GoDaddy Experiences Massive SOPA Backlash

GoDaddy's PR takes another hit

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GoDaddy Experiences Massive SOPA Backlash
[ Social Media]

So, what’s worse? Bad PR due to the perhaps unnecessary killing of a wild elephant or a mass exodus due to supporting one of the most combative pieces of legislation to address the Internet, perhaps ever?

News of GoDaddy’s support of SOPA hit its crescendo over the Christmas weekend, spurred on by Jimmy Wales’ announcement of his intentions to move Wikipedia’s domain away from GoDaddy’s service:

I am proud to announce that the Wikipedia domain names will move away from GoDaddy. Their position on #sopa is unacceptable to us. 3 days ago via web · powered by @socialditto

From there, the exodus from GoDaddy began in earnest. All told, the registrar service lost over 70,000 domains, and that’s when the backtracking and double talk began. Of course, when large portions of the Internet population are speaking out against your service on sites like Reddit, and there’s a “Boycott GoDaddy” site getting attention, it’s hard not to respond, unless recent GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons enjoys watching his flock flee.

And flee they did. In fact, one of GoDaddy’s competitors, Namecheap, wrote a blog post discussing how GoDaddy was not facilitating the transfer process by returning “incomplete WHOIS information,” an accusation the domain registrar denied in a statement to CNet, which, in part, says:

Because some registrars (and other data gathering, analyzing and reporting entities) have legitimate need for heavy port 43 access, we routinely grant requests for expanded access per an SOP we’ve had in place for many years. Should we make contact with Namecheap, and learn they need similar access, we would treat that request similarly.

However, GoDaddy’s handling of transferring domains was not the issue at hand. Instead, the company’s support of SOPA/PIPA was the driving force behind the defections. So much so, in fact, GoDaddy issued a press release saying they no longer supported SOPA — conveniently leaving out PIPA — as they tried to reverse the course many of their ex-customers were taking.

The release is complete with a “please don’t go” feel:

“Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation – but we can clearly do better,” Warren Adelman, Go Daddy’s newly appointed CEO, said. “It’s very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it.”

Considering GoDaddy was potentially exempt from SOPA’s punitive actions, it’s clear GoDaddy’s SOPA reversal is motivated by business, or the loss thereof.

Was your domain registered through GoDaddy’s service? Does their previous (wink, wink) support of SOPA/PIPA inspire you to leave GoDaddy? Let us know what you think.

GoDaddy Experiences Massive SOPA Backlash
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  • Drew

    Yes. It was the reason I left after almost 7 years.

  • Arwen Taylor

    I left years ago. GoDaddy simply cannot be trusted.

  • Sharon

    I left during the self-publicized elephant hunt.

  • http://www.LAokay.com Steve G

    I’m still with GoDaddy. It’s not often that supporters of a bill ever involves the public. In fact, most of the lobbying for the bill was to insure that the public was aware of what was going on and so they could have a say in it.

  • PR

    Moved 5 and deleted 4 domains from GoDaddy, and their support of SOPA/PIPA was enough. BUT… now, they have not only lost me, but have gained an anti-GD advocate for their retaliatory handling of my domains. I started the moves Christmas eve. The .us domain was done quickly. However, the 4 .com domains are still down and GD’s DNS servers are pointing them at which belongs to Black Lotus Communications — http://www.blacklotus.net/ — so it appears I’m now considered a DDoS attacker and must deserve to be blocked just for voting with my feet/$$…

    Way to GoDaddy! SOPA support was bad enough; but this sort of retaliation will bring about your demise v. losing a few domains. Parsons’ elephant-killing was prophetic — you are now the elephant… how does it feel?

  • NoSpam

    Don’t trust them. They have “withdrawn support” only after massive uproar. And it’s a wishy-washy back-pedal. Maybe after a widely publicized “actively oppose” with a large cash donation to EFF would I consider NOT dumping them.

  • Superalias

    For my part, I almost got started with my domains on GoDaddy years ago – but gave it up after poking around what was then, and I see still is, one of the most ugly, confusing, muddled websites in the hosting biz. I just don’t trust a company that doesn’t make things clean and straightforward. In hindsight, it’s looking like the right decision.

  • average joe

    The demise of GoDaddy [ the mass exodus of customers] is necessary to scare other SOPA supporters away from their aggressive behavior. Certainly this is a process Bob Parson is familiar with.

  • acliff

    Has anyone seen this SOPA de Hamlet?
    Just got a Happy New Year message on my iPhone, from an app called PhoneBook Plus, quite brilliant, check it out:
    SOPA de Hamlet
    To support, or not to support-, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The bans and fines of outrageous fortune Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them. To support is to be more aligned with developing nations like China, not to support, is to be cast out of countries like France And the great empire of the US of A. Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, let PhoneBook+ help spread the words of action. Happy Year Of 2012!

    • szhaigui

      Got it too, Happy New Year PhoneBook SOPA de Hamlet!

  • http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com ron

    SOPA Will achieve nothing, the pirates will find a way around it only the normal user will be inconvenienced. I have been with go daddy for years and will not change, unless they block any site of mine registered with them. If they do I will leave so quick will be in Guinness book of records! (Remember to always keep a full copy of your website on local computer.) The ONLY thing I am not happy with is their traffic facts program which does not show hits from sites that are not html linked although information is in server log files. This happened when they “upgraded” the program and lost some functionality over looks, maybe they will re-grade it back if enough complaints.

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