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GoDaddy's SOPA Support Sparks Calls for Boycotts and Domain Transfers (readwriteweb.com)
631 points by johnpaultitlow on Dec 22, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 45 comments

I'm bemused as to why it took this long for people to realize what kind of company GoDaddy is. They actively supported censorship for quite a while. Heck, simply looking at any of their ads or their website should draw a good picture of what kind of people run the show there. Besides, they are disproportionately big. The is nothing in what they do to warrant the size (and thus influence) they have.

What's the best way to see what my local rep has said about SOPA?

Call them. http://whoismyrepresentative.com

edit: I'm 99% sure that my congressman, Jim McDermott, is opposed to SOPA, but I just called his office to make absolutely sure. It only took me a minute. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE call your congressperson.

Thanks for the link. I found that the congresswoman representing me is Anna Eshoo (D), who was part of the 11 member bipartisan group speaking out against SOPA last month [1]

While this means that I don't have to call her office to "change her position", I will still call to thank her / her office for being a vocal opponent of SOPA.

edit: Also, thanks to the HN users who have posted in other threads asking others to call the offices just to voice their support for their representatives, even if the congressman/congresswoman is already against SOPA. Without their words, I wouldn't be calling my representative today to say thanks.

[1] http://eshoo.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view...

If you have the time, definitely give your representative a call, but you can also check out the Open Congress page for SOPA (H.R.3261): http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3261

Also, be sure to ask about Protect IP (S.968): http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-s968

Accorting to http://latersgd.com/ there are about 93,000 domains transfered from GoDaddy to other registrars. Boycotts and Transfers seem to be catching up. For instance a few hours ago there were about 18,000 domains transfered off GoDaddy

I've just realized that this is a great way for us non-US citizens to show that we care about SOPA too. I have just a single domain with GoDaddy which I got through an auction (who in their right mind chooses GoDaddy as registrar anyway?). It's not much but better then nothing I guess.

This is a company that runs Super Bowl advertisements. Your mom's uncle's, half-brother's, cousin uses them to register domains, and she's never heard of ReadWriteWeb, HackerNews, or Reddit.

Not trying to be Debbie Downer here, but effort is a finite resource, and it seems to me that the anti-GoDaddy folks just hooked their cart up to the anti-SOPA horse. I don't have any domains with GoDaddy because they suck. I'd venture that anyone who is capable enough to move their domains on their own has already moved away from GoDaddy. Anyone not capable would have to pay someone else to do it for them. That's the fight the GoDaddy boycott folks are picking.

And so the question must be asked, will this effort have a good return on investment? Will GoDaddy be swayed? If they are, what will the impact be?

When I ask myself these questions, I come away with the impression that GoDaddy is the last thing anyone should be focused on. Congressmen need to feel the pressure from their constituents. Talk to your friends, and don't couch your language with domain registrar topics. It'll get you nowhere fast.

I got my domains on GoDaddy because it's cheap, easy, and didn't seem important enough to invest time into. I'll be moving them off GoDaddy now. Even if small boycotts didn't accomplish anything (which I don't believe), I would move my domains on principle.

God, that attitude is just so woefully irresponsible, or something.

"I was lazy." My only question is, was it "I'm lazy and I've ignored every single 'GoDaddy punched me and stole my lunch' post on HN", or was it "I'm lazy and just hoped it wouldn't happen to me, like every person who posted their horror story on HN thought"?

Come on, if you're going to downvote me this quickly, tell me why I'm wrong. We're really going to accept "it was easy" and "I didn't feel like exuding effort" as excuses when GoDaddy has a well documented history of screwing business owners over? Or am I just supposed to believe that them supporting SOPA is so much worse than the callus attitude they have about a fairly important resource it terms of... you know, keeping your website available to the whole world.

ITT: We don't care that we're regularly told that GoDaddy is bad and bad for startups, but we're outraged enough to fight a political proxy war that we'll move our domains. Please, help me understand this. The "rage" here is that SOPA will effectively yield DNS censorship in the United States. GoDaddy has, on more than one occasion, taken it upon themselves to censor the DNS of domains for the entire world, yet I am crucified for pointing out that THAT alone is worthy of ditching them as a registrar? Again, please help me understand this, because it doesn't make a lick of sense to me.

I have yet to meet anyone in person who has had a bad experience with acquiring a domain through GoDaddy. I've used them for a few years now and have no negative experiences to report.

However, I moved my hosting from GoDaddy to EC2 some time ago because I couldn't get the customization I needed from them. After their voiced support for SOPA, however, I'll no longer be registering/renewing my domains through them.

Sigh, I fear I'll simply get downvoted again with no proper or discussionary reply.

https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Anews.ycombinator.com+... (And I dare you to make the search more narrow to "godaddy hosting" and see how much worse it is to use GoDaddy's hosting [it's expensive, underfeatured and terribly supported])

Since when was "ignorance is bliss" the motto of HN?

Most of those posts are related strictly to hosting issues. Websites going down and whatnot. That's a complete non-issue for me as I simply use GoDaddy to purchase domains on the cheap.

Not everyone's experience with GoDaddy has been negative. Personally, I wouldn't trust it with a critical website, but if I had a personal website, I'd definitely consider using it. It's cheap, and sometimes that's an individual's number one priority. It may not be yours, but humor the rest of us for a moment.

They're not even that cheap (namecheap and gandi are competitive, especially with their feature sets), and again that's missing my point.

GoDaddy is cheap, SOPA or not. If you take a moral stand because of SOPA... why wouldn't you have taken a moral stand previously based on their voluntary, unilateral, world-wide censorship of domains. Look, I dislike SOPA and I dislike GoDaddy but this sense of "moral outrage" is just misplaced in my opinion.

I'm not sure what sentiment I'm supposed to be humoring. "Cheap" (or lazy) is okay in the face of GoDaddy censoring domains themselves, but not in the face of a political fight about a bill that they happen to support that would let the US government censor domains? I guess my point is, I'm not surprised and I don't know why others are either.

How is that beside the point? They're a company that fit the bill for a service I needed. Knowing Wal Mart screwed people over on car repairs probably wouldn't stop me from buying produce there.

SOPA is something that could directly affect me, that's why I take a special interest in this. You might be surprised to learn that not a single one of those Hacker News stories directly affected my quality of life. That's why it is different to a lot of people.

More downvotes and no replies. Now nearing two dozens downvotes and not one person so confident as to downvote can waste 30 seconds to explain why I'm so horrendously wrong.

I'm just curious what would happen if it came out that Haliburton or Blackwater/Xi were in favor of SOPA. Then we can get some even more ironic "moral outrage" going.

1) I registered most of my domain names 5 or 6 ago and haven't bothered switching. I never had a problem with them personally and so I continued to use them. (I use them as a registrar, not as a host.)

2) I am not the most avid follower of HN and either never saw these stories or saw them and my eyes just glazed past them. I'm not interested in most stories here, not even about services that I use. Analogously, I use Gmail and don't read the horror stories about them anymore, but if Google were supporting SOPA I would probably switch from Gmail. I use AirBNB, didn't care about the silly meth head vandalism scandal that made every single top news story here, or various other criticisms, but would probably never use them again if they supported SOPA. etc.

3) Even if you don't buy the above, it still seems perfectly reasonable to be more offended by the support of SOPA than by the run-of-the-mill corporate incomptence that underlies most horror stories.

4) Complaining about downvotes is pretty lame, and I really can't tell if you're trolling or not, especially with a temporary account.

5) I can understand the sentiment that a self-fueling moralizing crowd is a distasteful thing to behold. But that's not an excuse to never agree with a boycott or take place in a collective action. Anyway, I don't think my original comment was particularly moralizing.

There, I took 200 seconds or so.

Thank you for taking the time. I would hope a second glance at my comments and account would indicate that I'm far from a "temporary" account.

That having been said, I understand your first two points, but I still find them to be irresponsible. I'm not saying that I've never done it, but to most people, their domain and availability are important parts of their brand and GoDaddy doesn't strike me as "competent" enough to be a risk I'd be willing to take with anything other than a site I really don't care about.

I know complaining about downvotes is in poor taste, I'm just shocked at the mob mentality that I expect at reddit taking over control of the discourse here. I think that your term "self-fueling moralizing crowd" is very apt, but I don't mean to imply that I'm against this boycott. I was really just speaking in defense of the OP of this trunk of the comments who was remarking that it's just a matter of perspective in reasons to avoid GoDaddy. Like I've said numerous times, I detest GoDaddy and SOPA and am in favor of any boycott that affects either.

The self aggrandizing morality stance in this thread is probably just getting to me more than I should be letting it.

I'd like to take the time and expand on what others have said. In particular, I was prompted by this bit: "to most people, their domain and availability are important parts of their brand..."

First, I think that's only true of competent web only companies. I really believe that most users are not really that concerned or interested in those technical details or the risks associated with using a less than competent registrar/hosting provider.

For many companies, availability is closely tied to cost, especially at smaller firms. And they are more than willing to sacrifice availability or not pay extra to be insured a certain level of availability. Additionally, for many companies their web presence is purely optional and not their primary means of generating profit. Availability is definitely not the most important thing.

In fact, I've seen more and more small companies shift to simply using Facebook instead of setting up their own page. They don't care about a custom domain the same way many technical users might care.

I guess my point is that the vast majority of people aren't really all that competent or interested on the workings of the internet. Nor are they interested in paying for high availability. This is GoDaddy's market.

If you search for any company name, you'll usually come across horror stories. That doesn't mean that people using that company are irresponsible.

Have you tried GoDaddy as a registrar? There's a lot of annoying upsell attempts involved, but as a registrar, they're pretty competent. Morally bankrupt, perhaps, but competent.

How can you call them "competent" when there have been half a dozen posts about GoDaddy screwing over HN customers that have used them as a domain registrar. What does it even mean to be "competent" as a registrar? They take your money and host your DNS? GoDaddy is really good at one of those things, and it's not the one that I'd consider important for competency.

And again, this has nothing to do with my point that everyone is conveniently trying to side step around. GoDaddy is still "cheap" and "competent" regardless of their feelings about SOPA, so why are we even talking about this.

My only point is that this "moral outrage" is hypocritical and backward. My comment about laziness was from someone who acknowledged that they ran with the publicized registrar instead of undertaking the extreme challenge of 5 minutes of Googling various registrars.

I have 2 pieces of information on which to make a decision regarding godaddy: my experience (including those people that I personally know), and the experiences reported in the "GoDaddy screwing over HN customers" posts. I've never had any problems. It's also impossible to know the overall customer satisfaction picture; customers with disaster problems are much more likely to be vocal than people with my experiences. I also have a full picture of my experiences; with the disaster posts, I don't know the full story.

Godaddy are such a small part of my concerns that I appreciate they're cheap and have always worked for me. Operating DNS/registration isn't exactly tough andI don't have too many requirements. GD meets those requirements.

Although I did not downvote you myself, I suspect the downvotes are because your comments appear unnecessarily confrontational.

On the contrary, this is an excellent opportunity for the HN community. There's a clear opponent whose livelihood is the very things that those of us here have responsibility for.

It's possible that HNers themselves can lead to GoDaddy backing down. And with a concrete victory there, it would certainly put Congress on warning that they could be the next ones to go down.

Yeah - if this succeeds it would make a very good story. This can easily get into the mainstream press.

Of course direct feedback to congress is a crucial part of fighting the legislation, but choosing where to spend our money is an extremely powerful method of indirect action to enact political change. Companies like GoDaddy pick their sides in fights like this because they believe they have something to gain from supporting it. If enough people ditch their product because of this, they will have no choice but to rethink their position on the issue.

I don't disagree with all of the points made in the responses, but GoDaddy has 50 million domains registered. Fifty million! To hit them with 1%, that would require the loss of a half-million domains.

Going after them is, in effect, going after your representative through a proxy. A big, giant, 500 lb gorilla proxy. Keep in mind that GoDaddy is same company whose CEO responded with "I'm not sorry" to the outrage over his elephant hunting incident [1]. I think it'd take more than a half-million lost domains for them to change stance here.

I'll eat my words if this boycott results in any actual effect on GoDaddy's stance, but this is such a long shot that it seems irrational to even pursue. Sun Tzu would not approve of this tactic.

At any rate, I strongly encourage everyone I know to move away from GoDaddy, just because of their business practices. This won't change that. If you have domains on GoDaddy, move them. Please. They're a horrible company with horrible practices, and a horrible product.

1 - http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/04/04/godaddy-ceo-on-s...

You may be right on the absolute numbers. However, a) the HN readers that are most inclined to move from GoDaddy probably have control over more domains than the average person (either personal or via their responsibilities for their company), so the effect may be larger than you think, and b) if people send e-mail telling GoDaddy why they're moving (either oop@godaddy.com ("Office of the President") or suggestions@godaddy.com) then it may also have more impact than the raw numbers would indicate.

At any rate, even if it doesn't change GoDaddy's behavior, at least some number of people will have taken the effort to move away from a company with questionable ethics.

I've been meaning to transfer my domains away from godaddy for some time now. Decided to go ahead and do it today based on these articles. -5 domains from godaddy, from me.

It's not irrational to pursue; the longest journey, etc. People need to be off Godaddy in any case. SOPA or not.

> I'll eat my words if this boycott results in any actual effect on GoDaddy's stance...

Anybody got any ketchup?

I agree, but I'll phrase it another way. You already shouldn't be using GoDaddy. There. Them supporting SOPA seems like less of a direct, immediate threat to anyone here's business than the other stupid moves they've made that have landed them on the front page of HN. I have to raise my eyebrows pretty high at the people that are "outraged" enough at GoDaddy to move now, but haven't been after every damn month seems to see another story of "I didn't think it would happen to me, but guess what, GoDaddy's a cheap lousy domain registrar!"

Are you guys reading my posts as "I love SOPA" or what? I feel like I pissed someone off to have gained a dozen downvotes and no replies.

Mainly I think you're just kind of missing the point, while at the same time bringing in a lot of unrelated negativity that doesn't add anything constructive to the discussion.

How am I missing the point?

The point: SOPA is bad because it allows the US to censor DNS results.

My point: GoDaddy supporting SOPA should surprise no one, and anyone "morally outraged" about censorship should already know better than to use GoDaddy, because they've repeatedly censored domains, Unilaterally, Voluntarily, for DNS around the World.

Which part am I missing? I've genuinely asked 4 times now and I get silent downvotes and dismissive replies like "you're missing the point".

OK. This is just my perspective.

The article is "GoDaddy's SOPA Support Sparks Calls for Boycotts and Domain Transfers".

It's mainly about the phenomenon of people transferring their domains from GoDaddy and the boycott that's gaining momentum.

Reviewing your comments, you seem to be making the point repeatedly that basically "GoDaddy sucks under normal circumstances and no one should be using them anyway".

I will admit the same thought has occurred to me. But I didn't post it as a comment. Here's why:

1. It's negative and not in a 'constructive criticism' kind of way. More of like "aren't you dumb".

2. It doesn't seem like it will provoke any useful discussion. The main plausible answers are "OK, yeah" or "no they don't suck". In the first case the agreement is uninteresting. In the second case it becomes a simple disagreement about the quality of GoDaddy's service, which doesn't relate to the topic of the article anyway.

3. Your point that GoDaddy "repeatedly censored domains, Unilaterally, Voluntarily, for DNS around the World" could be adding something mildly interesting. But you've offered no references or links to back up this claim and you seem to be repeating it over and over more and more insistently.

4. A lot of HN readers probably do use GoDaddy. We needn't judge them for it as choosing a domain registrar is not supposed to be an act of great consequence under normal circumstances. Yet you seem to be basically accusing them of hypocrisy.

My impression of HN is that people are trying their darndest to see it not turn into another Slashdot. They're trying to be pretty selective so if your comment doesn't get the love you were hoping, just give it a rest. It's happened to me too.

1. Heh, maybe you're right, people just don't like the hypocrisy or irony that I'm pointing out, but, either way, I'm tired of this moral aggrandizing with everyone acting like SOPA is a cut throat issue when GoDaddy has a history of not giving a shit about their customers' rights in regards to censorship.

2. Again, everyone wants to boil my comments down to GoDaddy sucks, even though that was not even featured in the post you're replying to. It's extremely straight forward about the hypocrisy of this moral crusade everyone is on.

3. The other subthread I commented in has a Google search result page for "site:news.ycombinator.com godaddy". There are pages and pages of horror stories and the top three involve DNS backlisting of legitimate sites unilaterally by GoDaddy. I don't know how everyone "forgot" these as they're usually commonplace in discussions of GoDaddy, but I suppose I could cite my sources better. At this point I'm just burnt out and want to clarify my position.

4. I again refuse to accept this excuse of "normal circumstances". The last several batch of them that have been posted on HN have even acknowledged that they thought, "Well I was just sure it couldn't happen to little ole me!!" and then it did. It takes so incredibly little effort to transfer domains to someone else who is as cheap or a whole dollar a year more expensive. I dunna.

I am not using GoDaddy again and will encourage my friends and family to stay away as well.

it's weird that it's because of SOPA that people want to transfer away from GoDaddy. Their incredibly misogynistic ads should have been enough...

Most people aren't easily offended. Also, I don't think a woman voluntarily choosing to be paid for being in an ad qualifies as misogyny, unless the women are self-loathing.

Godaddy's objectification of women isn't unique in the industry or world as a whole, and there are many other reasons to hate Godaddy.

Have you ever been to a tech. trade show and seen the booth babes? If sexism (unless I've missed misogynistic adverts, it isn't a synonym for sexist) is enough of a reason for a boycott then there's a hell of a lot of companies you'd have to avoid.

Yeah, I got one of my domains there about five years ago, and have wanted to switch for about four but haven't got around to it. Since I use external nameservers I haven't needed to log in there pretty much at all since then.

This will probably be the straw that breaks the camel's back - I'll take it to Namecheap with my other US domains.

Actually I feel like people have had a thing against godaddy for a long time, and try to make a big deal about unimportant PR stuff. I don't care about sexy advertisements, I don't care about the CEO shooting elephants. I do care about questionable DNS behavior and SOPA.

i wish my domains were still w/ GoDaddy just so i can transfer them out to protest. Arvixe hosting provides better services and didn't have to objectify women to advertise.

Transfer complete.


They provide other services besides domain hosting.

For example, domain registration.

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