GoDaddy, an Internet hosting site and domain registrar, is being boycotted by Internet users today in response to their support of the controversial bill SOPA - the Stop Online Piracy Act. Being called Dump GoDaddy Day, people are ceasing to do business with GoDaddy, switching their domain registration to competitors.
SOPA, which is currently on hold as Congress breaks for winter recess, aims to reduce the amount of piracy on the Internet by expanding the powers of the U.S. Department of Justice. Under the bill, they, alongside copyright holders, would have the power to seek court action against Web sites accused of performing or facilitating copyright infringement. Opponents of the bill argue that this is an extreme expanse of power, and would cripple the Internet.
On Dec. 22, a Reddit user posted a list of companies that support SOPA, of which GoDaddy was listed, and a boycott and transfer of domains was proposed for Dec. 29. When asked about the impending transfer by Arstechnica, GoDaddy responded by saying Go Daddy has received some emails that appear to stem from the boycott prompt, but we have not seen any impact to our business. We understand there are many differing opinions on the SOPA regulations.
This response prompted many people to transfer their domains in advance of the official day, which, in turn, caused GoDaddy to reverse their stance on SOPA, saying in a statement on their website that Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why GoDaddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation - but we can clearly do better. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it. They withdrew their official support of the bill a few days later.
This, however, didn't stop people from leaving the company - 37,000 people doing so on Dec. 22 and 23, losing a few big names in the process.
One of the first big names to leave GoDaddy was Ben Huh, who runs the popular LOLcat website ICanHasCheezburger, taking over 1,000 domains with him. Since then, Wikipedia owner Jimmy Wales announced that he would be moving all of his domains off of GoDaddy. Alan Schaaf, owner of Imgur.com, an image sharing site ranked 85th in traffic according to Alexa, also transferred his domains off of GoDaddy.
GoDaddy did not respond to a request for comment.