Twitter has filed a cybersquatting complaint over the domain name twitter.org, which is currently being used for one of those bogus survey scam sites.
The domain has been registered since October 2005 — six months before Twitter was created — but appears to have changed hands a number of times since then.
It’s been under Whois privacy since mid-2011, but the last available unprotected record shows the domain registered to what appears to be Panama-based law firm.
Hiding ownership via offshore shell companies is a common tactic for people cybersquatting high-profile brands.
The UDRP complaint, which looks like a slam-dunk to me, has been filed with WIPO.
Two typosquatters have been fined £100,000 ($156,000) by the UK premium rate phone services regulator.
PhonepayPlus said today that the owners of the typos wikapedia.com and twtter.com, both Dutch companies, were issued the fines for violating its Code of Practice.
R&D Media Europe and Unavalley use the now depressingly commonplace practice of tricking visitors with the promise of iPad prizes into signing up for bogus SMS services at ridiculous fees.
They’ve both been ordered to refund disgruntled customers’ fees.
PhonepayPlus has no powers to take away domain names, of course, so both typos are still active, albeit not no longer mimicking the Wikipedia or Twitter look-and-feel.
The regulator did however issue clear guidance that typosquatting is against its rules, stating:
This guidance reminds PRS [premium rate service] providers that they are responsible for all their digital promotions and, if they use marketing firms that mislead consumers through typosquatting, they will be in breach of the Code of Practice.
A Facebook attorney said last year that typos of high-traffic sites, such as facebok.com, could expect to get 250 million visits a year.
ICANN has really ramped up the social marketing of its new generic top-level domain program for the last few weeks, and today it started plugging new gTLDs with some Twitter advertising.
It’s bought some “Promoted Tweets”, which means some Twitter users will see a designated ICANN tweet even if they don’t already follow ICANN.
Here’s an example captured by @andrewhennigan.
The Promoted Tweets ad service is bid-based and priced on a cost-per-engagement basis, so advertisers only pay when they get a reply, retweet, follow, etc. Reportedly, there’s a $15,000 minimum commitment.
Judging by Twitter noise today, I’m guessing that today ICANN is promoting its new gTLDs Twitter chat, which is happening at 1600 UTC tomorrow with the hashtag #newgtlds.
One of the good things about Twitter is that there’s no Whois (yet), which makes it fertile ground for pseudonymous humor.
Here are the five bogus domain humor tweeters I find amusing.
No, before you ask, none of these are me. I’ve only written one thing under a fake identity since I launched DI.
Bob tweets in-character as a “heightened” version of ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom.
He’s basically a globe-trotting narcissist hippy with delusions of grandeur and an obsessive penchant for taking panoramic iPhone photos of himself shaking hands with world leaders.
His avatar, inexplicably, is Sam Rockwell as Zaphod Beeblebrox.
This account, which usually offers a satirical view of ICANN proceedings, typically peaks during its thrice-yearly public meetings.
Whoever is responsible for this account has clearly been around ICANN for a while – s/he goes to the meetings, reads the web site, and knows what’s coming before it happens.
This one’s for the geeks. Imagine everyone’s favorite Kazakhstani roving reporter, but he’s a DNS administrator.
That’s pretty much it really.
This account was only created in the last few days. I’d hazard a guess that it has links to the adult entertainment industry, due to the obvious anti-.xxx sentiment on display.
The premise, of course, is that new gTLDs are basically a massive shakedown. Shows promise.
(I’ll note that the first time I heard of .sucks back in 2000 when it was floated by then-chair of ICANN Esther Dyson, ironically now one of the new gTLD program’s highest-profile critics.)
This one is slightly different for two reasons: 1) I know who it is. 2) He/she has not tweeted much funny stuff lately.
I follow it in the hope that this might change one day.
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone is to keynote the 2012 DOMAINfest Global conference, organizer Oversee.net has just announced.
It sounds rather like his speech will focus on the “inspirational story” angle, rather like Go Daddy founder Bob Parsons’ keynote at the 2011 show.
According to the agenda, Stone will “share his thoughts on Twitter’s future and the evolving world of social media”.
Judging by the other speakers and panelists lined up, it’s an SEO-heavy agenda, but there will be a workshop entitled “Everything You Need to Know about New TLDs”.
For the new gTLDs panel, so far only Neustar’s Ken Hansen is listed as a confirmed speaker. I don’t expect that state of affairs to last long.
The show will be held at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica, California, from January 31 to February 2 next year. Prices start at $1,195 if registering before December 31.