I’m obviously fascinated by domain names, hosting and related topics, so I thought I’d do some digging into the current marriage equality referendum in Ireland.
The country goes to the polls on May 22nd and a yes vote is being supported by all the Irish political parties. (Disclosure – I’ve also made it pretty clear where I stand on this and where my company stands)
With that in mind I thought I’d look at the sites being used by various groups campaigning for both sides.
I ignored the political parties’ main sites, as these are not specific to the referendum. I also ignored the main sites of groups like ISPCC who have come out in favour or against the referendum, as their sites primary focus isn’t on the referendum either.
I was curious to know which domain extensions the groups had opted for and any other indicators I could glean. The results don’t really tell you a whole lot, though like anything they are open to interpretation.
So into the numbers…
Of the sites identified the majority were being used by “Yes’ campaigners.
Also the majority of “Yes” campaigners, both groups and individuals opted for .ie domain names.
The “No” camp does not seem to have many specific sites for their campaigns and of the 4 sites identified 50% were using a .ie domain, while the other 50% opted for a .org domain and used whois privacy / proxy to obfuscate the registration details in public whois.
Here’s the full list of sites identified for the “Yes” camp:yesequality.ie
- firstfamiliesfirst.com (obviously registered as a parody)
Out of 11 domains (sites) identified 7 are using a .ie domain name. Of the 4 gTLDs 50% are using a .com, while the other 50% are using a .org. And 50% of them have opted for some form of whois privacy / proxy.
As an aside, you cannot get whois privacy / proxy for a .ie domain name but the amount of personal data available via public whois is minimal.
Taking the example of letsmakehistory.ie:
% Rights restricted by copyright; http://iedr.ie/index.php/mnudomregs/mnudnssearch/96
% Do not remove this notice
descr: Amnesty International Irish Section Limited
descr: Body Corporate (Ltd,PLC,Company)
descr: Discretionary Name
person: Colm O’Gorman
person: Colm O’Gorman
The contact data such as phone and email address are not available via public whois.
The NO side doesn’t seem to have that many specific sites for their campaign and I was only able to identify 4 domains in total:
The two .org domains are registered with whois privacy / proxy. However mothersandfathersmatter.org provide full contact details on their website.
Looking at the hosting the sites are mostly hosted in Ireland, with the rest being spread between the US and Holland:
- Ireland 9 / 16
- USA 5/ 16
- Holland 2/16
Two of the NO campaign’s site have switched to using CloudFlare in the last couple of weeks. I assume this switch was to mitigate against DDOS and other forms of attack. It might also have been due to concerns about traffic spikes, though it’s not clear what was the driver behind this decision.
So the only salient things I can conclude from this is that .ie domains are popular with Irish groups and that’s about it! (sorry if you were expecting something earth shattering)
The “raw” data I used is available here if anyone has any comments etc., please let me know.