Too Little Too Late for GoDaddy
The introduction of Protect IP Act and SOPA in to Congress has created quite a bit of controversy. Web developers and site owners believe it will be the beginning of the end to online innovation and that many sites will suffer because of it, and internet users are afraid the acts could create online censorship and bring down some of their favorite sites. While many large companies, such as Facebook, Google, and eBay, have actively opposed SOPA, one company in particular has come under fire because it originally chose to support SOPA.
GoDaddy, one of the Internet’s largest suppliers of domains, hosting, and network attached storage, chose to actively support SOPA much to the surprise of many. While many other large companies actively spoke out against the legislation, GoDaddy stood behind it and even released statements in support of the act.
However, the company, after experiencing a huge backlash from internet users, decided to withdrawal its support of SOPA. But it may be too little, too late.
After expressing support of SOPA, GoDaddy witnessed an above average transfer of domains. Other registrars began offering discounts to those that transferred their accounts from GoDaddy to their own. Code names poked at GoDaddy’s support of the legislation and read “NODADDY,” “NOSOPA,” and “BYEBYEGD.” Reddit account holders actively campaigned on the site, asking other users to transfer their domains immediately, and many quickly complied. Imgur and several other large firms also chose to boycott GoDaddy, and December 29th was deemed “Move Your Domain” Day for anyone else wishing to boycott GoDaddy.
Because of the backlash GoDaddy received, many believe that GoDaddy’s new opposition of the legislation disingenuous, and believe the company is solely stating they now oppose SOPA as to not lose any more customers. Whether or not GoDaddy will actually demonstrate anti-SOPA support has yet to be seen.
One thing is for certain though, GoDaddy has greatly ruined its reputation by initially supporting SOPA. They may be able to gain some clients back over time, but the support of an Act that could negatively impact the internet in such a profound way has left too many wary. Some have even titled GoDaddy as the “biggest villain of the Internet.”
If GoDaddy wishes to gain any positive support in the near, they are going to have to fight hard against SOPA. However, considering their half-hearted stance against SOPA, the likelihood of GoDaddy actively opposing the Act, and thus winning back their previous customers’ support, is highly unlikely.