The Internet, Led by Reddit, Wins in the Fight Against Go Daddy

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The domain registrar Go Daddy has revoked its support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) after a boycott against it began gaining momentum. Go Daddy's CEO Warren Adelman said in a statement on its website, "Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation - but we can clearly do better. 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."

The reversal is surprising, particularly following statements yesterday suggesting that Go Daddy was not moved by the boycott. A spokesperson told Ars Technica yesterday, "Go Daddy has received some emails that appear to stem from the boycott prompt, but we have not seen any impact to our business. We understand there are many differing opinions on the SOPA regulations." But pressure on the company grew today. As of this writing, eight of the top 10 Reddit technology stories were about the boycott (the other two were a visualization of Reddit comments and an article about Louis CK).

In a post cleverly titled "The Internet's Go Daddy Issues," Jason Kottke wrote that the company's SOPA stance was not its only problem:

Some don't like Go Daddy for the following reasons:

The sexist advertising. The company uses scantily clad women to sell domain names and whatnot.

Go Daddy's founder, Bob Parsons,  goes to Africa every year to kill elephants who he says are ruining crops . Others say he's a rich idiot American who likes shooting elephants for fun.

So Go Daddy's new SOPA stance doesn't change those other things, nor does it defeat SOPA, but it is a nice little win -- for Redditers and for all who care about defeating this legislation -- to savor over the holiday weekend.


Update 2:58 pm EST:  Interestingly, the first tweet about Go Daddy's reversal came just minutes before a tweet from Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales announcing he would move the collaborative encyclopedia off of Go Daddy. 

Wales's tweet at 1:52:

Go Daddy's tweet, nine minutes earlier:

Wales has yet to tweet as to whether he will stick to his decision in light of Go Daddy's change of heart.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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