A very sad GoDaddy announced Friday night they no longer support SOPA, basically putting themselves at the whim of the online community. GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman stated the company will now only support SOPA, “when and if the Internet community supports it.”
This was after a mass-exodus from GoDaddy erupted from a post on Reddit, following GoDaddy’s unveiled support for SOPA—making them the only Internet company on its list of 142 supporting companies—through a list of companies supporting SOPA was posted by the House Judiciary (but seems to have been pulled offline).
In the Reddit post, “GoDaddy supports SOPA, I’m transferring 51 domains & suggesting a move your domain day,” a user detailed the decision, and stated “I’m suggesting Dec 29th as move your domain away from GoDaddy day because of their support of SOPA. Who’s with me?”
The Reddit post was highly effective, yet actually had mixed reviews: 36,107 up votes, and 31,999 down votes—but still leaving it with more than 4,000 points once the smoke cleared.
Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh (I Can Has Cheeseburger, FAIL Blog, Know Your Meme, and others), announced through Twitter he would move his more than 1,000 domains away from GoDaddy, unless the company stopped supporting SOPA, and encouraged others to do the same.
[pullquote_left]It empowers people to exert similar pressure on other companies. – Chris Heald[/pullquote_left]
Then GoDaddy folded. The company made their announcement they would no longer support SOPA—unless the Web community started supporting it.
But this wasn’t the end. Some users continued moving their domains. Users claimed GoDaddy was calling them, begging them to come back.
Chris Heald of Mashable posted the experience on Google +, saying “I just got a call from #GoDaddy. The rep said he noticed that I’d transferred my 60+ domains away … and wanted to know if I’d tell them why. I got to tell them that it was because of their #SOPA support, and that I couldn’t in good conscience give my money to a tech company that would support legislation like that. ”
“The guy I spoke to was professional, but you could tell that he’d made a lot of very similar calls today. He didn’t even try to sell me, just sort of accepted it with a “Yup, I hear you, and we’re sorry, let us know if we can do anything to get you back”. Doesn’t change my stance, though,” Heald states in the post.
Users still seem to be making sense of what happened. It was a day-long rally that achieved its goal.
As Heald states: “… it empowers people to exert similar pressure on other companies, and it demonstrates to those companies that there are enough angry people out there that you need to listen up and pay attention.”
This could be the start of similar efforts to boycott companies that support SOPA, persuading them one-by-one to revoke their support.
But others aren’t as optimistic.
Jason Roberts freelance coder wrote on Google + “I realize that boycotting SOPA supporting companies is emotionally satisfying and all (yeah, screw GoDaddy!) … but does anyone seriously think this matters to, or is even on the radar of, the people voting on this bill – you know, Congress? The unequivocal answer is no. Not remotely.”
Roberts states, “The pro-SOPA faction lead by the RIAA, MPAA and the like are not screwing around, and the only realistic way to repel their offensive is to fight fire with fire. That’s right. In order to have even the slightest chance of repelling this bill a lot of money is going to have to be spent paying off the politicians. I know it’s a dirty game and you want no part of it, but that’s what it’s going to take. If you want to win in Washington, then you need to know the rules of the game, and the rules say that he who spends the most money wins (usually).”
[box_light]Image courtesy of Jean Leon Gerome Ferris [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons[/box_light]