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Pornographic Top Level Domain Approved by ICANN

As new top level domains go, the decision by ICANN to approve the establishment of the .xxx domain is sure to lead to a financial goldmine for the backers of the domain, ICM Registry, but isn't really going to do anything in order to reduce the amount of pornography on the rest of the Internet. Just because a pornography-specific top level domain has been created, there's no viable way to force domains onto this particular domain.

While the backers point out easier filtering as one of the strong points, it conveniently ignores the fact that the same problem of filtering the rest of the internet remains. Modifying filters to incorporate this new domain is only going to take a couple of lines of code and isn't really a major issue. The major issue remains reliably identifying pornographic content that exists everywhere else. It has previously been argued that it would be simpler to create a .kids domain and rigorously enforce the content and sites permitted to create a safer area of the Internet than to create the .xxx domain and mark it as adult material. That hasn't changed with the introduction of .xxx, but the future may still see .kids come into creation, especially as one of the Registrars promoting the domain is ICM Registry.

With more than 100,000 pre-registered domains already taken before the top level domain is expected to launch in 2011, there will be a fair amount of activity on the domain, but it will take time to see if it becomes like .biz, .info, .name and many of the other infrequently utilised top level domains, or can gain the recognition of some of the better known top level domain stalwarts.

29 June 2010

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