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XXX domains approved for adult sites

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The use of the xxx suffix to indicate adult internet sites has been narrowly approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers (ICANN).

Nine of the 16 members of ICANN in San Francisco voted for .xxx to join .com and .org in web addresses.

Using the xxx suffix had drawn criticism by conservatives and family groups while the adult entertainment industry itself was divided with fears it will make websites easier to censor or ban in certain countries.



Hustler president Michael Klein said he was surprised it was approved despite the numerous objections going on.

“It’s unfortunate they decided to approve it,” Klein told XBIZ Newswire and added he thinks it will create a ghetto for adult domains.

The move to establish addresses for this online red light district of sites with the .xxx domain has been going on since 2003 and there has been more than 230,000 URLs reserved in the virtual land grab.

Existing porn sites will be able maintain their current web addresses and the .xxx  URLs will not be mandatory.

One of the conditions of the approval between ICANN and the US-based ICM Registry that will sell the domain names is that extra fees will be charged to help keep children away.

ICM Registry outlined the benefits of establishing xxx domain names. These include:

* Despite a large online adult market there is still a large section of society that wants to avoid it so the .xxx addresses will make them easier to identify.

* It will make adult content easier to filter for individuals and families instead of having to create a list of keywords and using expensive software.

But ironically the adult entertainment industry sees the move as a massive backward step. Here are their reasons:

* Content shouldn’t be graded as long as free speech is legal.

* It will fence off adult sites in what has been described by industry insiders as “online ghettos” and “online red light districts”.

* Adult content creators fear .XXX domains will be horrendously overpriced.

The issue has certainly been divisive. While ICANN’s decision has been to clearly label adult content the critics are saying the content will be even easier for children to find.

What do you think?