Monday, June 06, 2005

Thank God - '.xxx' domain finally approved

As reported by CNET in this particular case, ICANN finally approved the sale and use of a new .xxx domain for websites. Well, it's about damn time, I say. Longtime readers will know that I have a curious relationship with the adult entertainment industry, because of a book I wrote in 2002 and then a magazine column in 2003, and that I count both several porn producers and adult actors/actresses as my friends. These people without a single exception have been wanting this new domain for years and have been repeatedly calling for it, because of how much easier it's going to make it to reliably filter adult content off certain browsers without worrying about accidentally filtering out legitimate content as well. Aboveground pornographers are business people too, just like every other enterpreneur, and they like everyone else want to avoid as much legal hassle as possible; all the adult content providers I know very much only want to sell to fellow adults, and worry even more than conservative mothers about how to keep their stuff out of the hands of children - because they'll be the ones arrested for it if it happens, not the conservative mothers.

The new .xxx domain will allow all legitimate pornographers to move their adult material to a specially marked site now, where not only the front page but every other page of the site as well is marked with this special tag at the end. It will allow browsers at libraries, schools, and homes with small children to effectively click one "block all .xxx pages" box and elegantly filter everything on the planet that ends with that tag; but since it's common knowledge that the .xxx domain is strictly for adult material, there's no chance of an academe or mainstream company accidentally using that domain themselves and having their safe material accidentally banned, like what often happens with the wave of filtering software we're currently using. It's a simple solution and a powerful one, and my prediction is that in just a few years from now, we'll see just this one act responsible for being able to filter something like 75 to 80 percent of all legitimate porn on the web from childrens' eyes. It's not a complete solution, for sure, but definitely a step in the right direction, and any adult content provider out there worth their salt is as glad to see it as you are as a parent.