Ouch! Whois contact information is not changed after a sale and the domain is used for bad purposes.

I just got a renewal e-mail from GoDaddy that one of my domain is going to expire. I knew this domain but was not very sure what I am doing right now with it (of course I knew that I am not running any money making business there). The domain used to be the home of a news site and it has a high pagerank but no traffic, its name is not a brandable one so it is not surprising that I’ve totally forgotten about it. I’ve checked my files and found out finally that I’ve sold the domain half year ago. At the same time, Whois still shows my name as the owner of this domain.

I’ve investigated the case a little bit further, if checking the domain, namely what is running on it, can be considered an investigation. This was the point when I got a shock. A pornography website is running on the domain, and not a tasteful one. So the question arises:

How to change contact information for a domain which is not yours?

It is surely something that the Registrar has control on it. So I’ve immediately contacted GoDaddy chat to explain the case. Since it can be useful for lot of my readers at a given point, I just publish here what to do:

In this case all you’d want to do is email [email protected] and just let them know that this site used to be yours and for some reason the new owner retained your contact information and it is a site showing pornography and you do not want to be associated with it, and that you’d like to request that we reach out to the owner to change the information as soon as possible.

This email resolved the problem within a couple of hours, the new owner updated the contact information. If the real owner is not responsible, the following step should be a Whois Inaccuracy Complaint at ICANN, which will surely solve the case. But it is more time and bureaucracy which is better to avoid if not necessary.