21,000 Domains Move Out Of GoDaddy In 1 Day: SOPA Backlash?

December 26th, 2011 at 8:44 am

The issues regarding SOPA or the Stop Online Piracy Act have been quite controversial in many aspects. Depending on which side you belong to, you would have legitimate reasons for supporting or not supporting the said bill, which is currently being heard and debated in the US House of Representatives. But one recent happening may show just how serious the debate over SOPA is and how it can possibly affect the World Wide Web.

It might not be directly related to the issue regarding SOPA, but the recent alarming domain transfers happening at GoDaddy may be attributed to it in one way or another. GoDaddy, a popular domain name registrar, experienced over 21,000 domain transfers in just a single day. A good chunk of it may come as a result of GoDaddy voicing out its support for the much talked about SOPA legislation.

While many other Internet companies are also supporting the measure, there are a great deal of Internet users saying that SOPA will undermine the people’s right to free speech online as well as support Internet censorship and reduce openness in the Web. Support for SOPA is being met by a majority of Internet users with disdain, if the recent GoDaddy situation is to be made an example. And because of the huge exodus experienced by GoDaddy, it has since changed its stance on SOPA.

GoDaddy issued a statement on its website that it is no longer supporting SOPA, with its newly appointed CEO, Warren Adelman, further adding, “It’s very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it.” But it probably took over 21,000 domains bailing out of their fold that convinced then to change stance on the SOPA debate.

What GoDaddy may have done is to institute damage control. While changing their stance may have gradually slowed down some domains from going to other domain registrars, it has been damage that has already been done. You may consider it as somewhat similar to the Netflix debacle, a situation where a company is not exactly sure about the majority stance of its established consumer base. Taking a stance opposite that of what consumers stand for will always result in a negative backlash. For any tech company or business, that can be quite a serious lesson to learn.


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