College.xxx? Schools snap up porn domains to keep them clean


“Then again, it’s just a couple of hundred bucks. So I don’t see any reason not to do it,” said Greg Jackson, vice president for policy and analysis at Educause, a nonprofit that promotes the use of technology in higher education.

That has been the motivating factor for the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, which recently picked up stlcop.xxx. That’s not exactly a name that screams porn.

“Not really,” agreed Chad Shepherd, the school’s vice president of information technology. “But, you know, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

The school has made a practice of grabbing all the stlcop versions it can get its hands on, including .org, .tv, .info and .biz.

Unfortunately, it has not been able to get .com, which still belongs to a domain prospector.

The decision to buy a domain also can be about protecting a school from unintended harm. Consider the case of Washington University. It may be that no one would ever think to combine pornography with the St. Louis institution.

But the school does share a name with a female character, Washu Hakubi, from the world of Japanese animated cartoons. The anime genre has inspired a subset of cartoons heavy on sex and violence, leaving open the possibility that Washington University could find itself an accidental victim.

“It wouldn’t necessarily be anyone who even knew much about us,” said Karen Daubert, the university’s trademark and brand manager.

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