Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Typosquatting Wikipedia


So I was reading about how Google has secured a huge list of domain names like gogle.com or googel.com or other things that could potentially be typos made by people really looking for Google, and made these domains merely reroute themselves to the proper site. It's a good idea, and since it's dirt cheap for a company as big as Google, worth it. I tried it a bit and found that they were completely bu not entirely successful. A few of my attempts were just not registered domains (or at least simply returned an error) and a few others were cybersquatted by private organisations - you know the ones, that put a page full of links hoping to ruse unsuspecting bad spellers into clicking on links and, presumably, making the squatters money. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're an extraordinarily good speller.

Anyway, I thought I'd try it with Wikipedia. Here are my results:
  • wikipedia.com: reroutes to wikipedia.org.
  • wikipedia.net: reroutes to wikipedia.org.
  • wikipedia.edu: not found.
  • wikipedia.de: seems to be a Wikimedia-owned page, a kind of primitive portal.
  • wikipedia.ca: says 'Coming soon', but appears to be a squat.
  • wikipedia.xxx: not found.
  • vikipedia.org: squatted.
  • wikpedia.org: not found.
  • wikipidia.org: squatted.
  • wikkipedia.org: squatted.
  • wikipoedia.org: reroutes to wikipedia.org.
  • wikipedea.org: squatted.
  • wiikpedia.org: squatted (reroutes to a games site).
  • wicipedia.org: squatted.
  • wikypedia.org: squatted.
  • wijipedia.org: squatted (reroutes to a domain-name site).
  • wakipedia.org: squatted.
  • wixipedia.org: squatted.
  • wigipedia.org: squatted (reroutes to the same games site as above).
  • qikipedia.org: squatted.
  • wikibedia.org: squatted.
  • wikippedia.org: squatted.
  • weekipedia.org: squatted.
  • wikipeedia.org: not found.
  • wikipeda.org: squatted.
  • wikipadia.org: squatted.
  • wikipledia.org: squatted.
  • wickipedia.org: squatted.
  • wiffipedia.org: squatted.
  • wikipedo.org: I entered this one as a joke, but it's a games site. Not really a squat since that seems to be their chosen name with which they operate (though it's not a wiki, and as for the second half... well, what can I say?)
I'm actually surprised at the extent to which people have squatted (or 'parked' - one of these sites boldly used that term) Wikipedia. I didn't even bother with the equivalent .coms, though I'm sure they're there too. I'm equally surprised with how litle Wikimedia sems to worry about it - they've worked hard on preserving the actual name with different top level domains (though why not .edu?), but not so much on spelling errors. I also don't really get why wikpedia.org and wikipeedia.org return me to Google, when they seem like two of the most obvious typos (certainly more obvious than wikipledia.org, no?) Perhaps they were porn, and Wikipedia objected? Who knows.

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