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Incel hate site jumps to Iceland after doMEn suspends .me domain

Kevin Murphy, November 21, 2018, Domain Registries

Incels.me, a web forum that hosts misogynist rants by “involuntarily celibate” men, has found a new home after .me registry doMEn suspended its domain.

The web site has reappeared, apparently unscathed, under Iceland’s .is domain, at incels.is.

doMEn said in a blog post yesterday that it had suspended incels.me at the registry level due to the owner “allowing part of its members to continuously promote violence and hate speech”.

The suspension happened October 15, and the site reappeared in .is not long after. It’s not entirely clear why doMEn chose to explain its decision over a month later. It said:

The decision to suspend the domain was made after the .ME Registry exhausted all other possibilities that could assure us that the registrant of incels.me domain and the owner of i
incels.me forum was able to remove the subject content and prevent the same or similar content from appearing on the forum again.

An “incel” is a man who has decided that he is too ugly, charmless, short, stupid or otherwise unattractive, and is therefore permanently unfuckable.

While that may provoke sympathetic thoughts, a great many of the incels frequenting sites like incels.me choose to channel their frustration into cartoonish misogyny ranging from the laughable to the extremely disturbing.

While the registry didn’t mention it, the site also has many threads that appear to encourage suicide.

doMEn seems to have turned off the domain because certain threads crossed the line from misogyny to incitement to violence against women.

The Montenegro-based company said it had been monitoring the site since May, after being told that “certain members” of the forum “might have been involved in or associated with” an attack in Toronto that killed 10 people in April, a charge the incels.is admin denies.

The second reason given — preventing content appearing in future — may be the crux here.

The site’s administrator said in a post on the new site that he had personally removed all of the threads highlighted by doMEN as being in violation of its registry policies.

He also posted a partial email thread between himself and his former registrar, China-based NiceNIC.net, in which he explains how difficult it is to monitor all the content posted by his users. He wrote on the forum:

They obviously weren’t going to give us a fair shake either way, and we’re not going to search through 1.6 MILLION posts nor do we have the technological capabilities to check to see if any of them are against their vague anti-abuse policy.

Domain registries have no place in enforcing arbitrary rules against domains that go against their ideology.

It seems from the thread that Afilias, 37%-owner of doMEn and .me back-end provider, had a hands-on role in the suspension.

Incels certainly isn’t the first controversial site to have to resort to TLD-hopping to stay alive.

The most notable example is piracy site KickAssTorrents, which bounced from ccTLD to ccTLD for years before finally being shut down by the US Feds.

The incels.is admin said he had confidence in Iceland’s registry due to “their stance as pro free-speech enforcers”.

But ISNIC is not above suspending domains when the associated sites break Icelandic law. Four years ago it took down some domains associated with ISIS.

The takedown comes not long after GoDaddy attracted attention for suspending the domain of far-right Twitter clone Gab.com, again due to claims of incitement to violence related to an act of domestic terrorism.

doMEn uses comedy compo to plug .me domains

Kevin Murphy, October 3, 2012, Domain Registries

doMEN, the .me registry, is marketing .me domain names with a series of comedy videos, presented in the form of a knockout competition and sweepstake.

The three-week “Comedy Cagematch” will see 30-second videos featuring 16 comedians being voted on by internet users. Voting gets you the chance to win a $500 camera.

The campaign has been put together by comedy-focused ad agency RadioFace, which has already produced this video featuring stand-up TJ Miller.

Apparently, if you have a .com you also have to use words like “problopportunity” (which I thought was pretty funny).

The promotion starts on Register.me from October 8. Only Americans and Canadians can enter the sweepstakes.

.me beating .co in start-ups?

Kevin Murphy, February 1, 2012, Domain Registries

The .co top-level domain may have more registrations, but more tech start-ups are opting for .me domain names, according to an informal study.

Doctoral student Thomas Park compiled a list of 1,000 start-ups added to TechCrunch’s CrunchBase database last year and found that entrepreneurs chose .co 1% of the time, versus 1.7% for .me.

As caveats, the difference between the two TLDs only works out to seven companies and .me, which launched in 2008, does of course have a two-year head start over .co.

I’m also guessing that CrunchBase has an English-language bias, which could skew the results. While .co has meaning in more countries it lacks the call-to-action punch of .me in English.

Nevertheless, I think the results are interesting because .CO Internet heavily targets start-ups in its marketing and currently has twice as many domains under management (over 1.1 million) as doMEn, the Afilias/Go Daddy joint-venture .me registry.

Park’s results show that .me had a 0.50% share in 2010 and a 0.80% share in 2009 while .co managed to get one company (0.10%) on the list during the half of 2010 it was live.

The survey found that .com is the runaway first choice for entrepreneurs, with about 85% of the start-up market, but you knew that already.

WordPress.com’s registrar service: Slow cookin’ makes good eatin’

Kevin Murphy, September 26, 2011, Domain Registrars

WordPress.com provider Automattic has not abandoned its plans to start offering domain names directly to its users, according to its lead developer.

It’s been about 11 months since the company received its ICANN accreditation, but it is currently still acting as a Go Daddy reseller.

“Our registry product is still under development,” Automattic founder and chief barbecue taste tester (really) Matt Mullenweg said in an email. “Slow cookin’ makes good eatin’.”

WordPress.com announced last week that it would start offering .me domains, alongside .com, .org, and .net, saying it would give users a better chance to get a domain they liked.

The .me registry, Domen, is a joint venture whose partners include Go Daddy and Afilias.

“GoDaddy is a valued partner and we continue to use many of their services as part of our business,” Mullenweg added.

Domain names are WordPress.com’s best-selling add-on product. According to DomainTools, over 226,000 domains are hosted on the same servers as WordPress.com.

Go Daddy launches paid YouTube clone

Go Daddy has opened the doors of Video.me, a video-hosting service with a difference.

The difference is you have to pay for it.

The company seems to be banking on the idea that users will be happy to hand over $2 per month, rather than use YouTube for free, because Video.me has simpler password protection.

“People want privacy online, it’s obvious from the all of the recent news,” chief executive Bob Parsons said in a press release. “YouTube has been the place for mass-consumption videos, but for sharing more personal items, it’s way too complicated.”

Most of the recent news about online privacy has been focused on Facebook. I don’t think I’ve seen many people complaining about YouTube.

Still, at the very least the service is a high-profile use of a .me domains, which could help Go Daddy as a partner in Domen, the Montenegro-based .me registry.