GoDaddy Disses .TV and What it Says About the Echo Chamber

The echo chamber about GoDaddy’s diss of .tv shows that new and old media can get it wrong.

GoDaddy is taking its diss of the .tv domain name a step further. How people are reacting to and writing about it shows that it’s hard to know who the “authoritative source” is.

In November I wrote an article about how if the country of Tuvalu (which has the .tv country code) ceased to exist, .tv would technically go away. GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons later joked about tuvalu sinking on his video blog and how this would be the end of .tv. (Parsons was promoting .me as an alternative. GoDaddy backs the .me registry.)

GoDaddy took it a step further recently, adding this disclaimer to its web site when you search for a .tv domain:

What follows is a lesson in not always believing “authoritative sources” and the echo chamber.

A blog picked up on GoDaddy’s latest move, and BoingBoing wrote a story about it. One of the commentors on the BoingBoing story said:

A search for “tuvalu sinking domain” online gives this refutation of this story from 2004. Godaddy should probably take a look at this little thing called Google before they get all hot and bothered.

Then Gawker wrote about the story, and included the bit that GoDaddy was wrong about .tv going away if Tuvalu no longer exists.

So everyone believed what was in USAToday. “It’s USAToday, so it must be accurate”. The problem is the USAToday article quotes someone who is wrong. It quotes a VeriSign representative:

VeriSign spokesman Tom Galvin tells me that a defunct country’s Internet domain lives on. For instance, you can still find addresses on .su รขโ‚ฌโ€ the domain for the Soviet Union.

VeriSign runs the .tv domain name. So it has a vested interested in the domain surviving.

But the truth is that if Tuvalu no longer exists*, the current rules stipulate that the domain name will be phased out. That’s straight from ICANN’s mouth. The .su case was unique, and it will eventually be phased out. The rules could change, but as it stands today GoDaddy is right.

*If it goes below water the country could still exist. Some island nations are buying land elsewhere to move to if they eventually go below sea level.


  1. says

    It sounds so far fetched that .TV will cease to exist simply because Tuvalu Islands go under. Ok, there could well be a legal issue, but that looks like the worst case scenario IMO.

    Even Verisign as a public listed company can probably afford to buy out the entire Island if it wanted to, who knows, maybe that’s already factored into Verisigns’s long term strategy.

    It appears to me very naive to think .TV which is an acronym for Television will all of a sudden dissapear when video online is so ubiquitous!

    • says

      Robert, it is far fetched but not because .tv stands for television. VeriSign will pay ICANN $18M in the next fiscal year just for the rights to .net and .com. I think ICANN would work with them to change the rules on this.

  2. Zach says

    What a stupid story.

    Tuvalu isn’t sinking, and only the most ridiculously over-dramatic global warming predictions suggest that the sea will rise long enough within our lifetimes to come even close to sinking the nation.

    If you’re planning on registering a domain for a millenia then .tv may not be a good choice, but for everyone else it’s perfectly fine.

  3. says

    It just business Bob Parsons, you win some you lose some. If the .TV deal don’t work for you, just let it go and move on. I remember watching you promoted .TV in the past now you’re telling your customers to buy .ME because it is great. Crap!

    Go ahead market the .ME extension and dissed out .TV. Who the heck owns .ME anyway?

    To ICANN, if ain’t broke don’t fix it. With or without Tuvulu, people will recognize the .TV domains because of its universal name.


  4. says

    Wow, I honestly thought you photoshopped that image and this was a joke until I went to Godaddy and saw it myself… I’m not a .tv investors and I like Godaddy, but I really can’t agree with Bob putting down an extension that they sell, that they’ve promoted in the past, and that many customers have invested in. Very unprofessional imho.

  5. DR. DOMAIN says

    Thanx Bob.I have a handful of overpriced .tv extensions that took a chance on with your registry.

  6. says

    I almost clicked that comment link to godaddy thinking it was a screenshot or something and noticed it was a ploy to get an affiliate link in there :/

    • says

      Kevin – it’s actually my link, sorry. The autolinking plugin I’m using right now won’t let me turn off the autolink in comments. I’m working on a solution.

  7. says

    Has a ccTLD ever been shut down before?

    This may be a stupid question but would it be possible to forward it somehow to a new domain – or would it simply irretrievably not work?

  8. says


    If this is kontera, that’s the same problem I have to my website. I’m considering to drop the linking tool ….

    I agree with you.

    • says

      The plugin is cross-linker. The developer says he is considering adding that feature in the next release, but if anyone has other good alternatives please let me know.

  9. says

    Your position of trust in ICANN following its current rules is not supported well by ICANN history. Given the popularity of .tv, it is not going away regardless of what happens to the island. ICANN will change its rules or more likely just ignore them, rather than shutdown all .tv domains. Bob is just being Bob, spinning events in a controversial manner to create buzz and sell more of the domains. You are both technically correct on paper, but wrong “for all practical purposes”, in my opinion.

  10. Donna Miller says

    This has nothing to do the a sinking island country and it’s Top Level Domains! This is pure strong arming tactics by Go Daddy to most likely squeeze out a better wholesale deal with the .TV Registry and tick off Verisign, the .TV Registry. The “level” of this country sinking is nothing new, so why NOW?

    Public service for Go Daddy’s customers? I think not. Go Daddy had NO problem selling .TV domains at $29.99, then $24.99, then $19.99, then $14.99… ect. Now it’s $39.99 and NOW there is a problem with the ccTLD? No, it’s that Parsons is NOT getting a sweet deal and to SHOW the .TV people, he’s dished the domain extension and hijacked the price $39.99.

    If Go Daddy was JUST looking out for it’s customers, they SHOULD disclaim their OWN domain extension .ME – The country of Montenegro has changed so much, that is has had no less then 3 domain extensions in the past 5 years. .YU, .CS (that was NEVER used) and now .ME.. what’s next?

    Why would we believe that Montenegro is going to be around any longer then when Tuvalu sinks. Most likely it’s not, then again “This has nothing to do the a sinking island country”. Don’t try to fool us Parsons we know your game. The only one that is getting screwed it THEIR own customers, that paid $14.99 for .TV a year ago and NOW have to pay $39.99 to renew.

    Wait, didn’t Parsons go off any of his blog a while back about Yahoo hijacking their domain prices from $9.99 to $34.99? He claimed Go Daddy just won’t do that? Well look now.

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