December 29th was Dump GoDaddy Day, and more than 50,000 domains were either transferred away from GoDaddy or deleted outright, with thousands more people doing so in the days leading up to it. One Reddit user, Drov, who asked to be identified by his username only, agreed to speak about what he feels is wrong with SOPA, and why he transferred his domains away from the site.
IBTimes: What do you feel is the most damaging aspect of SOPA?
Drov: Infrastructure set up to monitor and effectively censor material on the Internet is a terrible precedent and will inevitably get abused. If in fact one is put into place, I fear politicians and policy-makers will be all too complicit in using it for more and more Draconian purposes. The Internet is a wonderful place, with availability of free information and [as] a medium for free expression. The free Internet is something that deserves to be fought for. With SOPA in place, it takes nothing more than an unfounded accusation to effectively have something pulled. This implies that something really very small that the website owner may in fact have no control over can get the whole website [shut] down.
Opponents may say Oh, they're misrepresenting SOPA! That is not true; those who have put the effort into carefully understanding SOPA know exactly how it can be and will be abused.
IBTimes: Have you transferred any domains away from GoDaddy? If so, how many?
Drov: I've transferred eight in total. Three were mine, the rest were family members'. I will be actively working toward finding people who currently have GoDaddy and helping them get their domains transferred to a decent registrar with a respectable and ethical stance on important issues relating to Internet freedom.
IBTimes: How much did GoDaddy's initial response to the boycott have to do with your decision to participate?
Drov: Their initial response was unconvincing and felt too much like a sloppy PR reaction put together to just stop people from transferring their domains. It did not reflect toward any positive change for the long term.
IBTimes: Did GoDaddy's reversal of position on SOPA affect your opinion?
Drov: No, they did too little, too late. They also did not take any significant corrective action in the aftermath.
IBTimes: What do you ultimately hope comes from this boycott?
Drov: Above everything, I hope that the community becomes confident and empowered about their ability in getting the change they want. Ultimately, the most powerful and the strongest form of protest is one in which we vote and fight with our dollars. I hope that this protest validates and shows our strength and potential in bringing the change that is in our best interest -- to not just us, but to companies and politicians. It's a long way ahead, so we must remain persistent
IBTimes: Is there anything else you'd like to say?
Drov: This was my first time getting actively involved in a protest. I feel fortunate and excited to have had the opportunity to be a force in getting people to make the decision of moving from a registrar with questionable morals to one that values freedom. I encourage all citizens to think about methods in which their protests may prove to be most effective, and to take deliberate, measured steps in working towards getting their goals. I will be partaking in similar protests in the future -- because the idea of 'protesting with dollars' strikes me as the one to go with.
GoDaddy, who helped to draft SOPA, reversed their position after internet backlash, and withdrew their Congressional support of the bill. When asked about the number of domain transfers GoDaddy has seen, GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman said in a statement to IBTimes that We have observed a spike in domain name transfers, which are running above normal rates and which we attribute to Go Daddy's prior support for SOPA, which was reversed. Go Daddy opposes SOPA because the legislation has not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders in the technology and Internet communities. Our company regrets the loss of any of our customers, who remain our highest priority, and we hope to repair those relationships and win back their business over time.