Tech News: Facebook Email Fiasco & ICANN Top Level Domains

I mentioned in my last post, privacy is looming large in the social media space again this year, and users are really making social network operators sit up and pay attention when changes to the site or its terms of use are not acceptable to them.  I’m sure these will not be the last such headlines we’ll see, nor will they be the last lessons we can learn in social media from such stories. 


It’s been another interesting couple of weeks in the online space.  This week brought another uproar over new changes that were made to Facebook, first by changing users’ email addresses to addresses, and then by introducing the application ‘Friends Near Me,’ which uses geolocation information to connect friends near one another. 

As with past changes to user profiles or privacy settings, users quickly took to their profiles and changed the visible email addresses back to their desired address, and in the case of the new app, Facebook removed it from the network.   


Another really interesting story that’s been unfolding online is the rollout of the new generic top level domains by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.  The application window closed back in the spring, and ICANN received so many applications that its system experienced a number of glitches, delaying the reveal of what applications were received, and who applied for the new gTLDs. 

In total, ICANN received 1,930 applications for new gTLDs, with 911 received from North America,  675 from Europe, 303 from Asia, 24 from Latin America and the Caribbean, and 17 from Africa.  The most applied for gTLDs were .app with 13 applications each, .home and .inc with 11 applications each, .art with 10, then .blog, .book, .llc and .shop with 9 each. 

I encourage you to check out the rest of the statistics over at ICANN’s site, both in terms of what domains were applied for, and who applied for them.  This was also the first time that ICANN accepted applications for internationalized domain names, or domains in the local language of the country or region. 

Now that the applications are in, there is a period of time in which rights holders can file objections, and then there will be a dispute resolution process to help sort out who should get the right to administer the domain.  It will certainly be interesting to see how this all plays out over the next several months.  Frankly, I’m interested to see who will win out among the 3 applicants to administer .sucks.  I’m interested to hear what you think of both these recent stories, so comment away. 

This post is intended to be for informational and entertainment purposes, and is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a licensed attorney in your area.  

Image Credit: ICANN