The latest domain craze is websites ending in .xxx. This is because adult-themed websites can clearly separate themselves from more family-friendly content. Now Universities are buying up some of these domain names.
Starting last week, domain addresses with the brand-new suffix .xxx became available for pornography sites, in addition to the .edu suffix used for schools, .com used for businesses and .gov used for government agencies. Many schools on the mainland are buying up potential porn addresses with their names in them to preserve their reputations, but Hawaii schools have not. KITV 4 News researched the ICM Registry website, where people can purchase .xxx online domain names for roughly $100 a year, and found the URL www.universityofhawaii.xxx was available for purchase as of late Monday morning. Same thing with www.UHManoa.xxx, meaning someone who runs a pornographic website could use one of these University of Hawaii names to make money.But then KITV 4 News found something interesting. A reporter entered “UHHotties” in the ICM website, and found the domain was not available, and had already been purchased. Same goes for “UHBabes” and “UHGirls.”So KITV 4 News contacted another U.H., the University of Houston in Texas. And a spokesman said that school had blocked more than 50 URLs, explaining why “UHHotties,” “UHBabes” and “UHGirls” were already taken.
Spending $5000 on overwhelmingly derogatory and negative domain names might seem a little over-protective, but it’s hardly surprising. The Internet is a chaotic place and people will use all sorts of methods to leverage traffic and embarrass others. Ultimately, this is about protecting a hard-earned reputation.