Public Comment

Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.

String Similarity Review Guidelines

RequestersICANN org
ICANN org Contact(s)

What We Need Your Input On

In preparation for the New gTLD Program: Next Round, ICANN org developed detailed guidelines for conducting the string similarity review, which is conducted by the String Similarity Review Panel. The expanded scope of the review will include variant strings.

Feedback is requested on the String Similarity Review Guidelines, with emphasis on the proposed methodology.

Proposals For Your Input
String Similarity Review Guidelines (pdf, 1.32 MB)


As recommended in the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Final Report on the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process, the String Similarity Review is a part of the Initial Evaluation of the New gTLD Program: Next Round application evaluation. The objective of this review is to prevent user confusion and loss of confidence in the Domain Name System (DNS) resulting from delegation of similar strings.

The guidelines outline the issues affecting the visual similarity of strings that are applied for in the next round. These include details based on the recommendations provided by the GNSO Phase 1 Final Report on the Internationalized Domain Names Expedited Policy Development Process (IDN EPDP Phase 1 Report), currently published for Public Comment. The guidelines provide details on preparing for, and organizing, the review of applied for strings with respect to other applied for strings, previously delegated TLDs, and reserved words or their variant strings.

Next Steps

After the Public Comment proceeding is closed, ICANN org will review the comments and prepare a Public Comment summary report. Taking into account the input received, ICANN org will finalize and proceed with the next phase of the work to gather data and develop tools as per the methodology proposed in the String Similarity Review Guidelines.

The ICANN Board is yet to consider the IDN EPDP Phase 1 Report. Following the ICANN Board’s consideration and the completion of subsequent work on String Similarity Review, ICANN org will update the guidelines and publish them for another Public Comment for finalization.

Supporting Information

This additional information from ICANN org provides more context for this Public Comment Proceeding and may help you review the proposals for input and publish a submission.

Supporting Information
GNSO Final Report on the new gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process (Topic 24)
GNSO Phase 1 Final Report on the Internationalized Domain Names Expedited Policy Development Process