.XXX PUT ON HOLD

In a surprise move, ICANN, the regulatory body governing internet domains, has pulled its plans to incorporate a new URL extension for pornographic websites. The .xxx suffix has been touted for months now as the new internet domain for adult oriented sites. While most could care less about something so unimportant, it was with much disappointment that I heard this announcement.

While I am personally not interested in pornography, I know that it exists. I also know that the internet is rife with it, so much so that one can hardly surf on a regular basis without coming across the graphic images. It has been shown to be a major draw and that by itself encourages more of the same.

I think that a .xxx domain is a good idea. I have small children, and from time to time, they go online. We have rules, and they are, for the most part, supervised. Having said that, there are no guarantees. Anyone who knows the web knows that there are unscrupulous individuals who will give their sites innocent sounding names in an attempt to snag youngsters. Such names often include names extremely close to children’s icons, and are easily stumbled into when a child simply misspells one of them.

Internet software is available to filter out some offensive content but again, unless the website is clearly set up as adult only, the filtering programs can easily be duped. One of the best ways to filter out adult content would be for it to have its own domain extension, which is why I am in favour of the .xxx extension. There would be absolutely no better way to filter this material out of your computer.

ICANN constantly reviews protocols for the web including such things as the language and syntax used for web design, to ensure that different web browsers can all read a web page properly. In the past few years, we have seen it accept new extensions, the most notable being the one’s that denote countries, such as .ca, .us, etc. ICANN is also repsonsible for registering all internet websites, which makes it the perfect party (as well as the only feasible one) to adopt and enforce a domain for pornographic material.

While most ICANN members are for the new domain name, there are a few players who are still against it. In a perfect world, there would be no pornography, period. It is morally debasing, and has no good in it. This, of course, has no affect on whether it exists. While it does, I think it would be better kept in its own room, not strewn about all of them.