One of the biggest domain registrar companies in the world, Namecheap has blocked all domain applications having the words “coronavirus”, “covid” and “vaccine,” among other versions of words and phrases that point to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
Namecheap made the announcement on Wednesday with all pending applications pertaining to any reference to the coronavirus blocked until further notice.
The Los Angeles-based company says the measure is to prevent abuse and fraud from sites that are trying to take advantage of the pandemic by selling fake products or providing misinformation to people during the ongoing global health crisis.
“There are always those who try to take advantage of crisis situations by carrying out acts of fraud. In response, we are actively working with authorities to both proactively prevent, and takedown, any fraudulent or abusive domains or websites related to COVID-19,” the company writes in its statement, which it emailed to customers earlier today.
“This includes banning certain terms such as ‘coronavirus,’ ‘covid,’ and ‘vaccine’ from our domain search tool so they cannot be purchased and used for abuse.”
Namecheap stops all domain registrations having the phrase coronavirus
Namecheap says legitimate companies and website owners can apply for a domain name containing one of the now-banned words by going through its support team, which “will be available to review and register it for you manually upon your request.”
Coronavirus-related fraud and abuse have become rampant online in the past few months, as the situation has worsened around the world and countless economies have ground to a halt in an attempt to stem the spread of the illness.
Apart from Namecheap, other tech companies like Amazon, eBay, and different online sellers have begun taking down listings with false coronavirus claims and any selling health items like face masks and hand sanitizer according to The Verge.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube including Google have been taking aggressive measures on moderating potential misinformation and fraudulent content related to the crisis, too.
Source: The Verge
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & Spur Magazine. He is passionate about tech, games and occasionally writes about entertainment, lifestyle and so much more.