At present it is still under discussion what aspect is most important when choosing a candidate; if emotional traits, strictly rational aspects, or a combination of both that once in the darkroom, define our vote. But one thing is certain, when searching for information – either on a political party, a candidate, political activism or an agenda of upcoming events – we turn eventually to the web.
Internet has turned into that vast ocean of information where we water, the powerful genius who has the answers to everything. But also, or because of that, it has become a fertile ground to sow confusion and chaos. And politics certainly lends itself to that. Since websites can be recorded and used by anyone for any purpose, it is not uncommon to find in this field misleading or apocryphal sites, which only reason is to boycott the political communication with potential supporters.
This was the reason to create two new gTLDs, or TLD extensions: as we have the classic .com, .net or .gob, from January 13 we will have the extension .vote and its equivalent in Spanish/Italian/Portuguese .voto, designed to help governments, candidates and political parties to bring their information to voters.
Applicants for these domains must prove the link between their political activities and the name they desire to register. And, as it is expected that .vote and .voto addresses turn into the most significant spaces for circulation of political content, registering of misleading or in some way denigrating domains shall be forbidden, creators and administrators argue that security measures to attain this object have been developed.
The first phase of availability (or “Sunrise”) ended a few days ago, from January 13 until February 12. During that period domains were assigned according to the mode “first-come, first-served” – the first applicant was granted the desired domain -, but could only participate applicants who already have registered their sign before the Trademark Clearinghouse. As of February 17, when the general availability period began, anyone interested can register addresses with .vote and .voto domains.
In June 2011 the Board of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) approved the registration of domains with almost any word as an extension of first level, as a way to sort the contents of the web according to topics. A sort of “signing” so we can quickly classify information: we all know what we mean when we are facing a .tv or .xxx
Candidates and other political actors already have, therefore, a space specially designed to translate their proposals; and citizens, a place to go to find useful information in the certainty of knowing that who issued those messages are who they say they are. We will see now what they have to say.