Wednesday, March 23, 2011

.XXX as a Top Level Domain

For those of you that haven't been following it, the tag .xxx has been approved as a voluntary sponsored top level domain (sTLD) by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) putting it on equal footing with other sTLDs such as .gov and .edu.

That's a lot to digest so I'll try to explain it as simply as possible.  Essentially the .xxx ending is available to adult websites who want to use it.  Think of it as a .travel, or .museum, it's just a domain that can highlight the content of a particular site.  Typically those that use sTLDs have to prove that they are a member of that particular subgroup so creating a website called BillSmith.xxx because you hate your neighbor Bill isn't going to fly (unless Bill moonlights as a pornstar).

The move is kind of curious because no one has really come out in favor of it.  Those with a vested interest in porn such as kink.com are almost wholeheartedly against it.  The most immediate concern is that companies are going to have to register several .xxx website to protect their brand and keep people from hijacking their name, which at around $75 a pop for each domain will get expensive in a hurry.

The biggest hypothetical fear is censorship.  If porn is one day forced to move completely to the .xxx domain it gets much easier for ISPs to censor the material.  Filtering a domain is a lot easier than filtering individual sites based on content.  Plus what's to say one country's government won't mandate a move to .xxx domains, and another country's won't block .xxx domains altogether?  It's a no-win.  In itself the creation of a .xxx domain really doesn't do anything right now other than forcing a company like Kink to buy out kink.xxx and other sites before some jackass does and makes a mockery of their name.  But the frightening thing is what it opens the door to.  Making censorship easier can never be a good thing.

What's kind of funny is that anti-porn groups haven't been in favor of the .xxx domain either.  Groups like The War on Illegal Pornography feel it legitimizes porn's place on the internet and will open the doors to the spread of even more pornographic content proving with finality that they have no idea how the internet works or what is actually on it.  (Aside: Jesus fucking christ, you'd think The Coalition for the War on Illegal Pornography would have its own goddamn website if only to marginally decrease the percentage of websites on the internet that are pornographic simply by existing.)

Why ICANN pushed something through that no one really wanted is beyond me.  What's clear is that while this might not be a bad thing in itself, it is definitely a step in the wrong direction.

1 comment:

  1. What are some reasons why it would be a good idea?
    (it would replace .com or .net in pornography websites)
    Online Porn Video & Free Porn Videos

    ReplyDelete