GoDaddy Elephant Slaughter Draws Massive Backlash

How Not To Do Online Reputation Management

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GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons may need a lesson in online reputation management. Lesson 1: Don’t kill elephants. Lesson 2: If you do kill an elephant, don’t post a video about it on the web. 3: If you do kill an elephant and post a video about it on the web, and then tweet it out to 33,000 followers. Really lesson 1 solves them all, but now he’s learning the hard way as the controversy has taken the web by storm.

Tell us what you think about the situation.

GoDaddy is no stranger to controversy. That’s for sure. This is a whole new kind of controversy though. The following video says it all (warning: it’s graphic):



The video begins with the text, “Of everything I do this is the most rewarding. This video shows one typical night and day.”

“Damage is extensive. Unless elephant are stopped entire crop may be lost,” the captions in the video say. “When crops are lost subsistence farmers risk starvation.”

“Bob Parsons fires first,” they later proclaim. “Bob Parsons fires again. Both shots hit home. “One bull is killed. The rest stampede out of the field unhurt.”

Then it goes to a series of still photos of Parsons posing proudly with the dead elephant. “Early the next morning hungry villagers butcher the elephant,” it then reads, before cutting to footage of the villagers butchering the animal while AC/DC plays over it. Some villagers wear GoDaddy hats.

He even tweeted it. Brilliant.

Just back from hunting problem elephant in Zimbabwe. Here’s my vacation video. Enjoy. http://x.co/TxZ5 20 days ago via web · powered by @socialditto

The video currently has over 20,000 views, with many more sure to come. You can wade through pages of comments here. Many people say they will be pulling their sites from GoDaddy. Even PETA was using GoDaddy, and is obviously putting a stop to that. PETA, points out that Parsons has also killed a leopard.


PETA added:

It has been well established that elephants are capable of experiencing emotions, including joy, anger, grief, and sympathy. They play with each other and can reason and use tools; they have exceptional memories and form enduring bonds with other elephants. They work together and comfort and protect each other. Elephant offspring stay with their mothers for many years—males for up to 15 years and females for their entire lives. Killing a single elephant can devastate a family, and their mourning ritual over the death of a family member rivals any that we humans have developed.

Parsons is hiding behind the lame claim that killing elephants helps farmers in Africa whose crops are damaged by the animals. In fact, there are ample effective and nonlethal methods to deter elephants from crops, including using chili-infused string and beehives on poles to create low-cost “fences.” Instead of coming up with flimsy excuses for killing these highly intelligent and social animals, Parsons should use his wealth to fund humane solutions to human/elephant conflicts.

Oh yeah, and lesson 4: don’t post videos of leopard killing to the web. And lesson 5: Issue a company press release following the uproar. So far there hasn’t been one posted to the GoDaddy news center since 03/23.

Just posted new video blog: Alligators nipping at your ass? How to hang in there & enjoy the ride. http://x.co/UCKi 7 days ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Is this guy the real Mr. Burns?

Update: Parsons has been talking since this article originally ran.

What do you think of Parsons’ actions? Comment here.

GoDaddy Elephant Slaughter Draws Massive Backlash
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  • http://wredlich.com Warren Redlich

    I doubt GoDaddy will lose much business over this. Parsons loves to do outlandish things to get publicity, and it works.

  • http://www.webartistuk.com/ web designing companies

    Why are you guys getting upset for? these people need to eat and its there survival that depends on it. The people complaing about this video are shallow minded shovenestic pigs, you have no idea about the struggles a poor man goes through to feed his kids or himself for that matter. Ill prove it to you, are you watching this comment? if so then you dont have a food crisis, unless ur sacrificing your food budget for your INTERNET and LAPTOP, so if you think this is wrong, go live in africa without money and see how youl cope.
    Dont get me wrong, I dont believe in animal cruelty, but i do believe in eating meat, and thats all there doing. Everybody does it, and if you dont like the type of animals they are eating, then feel free to purchase a hurd of sheeps to donate to them. Until then, stick your caviar up ur arse! GoDaddy FTW!!

  • https://www.searchen.com/ domainer

    There is a lot worse happening in this world then getting all worked up over the hunting of a problem elephant. Making more out of it then there is.

    • Jeremie

      It’s all roughly the same domainer. People killing because they enjoy killing. Whether it be humans or animals. Bob is just an example of it. There’s a lot of other things to worry about, yes, but that’s only because it’s in larger numbers, where say militia kills entire village, or a terrorist group bombing something in the name of allah (which is just an excuse to kill something). Bob’s act is just a small portion of what is happening in the world, but still the problem nonetheless. If someone killed a member of your family, that would only be one act, but to you it would mean the world. How would it feel if someone said, “what’s the big deal there’s a lot bigger issues in the world than somebody killing this guys brother, mother, father, sister…getting the point?

  • John

    And have we all just been sucked into some April Fool’s joke here ??

  • Damian

    PETA is irrelevant. They were once something to be admired and an institution of honesty, but no longer are we so blind. The more news that comes out about PETA, the less relevant they are.

    As far as the elephant and godaddy is concerned, you reap what you sew. There will be backlash from those who view this as wrong. There will be the same business as usual mentality from those who don’t care.

    We should stop bringing PETA into every animal cruelty case. It just belittles the entire situation and becomes something to laugh about, then to really get behind and care about. PETA is doing more harm than good, and so is mentioning their opinions and quotes. They are not the one voice for all that is just in the world of how animals should be treated, they are however the one voice that brings a negative light onto protecting animals.

  • RJ

    I’m not surpised.. he’s an X-Marine. Macho Man. He’s all about slutty degrading female ads…fast cars..now this. Not intouch with his inner female, apparently. Sounds like I’m profiling right? Well maybe I am but he seems to be a perfect Macho Man fit. I’m a Godaddy customer for years, and I have to say the service is great and so are the products..So in the end it’s
    The good the bad and now this, THE UGLY!

  • Joanne

    Parsons interview on CNN was disgusting,cruel and misleading and the killing he did to this elephant and more.. HUNTING AT NIGHT — PM ??? I am sure-Yes he is linning the pockets of Mugabe regime! If Parsons is so so concern about the poverty there, why doesn’t he get shippments of food – corn, etc…
    brought to that area.. I am sure he can handle that and arrange that.
    Also shippments of cloths and shoes and food. ???????????
    by the way — Parsons can donate that from his pocket!! with the money he has FOR NOW !!!!

    I REFUSE TO RENEW TWO WEB SITES that we have…. I am NOT GOING TO GIVE GODADDY A RED CENT OR ANY BUSINESS.. NO MORE GODADDY I SAY OUT OF BUSINESS TO YOU !!! Nor would I donate to the killing of elephants or any wildlife, and your African Farmers!

    “for the elephants & wildlife”

    • Damian

      Godaddy will surely miss your $4.00 a month.

      • Solomon Borgawker

        Its not the $4 … but the principle of what you believe is right and wrong .. and if you cannot make this distinction then you ought to start NOW.





  • Solomon Borgawker

    Did this CEO not realize that a fence with some electric wire could have done both … save the crops and spare the elephants.

    Bob’s proud deceleration of killing the elephant tells he has an obsession of hunting down these large creatures as he must believe that his own existence on this earth is of utmost important that creatures of lower intelligence than himself.

    The local people seemed to have gathered more food to eat from the elephant than the crops themselves can offer after being “saved”.


    Solomon Borgawker.

  • Gavin

    Could they not build a bloody fence around their crop like the rest of the world!

    • http://www.propdata.net/ Robert

      Have you seen the damage that a single elephant can do to a fence? Heck have you seen the damage a single elephant can do to a big SUV?

      And… how do starving people pay for a fence?

      Honestly ignorance is not an excuse.

  • http://megarich.org mark

    Parsons would have fit in great with the Bush Whitehouse – celebrants of war and murder.

    • Fatherof3

      Hmmmmm . . . and what is our current CIC doing bombing Libya?

      • http://www.FoolQuest.com Aaron Agassi

        Hunting Kaddafi might be deemed forgivable.

  • brian

    Well it was a mistake to post something like this.But he is handling the issue like our president handles our nation.A major event happens over seas and in the process of said event people die.So Our president goes on vacation or avoids the event all together.So I think he is taking notes and working on the presidential how to avoid serious issues program.


  • protester

    What an arrogant prick that man is. Bring him down. Wont be using godaddy any way.

  • brian webb

    what an utter………omg i cant find words strong enough to describe my contempt for such a person,

    someone just take him out back and put him down like he did the elephant

    this guy is beyond belief…………

  • http://www.petcollarshop.com Rick

    This is one of the few times I’ve agreed with PETA. Parson’s could have found a more ethical and humane way of helping the farmers. Low cost fencing as PETA mentions would be a permanent solution. With his money, he could probably afford a better fencing solution that would prevent other animals from eating and damaging the crops.

  • troy



  • Sid

    To those who think elephants are “a dime a dozen over there”…

    At the turn of the 20th century, it is estimated that elephants numbered between 5 and 10 million, but hunting and habitat destruction had reduced their numbers to 400,000 to 500,000 by the end of the century.[63] In the ten years preceding 1990 the population more than halved from 1.3 million to around 600,000, largely caused by the ivory trade, prompting an international ivory ban.[64][65] While elephant populations are increasing in parts of southern and eastern Africa,[66] other African nations report a decrease of their elephant populations by as much as two-thirds, and populations in even some protected areas are in danger of being eliminated[67] Chad has a decades-old history of poaching of elephants, which has caused the elephant population of the region, which exceeded 300,000 in 1970, to drop to approximately 10,000 today.[68] In Virunga National Park, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the number of elephants living in the observable area of the park fell from 2,889 in 1951 to 348 in 2006.[69]

    If we keep going like this, the only place you’ll see an elephant is in a zoo.

  • Tess

    Go Daddy must have little pp. Uses big gun to make up for it. Too bad for living things.

  • http://www.freearticlesmix.com articles

    Is a good thing I don’t have my website at godaddy, I think this is not good for him, who should spend time helping people other ways.

  • http://www.sleeping-gypsy.com Leslie

    I am stunned not only by this man’s arrogance but more so by his ignorance. He needs to be prosecuted. It’s too bad that everything & everyone he is associated with will turn to feces in the eyes of everyone who witnesses this atrocity, but such is the way of the world. Lesson #5: Know who you are doing business with. It’s not always about the bottom line or how much money one has. There is still room for ethics & morals in the business world.

  • http://www.RegCrowder.com REG CROWDER

    I am glad I have been warned about what kind of a psycho Bob Parsons is. I have in the past considered using GoDaddy, based solely upon price. There is no way I can do business with GoDaddy or any business in which Bob Parsons has a financial interest.

    I am fascinated that Bob Parsons is so comfortable in Zimbabwe. I guess he finds Zimbabwe a nice, business-friendly. I think he should make Zimbabwe his home.

  • Jostyn

    As Ralph du Plessis has pointed out the game management is now non-existent. The issue is that issue and also a human population explosion that is pushing into the reserves (or what’s left of them), even if they just live right by the reserve the elephants do not know boundaries – it’s food.
    When I was in Africa a problem elephant was a rogue elephant and one that trampled houses and killed people. These elephants are trying to survive like the people are in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and all are failing.
    There have been bad droughts in the area and the whole farming infrastructure is also destroyed and as this video shows the people are losing the battle to even do subsistence farming.
    Bob Parsons, by this video and trip to Zim has shown he supports the criminal Mugabe.
    I have business with GoDaddy and this is making me think – it costs nothing for me to walk away from them.

  • http://www.sleeping-gypsy.com Leslie

    Well said, Brian. Anyone compelled to kill such a large animal must be feeling some sort of inadequacy in “other personal areas” of his life *ahem* which could possible be cured by Viagra. Just sayin’…

  • Rodeus

    We at RODEUS Technology Will host your website and donate The first year to save an elephant. This is unethical and clearly should be condemned. Welcome to our hosting at green-wire.com let us known the domain name you wish
    To move out of godaddy and we will pay the transfer fee to our registrar an hosting servers.

    Welcome in !

    Martin -CEO

  • Falcon509

    Wow! I love the way he tries to justify the slaughter of an elephant ahead of time!

    So you can’t take all the knowledge we have today and a little bit of money and come up with a permanant solution to protest the crops? This is the type of senseless self serving solutions that get man in trouble time and time again. What an arrogant man Bob Parsons is! BOYCOTT GO DADDY because he obviously uses YOUR MONEY to destroy OUR Planet!

  • http://www.naroka.com/ Alex

    What a scumbag! I hope every Godaddy customer leaves; this is outrageous. I will look for a new hosting service immediately.

  • http://africanmangoe.com/ African Mango DK

    What does hunting in Africa have to do with registering domain names?

    Yes, you might not agree with what he did, but how should that have any influence on whether you do business with GoDaddy (unless, the money you pay to GD goes toward this activity)?

    Personally, I stopped using GoDaddy a while back. There are things they do and practices they have that I just don’t like, such as how they seemingly force you to get that private registration when you don’t want it.

  • http://johnsteins.com John Steins

    Apparently Mr. Parsons is an ass. Will have to start looking for an alternative to Godaddy.

  • Norman

    I guarantee that 99% of the people whining have never been to Africa or encountered an elephant in the wild.

    I have, several times. Both on foot and by Jeep.

    1. Bull elphants particularly are not some sweet Dumbo character, they are vicious and dangerous.

    I well remember being unable to approach a hotel pool as elephants had gone there for a drink and had too call the hotel staff to move them on.

    Also waking up to find a herd of elephants had left their “calling card” on our doorstep.

    2. Elephants are highly destructive, pulling up young trees and knocking over medium size ones. They are major desroyers of the environment.

    3. Of course they destroy the livelihood of subsistance farmers.

    • Geoff Hull

      Norman you are as bad as Bob. I have lived in Africa most of my life and I do not condone this. Who do you think was living where the luxury hotel that you were staying in, now stands. The elephants are not the problem. Us humans are. The western world has for decades raped Africa of it’s resources and given back nothing compared to what they have taken. The starving villages in Africa are the result of the western world’s search for the easy dollar. The dictators are the result of first world countries ignoring the effects of their actions. I am not a radical anything. I just think it is time the first world countries take responsibility and not just think that throwing money at the problem is going to make it go away.

  • http://vhmarketingonline.com Viola

    Too bad I didn’t come across this info yesterday. I just bought 2 new domains from Godaddy but that won’t happen again…..


  • http://www.italkmoney.com sinip

    Although killing an elephant is not something I would do or recommend, I don’t see American public getting too excited about all the people killed in Libya, thanks to the Americans… Isn’t life strange, ha? Maybe if CNN airs some report about endangered Libyan wildlife the things might change? Who knows…

    • Fatherof3

      Excellent point, sinip. One elephant is more important than another ill-advised war of choice and more lives being cost. I fail to comprehend.

  • Bob is a Bull Elephant

    He is a bull elephant himself. Just look at his business practices.

    Time some-one shot him.

    • Fatherof3

      Well, now, THAT makes sense. How you people equate human life with animal life is beyond any logic. And, now . . . “hey, let’s kill Bob Parsons.” Not only have you devalued human life to that of an animal, but now this mob is advocating murder. Great.

  • Bob

    What he did was good. I don’t understand why the villagers were not able to do it themselves. Perhaps the government only allows the killings by paying sportsmen. Otherwise I would think their would be game wardens of some kind doing the job.

    Go-Daddys mistake is only in putting the event in the public view.

    I believe the biggest enviromental problem is not what we as humans are doing, but that there are too damn many of us! Without population control, non of the rest matters anyway.

  • rolene

    He is A D……………… Head. And if he thinks this is cool, now we know what he can do to the human race. And it is sick.

    • Fatherof3

      Do you eat meat? Wear leather? Use cosmetics? Take pharmaceutical medications? Live in the US? All of that, necessarily, involves the killing of animals. Do you see the hypocracy here?

  • Jason

    Wow! What aren’t you telling in this article? A lot. After having been to Zimbabwe myself, I have worked with the people and “chili-infused string and beehives on poles” doesn’t always work. The people have the elephants killed at the last resort. In fact, the people use fire, and loud noises to also scare off the elephants.

    When they do these killings, they only go after one elephant. Why? Because the other elephants will leave, and almost never return. Yes it’s sad that they have to resort to killing the elephants. But they waste no part of the elephant after the killing.

    If they left these beautiful creatures alone, and let them stop and destroy their crops, the people would starve to death. Why does PETA think that an elephant’s death is far more important than a village of people starving to death?

    Let’s get serious folks. I love elephants, and collect elephant statues (I have over 400). The last thing I want is for elephants to be killed, but sometimes it just has to be done.

    • Fatherof3

      Because it’s PETA. No other explanation is required. Good comment, thanks for the logical contribution.

    • Barb

      What a breath of fresh air. Someone who realizes that you can love elephants (and animals in general) AND deal with reality, too!

  • belesprit@ureach.com

    This seriously makes me reconsider doing business with Godaddy. That I would in any way help finance, with my website, this disgusting “hobby” as he so blithely puts it, makes me feel filthy and causes me to research other web companies. Bob Parsons, you have sunk to the lowest level of human behaviour. No, sorry, what you do doesn’t even qualify as human. You want to “help” the farmers of Africa??? Then use your, apparently, excessive income and finance initiatives that create sustainable businesses for the people of Zimbabwe and do so while preserving and respecting the environment and its inhabitants.

  • yalonda

    So you hang animal heads on yout wall FOR WHAT?
    To show that you have a big enough gun to bring this loving creature down?

    I will never understand this mentality? What is that you glory in? What is there to be proud of?

    WHAT a terrible son your mother raised! Says alot about her too!

  • http://www.lightmotiondetector.com Chico

    This is one of those cases where we have to put our money next to our values. I couldn’t even watch the video….breaks my heart.

  • http://www.iamdictator.com/gripes/will-godaddy-com-founder-kill-more-elephants/ Phil

    I am appalled by this idiot. I had to pause your video because I didn’t even want to watch it because it would make me sick. If I had his money, I could think of far better ways to help the villagers. I also have guns including an Uzi and could think of better ways to use it. I don’t hunt animals. I have spent a few thousand dollars purchasing premium domain names from GoDaddy and will no longer do so. I wouldn’t want to own stock in GoDaddy.com anymore.

  • Bassem

    What is the damn point in killing an elephant at night?!!!This is a mere cowardly act this is not hunting.That’s it no more godaddy, my domains will be transferred today.

  • http://fishingwithchris.com chris

    looks like alot of poor people had some food thanks to bob :/

  • http://sofortmassnahmen.eu Michael Holdcroft

    There is a phrase “do good and talk about it”. Unfortunately disguising the dubious passtime of big game hunting for a good deed to help farmers is not everybody’s idea of doing a good deed.

    I personally have my doubts about working with someone who thinks this sort of “hobby” is acceptable to others. In my opinion guns should be banned the world over, but there is little hope of that I am afraid.

  • http://www.sedonamethodsecrets.com/bsc3.html Stephen

    Now he has problems with the angry customer herd. Sooner or later karma will deal with this moron. It is without doubt. I am a vegetarian. That is being true to animal love.

  • http://www.TopYields.nl TopYields

    What a moron. Best way to punish this idiot is to stop hosting your websites with his company. People like him make me sick.

  • nedoba

    I am American Indian, a vegetarian and an animal lover. I am not however a member of PETA. All politics and philosophies aside, Human Beings MUST come first. People are starving… One elephant did not provide enough food for all the people who came. The animals were destroying the sorghum fields which provide food for the locals.

    The dictator of this country keeps the people poor and hungry. While you may not agree with Parson’s motives (If you actually know them)would you want to take the food from those hungry villagers? In most countries, even when we think times are bad… we are seldom starving. If we were to undergo the same circumstances can you honestly say you would not kill an animal for food for your family? Can you honestly say you would not kill an animal that was destroying your garden and only food source?

    Do-gooders love to pat themselves on the back and claim how they are saving the wildlife and preserving nature. How wrong they are… nature left to itself is equally as destructive, if not more, than man. I am always appalled by those who would place animal life BEFORE human life.

    Regardless of his motive (I don’t know what it was/is) fellow human beings received food for their familes. Isn’t that something we can be happy about? Children ate that night and slept with full tummies. Try being happy for them.

    And if you are a meat eater… HUSH!

    • Fatherof3

      Excellent comment, nedoba. Thank you for the meaningful perspective.

    • http://www.FoolQuest.com Aaron Agassi

      Then as always, assistance towards the advance of democracy and prosperity, also comes ultimately as a boon for wildlife and the environment.

    • Barb

      Great post and insight.

  • Geoff Hull

    Stupid idiot. The worst kind of American who doesn’t bother to find out the real problem before taking action. All he is trying to do is find an excuse to destroy a living creature that is as beautiful as he is stupid. I certainly will not host any of my sites with GoDaddy.

  • http://www.aquaponicshowto.nwt alistair

    To be honest I think it’s not right how some humans treat animals, especially in places such as China among others, but what I really can’t understand is how people get pleasure from killing animals.
    To me it just doesn’t make sense. I’ve never understood why people stick deer heads and whatever on their wall as a trophy. Why do they? I think these people that kill animals for fun really do have something wrong with them. What pleasure do they get and satisfaction do they get from killing something that can’t fight back? Really I don’t hate them or anything, I just think they are sad and cowardly people and I’d like to see how they would react if they were locked in a cage with a hungry lion or something with their hands tied behind their back. Compared to killing a defenceless animal with a gun I think this is just as fair a fight.

    • nedoba

      My ancestors lived off the land. They killed game and depended on it for their survival. They wore the skins. It is still part of our culture today. For health reasons I am a vegetarian but the rest of my family is not. If you REALLY want things to change in these countries… then everyone return to the home of their ancestors and leave native peoples to their own land to live as they choose and not as you choose.

      Chickens, cows, pigs, fish and other animals you eat (unless you are vegetarian) are all DEFENSELESS animals. Who is truly defenseless? CHILDREN, the ELDERLY… Without food they will die. Just because you don’t approve of the food doesn’t mean they should not have it.

      Humans can not defend themselves against wild animals without a weapon. Have you ever been hiking and had a run in with a bear, cougar or other preditor? I think not… or you would not be saying “something that can’t fight back.”

      Proud Abenaki, Algonkian

      • Fatherof3

        I admire your Spirit. Thank you.

      • http://www.FoolQuest.com Aaron Agassi

        Well, I suppose there’s always Kung Fu hunting!

      • Barb

        Excellent post again, nedoba. However, your ancestors aren’t the only people who killed animals for food or clothing. Unless alistair’s ancestors came from another planet, they did too at some point… as did mine and everyone else’s.

        People tend to forget that it was a matter of survival and there’s nothing wrong with it if you also respect animals.

        The villagers are still living under conditions similar to our ancestors and it still is a matter of survival for them.

        And, yes, animals are not defenseless creatures… a cow moose will stomp you into the ground before you even realize what’s happening if she fears for her calf. They are some of the best mother’s ever created!

        By the way, I eat meat and see nothing wrong with it but why do people view domestic animals differently than wild animals? They’ll stuff themselves on pork, beef, chicken and so forth without a problem but cry foul if someone eats a wild animal.

  • http://www.dollarcounts.com/ TPJaveton

    First and foremost, I agree with item #1 & #2 above. If Bob Parsons thought this act and the publishing of it to the Web was going to result in a lot of publicity (traffic) for him and his business, he was right. Bad publicity!

    I didn’t even know that the flesh of elephants was edible, but putting my own ignorance aside, I’m asking myself whether “saving the crops and feeding local villagers” could have been accomplished in a different way; And after careful thought, my answer is a resounding yes!

    With all the resources at his disposal, Parsons could have approached both problems in a totally different way, solved the problem(s) and got positive responses from the online And offline communities; But posing over his “kill” with a firearm was more important, it seems. Way to go, Bob; You sure put a lot of thought into this one, didn’t you? What a shame!


  • don


  • DSC

    Parsons is a jerk. I have to figure out how to move my domain names and services elsewhere. Jerk. Jerk.

  • Peter Hickey

    Saddened and horrified.

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