We’ve already seen several cases of domain name abuse in the short span of the most recent United States Presidential Campaign. What are these candidates doing to counter the attacks?
The United States won’t elect another president until November 2016, but the campaigns have already begun.
A major part of the early presidential canvassing is developing a sturdy PR that will boost a candidate’s name and reputation to the top.
This can prove to be difficult for some, and isn’t helped when some candidates have inadvertently allowed internet trolls to hijack related domain names. It’s becoming a trend that whenever a candidate announces their campaign, a free-for-all battle begins for every relevant domain name.
Ted Cruz for President
The first candidate of the 2016 election to fall victim to domain name abuse was Republican Ted Cruz. When he announced his campaign in March, he failed to register the most obvious domain name possible: tedcruz.com. Unfortunately, the domain was snapped up by someone who wasn’t a big fan of Cruz’s proposal to change Obama’s current immigration reform. At the time of writing this article, tedcruz.com shows:
SUPPORT PRESIDENT OBAMA.
IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW!
This can obviously damage Ted Cruz’s campaign, especially considering the popularity of .com domain names. If you run a simple WHOIS search on tedcruz.com, the registrant contact information is set to private, most likely indicating that whoever owns the domain does not plan on giving it up to the real Ted Cruz anytime soon.
Cruz found another detractor had also registered TedCruzForAmerica.com and redirected it to healthcare.gov, another policy Cruz is trying to eliminate.
All is not lost though. Cruz did acquire tedcruz.org, the domain he intends to use for the rest of his presidential campaign.
Carly Fiorina uses humor to counter trolls
Another candidate for the Republican party, Carly Fiorina, recently announced her 2016 campaign. On the same day she announced that she’d be running, a Fiorina opposer registered carlyfiorina.org (Carly previously owned the domain, but let it lapsein 2014).
Instead of using the domain name to promote Fiorina’s campaign, the troll created a site critiquing the layoffs Fiorina oversaw while she was CEO of Hewlett-Packard. The website reads:
“Carly Fiorina failed to register this domain. So I’m using it to tell you how many people she laid off at Hewlett-Packard. It was this many:
30,000 frowny faces.
That’s 30,000 people she laid off. People with families.”
When Fiorina was asked on Late Night with Seth Meyers about the domain name fiasco, she demonstrated with humor how easy it is to register a domain name:
She purchased SethMeyers.org and later bought chucktodd.org after being a featured guest on Meet The Press. She pointed both domains to her official campaign website, carlyforpresident.com, just to show that anyone can easily buy a domain name and do as they wish with it. Fiorina has also registered CarlyFiorina.com and redirected it to carlyforpresident.com.
Yet another presidential candidate failed to register relevant domain names. Democrat Hillary Clinton did not register HillaryClinton.net, which now redirects back to Carly Fiorina’s official campaign website. No one is sure who’s behind this particular case of domain name trolling, but Fiorina’s team has denied knowing anything about it.
If you’re running for President, secure every domain name that could possibly be linked to your name or campaign. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina had to learn this the hard way.
This lesson of course ultimately leads back to brand identity and protection. When registering a domain name for your business, think about what your competition may be doing to harm your business plans. The best practice is to make sure that you register every domain name that could link back to your business.
If you don’t, you never know what a clever internet troll will do to damage your brand.
With Resell.biz Domain Reseller, you can sell multiple domain names to the same client in order to help them protect their brand!