Half of City Council Just Got Cybersquatted
Go to MarkSquilla.com, and you won’t find a word about the South Philadelphia Councilman bearing its name. JannieBlackwell.com, too, has nary a sentence about the longtime Councilwoman representing parts of West Philadelphia.
Council members Squilla and Blackwell aren’t alone. The 5th Square also snapped up:
All URLs now forward visitors to 5thSq.com. So do:
David Curtis, co-founder of The 5th Square, confirmed that the PAC purchased the sites at the end of last year. Curtis says the PAC is thinking about redirecting the sites in the future to “report cards” that it is planning to draw up for the mayoral and Council candidates in the
Mary May 19th primary election.
“They were there and they were cheap and we thought they were valuable assets,” he says.
Earlier this month, Curtis laid out the goals of his PAC to Citified:
Curtis said that the PAC’s early aims were twofold: to “help educate and mobilize voters and key influencers” and to “offer financial support for a handful of exceptional city council candidates.” Curtis hopes that the PAC’s endorsements will be viewed as “New Philadelphia’s stamp of approval.”
“Cybersquatting,” as it is known, already appears to be a common theme of the upcoming election. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday that KenyattaJohnson.com, as well as KenyattaJohnson.net and KenyattaJohnson.org, redirect users to the campaign website of Ori Feibush, a developer who is running against incumbent Councilman Kenyatta Johnson this spring.
For the record, we checked and only five of Philadelphia’s 17 Council members — five! — have sites up and running on their “FullName.com” domain names. They are Bobby Henon, Cindy Bass, Ed Neilson, James Kenney and David Oh. Some of the other Council members’ “FullName.com” domains appear to be under construction, while others are being used by people with the same name for apparently legitimate reasons.