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.

closed String Similarity Review Guidelines

RequestersICANN org


ICANN org appreciates the comments submitted by the community on the String Similarity Review Guidelines (the “Guidelines”). During the ICANN79 meeting, ICANN org received a request to add more examples of similarity types to the Guidelines. Therefore, the updated Guidelines were posted, and the Public Comment was extended for two weeks.

ICANN org received nine comments. Three comments agree with the consideration and methodology of the Guidelines without further comments. Six comments provide additional queries or suggestions. After analyzing the comments and incorporating them as needed by ICANN org, the final version of the Guidelines will be posted on the Next Round Resource Page.

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.

What We Received 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.

19 March 2024 Update
During ICANN79, the Implementation Review Team for the next round of new gTLDs asked ICANN organization to update the String Similarity Review Guidelines report, which was published for Public Comment on 7 February 2024, by adding more examples. Please refer to the pdf document below titled “String Similarity Review Guidelines 19 March 2024."

Proposals For Your Input
String Similarity Review Guidelines 19 March 2024 (pdf, 1.56 MB)
String Similarity Review Guidelines 7 February 2024 (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.