GoDaddy Disses .TV and What it Says About the Echo Chamber
Thursday, April 30th, 2009
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 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 â€” 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.