backposeI would argue that the current broadly open and unregulated naming regulations for .uk domain names is the best approach and that any attempt to restrict offensive words in domain names is undesirable in principle and unworkable in practice. Of particular note:

– It is difficult to define what is ‘offensive’ as language is a ‘living system’ and cultural norms shift meanings and context.

– Offensive words are often transient slang. They also retain their potency through use. This makes compiling and maintaining a list of banned words difficult or impossible.

– The history of attempts at filtering offensive language have largely proven easy to work around.

– Offensive words are often contained within concatenated inoffensive sentences. As domain names are often formed of more than one word joined together, this makes a ban on offensive words extra damaging in the additional inoffensive sentences it blocks.

– Domain names appear online when people write them in to html, social media or other forms of communication and offline when printed or written down. In this respect they are much like any other written text. To propose a restriction on words within domain names without a restriction on written words in general will have little effect on their use.

-Publishing a list of banned offensive words is as accessible as the full list of .uk domains to those who might be offended.

see also: http://fuck-the-skull-of-jesus.mit.edu/orangefist.html

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