Internet One Step Closer To Adding .XXX Suffix

Back in 2007, the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers rejected the idea of creating a .xxx suffix for porn web sites. Today, ICANN overturned their own decision and is now seriously considering adding the suffix to the list of existing ones like .com and .org.

If ICANN ultimately approves the .xxx suffix, we could begin seeing it attached to flesh-friendly sites as soon as six months from now.

Porn sites wouldn’t be required to use the .xxx, but proponents point out that it would be an easy way for filtering software to identify sites that minors should not, by law, be viewing.

Explains the CEO of ICM Registry, the company that has been pressing for the suffix:

It will promote more labeled content… People who want to find it know where it is, and people who don’t see it or want to keep it away from their kids can use mechanisms to do so.

But since it’s not mandatory, there are those who say a .xxx suffix will do little to curb the viewing of online naughtiness because most x-rated sites will just keep their current .com URLs.

Of course, ICM stands to make a pretty profit from their sponsorship of the .xxx suffix. ICM plans to sell .xxx URLs for $60 each and claims to have 110,000 sites queued up and ready to join. Just to show it’s not all about the money, ICM says they’ll donate $10 from each sale to “child protection initiatives”… through a non-profit the company’s CEO has set up.

But the question is — unless you’re going to require x-rated sites to use the .xxx suffix, what’s the point? Porn-hungry Consumerist readers: Would you be more or less apt to check out a site with a .xxx suffix?

Porn sites closer to .xxx Web address [AP]

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  1. tbax929 says:

    If I wanted to view a porn site I would, regardless of what the suffix of the site is. But, then again, I don’t have puritanical views when it comes to sex or a need to hide what a peruse online (except at work).

  2. taney71 says:

    Will this make it easier for me to view porn? If so, I’m all for it.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Damn, I was really hoping to get props for submitting this : – (

    • MamaBug says:

      don’t you hate that? I sent in the capri sun mold stuff last week or so – no dice for me either :(
      of course, we might not have been the only one submitting that particular article.

      • MamaBug says:

        not last week, but the day before it was posted. my sense of time gets warped with all the caffeine.

    • macoan says:

      I seen this story this morning when I was searching news articles on Yahoo – once it makes “Major” news, it’s not really a “scoop” anymore.

    • gman863 says:

      I’ll give you a +1 if it helps. :-)

  4. Roy Hobbs says:

    Why is this a difficult decision?

    • Paladin_11 says:

      Because of certain religion-obsessed obstructionists in the US government. The last administration wanted nothing to do with this and exerted pressure to make sure it didn’t happen.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Also, the porn industry is afraid this will encourage over-censorship of their product. It’s super easy to regulate them when they are desinated their own domain suffix. And frankly, it’s a valid arguement. Sure, it makes child protection easier on your computer, but it also makes it easy for congressmen to make new laws specifically targeting them.

        • johnva says:

          It doesn’t make child protection easier at all unless there’s some authority deciding who has to use .xxx as opposed to .com. And that won’t happen, and shouldn’t happen, because there is no way to do it without centralizing authority over the definition of “porn”, which is impossible to do without trampling on people’s rights.

        • johnva says:

          And also, it’s pointless anyway if you have to have a central authority like that, because such an authority could simply do the same thing with the existing site addresses, publishing a list that could be used for filtering. In fact, that’s what filtering software that you can install now does, and it doesn’t really help to move things to .xxx, as a practical matter.

        • spamtasticus says:

          Can someone please explain to me what “child protection” has to do with censoring and controlling images of naked people having sex? Did I miss something or are they talking about moving child porn sites to .xxx? If someone is offended by pornography they should not visit porn sites. If parents are afraid of their children’s minds being contaminated with images of naked pleasure then they should not allow their children unsupervised access to the internet instead of using it as a baby sitter along with the television.

  5. axhandler1 says:

    Of course all the current .com sites are going to secure their .xxx counterparts. For $60? Absolutely.

  6. Straspey says:

    Back in the heydays of the traditional television “Soap Opera”, the common prevailing wisdom was that it was the profits from “daytime” which made it possible to produce the experiments and many short-lived failures of “prime time”.

    Like it or not, if it wasn’t for the astronomical amount of revenue generated by pornography, 98% of the websites which are currently free would have to charge their users for access.

    And, as far as the advent of the .xxx web address is concerned, I heard a news report today that said if every single pornographic website chooses to switch their site to a .xxx address, they will easily outnumber the .com sites by far.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      I call BS on that last tidbit. Sure there’s lots of porn on the net.But speaking only to the raw number of sites as opposed to the number or pageviews or bandwidth used, Are there more total porn sites than sites of all kinds from the majors to big business & small business sites, to online magazines & personal blogs, and all the other non-porn misc out there, I’d strongly doubt that porn sites still outnumber, but won’t rule it out of the realm of possibility. –However, I’d want to see a better cite than some unnamed news report.

      But even if every porn site on the web bought an .xxx domain, I am positive that only a very small number would drop their .com addresses, therefore making that initial claim absurdly impossible.

    • Chaosium says:

      I appreciate how every single factoid presented there is wrong. In good faith, but still snopesworthy and fake.

  7. dreamfish says:

    The question is: will all porn sites be ‘forced’ to move to .xxx and abandon their .com sites? Is there any organisation that could make them do so?

    • Rachacha says:

      FTC and FCC possibly with a little help from Congress

      • johnva says:

        Letting the moralizing asshats at the FCC directly regulate Internet content is the last thing we need. They shouldn’t even have authority over television, much less the Web.

        • ShadowFalls says:

          Maybe. But this is one case where they should move all such sites to .xxx addresses. This way one can have a somewhat more effective filter in place. It would make blocking the majority of such sites very easy with a router, or maybe via your ISP.

          • johnva says:

            But someone would still have to decide what goes into the new domain and what doesn’t. Blocking wouldn’t get any easier, because there would still have to be someone making that decision (it might be slightly easier for the end-user, but it’s already easy for the end-user…just buy some software). And furthermore, they would not be able to please everyone in how they classify things.

    • Megalomania says:

      ICANN could, and any government could force a site hosted on a server within its borders or owned by someone within its borders so. However, most governments would have pass laws, then have those laws challenged, and ICANN would never do that. The three TLDs that everyone knows (com, net, and org) are all open to anyone to register for (not just companies, networks, and organizations) and there are several others open to anyone (info, biz, name, and a couple others I can’t remember). TLDs can be restricted, but there’s nothing stopping you from running any sort of site under any “open” TLD.

    • CapitalC says:

      I really wish they would … it could make filtering porn so easy. (Oh, and finding it too.)

      • johnva says:

        Actually, it would just move the “filtering” problem to whoever decides what goes into .xxx and what doesn’t.

  8. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    …Why not require it? Hm..

    • paul says:

      Whose job is it to decide whether a site deserves to be .xxx? Who is going to monitor all non-xxx websites every day to ensure they haven’t changed to having xxx content? The definition of porn is subjective. The internet is global.

      • johnva says:

        No one will decide, or enforce it. It will just be a pointless money grab.

      • Fidget says:

        The only thing I wish it would do (though I wouldn’t want to see the FCC involved, at all, ever) is demand a .xxx for sites that are typos of a normal one. Mainly because I’m sick of accidentally typing facebork, faceboook, or any variation of facebook and then having to thoroughly clean my computer. I’m all for porn roaming free and uncensored, but surprise porn leaves a bad taste in my mouth. That’s probably the last phrase I want, but it stays.

    • pot_roast says:

      Probably because nobody would pay attention to it. US laws don’t rule the internet.

      Want to “protect children?” Force kid friendly sites to use .kids instead. .kids doesn’t exist yet, thanks to bickering among ICANN members like Tucows.

  9. paul says:

    This is nothing more than a money grab. Having yet another TLD is pointless. If everyone blocks .xxx then the porn sites will just use non-xxx domain names instead because it will give them an advantage. Essentially you’ll just have people buying up the .xxx as well as .com. And corporations will buy the .xxx version of their trademark to “protect” it, just like the stupid .info and .biz domain names.

    TLDs became pointless when they started letting anybody register them. (how many .tv domain names are really based on Tuvalu?)

    I’d argue that if they just want money, all TLDs should be open for registration at a high cost. Want a .pepsi domain name? Pony up the money and go for it.

    • PTB315 says:

      TLD = Top Level Domain, for anyone else who was scratching their head trying to figure out what that meant. It’s the end of the root of a web address, like .com or .edu.

    • tungstencoil says:

      One thing that I think you miss:

      A lot of porn sites are legit, in that they want adults, hopefully paying ones, to access their site for the purpose of viewing their pictures, movies, stories, etc. These entities are mostly in favor of the .xxx, because it is another differentiator and helps them get more directed traffic. If someone goes to an .xxx, they know what they want.

      The ones who try to “trick” people into visiting, either for infecting with malware or advertising click dollars or what-not… they’re scammers. You’re right – they probably wouldn’t want to use it – but I don’t think that this is geared to them.

      This is geared to legitimate industry players, in an attempt to make their intent clear. So long as no one proposes something retarded like making porn sites have .xxx (as many have pointed out, where would the line be drawn?), I’m for it.

      • MercuryPDX says:

        I don’t think so…. so long as the scam site brings in more than $60/year through click fraud and/or other scammer related activities, it’s a worthwhile investment.

  10. PTB315 says:

    This is a great idea and should become mandatory. There should be greater enforcement of protocols across the board. Why not have suffixes for other types of sites? .Use org for non-profit organizations, to go along with .xxx, .gov. and .edu. Maybe even replace the www. prefix for the country of origin or something for the website? “us.consumerist.org” or something like that, to make it a little harder to set up phishing sites. It should be way easier to separate and block access to pornography, for both children and businesses. I’d like to see stronger oversite and regulation on web addresses overall. Allowing whitehouse.com to go to a porn site was absolutely ridiculous.

    If I wanted to view porn, I’d have no problem using .xxx.

    • johnva says:

      Except that a TLD is really terrible way to do filtering for porn because the definition of porn is completely subjective and the in/out criteria for it being forced into the new .xxx TLD would have to be static and binary, by definition. There’s no possible way to get everyone to agree what should and should not belong in .xxx, so it’s not possible to fairly enforce that without pandering to some sort of lowest common denominator definition. Filtering should be user-configurable, instead, so that people can choose for themselves. I would submit that you haven’t really thought this through very well.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        It’s not really his job to think it all the way through. He is entitled to have his own thoughts without requiring a subject-matter expert.

        • johnva says:

          Personally, I think people should think it through really carefully before advocating a VERY authoritarian solution such as centralized content-based filtering mandates. But that’s just my own thoughts.

      • PTB315 says:

        I’m aware that there will never be universal definitions of certain things, such as why some stuff is art while other similar stuff is porn. However, the major players in the internet porn industry make no bones over the fact that they are pornographers, I’ve never seen redtube, youporn, bang bros, brazzers, or anyone else try to claim they deliver anything but pornography. There are some sites that show pics of nudity and call it art. If some day I become a parent, I think I’d be less upset over my kids stumbling across those sites instead of the bang bus.

        And no, my post certainly wasn’t completely thought through, it was a comment on consumerist, not my senior thesis. I believe there will be greater control over the internet as time goes on no matter what, and this is a possible part of that shift that I think is a step in a positive direction. Besides, if a company is involved with manufacturing pornography and doesn’t try to hide that fact, I don’t see why they wouldn’t voluntarily comply with an effort to keep children away from porn.

        When I was 15 I would have been irate about this, because I’d already discovered porn and enjoyed it. Now I’m 25 and I don’t think it should have been quite so easy for me to find porn at that age.

        • johnva says:

          Well, I’m 28 and if anything my views on Internet free speech have become even more radically libertarian than when I was a teenager. I don’t think it’s inevitable or desirable that the Internet become more “controlled”…since I think the Internet is the best thing to come along for human equality and freedom of speech in a long time.

          And while I think you’re completely entitled to your own views about porn, etc (and I agree that some of it is distasteful, even though I think virtually all of it should be legal), I’m not sure you get what a radical change what you’re proposing would be for the Internet. The whole reason the Internet works so well is because it’s so decentralized and doesn’t have moralistic social authorities hovering over it. We shouldn’t throw that all away just because some people are uncomfortable with what some other people do online. A much better solution, like I said, is to simply use decentralized filtering (ie, you buy and install filtering software and configure it according to your tastes/viewpoints). Then you’re not forcing your views on morality on anyone else, nor are they forcing it on you. That’s the way things should work in the Internet age, and in fact how they have worked since its inception, without serious problems.

        • MrsLopsided says:

          “I’ve never seen redtube, youporn, bang bros, brazzers, or anyone else try to claim they deliver
          anything but pornography.”

          I hadn’t heard of those sites before, but I’ll take your word for it that they are nothing but porn.

    • Groanan says:

      The sole problem with your dream of a regulated and organized internet is that the regulators could only function if they have power, and if they have power, they will surely abuse it.

      • johnva says:

        What many people don’t really understand, I don’t think, is that there isn’t really a central authority that regulates or controls content on the Internet, and that is one of the Internet’s biggest strengths. It’s a bad idea to throw that idea away, even if some people think there’s a good reason in the case of some content. If we open the door to centralized content filtering for porn, how long until we start getting crap like corporations shutting down speech they don’t approve of by influencing the government, etc?

      • PTB315 says:

        I don’t disagree that any power given to regulation creates the possibility of abuse of that power; that’s true of anything. But really, the internet is an absolute free-for-all right now, and anyone negatively impacted by that, which involves basically anyone that creates something for profit that can be stolen with a computer, is already pushing for change now. You can steal anything with minimal effort with torrent sites, from books to music to video content to software. The creators of that content are already exploring every possibility to stop the stealing, and more regulation is probably inevitable. The businesses doing the creating have a lot of money and influence to push for changes in laws and regulations.

        For this reason I consider increased regulation and oversight as an inevitability rather than a possibility. I hope more good comes from it than bad, and giving users the ability to better protect themselves and the people they’re responsible for from pornography would be a good thing in my estimation.

        In a grander scope, I think Americans have a very unhealthy outlook on sex and all things related, but that’s the culture which has been shaped by many things, particularly religion. We’re not going to become comfortable with sexuality and the human body any time soon, so we might as well give the people who want to be protected from internet pornography the ability to do so. There’s a lot of stuff I wish I would never have to be exposed to, whether its the internet or the real world. But all of those things are subjective, such as the fact I didn’t want to wake up this morning and go on my front porch to smoke a cigarette and find Jehovah’s Witness propaganda magazines on my deck chair. But while I can’t control what people do while I’m sleeping in until 1 pm on a Saturday, I would like the ability to control what I’m exposed to when I crack open Firefox and search for something.

        I really wish I couldn’t explain to my girlfriend what a furrie is, or what yiffing entails, or what “water sports” means in a personals ad on craigslist, but hey, the internet has already scarred me for life.

        • johnva says:

          a) You already can control what you see on the Internet.
          b) This does very little to help you do that, and really just centralizes power over it.
          c) The Internet SHOULD BE a “free for all”. That’s the whole reason the Internet is so different from and superior to say, cable television. There is no central authority deciding who can put what content where, and that’s a wonderful thing.

  11. MrsLopsided says:

    Existing sites are not required to switch to .xxxx
    Existing sites will not jeopardize branding, traffic, and search engine rankings to move to a new domain.
    Existing sites may secure their corresponding .xxx and redirect from it – but it is just a preemptive move that will line the pockets of ICM.
    sex.xxx and similar keyword domains will be sold by auction or at a premium price by ICM (not at $60).
    I can see geographic names having development potential – example newyork.xxx – but most .xxx buyers will just be speculators.

    • MercuryPDX says:

      I think you’re on the right track… the real money will be made by speculators and cybersquatters.

  12. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    … I would want a .xxx suffix for my website just for shit and giggles.

  13. dragonfire81 says:

    *patiently waits for the debut of http://www.gitemstevedave.xxx*

  14. Kman says:

    .xxx is ridiculous. I recommend .cum

  15. Eyeout says:

    I actually wish this were a law….

  16. gman863 says:

    The “xxx” TLD will do absolutely nothing to help filter web sites. The Internet is worldwide and many countries do absulutely nothing the regulate content, no matter how illegal it is considered in the US. If you doubt this, consider online gambling websites or the number of e-mails you’ve received from a deposed Nigerian royalty offering you the chance to deposit a counterfit cashiers’ check in exchange for wiring them real money.

    The most obscene part is how much the ICM Registry stands to make:

    –110,000 pre-registered .xxx’s @ $60/year = 6.6 million per year

    – Who knows how many other porn sites that will have to buy the “.xxx” version of their “.com” to keep a competitor from snapping it up (500,000? 1,000,000?)

  17. nygenxer says:

    I have been suggesting this very same thing since the 1990s. My only disagreement here is that those who currently have porno sites in the dot com domain should be given squatter’s rights to the same name with the xxx domain.

    There was a problem in the 1980s with kids calling 1-900 numbers for porn. Parents complained, and the phone companies allowed people to block the 900 area code. This is the same exact concept.

    It’s absolutely criminal that it’s taken this long to get done and consequently there’s a whole generation of kids that are fucked up sexually.

    • johnva says:

      Provide evidence that there is a “whole generation of kids that are fucked up sexually”. I see NO evidence that that is the case, any more than it was the case in the past. Personally, I don’t believe that porn is particularly harmful once they are old enough to seek it out on their own.

      This is FAR from the “same concept” as blocking all 900 numbers. It’s a lot more subjective than that. Should we use the Mormon standard for what constitutes “porn”? Or mine? Or maybe a fundamentalist Muslim one? That way, NO ONE would happen to chance upon something that might offend them.

      Or maybe we could just acknowledge that there is a wide diversity of opinion and standards on this, and that using a TLD to filter is a poor one-size-fits-all solution with no room for gray areas? “Community standards” don’t exist, especially on the global Internet, and were never more than an excuse for the more moralizing elements of society to impose their will on everyone else.

  18. MercuryPDX says:

    But the question is — unless you’re going to require x-rated sites to use the .xxx suffix, what’s the point?

    The point is Icann wants a share of porn industry profits $60 at a time.

    Why would a company spend $60 a year to get a domain in a TLD block that is guaranteed to not only be filtered from potential customers/visitors by IT departments and software, but also falls a distant second/third behind their .com/.net competitors when being searched for in google?

  19. calchip says:

    This is nothing more than a money grab by a greedy piece of shit and his buddies. The spokesperson for .xxx talks out of both sides of his mouth.

    He tells the adult industry that .xxx will not be a requirement EVER and that the .xxx registry will take action to prevent any such attempts (fat chance, since they’d stand to benefit)

    And then he turns around and tells the religious right and others that .xxx can be used to filter content and prevent people from reaching adult content.

    Oh, and he lied his ass off to ICANN and claimed that there is strong adult industry support, when the adult industry has made it abundantly clear that they have absolutely no interest in a .xxx registry being formed.

    Finally, .xxx registrations will cost about 6 times as much as .com registrations. Guess where all the extra money is going? Into the pockets of the registry.

    Evil, greedy pieces of shit.

  20. calico says:

    I have nothing to contribute except that XXX is one of my favorite hamburger places in all of Washington and seeing this picture makes me miss it.

  21. Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

    I prefer the suffix .cum

  22. acasto says:

    Vin-Diesel-Is.xxx

  23. uber_mensch says:

    It’s a slippery slide to regulation of the web. Besides that TLD and many others have been in use for years on the extra alternative web that people in the know know how to access, as most dont have a clue.
    Example of top level domains available and in use today:
    .geek, .free, .bbs, .parody, .oss, .indy, .fur, .ing, .micro, .dyn and .gopher

    Read: http://www.opennicproject.org/

  24. smo0 says:

    rule34.xxx

    I’m so money.

  25. Boobainaz says:

    Talk about your hot Christmas/Birthday present. Your very own XXX website. I don’t know about porn sites, but everyone else will want one of these.