.XXX Websites

The group that doles out web domains may soon be giving out .xxx addresses to pornography sites. Web-based pornography is obviously a huge business. But will this be a Pareto improvement?

It would improve consumers’ welfare if all porn sites were to use the .xxx suffix: Those customers who want to see porn sites could find them even more readily; those who don’t (and parents) could filter them out more easily. I’m not sure porn purveyors would be better off, though: Perhaps they imagine that some potential customers who might otherwise be ensnared into entering porn sites and purchasing wouldn’t find and enter the .xxx sites. If given the choice, will managers of porn sites want to use these domain names? If they believe the ensnarement argument, it would be a bad strategy for them to adopt the .xxx suffix.

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  1. GAC says:

    Domain names are cheap, there is no reason why a porn site wouldn’t just buy the relevant .xxx domain and still keep their old one.

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  2. A. Keck says:

    Perhaps the biggest problem is defining “porn.”

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  3. Chris says:

    As an additional negative to the “purveyors”, many of them will be forced to purchase their domain names for the sake of protecting their brand, even if they have no interest in switching to a .xxx suffix.

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  4. Iljitsch van Beijnum says:

    I doubt it’s worth the trouble for porn site operators to deceive people into coming to their sites. The (presumably) small amount of extra revenue is probably not worth image problem created by the deception.

    But I think the reason they won’t give up their existing .com domains is that they would lose business that way, people aren’t going to move to the new URLs from one day to the next.

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  5. sram says:

    “Those customers who want to see porn sites could find them even more readily”

    How?

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  6. Mike B says:

    I believe it might be the case that the p0rn industry is simply too large to be covered by a single top level domain name :-D

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  7. Spooner says:

    I think the ensnarement revenue would be much less than the benefits derived from the “.xxx” domain for the same reason that no fish store is named “Prime Meats.”

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  8. AaronS says:

    Oddly enough, some foolish members of the Christian Right oppose the .xxx designation! They think that allowing such addresses somehow “legitimizes” pornography. Apparently, pornography will go away if we make them keep having to use .com.

    I have a theory that certain members of the Christian Right really don’t want pornography to go away or be shunted to the “red-light district” of the internet. After all, candidates for office could rage against filth and obscenity if we had cleaned up the main street of the internet.

    In my opinion, EVERY pornography site should have to be labeld .xxx. This seemingly could be done using even the current .com ending. For instance, http://www.pornography.com would become “www.pornography.com.xxx” (if that’s possible).

    I very much want to protect my young son from these shadowy places on the internet. How nice it would be to simply set my filters to not permit any websites with .xxx.

    It’s actually one of the best ideas out there. It makes it simple for those who want it to find it…and simple for those who want to avoid it.

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