Taliban Shuts Down 'queer.af' Domain, Breaking Mastodon Instance

Taliban Shuts Down 'queer.af' Domain, Breaking Mastodon Instance

submitted by Avatar thejevans edited


cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml/post/11820406

Do not use 2 letter country TLDs!

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Avatar davehtaylor

People have been using country TLDs as cute URLs for years, and somehow it almost always ends up as a problem, or it furthers harms against the countries who own the TLDs (.io for example). Sure .tv or .io or .af sound fun, (anyone remember del.icio.us?) but it's just not worth it.


How does the use of ccTLDs furthers harms against the countries?


That's a horrible thing the British government have done

I'm not sure that's a good reason not to use the domain though, if we didn't use anything that horrible people had a hand in making we wouldn't be talking here right now

Avatar Amju Wolf

They're two separate(ish) issues.

But it's still a bad idea to use national TLDs for stuff that has nothing to do with that nation.

Granted, is ICANN wasn't just a money-grabbing machine with no forward thinking they wouldn't give nations clearly "generally desirable" gTLDs, but since they did already that doesn't mean they should be misused.

Avatar davehtaylor , edited

It's really frustrating in general how TLDs have been misused and abused over the years. They used to have very specific meanings and usages. Now anyone can register a .net or .org, and don't have to prove they're a network service provider or a non-profit.

People also forget that URLs designate a hierarchy, reading from right to left. For example, take the URL app.foobar.com This designates

. -> There's an understood period at the end that's not typed. But it designates the root (or, well, top in this case) of the hierarchy
com -> The commercial space (hence *top level* domain)
foobar -> Company named Foobar in the commercial space
app -> The app site/service/etc from Foobar

If you're using a domain like foobar.tv, you're saying you're an organization called Foobar based in Tuvalu. There's still plenty of restricted TLDs (.gov and .mil e.g.), but everything has been thrown to the wind for the sake of cleverness, and spammers have ruined anything else that's not .com for your average user. Your personal info site generally isn't a commercial page, so .com doesn't make sense. But other gTLDs get blocked by default by so many admins, it's pointless to try.


Perhaps I just don't see why countries need their own extensions anyway (other than ones reserved for government websites to avoid scams, but at the point of being available for public use that kinda falls down)

Avatar flora_explora

As I understand it, this isn't a resolved conflict in the past but rather an ongoing one. So yes, it does matter if you decide to give an oppressive British company or the Taliban money. And apart from that, as a German, I'm very much aware that we are not responsible for the wrongdoings of our ancestors but are responsible not to forget and thus repeat them. People who were victims under colonialism or any other form of oppression deserve at least recognition and compensation. Just continuing to live with the current condition shaped by oppression means supporting the oppression.


By living in the UK I am giving the British government money, there's not much I can do about that short of moving to another country

Unless the people who conquered that island and are keeping it conquered are also the ones directly responsible for the domain name?

And if they are are they really keeping that area under control just for the extension? Can't imagine it makes nearly enough money to pay for the military occupation there

Zworf , edited

It's also the Americans IMO. The British were just doing it to provide the Americans with a base at Diego Garcia. Vassal state and all. Are the British free of blame? Absolutely not, but they didn't do this of their own accord. I think both parties share the blame.

UN resolutions or not I doubt they will give this up especially now with China's expanding influence in that region. It's not that close to China but it's a pretty serious midway point for refuelling.

PS I had no idea that the .io domain was for BIOT, thanks.


There are other reasons for choosing certain TLD's. I remember back when, the .tk domain was very popular, because it was completely free.

Avatar JCPhoenix

And because of that .tk ccTLD is completely disreputable now. Everyone and their mother had one back in the day, which included all the spammers/phishers and their mothers. Now no one trusts .tk domains. Or at least they shouldn't!

Avatar Papamousse

Remember goatse.cx ?

derbis , edited

Almost always? I have some strong doubts about that. It's just that you don't see articles about "Nothing is particularly going wrong with redd.it"

Avatar tal , edited

cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml...

Do not use 2 letter country TLDs!

Well, there's another one!

Avatar Nath

I think it makes a huge difference which 2-letter country. I have a couple of .au domains, and I am not stressing about that.

Avatar Rozaŭtuno , edited

You'll be stressing about it when the emus take power.

Avatar Nath

On the Internet, nobody knows I'm an emu.

Mischala , edited

Sir/Madame, I think you are confused.
The Emus won the war... Australia has been run by an Emu shadow government since 1932.

When the Emus finally reveal how much power they have been amassing we are going to have more to worry about than the .au TLD.

Need I remind you that Australia produces 8% of the worlds uranium.

There will be hell to pay when the Emu finally show themselves to the world.

Avatar Rozaŭtuno


Avatar Jears

I doubt my .at domains is going under, and if so I'll have bigger problems to worry about.

Avatar thejevans [OP]

It's not lost on me lol. The news site is also a .CO domain.

Avatar Irdial

The headline is misleading. The Taliban did not shut down queer.af. The team behind the instance decided to move away from the domain so as to not support the Taliban through domain fees. Source: https://wedistribute.org/2024/01/queer-af-is-shutting-down-due-to-taliban/

Avatar thejevans [OP]

The article explains that, yes, they did plan to move...in April. The Taliban government did, in fact, shut them down ahead of that schedule.

Avatar originalucifer

'idiots sign domain over to government, confused when government shuts down domain'

Avatar Aatube , edited

They knew it was risky AF (pun intended) but went for it anyway. It's not like they were confused, they expected this


Damn! Using .af for a LGBT+ site is insane! The country could have redirected the domain to their own servers and started learning the personal details of those on the site who I imagine wouldn’t be terribly thrilled having an anti-LGBT+ government learn their personal information (namely information not displayed publicly). Specifically, they could put their own servers in front of the domain so they can decrypt it, then forward the traffic on to the legitimate servers, allowing them to get login information and any other data which the user sends or receives.


Would they care enough to do all of this, though?

Avatar davehtaylor

The Taliban blew up huge statues of Buddhas that had stood for 1500 years because they'd suddenly decided they were blasphemous. They would absolutely hijack a queer forum so they could hunt down any user who might be in Afghanistan


Why not use two letter country tlds? I have a few .uk ones.

Avatar MostlyBlindGamer

Presumably you’re a UK citizen using .uk in accordance with the controlling entity’s terms and conditions. These folks weren’t in the same boat.


No. I LARP as being British.

Avatar MostlyBlindGamer

How are you liking the Brexit expansion? I felt like was overhyped and overrated.


I unironically agree

Avatar Aatube , edited

I thought .uk was Ukraine?

Edit: .ua is Ukraine, .uk is the UK. It seems like the register hates the ISO...


In the ISO, UA is also Ukraine. UK is reserved because it would cause confusion with the United Kingdom, which has the code "GB".... Even though "UK" would make more sense as GB on the surface seems to exclude Northern Ireland as well as a bunch of outlying islands. Apparently they didn't like the use of "United" and "Kingdom" as they are two standard nouns. Then they proceeded to give the USA "US" so.... Yeah, it's stupid.


As far as I understand it, the US invented the internet (possibly through the divine inspiration of Vice President Al Gore), so it makes sense that they can make or break any rules they want.


Talking about the ISO. Not the internet.


Yeah, but the US is all about its exceptionalism, so it gets to be the exception.

Avatar MostlyBlindGamer

Some other Central and Eastern European ones are weird as well.

Avatar bermuda

South Africa is .za from Zuid-Africa, the dutch term for the country

Avatar Skull giver

It's not a problem if you don't expect to have problems with the UK government, and if you have faith that the UK government won't collapse or get overthrown.

In the remote chance that a part of the UK breaks free (Scotland tends to have a petition about this every now and then), it's possible that the people of the breakaway state lose access to their UK domains.

You'd think the probability of this happening is pretty insignificant, but plenty of UK citizens holding .eu domain names thought the same, until they lost the ability to privately hold .eu domains after politics got weird.

The risk of using country code TLDs is much higher for some countries than for others. Afghanistan wasn't very stable before it was left up for grabs to the Taliban and I don't exactly trust the regimes of several African nations to maintain control for more than a few years. On the other hand, I doubt Poland or Brazil will suffer from the same problems any time soon.


What happened to .su domains though?

Avatar Skull giver

I believe they're officially deprecated. They were never in use much, with the Soviet Union collapsing long before the average ex-Soviet citizen had access to the internet. However, it was still reserved, and is still in use today. Russians and Russia affiliated countries seem to like the TLD.

I don't think .su has any regional restrictions to the signup process. However, being a Russian TLD, getting one in the west may be risky and possibly even difficult because of sanctions.


Yeah. Is a shame what happened to .eu in the UK, I think they should have let private individuals keep renewing it at the least.

Avatar Heresy_generator

And don't be surprised when the shitty, anti-gay rights, anti-minority rights ethnocracy behind the .ml domains does the same.

Avatar thejevans [OP]

Yeah, I'm really not looking forward to that day.