ICANN votes down .XXX again

Written by Brett Thomas

April 3, 2007 | 08:36

Tags: #adult #domain #porn #xxx

Companies: #icann

We've heard arguments for and against the .XXX domain on the internet for over two years now. Much like conversation on the industry itself, the debate has quickly boiled outside of whether or not the domain would be of any benefit and into one of national freedoms, religious beliefs, and personal morality. Well, ICANN has put the debate to rest again - it has voted down the domain for a second time.

For anyone who's been hiding under a rock, the suggestion was to move "adult-oriented" sites onto their own domain (dubbed .xxx), rather than more common .com and .net domains. The basic idea was to twofold -- to help make porn easier to identify, and to help block it more easily. This meant that people who wanted to see it could find it more easily, and those who wanted to avoid it would have a much easier time doing so.

Of course, the basic idea was fraught with unknowns. For instance, there was nothing to keep porn off of the other domains, it would just make real-estate that was for nothing else but. To many people, this issue made .xxx seem more like an increase in porn, rather than any form of control.

ICANN rejected the domain over this exact debate - who would control the content? The body felt that by adopting the domain, it could be looked to for definitions of what should fill it - and potentially what would happen to those who chose to remain on other domains. Vint Cerf, Chairman of ICANN, denied that the organisation bowed to governmental pressure, as it has been accused of in the past. "Their decisions were made in accordance with their own consideration," he said.

The accusation that ICANN could be seen as bending to pressure of governments like that of the United States hasn't been lost on the organisation. It commissioned an independent study of the body to determine its true transparency and independence in decision-making, the results of which were also discussed in the meeting. The study found that ICANN was a very well run organisation, and had little issues in the way of transparency. Those issues that it did find were more 'pointers' for better methods in the future, and the body will be adopting several of them.

Do you have a thought on the demise of the .XXX domain? How about ICANN as a whole? Tell us your thoughts in our forums.
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