GoDaddy has dramatically reversed its support for The Stop Online Piracy Act, the controversial US legislation currently being debated in Congress which would allow for greater controls over what websites US citizens could access.
A massive backlash on Twitter and Reddit over the past day saw thousands of GoDaddy customers threatening to move their websites away from the company; several stated that they had already.
GoDaddy was faced with the threat of losing thousands of customers in the boycott movement. Most prominently the CEO of the Cheezburger network of sites, Ben Huh (@benhuh), yesterday threatened to move the network’s 1,000 domains from the company while today Wikipedia’s CEO, Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales), tweeted that the online encyclopedia will move its domains from GoDaddy; stating GoDaddy’s “position on SOPA was unacceptable to us.”
We will move our 1,000 domains off @godaddy unless you drop support of SOPA. We love you guys, but #SOPA-is-cancer to the Free Web.
— benhuh (@benhuh) December 22, 2011
I am proud to announce that the Wikipedia domain names will move away from GoDaddy.Their position on #sopa is unacceptable to us.
— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) December 23, 2011
GoDaddy made the announcement in a statement today, simply saying “Go Daddy is no longer supporting SOPA, the ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’.” The company goes on to say that it has “worked with federal lawmakers for months to help craft revisions to legislation [and to] express the concerns of the entire Internet community and to improve the bill by proposing changes to key defined terms, limitations on DNS filtering to ensure the integrity of the Internet, more significant consequences for frivolous claims, and specific provisions to protect free speech.”
The company’s CEO Warren Adelman also said, “Go Daddy is rooted in the idea of First Amendment Rights and believes 100 percent that the Internet is a key engine for our new economy.”
GoDaddy was one of a number of organisations to support the bill, including Sony, Microsoft, Dell, and MacAfee. But the bill faces strong opposition from Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, Mozilla, LinkedIn, Twitter, eBay, AOL, and Zynga.
Speaking in The Netherlands earlier this month Google’s director of public policy said YouTube “would go dark” under such laws.
In an odd move GoDaddy said it will remove blog posts it had written which outlined its support for sections of SOPA.