In my morning DomainTools Registrant Alert email, I noticed that Facebook and Instagram registered hundreds of domain names related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. All of the domain names I noticed on the list of new registrations are related to its brands and branding (Facebook, Instagram, FB, and IG) as opposed to being generic CV-related domain names. DomainTools showed that more than 500 Facebook / Instagram domain names were registered in total.
Here’s a quick look at ten of the newly registered domain names to give an idea of what Facebook decided to register:
I tried to visit several of these domain names, and although they all appear to be pointed to Facebook.com nameservers, none of the domain names I checked currently resolve to an active website. My guess is that Facebook was being proactively defensive to prevent any third parties from registering the domain names (like someone did with GoogleCoronavirus.com and CoronavirusGoogle.com).
For the last few weeks, my Google Alert emails have shown hundreds of articles reporting that domain names have been registered and used for various scams and schemes. Companies should be proactive about registering domain names like these to prevent them from ending up in the control of people who could use them maliciously. I am a bit surprised Facebook took so long to register domain names like these, but I am also surprised nobody else registered them before Facebook.