Cyberspace just got a little more risque. Earlier this week, .xxx domain names went on sale and according to a Web Host Industry Review article, more than 55 thousand .xxx domain names were purchased within the first 24 hours, many of the purchasers being trademarked companies and universities.

Controversy has surrounded .xxx since its inception. The basic idea behind the domain is to make the internet safer for children by making the sites less easy to stumble upon and easier for parents to block. CNN published an article outlining some of the pros and cons of the .xxx domain. One of the biggest pros is that those that apply for .xxx sites will be subject to regulation because the promise of online pornography is often just a front for viruses or Malware.

CNN states, “By applying for a .xxx site, webmasters, adult performers, studios and others become part of a ‘sponsored community,’ agreeing to operate legally and within agreed-upon business standards.” Each site with a .xxx domain will be scanned by McAfee tools which the ICM Registry claims will make them some of the safest destinations on the Web.

But there are cons to the .xxx sites as well. In the same article, Morality in Media CEO Patrick Trueman said, “The establishment of a .xxx domain would increase, not decrease, the spread of pornography on the Internet, causing even more harm to children, families and communities.”

David Jesse of the Detroit Free Press points out that many Michigan universities are buying up .xxx domain names to protect their schools from adult websites. Jesse reports that the University of Michigan reserved 14 names for 10 years while Central Michigan University reserved three names. This is one of the primary concerns with the .xxx domain–will companies and organizations be able to protect their reputation?

It’s definitely something to consider.

What do you think of the .xxx domain? Is it a good idea or something that has the potential to do more harm than good?

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