HillaryClinton.net Website Redirects To CarlyFiorina.com, & Funny Enough It's Not The Only Famous Domain That Does It
#Domaingate has just gotten a little weirder. In a strange but pretty hilarious turn of events, a website whose domain uses Hillary Clinton's name is sending voters to Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina's way. The website HillaryClinton.net redirects to CarlyFiorina.com, and funny enough, there are other famous domains that do the same. But while the other two websites were registered in the last week to poke fun of Fiorina's own domain trolling after announcing her presidential bid on Monday, the mystery of HillaryClinton.net actually harks back to 2001.
According to the Internet archive Wayback Machine, HillaryClinton.net has gone through a number of iterations since being registered in 2001. For several years, the domain remained up for sale. It was a common move in the Internet's early days to register popular domain names that could then be flipped for more money if, say, someone like Clinton wanted to purchase it and stake her claim. After some more years of stagnant life, the site began to flip-flop between being pro- and anti-Democrat. In June 2012, it listed contact information for "Friends of Hillary." In January 2014, the URL redirected to a political action committee site for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Whoever the site administrator is now, it's probably a safe bet the person's got love for the GOP.
Now, Clinton's real campaign site is HillaryClinton.com, and if there's anyone who can give some advice on what it feels like to have a website wrongly taken out in your name, Fiorina probably could impart some wisdom. It was just a week ago the Internet realized the GOP candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO didn't register CarlyFiorina.org — which currently shows 30,000 sad faces to show the number of people that were laid off while she was the head of the Fortune 500 company.
Fiorina has been doing the media rounds since announcing her candidacy, and to her credit, she's laughed off the snafu. She even went as far as giving interviewers a taste of what it was like to be domain trolled, buying up SethMeyers.org and ChuckTodd.org before making appearances on Late Night with Seth Meyers and Meet the Press.
And yes, those two websites now go to Fiorina's campaign site. But while those were deliberate moves and in good fun, the HillaryClinton.net redirect was not carried out by the Fiorina camp, according to a Fiorina spokesperson, who told BuzzFeed they had nothing to do with the website. Bustle's request for comment from Fiorina were not returned Sunday.
Whoever's behind the redirect, the online pranks are just another reminder of how techie this election will be. Websites, campaign videos, social media accounts — they all fill in different roles in rounding out a candidate's persona. Whether doing the trolling or being trolled, positive or negative, these politicians are getting firsthand lessons on how to field viral hits, even if it's at their expense.
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