A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the Ebola.com domain name going up for sale. Within the last few days, mainstream publications have also covered the story about Ebola.com, and several of those articles have been critical of the domain owner, who is reportedly seeking $150,000 for this domain name he acquired several years ago for a reported $13,500.
Konstantinos from OnlineDomain.com wrote about some of these critical articles this morning, and there seem to be additional articles being published. Some of the articles can be found on the following publications:
- Washington Post
- Daily Mail
- New York Magazine
- The Independent
- Foreign Policy
For my company, I have always steered clear of tragedy domain names. In my opinion, there isn’t really any commercial value to the vast majority of them, and I have felt it was tacky to profit off of the suffering of others. That being said, I don’t think that Ebola.com would qualify as a “tragedy” domain name in the same way that a terrorism or death domain name would qualify. Some people might compare it to other major disease and virus domain names, which are often owned by pharmaceutical companies, that are, to the surprise of nobody, in a business to make money.
Since the Ebola outbreak has continued to worsen throughout the world, a number of publicly traded pharma companies have seen an increase in their valuations, as noted by CNN. There doesn’t seem to be any condemnation of stock market investors who are buying shares of these companies, hoping their investment yields a solid return.
This brings me back to my initial question. Do you care about the negative press that could come as a result of owning a domain name like this? Similarly, would you be comfortable owning Ebola.com if you could yield a 10x ROI?