Poor and Irresponsible Journalism by TimesofIndia

July 17th, 2007

The Leading newspaper of India, TimesofIndia, published a news of 11th July 2007 with a title  Sex flies off Gujarat govt website which shows upto what extent the media can go to sensationalize the issue.

It was just a silly mistake of not changing the link on the webpages to the new website giicindia.org but TimesofIndia portrayed all the matter in such a manner that people thinks, employees of Gujarat Govt are running a “Porn business” through Goverment website.  

Background
Gujarat Govt registered the giicindia.com on 24-Sep-1998 and the website was working fine until it got expired on 09/24/2006. Due to the lack of funds, understanding, foresight or you can say domain business knowledge, Gujarat govt didn’t renew the domain and instead registered a new domain giicindia.org on 21-11-2006. They copied all the content to the new website giicindia.org and changed the link on all the webpages. But they forgot to change the link of the website on couple of pages which includes the website of Gujarat Govt Finance Dept.

 History of giicindia.com
giicindia.com on 8th October 1999
giicindia.com on 9th August 2006
giicindia.com on 4th October 2006
giicindia.com on 6th April 2007

 What happened to GIICINDIA.COM ?
Jason McSullivan from Newark, USA registered the domain after Gujarat govt failed to renew it. He has parked the domain for sale with adult sponsored links. 

In order to avoid these kind of issues, The indian central and state goverments authorities should go for .IN domain where they will have more control.

Screenshot of the giicindia.com website

What Timesofindia says,

AHMEDABAD: The porn’s gone. Within hours of a Times Of India expose of a Gujarat government website exhibiting pornographic material, red-faced officers had sex packing — lock, stock and gay men — from the official website of the Gujarat Industries Investment Corporation (GIIC).
On Monday, TOI surfed into this company’s website and found little investment and more of sleaze, with its home page, www.giicindia.com, talking about all that’s sizzling — from “naked amateur women” to “sex toys.”
By Tuesday morning, a red-faced GIIC began damage control and took off not only the company’s website but also removed the link to GIIC provided in the Gujarat government’s official website, www.gujaratindia.com.
The link to the GIIC site was provided under the finance department. On Tuesday, the finance department had virtually “disowned” GIIC, set up to fund start-ups through equity participation, by removing any mention of it in its site.
Predictably, the government has gone into denial mode, with a GIIC general manager claiming that the news about the site is “totally wrong, false and misleading” and calling it a “misuse of unused domain name”.
However, how a link could have been provided in the Gujarat government’s official website, www.gujaratindia.com, is something this official did not explain.
TOI has saved the website, where the pages, with pornographic content which have now been taken off, have been saved. Officials sending denials are welcome for a peek.

How domain can be renewed after expiration?
Domain goes into “grace period” of 40 days after expiration and during this period the domain can be renewed with a standard renewal fee. After 40 days the status of domain changes to “Redemption period”. During this phase the domain can be renewed by paying redemption fee which is bit higher than standard fee.





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