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Time for .bloomberg after Twitter hoax?

Kevin Murphy, July 15, 2015, 18:13:54 (UTC), Domain Registries

Could the fake Bloomberg story about Twitter being acquired act as an impetus for the company to activate its mostly dormant dot-brand gTLD?

Twitter shares yesterday reportedly spiked as much as 8% on the “news” that it was the target of a $31 buyout bid.

The story was published on bloomberg.market, a cybersquatted domain hosting a mirror of the real Bloomberg web site.

While it was reportedly quite sloppily written, it nevertheless managed to convince at least one US cable news network to run with it, one reporter even tweeting the bogus link to his followers.

The story was quickly outed as a fake and within a few hours Rightside, the .market registry as well as owner of its registrar, eNom, suspended the domain for breaching its terms of service.

Rightside wrote in a blog post:

it pains us so greatly that, in the early stages when so many people are forming their first impressions of the new TLD program, these numerous positive examples are sometimes overshadowed by the malicious practices and behaviors of a very small group of people.

Bloomberg’s not at fault here, of course. No company should be expected to defensively register its trademark in every one of the 1,000+ TLDs out there right now.

But could the hoax persuade it to do something of substance with its .bloomberg gTLD, perhaps taking a leaf out of the BNP Paribas playbook?

Bloomberg has been populating its dot-brand with hundreds of domains since May — both the names of its products and keywords related to industries it’s known for covering — but currently they all seem to redirect to existing web sites in .com or .net.

It’s long been suggested by proponents of new gTLDs that dot-brands can act as a signal of legitimacy on the web, and that’s the attitude banks such as Barclays and BNP Paribas seem to be taking right now.

Could .bloomberg be next?

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Comments (4)

  1. Andrew says:

    I don’t see how using .bloomberg would have helped in this case. A Bloomberg.markets still would have fooled the typical user.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      It’s a long-term play, for sure.

      I think in this case it wasn’t so much about the typical user as it was about reporters who should have known better.

  2. John Berard says:

    As one of those who endorse the market value (security, trust & confidence) of dotBrands, this episode is not proof as much as provocation. The effective implementation of a dotBrand will take time, money & persistence — not the normal opening bid for a new corporate program. But as the Internet gets more layered and potentially deceptive, the alternative is far riskier.

  3. Snoopy says:

    Agree with Andrew, .bloomberg isn’t going to make any difference.

Leave a Reply to Snoopy