.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.


GAC

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.

A. Keck

Perhaps the biggest problem is defining "porn."

Chris

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.

Iljitsch van Beijnum

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.

sram

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

How?

Mike B

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

Spooner

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."

AaronS

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, 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.

Read more...

YouGetWellSoon

I'd love it if all porn could get a .xxx - unfortunately that would require not only internet regulation but also a form of judgement to decide what should be included. Slippery slope. Mind you if it could have any impact on reducing exploitation, I'd be in favour of that.

jimbino

Your City of Austin attempts to censor pornography on its computers in the Senior Activities Centers. Seniors, of course, have every right to view pornography.

Even though access will still be available through circumventors and anonymizers, facilitating censorship by the City of Austin by putting all pornography on .XXX is a bad idea.

ETS

I think the ensnarement works not by tricking people into visiting a site they didn't realize was porn, but rather by titillating and tempting people who were otherwise not actively hunting for porn to click through to a porn site, using pop-up ads or other links. I think that a lot of people surfing "semi-naughty" sites stumble onto porn ads, become titillated, and fail to resist the temptation to engage in something that they may consider wrong. If a porn site relocates to a .xxx domain, but still puts banner ads up on .com sites, they probably wouldn't see much drop-off in their core "guilty indulgence" "ensnarement" business.

AJ from GA

Sram, by using the "related" feature in Google. Suppose you are really into cheerleader porn, but want to avoid all those pesky sites about actual cheerleaders. You'd type "cheerleaders related:.xxx" into Google.

paul haine

I want to know what non-porn companies are going to do? Will Disney feel obliged to buy disney.xxx just to make sure no porn is ever hosted there?

Duh

I call Dibs on www.google.xxx

John H

I think porn is pretty readily available on the web anyways. The incentive of a website being "easier to find" isn't really an incentive. There's so much free porn on the internet that I wonder if maintaining a "pay" porn website will even still be a lucrative business venture in the future.

It would still be nice to go to a website and know that it's going to be a "naughty" website rather than being surprised when you get there.

Ray

"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. "

What's porn? What's art? Who decides, and on what criteria? From what nation/ethnicity/religious/social communities' mores will these standards be drawn?

Why stop with a .xxx domain? Why not a .blog domain, to allow easy filtering of subversive ideas? (One can't be sure that a blogger's comments will be safe for the particular sensibilities of a person/culture/ethnicity.)

Who legislates that porn goes into a .xxx domain, and how would that requirement survive constitutional muster? International law?

Nosybear

Given that the vast majority of all Web searches deal with sex, I don't think the .xxx domain will have a huge difference one way or the other. People are looking for porn, not snared into it.

JBJ

@jimbino: "Your City of Austin attempts to censor pornography on its computers in the Senior Activities Centers. Seniors, of course, have every right to view pornography."

Seniors have every right to view pornography *in private*, just like any other adult. Viewing it in public, on a public computer, is a very different matter.

jimbino

According to the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, seniors have a right to unbridled viewing of anything in private or in public that can only be overcome by government's narrow interests in protecting children and intellectual property, and in prohibiting defamation and libel, fighting words and obscenity and the like.

Apart from that, a senior has every right to speak, show, discuss and create pornography in private and in the presence of other seniors, whether they like it or not!

Almost all pornography is less obscene than the Bible!

AaronS

@Jimbino...

Now I know the place you're coming from. When you said that almost all pornography is less obscene than the Bible, you let everyone know that we cannot expect objectivity or balance from you. PLEASE!!! You obviously haven't read the sublime beatitudes or the part about loving your neighbor or the Good Samaritan....

A senior can indeed look at whatever he wants. On HIS computer and in HIS room. But when my tax dollars are providing the computer and the venue, things change. First, it is a public place--and just as we don't allow smoking in many public places, we can also expect not to have to see certain things in public.

Free speech is a right. A computer hookup with porn access is NOT.