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.kids goes live, plans to launch this year

Kevin Murphy, April 13, 2022, 09:30:03 (UTC), Domain Registries

The long-anticipated .kids top-level domain has its first live site, and the registry has announced plans to start selling domains towards the end of the year.

The contractually mandated is now resolving, leading to the registry web site of the DotKids Foundation.

Hong Kong-based DotKids, which has close ties to DotAsia and ICANN director Edmon Chung, said the plan is to start a sunrise period in the third quarter and go to general availability in the fourth quarter this year.

There’s also going to be a special registration period for children’s rights groups and a Q3 “Pioneer Program” for early adopters.

The idea behind the gTLD is to provide a space where all content is considered suitable for under-18s, though the exact policing policies have yet to be written. DotKids is using the UN definition of a child.

It will be a tough balancing act. My fifteen-year-old nephew isn’t happy with content that doesn’t involve the laser-beam dismemberment of tentacled beasts, but a decade ago was content to watch Peppa Pig on a loop for hours a day.

DotKids won the rights to .kids, somehow beating rival applicants Amazon and Google, in 2019. It signed a very strange Registry Agreement with ICANN last year.

Previous attempts at creating child-friendly domains have proven unsuccessful.

In the US, there was a government-mandated brought in 20 years ago, aimed at under-13s, but it was a spectacular failure, attracting just a handful of registrations. It was killed off in 2012.

Russian speakers have their own equivalent gTLD .дети, a word that has taken on more sinister overtones in recent weeks, but that currently has only about 800 names under management.

DotKids has its work cut out to make .kids a commercial success, but it is a non-profit and it was the only new gTLD applicant to have most of its ICANN fees waived under the Applicant Support Program.

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