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June 03, 2005

Joi on .XXX

Joi Ito's Web: Some notes on the .XXX Top Level Domain

I realize that the formal documents on the ICANN page are difficult to read, but I suggest people take a look at the actual application before jumping to conclusions about what the .XXX TLD is. It is actually a well thought out structure that provides a balanced approach to an issue with many stake holders.

Interesting discussion over there, that is probably mirrored around the net. To say that porn has no place on the internet, which isn't what anyone here is necessarily saying, but has been said is silly, of course. Though I'm still pissed off that they let bizzness on the internet back in 1994 or whenever it was. I was pissed then, and remain so. Though I do love all the advantages that have come with it. Same goes with porn. I worked to block porn on campus in the late 80s. Not as an activist, but my job was to sort out the porn Usenet groups from the merely erotic or talking about sex, sex in art... we made porn harder to find and the rest easier to find... realizing that we couldn't legally block porn on campus, but we could focus attention on what we thought was important. We also blocked hard science and engineering usenet groups from being accessible in our lab, because we were a writing lab...

The larger point is that porn represents a valid fringe location of our global community. Beyond the fringe, for those of us in many countries are issues such as child pornography and abuse forms of sexuality. To allow people to self-opt IN to .xxx domains, if there is a concomitant monitoring of the legality of the content on those sites will be a very good thing. If someone knows that they will not be breaking any laws by visiting a .xxx domain, it will be much easier to monitor what goes on in other domain systems that are not 'validated'. I mean this from a social, rather than technological perspective. It will help the porn industry, and those who want to be involved with its legal activities, which is a valuable thing.

And if it helps to expose illegal and exploitive porn, then it is valuable to us all.

Posted by jason at June 3, 2005 10:06 AM


I can't really fathom why anyone would be against the idea of the .xxx domain.

Posted by: Trevor Haldenby at June 3, 2005 06:16 PM

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