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A B.C. Town Suffered A “Horrible Tragedy” When A Pornographer Snatched This Website

"It's just one of those horrible tragedies."

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The chamber of commerce in Barriere, British Columbia, is fighting to get its website back from a porn company. This is what used to look like.

But today, anyone who visits that URL gets redirected to, a hardcore pornography site.

Pornolaba / Via

Barriere's mayor Virginia Smith told The Canadian Press the website was supposed to be automatically renewed, but when that didn't happen, someone opportunistically snatched it up.

Smith said the new owners are asking $9,700 for the return of the domain name.

"It's just one of those horrible tragedies," she said.

The domain registration for now points to "Al Perkins," someone who has more than 1,300 other domain names attached to their name.

The Barriere Chamber of Commerce refused to pay the asking price, and moved its website to instead.

Marie Downing, the chamber's administrator, told CBC News it was only a $20 domain.

"I told him we're a chamber of commerce in a little tiny town of 1,000 people. We don't have that kind of money. We're non-profit. It's ridiculous."

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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