Yesterday, a “news” article came across our Twitter feed that made us roll our eyes.
I’m not talking about the eye roll a teenager gives his mom when she tries to dab either. That’s minor. I’m talking a huge, pluck-your-eyes-from-your-face-and-kingpin-them-down-the-bowling-alley eye roll.
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Democratic Party is apparently a little faster at the keyboard than the Donald Trump campaign.
Shortly after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was announced as Trump’s running mate, the Indiana Democratic Party purchased www.trump-pence.com – which now redirects to a much-lampooned interview between Pence and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos over the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
While mocking the high-five, Jerry Seinfeld once said, “Slapping hands is the lowest form of primate ritual.” If that’s the case, URL squatting is the high-five of campaign season. It’s the absolute most primitive form of political trolling.
There was a time when it was a novel idea. I think I first learned about the concept from Jennifer Wagner in the Taking Down Words days of yore. That was when America was far less internet-savvy, Google hadn’t decided to filter out those searches and our social media options were fewer and farther between.
But even then, it didn’t work. In 2004, the owner of kerryedwards.com tried to auction the site for $150,000. The Kerry campaign didn’t want it. Still, it’s a very common practice that gets a fair amount of media coverage. Never Trump snatched up TrumpPence.gop along with all the other potential .gop combinations. A fan of immigration reform bought tedcruz.com and simply posted a message supporting Barack Obama’s policies.
Now, it’s just silly. But inevitably, someone will say buying the domains should be the first thing you do. I guess. But in today’s internet world, it’s impossible to buy all the domains. Donald Trump bought 3,000 domains when he launched his campaign including ihatetrumpvodka.com and imbeingsuedbythedonald.com. But with all the different combinations and top level domains (i.e. .org, .com, .net, etc.), a troller can find something for everyone.
Which brings me back to trump-pence.com. No smart internet person would use a URL with a hyphen. It’s too easy for a visitor to mess up. It’s right there on godaddy’s 10 tips for choosing a URL.
So that’s why trump-pence.com was available. And that’s why I was able to spend $11 to buy gregg-hale.com, a useless domain name for Democratic gov ticket John Gregg and Christina Hale, which now links right here.