subject of this thread, where is your tolerance?
 
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frank-germany

domainer since 2001 / musicianTop Member
Impact
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What are you people looking for? What do you want?

If your views differ from the subject of this thread, where is your tolerance?


???

the subject of the thread is:
whats-going-on-with-epik-and-rob-monster
 
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Internet.Domains

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???

the subject of the thread is:
whats-going-on-with-epik-and-rob-monster
For 32 pages he has answered that for you. He has been most transparent on his views in so many subjects. Personally, I find the transparency commendable, regardless if I agree or disagree.

It is your right to disagree with his views, but to continue to berate him is non-productive for a civil discussion.

Maybe it's time to just agree to disagree?
Maybe it's time to find common ground and build on that?
 
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frank-germany

domainer since 2001 / musicianTop Member
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For 32 pages he has answered that for you. He has been most transparent on his views in so many subjects. Personally, I find the transparency commendable, regardless if I agree or disagree.

It is your right to disagree with his views, but to continue to berate him is non-productive for a civil discussion.

Maybe it's time to just agree to disagree?
Maybe it's time to find common ground and build on that?

yes maybe
but as it shows
its adding
new insights
 
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xynames

XYNames.comTop Member
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In summary:

1. No mandatory policing required at any level (forum, web host, registrar, registry).
2. Investigations are triggered by complaints.
3. Left to the end user to report violations (up the chain or to law enforcers).​

I realise this is an industry-wide picture but it is disappointing. Relying on users of sites to report content suspected of being unlawful. Not even any random checks etc. Btw it is easy to make the mistake that Epik also provides web hosting for GAB but in fact and as you know Cloudflare does.

Disappointing or not, there is no practical way for domain registrars to police all content on the web. And with email content, of course, it is literally impossible. Even with random sampling, the web is roughly as vast as the modern world itself. So we are talking about a HUGE amount of content.

Suppose a registrar hires additional employees to act as the web's police force. Those people have no training or authority to judge content as illegal. But let's suppose that they spend their day browsing websites to see if they can find content that offends them, or which might hypothetically offend somebody else, or which might (in their amateur opinion) be illegal in their own local jurisdiction or the registrar's or in some foreign country. Never mind that the content on these websites is hosted by some other company, not the company they work for. This registrar-appointed police force will act as judge, jury, and executioner – pulling the plug on domains, thereby killing websites that cross the line (in the registrar employee's personal opinion) or which get close to the line (so that the employee can justify keeping their own job).

Even if this were a good thing, with no adverse censorship consequences, the additional cost of employing censors at a registrar would drive up the cost of domains at that registrar. Since customers choose domain registrars in large part based on cost, even a small increase of $0.25 per domain would put this registrar at a competitive disadvantage. No registrar will want to do this because the consumer doesn't actually want to pay for it.

In fact, the consequences of such censorship at the registrar level would cause enormous headaches and controversies for websites that find they have been shut down unnecessarily or which are facing such threats from their registrar. Even apart from the extra cost, customers would FLEE any registrar that places them at extra risk of censorship and de-platforming. It's one thing to respond to complaints. But to hire someone to go looking for problems? Someone whose job will vanish if they can't find enough problems to censor? Terrible idea.

Let's not forget that much of the content that would need to be policed is written by non-owners of the domain – in an open forum or in comments sections. And a lot of content is behind a login. Moreover, a registrar has global customers who create content in almost every language on earth. How is the registrar supposed to police content written not just in English but in 50 or 100 other languages as well?

Why on earth should we expect registrars to take over the role of the police or the courts? If the registrars need to police content, then why not the registries? Or why not ICANN? Some people will say that they should police content too. But we do need some entities to be neutral suppliers. To the extent that any entity acts as a censor, its censorship can be distorted and unfair. Or its censorship activity can be "bought" and bribed, or manipulated with negative pressure. The web is only stable and secure to the extent that its fundamental infrastructure is provided by suppliers that are NEUTRAL.

Policing the web should be done by the people who are trained and who have authority to enforce the law. The public already does pay for its police, its courts, its lawmakers. Those groups are qualified and impartial. Registrars and registries, in contrast, are prone to commercial pressures – favoring a customer who pays them or fearing a public scandal. Laws should be enforced at whatever level has trained personnel who are authorized to take action and who can act impartially. None of that applies to registrars or registries.
 
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@Slanted

looks like you like long posts
...
I guess you think, that people will rather agree to you before admitting that they didn't have the concentration and/or patience and/or time to read all that.

A domain registrar's responsibility to censor the web (or not to do so) is a complex issue. I'm not going to dumb it down in a Tweet or a slogan or a haiku.

Nobody needs to read what I write nor agree with me. But people who aren't interested in reading a few pages on this topic aren't seriously thinking through the issues involved.
 
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As for Joseph, the arrangement he and I have had there has been a win-win.

Indeed, I have enjoyed working at Epik. During a transitional period, I’m staying on to finish tasks, ensure ongoing projects remain ongoing, and train my replacements. Thousands of Epik customers deserve continuity and continued progress, and they’ll get both. There is a good team at Epik even without me. I can genuinely recommend Epik as a registrar and a workplace. Rob and I disagree, but we get along fine.

Epik benefited from his talents, particularly while I was focused on DigitalTown

Thanks

Joseph was not forced out

True. 100% my decision.

I think that may help us to understand your decision to leave Epik

Well, I don’t want to turn this NamePros thread into a discussion about my decision. One blogger (Kevin Murphy) asked me for a statement regarding the choice, and I gave him one. Not sure if it will get published. Mainly, I would like to see the domain industry begin a real discussion about online censorship, learn some lessons from Epik’s / Rob’s activities in this area, and build consensus. My departure from Epik could be used as ammunition for people who want to take sides regarding Epik itself. And that’s the opposite of what I want.

but was mindful of his personal brand, probably has less thick skin than I do and is perhaps more comfortable with living under communism, shariah, or tyranny than I am.

I can’t even pretend to be annoyed by this comment because it’s just silly. No need for a rebuttal, since Rob doesn’t actually think this.

Wow! He left the company. I guess it is only so much covering up you can do for a person.

I have never done any “covering up” for Rob nor anybody else. Nor do I see anything being “covered up” at all. Rob has been acting in public. And I have written in public also.

So if Rob is involved in Gab, or even an admin there, why no action at Gab if Epik won't act?

People who are interested in understanding what is going on really ought to read what has been written by Rob or by me in this thread already. Rob already said he was never a Gab admin:

https://www.namepros.com/threads/wh...-and-rob-monster.1128748/page-28#post-7169404

Also, there has been extensive discussion regarding a registrar’s responsibility to police and/or censor content. Although you might believe that a registrar should act as a police force, it is not obvious nor generally accepted that a registrar should act in that way.

It was obvious that Joseph tried in a very sophisticated way to save the a** of epik as a company

Cudos

I didn't like his style
as I think it was purposely distracting.

But I respect that fact that he did it.

Thanks but no thanks. When I say anything at all on any subject, I weigh what I say very carefully to see whether it is true and fair. And I would never write anything that is “purposely distracting”. Quite an offensive insinuation from my point of view. My opinion and what I say is never for sale, and I draw the line at deceiving or distracting anybody. Anybody is free to think that I’m wrong or foolish or to complain about my “style”. But I value my integrity and take the act of writing or explaining in general as an ethical imperative.

A friend and professor of mine wrote a book on the very topic of intellectuals who make public arguments in order to dupe the public. It’s entitled المفكر الرقاصة, “The Bellydancing Thinker”. The metaphor describes a public-facing intellectual who performs a seductive dance to distract the public. I take those issues very seriously.

Really, your complaint is that I write more than you want to read. You’ve said so repeatedly. But presentation (not distraction) is my goal. My analysis of what happened with Gab / Epik / Rob or of the underlying issues of free speech, censorship, and registrar responsibility speaks for itself. Disagree if you like.
 
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Internet.Domains

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Indeed, I have enjoyed working at Epik. During a transitional period, I’m staying on to finish tasks, ensure ongoing projects remain ongoing, and train my replacements. Thousands of Epik customers deserve continuity and continued progress, and they’ll get both. There is a good team at Epik even without me. I can genuinely recommend Epik as a registrar and a workplace. Rob and I disagree, but we get along fine.



Thanks



True. 100% my decision.



Well, I don’t want to turn this NamePros thread into a discussion about my decision. One blogger (Kevin Murphy) asked me for a statement regarding the choice, and I gave him one. Not sure if it will get published. Mainly, I would like to see the domain industry begin a real discussion about online censorship, learn some lessons from Epik’s / Rob’s activities in this area, and build consensus. My departure from Epik could be used as ammunition for people who want to take sides regarding Epik itself. And that’s the opposite of what I want.



I can’t even pretend to be annoyed by this comment because it’s just silly. No need for a rebuttal, since Rob doesn’t actually think this.



I have never done any “covering up” for Rob nor anybody else. Nor do I see anything being “covered up” at all. Rob has been acting in public. And I have written in public also.



People who are interested in understanding what is going on really ought to read what has been written by Rob or by me in this thread already. Rob already said he was never a Gab admin:

https://www.namepros.com/threads/wh...-and-rob-monster.1128748/page-28#post-7169404

Also, there has been extensive discussion regarding a registrar’s responsibility to police and/or censor content. Although you might believe that a registrar should act as a police force, it is not obvious nor generally accepted that a registrar should act in that way.



Thanks but no thanks. When I say anything at all on any subject, I weigh what I say very carefully to see whether it is true and fair. And I would never write anything that is “purposely distracting”. Quite an offensive insinuation from my point of view. My opinion and what I say is never for sale, and I draw the line at deceiving or distracting anybody. Anybody is free to think that I’m wrong or foolish or to complain about my “style”. But I value my integrity and take the act of writing or explaining in general as an ethical imperative.

A friend and professor of mine wrote a book on the very topic of intellectuals who make public arguments in order to dupe the public. It’s entitled المفكر الرقاصة, “The Bellydancing Thinker”. The metaphor describes a public-facing intellectual who performs a seductive dance to distract the public. I take those issues very seriously.

Really, your complaint is that I write more than you want to read. You’ve said so repeatedly. But presentation (not distraction) is my goal. My analysis of what happened with Gab / Epik / Rob or of the underlying issues of free speech, censorship, and registrar responsibility speaks for itself. Disagree if you like.
Although, there were times in this discussion I have thought you disparaged those of us who supported Robs views, intentional or not, I respect your thoughts and views.

I only wish you the best. Thank you and best of luck on your future endeavors.
 
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what I say is never for sale, and I draw the line at deceiving or distracting anybody
I don't know you personally @Slanted but wanted to say I have admired your courage and stand, and this statement sets a bar that we should all seek to achieve. I wish you well wherever your career next takes you. I am sure none of us can truly comprehend the pressure of all of this on you and I admire the way you have apparently dealt with it.
Bob
 
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otismo

Established Member
Impact
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Epik quadrupled dot com renewals from $8.50 to $35.00

BYE
 
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