Early signs of the mass exodus from GoDaddy are already starting to show up and the unofficial Leave GoDaddy Day is still later this week. First, they supported SOPA, the evil bill that would weaken the internet as we know it today. Then, due to a mass uprising by prominent GoDaddy users and attacks coming from prominent social media sites like Reddit, they dropped their support of SOPA and did what they could on Twitter to get the word out.
Everything’s better now, right?
In an interview on Techcrunch, GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman was wishy-washy about the stance that GoDaddy really had about SOPA, prompting many to point out that “GoDaddy’s SOPA flip-flop is a PR stunt to try to stop losing money“. The carnage continues today and will only get worse on December 29th.
It may be too late already. If there was one thing that GoDaddy could do to save them from further domain casualties, it would have to look something like this:
“GoDaddy unequivocally opposes SOPA, PIPA, and any attempts by the government to promote censorship of the internet. We have heard our customers and the voices of the majority on the internet and we now understand the errors of our ways. We will use our resources and our connections in Washington to do whatever it takes to stop the relentless attacks on the rights, privacy, and security of the internet community and the websites that support an open and safe web.”
If GoDaddy makes a statement that is powerful, clear, and that leaves no room for doubt of their stance, it will be a good start. From there, they will need to become a poster child of internet freedom by truly using their resources and political clout to stop the tyranny that the government is attempting to throw over the internet like a Drakonian blanket of Big Brotherhood.
Anything short of this and the company will be harmed tremendously over the coming days.
Some people are starting to ask why GoDaddy is getting the brunt of the attacks when there are hundreds of companies supporting the bills. When we want to lash out at a company, we know that the best way to do it is to hit them in the pocketbook. So many people (this blog included) have registered through GoDaddy over the years and when the prominent website owners like the Cheeseburger Network and Wikipedia started pulling their support, others followed in the same manner.
The coming days will show more companies getting attacked. GoDaddy was the “low hanging fruit” in the internet’s loosely unified attack on SOPA. We had to make an example of someone and GoDaddy won that honor.
Who’s next? We’ll be watching Twitter and Reddit to find out who the next major example will be.
It’s Not All Bad for GoDaddy
A complete turnaround through denouncement of SOPA can go a long ways towards helping them rebound. Their current attempts at damage control such as calling (former) clients to let them know that they stopped supporting the bill and the more nefarious techniques they are allegedly doing such as returning incomplete WHOIS information to Namecheap will not be enough.
IF they make a statement like the one above and IF they go on the offensive against SOPA, they have an opportunity to go from hated enemy to hero. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible.
On a brighter note, this controversy has given them a boost in Klout.
If they lose domains at the rate they are now, punctuated by the mass exodus on December 29th, Klout may be all they have left to hang their hat on (and we all know how useless influence scores really are).
Do the right thing, GoDaddy. It’s your only hope.