by Mike Masnick

And What Happens After .xxx?

from the herding-the-other-porn-sites-into-the-porn-district? dept

Now that ICANN is considering another bunch of top level domains, the questions and concerns over the ".xxx" domain are on the way back. Last time, when ICANN approved other TLDs like .biz and .info, .xxx just barely missed making the cut. It actually sparked some outrage from certain politicians who favored the domain as a way to give porn sites an address that can easily be blocked. Now, Declan McCullough is looking at the .xxx proposal and potential political problems it may cause. The guy pushing to run .xxx believes (probably accurately) that he'll make a tremendous amount of money doing so. However, one thing he doesn't want to do is to force all porn sites to use a .xxx domain. Even thought it could make him wealthier, he is actively speaking out against anyone who suggests that idea. Some politicians, though, are drooling over the opportunity to cordon off all porn sites into an .xxx area. While I also think the domain should be approved, and that it would be beneficial for most porn sites to use that TLD (knowing that any visitors actually are interested in porn, rather than tricking people into visiting your site - and pissing off those who don't want to view porn), forcing porn sites into using .xxx would be a very bad move. Already, almost no two people can agree on what exactly "porn" is. This has always been a problem on the internet - and many online filtering/blocking companies have already run into problems for blocking sites on safe sex or breast cancer for being "porn" sites. Who determines whether or not these sites need to move to .xxx? It's a subjective thing, and that's where forcing sites into a certain area becomes very difficult to manage.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2004 @ 11:15am

    No Subject Given

    I agree with you Mike (Doesn't occur as often as it should). I like the idea of cleanly segregating the sexual content to one domain which would clearly delineate what your going to get by browsing there. Would/should prevent lawsuits and give business who are in the legitiment business of distributing sexual content some protection from everyone who is easily offended by such things. They only problem/question is : What is Porn ? Some folks consider Playboy magezine porn (which is less sexual than most 10PM TV Shows these days).

    I think they should approve it and as a caveat, have people who register to use it be protected from frivelous lawsuits. If you go to a X-rated theather don't expect to see Bambi and it you go to .xxx, expect .... whatever.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Ed Halley, 22 Mar 2004 @ 11:17am

    No Subject Given

    It seems that people have this perception that these new TLDs are chosen for some sort of *philosophical* or *strategic* purpose.

    Unlike .edu|mil|gov|org|com, the new TLDs have nothing to do with trying to organize the web according to the content or according to the owners of said content.

    The new TLDs are only being created for ONE reason, and that is MONEY TO THE ICANN. Look at the way the bids were vetted and accepted, and you'll see it has nothing to do with the idea, but with the amount of money that can be funneled to ICANN. The TLDs are accepted or denied based on the qualities of the proposed registrar, not the logic of the new domain concept.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Jeremiah, 22 Mar 2004 @ 12:00pm

    No Subject Given

    The poor indexing of the internet in general has been a pet peeve of mine for years. made strides a couple of years ago when they started offering the .xxx domain (with others like .golf, .mp3, etc) which seemed to make a lot more intuitive sense for me as far as URLs go. Most people, however, couldn't wrap their heads around any TLD other than .com.

    Anyway, to stay on-topic here, I think the .xxx TLD is a great idea, and any website wishing to offer adult content should be required to move to the Internet's red-light district.

    I firmly believe the benefits to this idea far outweigh the cost of migrating all those sites to .xxx and the momentary confusion that will inevitably result.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    LittleW0lf, 22 Mar 2004 @ 1:37pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Unlike .edu|mil|gov|org|com, the new TLDs have nothing to do with trying to organize the web according to the content or according to the owners of said content.

    I can understand your argument for .{edu,mil,gov}, though I can easily show you exceptions to the rule such as Lawrence Livermore Labs having an .edu domain, or NSA and DSA having .gov domains, even though all are Military organizations (though the former is run by the California UC system.)

    How were .{org,com,net} TLDs set up to organize content or owners of such content? I have 2 orgs, 2 coms and 1 net, and none of them follow the correct traditional classing of TLDs, as none of them are commercial (at least, not yet for one of them), all of them are organizations (some real orgs or my own personal orgs.) There is really no difference between .org, .com, or .net any more, and most companies register their name in all three TLDs even though they are commercial organizations and really should only exist in the .com domain. So they too only exist for one reason, to make more money for ICANN (though I'd argue instead that it isn't ICANN, but the independent registrars that make the money, though ICANN gets a piece of it,) because corporations have to buy a number of domain names instead of the one that most of us vanity domain users have to pay for the names.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Gluefreak, 22 Mar 2004 @ 8:59pm

    No Subject Given

    Littlew0lf makes a great point. If you set up a xxx TLD, then some people will sign up for it precisely because it will be edgy. You can imagine this appealing to teenagers -- but then they won't realize that their sites will get ignored by regular search engines who don't want to index porn, etc.

    And yeah, Mike, what IS porn? Like there's another blog I read sometimes called It has no images and comments on news stories, just like techdirt. It just so happens that all those stories are sex-related. So would pervscan need an .xxx TLD? Much of its content comes from regular old newspapers, and if the newspapers don't need .xxx, why does PervScan need it just for collecting and aggregating a certain type of info?

    Personally I'm in favor of making the domain available, simply because it does make a (non-binding) correlation between URL and content. That being said, it would be quixotic to try to force all "porn" sites to use it, and also to prevent non-porn sites from using it because they think it's cool...

    And that brings up another point too. Would big corporations that have nothing to do with porn feel the need to protect their trademarks by registering the .xxx versions of their URLs? Take Apple Computer -- would they want just so they could prevent some guy from selling pictures of chicks with little apples over their nips or something?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    someone247356, 23 Mar 2004 @ 8:03am

    .xxx is a bad idea, it's a solution just looking f

    Other than the usual reason (a.k.a more money) there really isn't a problem that having a .xxx domain solves.

    The main reason, discounting the above, is that this will allow "us" to "protect the children". I hate to burst your bubble, but no, it won't. What it will lead to is the forced relocation of sites into the .xxx ghetto. Defining porn is like the old saying about keeping secrets.

    "Three people can keep a secret, but only if two of them are dead."

    This version goes like, "Three people can agree on what's pornography, but only if two of them are dead."

    Sure, everyone is pretty much in agreement on the stuff that's "way out there", but what about Playboy, Mapplethorpe, Brittany Spears, "gay" rights, sex ed, Western (i.e. US?European) music? Where will it end? Will Saudi Arabia require that anything that goes against Wabbi-Islamic teachings must be registered under .xxx? Will China require all political and religious sites to be registered under .xxx?

    If registering your site under .xxx shields you from possible prosecution, does not doing so open you up to liability? If you post a news article on the latest COPA trial on you .com news site, can you now be sued because it mentions "adult themes" and wasn't registered under .xxx?

    Forced relocation is ALWAYS a bad idea. A much better idea is to create kid specific TLD's, .kid for example. You could even further delineate it by age and or country (i.e. .u8.kid (under 8 children), .u15.kid, .uk.kid,, (children, between the ages of 6 and 12, based on a Saudi Arabian definition of what's ok for children in this age range)) Limit the registration of sites in these domains to those that agree to abide by whatever the particular definition for that domain ends up being. This way, "children's sites" can be registered, and the rest of us can continue to browse the web as adults.

    Parents, schools, governments, can limit their, or their children's access to the .kid (or whatever subset they want to) If you violate the terms of your domain, you loose it, plus whatever other penalties your local laws specify. If you want to reach kids, then abide by the domain. could be accessible as (ok for children under 6 based on a US definition of what's ok for this age group), while might be (ok for children over 12 (teenagers) based on a US definition of what's ok for this age group).

    No one is stigmatized, no one is forced anywhere. Think of it as the library model, Adult books are shelved based on content, not some ever changing definition of what's "indecent" (i.e. sex health is categorized with the other health books, NOT in a special "this is 'icky' section") The children's room on the other hand only contains books that someone has determined are appropriate for children. If you want to be in the children's section, then follow the guidelines, if you don't then ignore the whole .kid domain.

    Just my $0.02 (Canadian, before taxes)


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  7. identicon
    Fock, 28 Feb 2007 @ 7:23am



    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Nathan Zwillich, 12 Aug 2007 @ 3:51pm

    Good grief....

    Aside from the nonsensical above remark. I think that creating the .xxx domain is fine. But it should be kept TOTALLY OPTIONAL as someone247356 said on Mar 23rd, 2004 @ 8:03am.

    My MAIN problem with this is that yet again it's 'to protect the kidz'...

    Yeah, sure, if your kid is under 12 monitor them if you wish. But a lot of this "protecting minors" junk is just because parents are afraid their teenagers will masturbate to online porn and will happen.

    Which just isn't so. I'm gonna guess 99% of the reasoning for a .xxx domain is based on "Oh no my kid could look at porn!". Aside from that idiocy, I agree with some of the above posters that a .xxx domain COULD VERY WELL give businesses one more domain to worry about and have to 'take over' before some Junkie starts crack cocaine at discount prices in the name of a major conglomerate already enmeshed in some legal battle with the enraged populace or whatever.
    I.e. Microsoft :-)))

    My final statement.
    .xxx yeah fine. Whatever. But keep it optional, and parents...if you're SO worried about your kid/teen/whatever intentionally or unintentionally viewing or stumbling over porn then just install an internet block. Of course any smart kid can get around those. But if you're so worried, then why can't you dedicate that time and effort to constantly monitor your kids?. Instead of trying to control the internet itself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Linda Greyhole, 7 Dec 2010 @ 5:21am

    why so serious?

    Do this dumbasses really think that they will be able to force all porn/graphic websites to .xxx domains. I mean, seriously, how can you even imagine de possibility of compensation for domain names that are worth millions of dollars.

    Did they figure how many work is put into those sites, how many backlinks and advertising, how many inside coding the companies running the sites would have to change?

    I guess they just said "Oh my God, little Jimmy is watching Jenna Jameson getting her holes filled on the Internet, what can we do to prevent that.." Leave little Jimmy alone you idiots, he`ll figure it out for himself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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