Family First NZ Forgot To Renew Its Domain Name, Lost It To Pro-Gay Marriage Group

New Zealand's political climate isn't too dissimilar from ours right now. They're mulling over plain packaging, a carbon tax, a fibre-broadband network and the controversial issue of same-sex marriage. A staunch opponent to the marriage equality movement is Family First New Zealand — a political party that recently collected 50,000 signatures against the move. Little did they know that as they passed around slips of paper to be signed, their domain name had fallen out of registration. It was then swooped on by none other than a pro-Marriage Equality movement.

This means that whenever someone goes to www.familyfirst.co.nz, they are automatically redirected to www.marriageequality.co.nz, where they'll find a whole raft of pro-marriage equality content.

We've already seen this week what not renewing your domain name can do for your business. In the University of Queensland's case, it cost everyone a day's worth of productivity. In Family First New Zealand's case it's likely to cost them a little more than that.

How much more? Try reputational damage, damage to its anti-marriage equality crusade and damage to its following who, when presented with the facts about marriage equality, might actually find it's less of a thing to be afraid of.

Is it cybersquatting if it's for a good cause?


Comments

    Brilliant!

    yeah this is a great news story for the day.

    I believe that cybersquatting on a political party, irrespective of what you think of their views, is a malicious act.

      Chillout...

      This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

        Two wrongs don't make a right.

          But two wangs make a lack of rights

            +1 internets to you sir.

        You obviously haven't noticed that if it's not a religious group it's an anti religious group who flog their opinion religiously......

      Well, they bought "familyfirst.co.nz" and they are campaigning about FAMILY issues that they want put FIRST. So considering the address was available and relates directly to the cause they are promoting I don't consider it squatting.

        Here's a dollar.

      The vagueness of the party name is their own damn fault. They wanted to make people think they were high and moral by 'putting families first', well someone else decided they wanted to put out a different idea of what families are - ie, inclusive. Marriage equality is about letting people *have* families. I don't see much more that's family first than that...

      Brb cybersquatting the Taliban.

      It seems they got the address legitimately - shouldn't the responsibility for this lie with those in Family First NZ that forgot to renew the domain? Considering the amount of warnings I get from my own domain provider to renew, it seems amateurish for a political party to allow their domain to slip like that.

      Besides, considering the plethora of attack ads in the popular consciousness, a move like this looks a heck of a lot more 'clever' than 'cybersquatting'.

      I think if you want to pass on a message of "hate", which is what Family First NZ could be classified as, then you will struggle to win sympathy on cyber squatting.

        Watch the behavior of the pro gay groups and then watch family first then figure out who is the hate group.

          Still Family First

      For the URL to slip through FF's fingers, they would have had MONTHS of warning. It's their responsibility to maintain their business brand and they screwed it up. In order for someone else to claim it, there's a significant grace period for FF even after their renewal was due. I wouldn't call this a malicious act, it's simply strategic. FF can probably go through the legal system to regain the rights to it, but it'll take a long time. Tough lesson for a terrible web admin.

      More malicious than the actions of the Family First loonies against gays or less?

    Well April if they weren't so busy promoting backward views of hate and inequality they might of had a little bit of time left over to remember a) it's 2012 and they are promoting backward views of hate and inequality and b) it's 2012... renew your domain name.....

      I don't care where you stick you're pee pee. I claimed that cybersquatting on a political party's domain name is a malicious act.

      You think it right to give voice only to groups whose views you agree with. Whereas I'm not so fascist.

        You mad? I think you're mad...

          Good comeback. I now see the errors in her point of view and subscribe to you're strawman rhetoric device as the only means to get a real understanding. In the name liberal thinkers everywhere "go fascists go".

        God April, pee pee? Seriously? I really try hard to not get involved in bullshit on the Internet, especially religion & politics (which this article conveniently combines) but come on.
        Everyone should be entitled to their opinion & views (that itself is an opinion, just as the posts you're disagreeing to are) which is why a religious group trying to stop ANYONE, even those who don't share their beliefs from celebrating their love probably deserves some snickers when a mild inconvenience befalls them.
        They are likely the more fascist group in this argument. I'm pretty sure the gay people don't care if the straight folks get married & are allowed in heaven too.
        That is all.

    Who needs domain renewal notices when you have gizmodo?

    Brilliant news, score 1 for the good guys.

    While I wholeheartedly Approve This Message(TM), I'm a little confused.

    When a domain name expires, it gets put into a redemption period for something like 75 days specifically to prevent this kind of thing from happening. When it's in redemption, only the original owner can get it out again.

    Whilst I approve of this, isn't Family First's web address www.familyfirst.org.nz?

    That is the domain for most political parties/advocacy groups.

      I think you will find they purchased the .co.nz one and then put a redirect on it to the .org.nz to stop people getting it and using it against them, they probably then stupidly forgot they then owned it and let it slip.

    Absolute gold. High five for equality.

    Well Jono if that's true, I guess they didn't realize for a minimum of 75 days- twats

    I just want to say that is awesome that there haven't been any negative comments yet. Way to not be horrible everybody!

      +1. Excellent to see.

    Nice day and this. A+!

    absolutely brilliant - hope this happens in Australia as well

    Interestingly enough...
    "The Domain Commission (DNC) can offer advice and field complaints regarding issues over registrations of .nz domain names, such as;
    Complaints about registrars not abiding by the .nz policies
    Incorrect domain name registration information (WHOIS)
    Disputes over who should be the registrant of a .nz domain name (see our Dispute Resolution Service)"

    Checking the family first whois gives clearly fake information.

    Re almost all comments above: "We approve the ends no matter the means!"

      so in a sense, all related parties is guilty of justifying the ends for whatever political agenda they have.

      kinda like world war 2 isn't it?
      eventhough there have been war crimes from both axis and allies commited
      the more exposed one are the axis acts

    The address of Family First NZ is "www.familyfirst.org.nz" NOT "www.familyfirst.co.nz". If you google "family first nz" the only reference to the .co.nz domain is the gizmodo article. They also have www.protectmarriage.org.nz which unfortunately still appears to be working.

    That is pretty funny! That being said, it's also funny how some of the commenters above call Family first a "hate " group... uh it's 2012. Just because someone has a different view to you does not make them a "hate" group.

    ^ 'hate' group is pretty much interchangeable with 'discriminatory'.

    It depends on how they portray their views, and if their organisation excludes members based on criteria. By your argument, white supremacist groups aren't hate groups either, they just have the belief that black people should have less rights than white... just as much as Family First think that gay people have less rights than straight people. They also strongly advocate that they have better morals than anyone that disagrees with them.

    You could be gay, but against gay marriage, and still not be an accepted member of Family First.

    Personally I think they should be disallowed from using the name Family First, because it's misleading. Their policies and views have absolutely nothing to do with family.

      This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

        Dear IC.
        And any other ignorant people who believe being gay or bi is a choice. It is not a choice.
        It has been scientifically proven that it's a genetic thing. And can you tell me about the time you chose to be a straight. Like in the lady gaga song 'born this way' they were born that way. As for your friends who changed from being gay to straight, they probably don't realise that they are bi because of idiots brainwashing them. And I'm bi. I never chose to be that way. You honestly think I'd choose to be a sexuality which could make my father kick me out? How stupid do you think people are?

        You sir, are a very obvious troll. Try a little harder next time.

          So tell us when you decided against your sexual attraction to members of the same sex? If it is a choice, then you must have decided at some time. Or is it a choice for everyone but you?

        People born left-handed can learn to use their right hand... That is, a choice, in theory but they are still left-handed. Why would a caring society force that "choice" on anyone?

        This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    Here's a reference to this from 6 days ago: http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/family-first-loses-control-its-website

    So the .co.nz address used to redirect to the .org.nz

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