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Just What We Needed (Not) – .SUCKS

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Tuesday June 5, 2012 )

As if the venomous trolls of the Internet and other whackos of the online world needed a new avenue to post their bile.

Canada’s Momentous Corp has put in a bid to operate a .sucks generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) under ICANN’s initiative to expand the number of generic extensions available.

According to the company, DotSUCKS will be a space intended to “provide a medium for sharing opinions and encouraging debate”.

Debate? I think many, many folks don’t understand the difference between debate and argument; let alone fact and fiction, or accuracy and exaggeration.

Momentous CEO Rob Hall says: “When we consider product reviews, online dialog rarely satisfies the consumer who wants to be heard or the companies who are anxious to respond. The mission of DotSUCKS is to create a new space on the web that will give voice to consumers and create the opportunity for closer contact between companies their customers.”

It’s all a little vague at this point, but with an extension like .SUCKS; it doesn’t really allude to civilized discussion – it has negative implications straight off the bat. And really, it’s not as though folks don’t have *plenty* of avenues online for expressing their views and experiences in terms of interactions with companies.

Assuming dotSUCKS will allow open registration; as a business owner, will you want a nutty customer with a gripe registering yourbrand.SUCKS?

What will you do to prevent use of the domain name to unfairly criticize your company?

Sure, you can try suing the registrant, but that will just create all sorts of negative publicity for your company – as other firms have discovered in the past.

I think many brands will defensively register a dotSUCKS, which means kaching! for the .SUCKS registry. I believe a launch of .SUCKS will make the number of defensive registrations seen under the .XXX extension look pitiful.

I’m not against people posting negative reviews and valid complaints online; they can be helpful in getting companies to lift their game; but it’s just that far too often they are exaggerated or plain false.

A “sucks” site may start off with a valid complaint, but if it’s open for Joe Surfers of the world to contribute content to; dollars to doughnuts it will become littered with fabrications and some severe bending of the truth that companies may feel the need to waste precious resources on dealing with.

Not all of the contributions will be from a company’s disgruntled customers either – it’s well known that competitors of a company will at times seize on these opportunities by posing as a customer just to stoke the flames.

Maybe Momentous has plans in place to prevent dotSUCKS becoming the cesspool of the online world, but my opinion at this point in time and in the absence of further detail is .SUCKS well, sucks.


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