SSAC says emoji domains are like ðŸ˜ˆ, give ðŸ‘Ž to their registration.
Emoji domain names have received a lot of press over the past year thanks, in part, to the .ws enabling emoji domain name registrations.
Today, the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) released a report (pdf) warning against the use of these domain names.
The brief report notes that emoji in domain names are not permitted under the Internationalized Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) standard. They are not universally accepted and will not work on all devices.
They can also be difficult to read. Many emoji look the same, and some can be “glued” together using a special zero-width join code point (ZWJ).
This creates a major problem:
The whole point of an identifier is to specify something unambiguously – this thing, as opposed to all other things. To a user, a single unedited emoji may look exactly like its “stuck together” counterpart, and systems that do not support composing emoji using a ZWJ will display the individual components of an emoji. â€œStuck togetherâ€ as a sequence of separate emoji, with visually very different results than expected. This is acceptable for interpersonal communication, especially when augmented by a shared context, but it is not acceptable for Internet identifiers, especially DNS root labels which must be resolved unambiguously independent of any context.
Additionally, Unicode 8.0 allows variants of emojis that change skin tone. This can make it even more confusing.
Another issue with emoji domain names is accessibility for the visually impaired.
The SSAC concludes its report with two recommendations:
Recommendation 1: Since the risks identified in this advisory cannot be adequately mitigated without significant changes to Unicode or IDNA (or both), the SSAC recommends that the ICANN Board reject any TLDs. (root zone label) that includes emoji.
Recommendation 2: Since the risks identified in this advisory cannot be adequately mitigated without significant changes to Unicode or IDNA (or both), the SSAC strongly recommends against registering any name. domain that includes emoji in one of its labels. SSAC also advises registrants of domain names with emoji that these domains may not function consistently or may not be universally accessible as intended.