The new rise and fall of .TK domain names

Originally published at: The new rise and fall of .TK domain names | Boing Boing


The rise of the ‘.ai’ domain is in some ways just a reprise of what happened with ‘.tv’ (Tuvalu), or even ‘.me’ (Montenegro). And while the ‘.pw’ (Palau) TLD never offered free domains in the same way as ‘.tk’, low prices on ‘.pw’ domains meant that that too quickly became associated with spam and scams.

I think the tiny-island-nations-with-desirable-TLDs will get less money now that the domain registries have been opened up, and anyone with a few hundred thousand dollars to spare can become the designated registrar for ‘.rizz’ or ‘.llm’ or any other currently unregistered but potentially profitable extension. TLDs aren’t scarce in the same way they once were.


I had an idea for getting a unique email address

My last name ends …man. I’m not going to give my real name so let’s use film maker John Boorman as an example. So, if I could get the URL I could have the email, which I thought would be pretty cool

The only problem was the Netherlands Antilles, along with the .an TLD, had just ceased to exist that year :frowning:


Ah yes, I should update my Scientology wiki pages. They used to run their rust bucket cruise ship Freewinds around the ABC islands a lot, but after the dissolution, that shifted which types of Dutch law the various islands fall under. I wanted to track them to see if they avoided Bonaire, now a direct municipality and much more legally dangerous for them.


The simplest solution for all of these misused country TLDs is a clean slate. Wipe the registries and start over, requiring proof of residency or business operations in that country to register a domain. Sure, a few bad actors will get through but they should be easily squashed once people complain.

Of course, that may have some… unintended consequences. Years ago the Powergen conference wanted to have an Italian language site but couldn’t register, as that TLD was reserved for Italy-based organizations.

So they registered something else.

Powergenitalia dot com may have given people the wrong impression.


Residency requirements have not saved .us from being a total cesspool.

I suspect that there’s also some question as to “what problem are you solving; and for who?” in the description of ‘misused country TLDs’.

The open ccTLDs all exist because the relevant local authority decided that the address space was worth more when cashed out(either pre-gTLD when just having a TLD, like .tk, was a nontrivial thing; or because it was seen has carrying a useful meaning like with .tv, or a combination of the two). The accumulation of internet scum on cheap address space isn’t ideal; but telling various small countries that we are wiping the slate clean on their TLDs because we don’t approve of their standards seems like it could be an awkward conversation at best; especially when, at the same time, we are shoveling garbage gTLDs out the door in unseemly haste; most of which are destined to be a hive of scum and villainy before the paint is even dry.

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There’s no .FU ccTLD. Disappointed!

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Given the “sovereign” crypto countries that have been made recently, why don’t you make one?

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