Internet Misanthropy

The only thing more disturbing than a mad-man killing over 90 people in a well-planned and terrifying attack, is the fact that within seconds of the media reporting the identity of the killer, some opportunistic person is falling over their keyboard in a frantic attempt to buy the domain names.

Specifically,, and its variants. At the time of writing, here is what you will find on these macabre sites (I will not create hyperlinks for any of them). – A blog that purports to have the latest updates about the story. Just some good-natured person looking to keep the world updated? That might be credible were the site not filled with adverts. Just another form of grim profiteering, with the deaths of tens of people as the hook that draws you in. Horrible.  – A standard ‘related links’ spam page.  – A different standard ‘related links’ spam page. – A similar attempt to the other .com, except the spamblog hasn’t been set up properly yet – it just contains a default WordPress theme and post.  – A blank site with a ‘no index file’ error page. – An incredibly spam-tastic GoDaddy ad-holding page.

What compels a person to think registering these is a good idea? How can they not think ‘Whatever reasons I might have, this can only been seen as horribly insensitive to those who have died’? All thought of humane sensitivity is displaced at the prospect of making more money than it cost to register the domain name. A cheap, pathetic little payday for someone cashing in on the horrors of the world.

There should be some very high level directive at ICANN that allows for the deactivation or reversal of registration for those names which are news-topical and sensitive.

These aren’t the only sites that have sprung up as a result of this tragedy. A whole mini-industry of domain names bursts into life around such events. Take the registration of as yet another example – this once again redirects to another ‘news’ site filled with adverts. I can’t think how many other possible permutations there might be. I genuinely hope that Google has the good sense to zero pagerank and ban the crawling of such sites, because they don’t deserve the tiniest fragment of attention. It’s gross, and sickening, and a terrible indictment of the kind of world that spawns this kind of ‘entrepreneurial’ innovation.



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