I won’t give the perpetrators the benefit of a mention or link, but it is really troubling when those responsible for a top level DNS domain don’t adhere to their own rules by allowing unethical use of a domain name during the current global crisis. A phrase strongly associated with public health is undoubtedly going to encourage people to enter into their browser’s address bar a site name based on that phrase. Sadly, these unsuspecting people will then be presented with the latest conspiracy theories, anti-vaccination tripe and bizarre political agendas.
During the current worldwide calamity it is not only the search engines and social media companies that need to keep a close eye on their services. All of the infrastructure providers have an equal responsibility. The problem for the public is that any attempt to bring issues to the attention of the providers merely gives publicity to those who are abusing the services, which just makes things worse because the providers are ignoring the complaints.
Claims about removing tens of thousands of inappropriate messages/pages/sites may sound good, but there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of such cases. And the problem just keeps growing. The future of public discourse, education and engagement is under threat.