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The fact that a completely unsubstantiated accusation [1] from a throwaway HN account got an astounding 1,615 upvotes yesterday...

...really saddens me.

Like they say, "a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth puts on it boots."

I really wish people had higher standards for actual evidence before jumping to conclusions.

Now let's see if this post gets a similar 1,000+ upvotes, as fairness would dictate. Something tells me it won't, but I'd love to be proven wrong. I'd be shocked if it even makes it to 50.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24506303

GoDaddy has enough similar bad practices that this typo of behavior wasn't surprising to many of their past users, it would seem, based on their responses. If they had instead had an upstanding reputation, more people would have argued for them rather than against.

This is the same reason why big tech often has frontpage hitpieces about them that are borderline made-up which don't get refuted much, as they already have so many enemies and questionable practices that few people care to try to call bs when they could just nod and upvote.

I used to own [myfullname].com. I inadvertently let it expire, and godaddy immediately bought it up and listed it for purchase at multiple thousands of dollars.

I don't often say something like this, but Godaddy is a terrible company. They have a long history of running sexist and degrading ads, and they supported SOPA until they were boycotted off using it.

You forgot to mention the elephant murder [1]. At best, they're a company with extremely questionable ethics. It's entirely understandable that HN wouldn't question one more example of shady practices from godaddy.


I forgot to renew a domain and realised after a month or so and they did help me get it back for a small fee. It was a good experience.

How do you know it was godaddy?

GoDaddy nameservers will show up in a WHOIS for the domain and GoDaddy uses a branded parking page. Attempting to register the domain would offer it for whatever sum. They don't really hide it at all.

Unless you have further proof, I don't think that's GoDaddy, but rather a third party who bought it and is listing it for sale on GoDaddy.

It's rather common -- there are tons of companies which do exactly that. They scrape all domains and instantly buy unrenewed domains their algorithm determines are valuable.

GoDaddy nameservers and their branded parking page show up for all domains purchased through GoDaddy until you bother changing them.

I'm starting to discover from these threads that people seem to be completely confusing actions by a registrar (e.g. GoDaddy) with actions by third parties using the registrar.

It sounds like you're describing a domain listed for sale by a GoDaddy customer, not by GoDaddy themselves.

My reaction to the original post was a casual "must be a new generation learning", because I thought this was just longstanding expected behavior. At least at some time in the past, registrars (and IIRC, Godaddy specifically) definitely did do this. To the point you could enter any string of random characters in their search box and it would show up in whois shortly thereafter. Apparently things have changed, but the initial accusation was not far fetched.

Same here. It was common knowledge that they would use the register, cancel in grace period, register strategy. The domain tasting strategy. Either they were doing this or they were leaking data that let them do this.

It was this warning everyone was given in the early 00s. I'm glad the anti-tasting provisions were brought into force by ICANN.

Interestingly I never found out if it was an urban legend or not. But I thought one of the domains I was searching for was snapped up like that while I was comparison shopping. But it definitely wasn't tasted. It's been a parked page for 18 years now. Fascinating.

What was the point of this? To prevent you from going somewhere else if you were shopping around for the best price?

The official explanation was something like helping uses by reserving the domain name from anyone else registering it before the user decided to purchase, but of course the obvious motive is as you've said.

Godaddy always did this like for over a decade

Can you provide proof that they did do this?

I am a different guy, but though I can’t prove that they did it to me... I did a domain search there in the 2010 and the next day the domain was taken.

It could have just been a coincidence. But the domain was released about 2 weeks later.

I personally remember going to some prominent registrar's webpage for searching domains, mashing the keyboard or typing in phrases about how said registrar sucked, and then those exact domains showing up registered with whois(1) shortly thereafter.

I can only describe my anecdote and others are chiming in. If you're still skeptical you could search. It was probably a story on Slashdot, as things were.

seriously, next they get to learn that if they forget to renew on time that means your domain is instantly sold to a foreign scalper.

GoDaddy is shady as shit. No benefit of the doubt: They've fully earned every ounce of this distrust.

Is it true? I don't know, but I know I'd trust any random throwaway account before I'd trust Godaddy's sleazy PR department.

Totally agree. The only registrar I trust less than GoDaddy is Network Solutions (which isn't saying much because they're both garbage).

That's fair. If we use the high standards you mention, then neither story presented credible evidence (or any evidence whatsoever). This was a massive waste of time!

> completely unsubstantiated accusation

a guy searched for a domain on godaddy and godaddy sold it - afaict that’s a fact. they obviously agree that it looks bad or they wouldn’t’ve bothered with this response.

Godaddy are literally in the business of selling domain names. The other person searched for it and bought it, while the HN poster did not buy it. Did they expect GoDaddy to keep the domain reserved for them somehow?

the accusation is that the mere act of searching a domain on godaddy increases the likeliness of it being sold by godaddy to some shady squatting service. the rebuttal is yeah because we use your searches to power our suggestions. the advice stands - don’t use godaddy to search domains if you don’t want them to get squatted (or don’t use godaddy to search unless you’re ready to buy then and there - or just use namecheap instead as they apparently don’t use your search history in this way)

It’s a shame that no major online source or aggregator of news has tried to address this problem. Most sites already track what articles their users view; they could post a notification to everyone who saw it to inform them that what they read was inaccurate.

It's not the first time GoDaddy is accused of exactly that.

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