California
06 June 2016
Reporter: Barney Dixon

👎 to emoji use in domain names, says ICANN committee


Emoji use in domain names should be discouraged, according to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’s (ICANN) security and stability advisory committee (SSAC).

In a report on emoji use in domain names, the SSAC explained that emoji are “visually similar and can be difficult to distinguish, especially when displayed in small fonts or by different applications, as no standard specifies exactly how they should be displayed”.

“Distinguishability is not a design consideration when creating a new emoji; ambiguity is acceptable.”

The SSAC said that ambiguities like this could increase the risk of user confusion when deployed in domain names. This could increase the chance of a user inputting the wrong emoji and reaching a phishing site, rather than their intended input.

Emoji can also be glued together or modified to change composition and colour, making it difficult for users who might not be able to detect colour differences, again increasing their chances of ending up on the wrong website.

“The whole point of an identifier is to specify something unambiguously—this thing, as distinct from all other things,” the SSAC said.

“To a user, a single unmodified emoji might look exactly the same as its ‘glued together’ counterpart, and systems that do not support emoji composition using a ZWJ will display the individual components of a ‘glued together’ emoji as a sequence of separate emoji, with results that may visually be very different from what was intended.”

“This is acceptable for interpersonal communication, particularly when it is augmented by shared context, but it is not acceptable for internet identifiers, particularly DNS root labels that must be unambiguously resolved independent of any context.”

The SSAC recommends that the ICANN board should reject any new TLD that includes an emoji.

More news
The latest news from IPPro The Internet
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Nike wins UDRP dispute
20 October 2017 | Minneapolis | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Nike has recovered nikeplusinc.com in a Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy decision at the Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum
Rouse opens Cambodia office
19 October 2017 | Phnom Penh | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Intellectual property boutique Rouse has opened a new office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, strengthening its presence in Southeast Asia
Withers & Rogers adds ten trainee attorneys
19 October 2017 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
International law firm Withers & Rogers has added ten new trainee attorneys covering both patents and trademarks
Netflix, Fox and Amazon sue TickBox IPTV box
18 October 2017 | California | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Netflix, Fox and Universal are among seven entertainment companies joining together to sue Android TV streaming box, TickBox TV, for copyright infringement
Article 13 of DSM proposals should be deleted, says the EFF
17 October 2017 | Brussels | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Digital advocacy group the EFF and other civil society organisations that have penned a letter to European lawmakers demanding that Article 13 of the EU’s new copyright reforms is deleted
Winterfeldt IP opens in Washington DC
16 October 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Winterfeldt IP Group, a new law firm focusing on brand enforcement and counseling, has opened its doors in Washington DC
Partner promotions at White & Case
13 October 2017 | New York | Reporter: Barney Dixon
White & Case has promoted 31 new partners, including four intellectual property attorneys, across the US and UK