• Transform magazine
  • January 27, 2023

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Big brands buy .porn domain

Taylor-Swift-700x393.jpg

A new development in the quest for brand security online sees companies purchasing potentially harmful new web domain names such as .porn, .sucks and .adult.

The new gTLDs will become available on June 1 and brands are already rushing to secure the domain names before internet trolls gain access.

Taking ownership of these potentially damaging domain names can prevent companies from becoming vulnerable to undesirable associations and the consequent reputational damage. Microsoft has already reserved Office.porn and Office.adult and Taylor Swift is protecting her personal brand and has already bought taylorswift.porn and taylorswift.sucks.

Daniel Foster, co-founder and technical director of 34SP.com, a hosting company, says, “Clearly some big brands are already taking this seriously by registering controversial names while we are still in a mandated period. However, after June 1st it becomes a free for all, so I’d advise all businesses with even a slight worry about how this could affect their business to swoop up the domains sooner rather than later.”

“While some might use domains for good causes, by creating sites such as cancer.sucks for example, I’d predict that many will be swooping up the new names solely for defamatory purposes.” He adds.

The “sunrise period” during which brands can pre-register their .sucks domains began on March 30. However, there has a been a great deal of backlash since, particularly with regards to Vox Populi, the company that’s serving as the registry for .sucks, which is planning to charge companies a high rate to secure the domains compared to what will be offered to the general public. The Canadian company is accused of using the new .sucks domain name to extract exorbitant sums from celebrities and companies seeking to protect their public brands.

More details about new gTLDs can be found on the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) website.

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