XXX Gets Own Domain: For Child Protection Or Cash?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted 8-3 to approve an XXX gTLD (generic top level domain) much to the outcry of the adult industry that see it as a waste of time and another expense that will do little to stop adult sites using the regular commercial .com extension.

Since the regular domains will still be in place, one has to wonder if the committee's claim it will protect children was accurate and not also motivated by the added revenue the new domain will generate.

The XXX domain has been considered by ICANN for many years and was voted down in 2007 and the decision was met with much controversy.

"Of course we are disappointed but we are not surprised by the ICANN Board's decision. As voiced in concerns by speakers at this very conference, the ICANN Board has dangerously undervalued the input from governments worldwide," said Free Speech Coalition executive director Diane Duke. "Worse, they have disregarded overwhelming outpouring of opposition from the adult entertainment industry--the supposed sponsorship community--dismissing the interests of free speech on the internet," Adult Video News reported.

"We are disappointed that ICANN ignored the clear advice of governments worldwide, including the U.S.," Lawrence E. Strickling, who serves as administrator of the National Telecommunications and Infrastructure Administration, said in a statement. "This decision goes against the global public interest, and it will open the door to more Internet blocking by governments and undermine the stability and security of the Internet."

Parents would be able to block the entire domain from being accessed, as opposed to tracking adult content using a ,com site - but few people really know how to do that and would need to be shown. So that argument is not strong.

Google could filter using the domain but one has to wonder if they would.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.