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Emoji in Domain Names Bad Idea Warns ICANN Security Advisory Group

Coca-Cola received a fair amount of press for using a number of emoji domains for its 2015 marketing campaign in Puerto Rico. And other companies including Budweiser, Honda and Ray-Ban followed suit, registering various emoji domains to tap into the youth market. However, the increasing interest in their use has raised some questions and concerns. The ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) has released a report stating it has studied the concerns and concluded that the use of emoji domain names should be discouraged. Amongst various reasons provided, "Emoji Similarity" is one particular concern where the report states:

"Many 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 new emoji; ambiguity is acceptable. One example of such ambiguity is the emoji categorized as "Smileys & People / facepositive". Over twenty emoji with different code points are associated with this concept, many of which look similar and can be virtually indistinguishable in smaller fonts."

SSAC recommends that the ICANN Board reject any TLD (root zone label) that includes emoji.

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