Beyond GoDaddy – Brainstorming a Massive SOPA Boycott

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UPDATE 2:23pm CST 12/23: Breaking news – GoDaddy has reversed their support for SOPA (more at Mashable). Proof positive that we can effect change when we take action. Please keep reading — there are still 400+ other organizations supporting SOPA that we need to reach.

I’ve been just absolutely sickened by the whole process around SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), a bill that while perhaps a little more well-intentioned than some of its critics may give it credit for, ultimately criminalizes creativity and innovation and cripples the internet as we know it. Watch / listen to the following as you continue reading:

A huge backlash started yesterday in the tech community yesterday against ubiquitous registrar/host (and SOPA supporter) GoDaddy, based on a Reddit thread that has grown to over 3,000 comments, calling for a boycott of GoDaddy on or before December 29 (“move your domain away from GoDaddy day”). There are lots of interesting resources in it, including several SOPA-opposing registrars and hosts offering discounts. In particular, I suggest checking out GoDaddyBoycott.org to voice your support for the boycott and Lifehacker’s GoDaddy abandonment guide that’ll walk you through the entire process.

But it’s not just GoDaddy. There are more than 400 organizations that have voiced their support of SOPA. What do we do about them? I’m not planning on writing 400 letters, signing 400 petitions, and so on. What can we do to collectively take action, in “batch mode”, if you will, toward these companies?

Here are a couple of ideas:

  1. How about people who have AdSense on their sites not allowing any SOPA-supporting companies to advertise on their site? You can explicitly name “competitors”, or any other companies, whose ads you don’t want to show on your site. I don’t know how much impact it would have, but it’s certainly an effective way to directly have some effect, as well as to pull ANY support for these companies.
  2. How about something you could add to your local hosts file to prevent you visiting any of those sites? No traffic, even accidentally.
  3. I see Visa & MasterCard on the SOPA supporter list, but not Discover or American Express. Am I missing them somewhere? Maybe it’s time to change credit cards.

Feel free to poke holes in these ideas — I’m just brainstorming. If you have any other ideas, or even suggestions on how to move forward with any of these ideas, please comment below.

And if you’re still not convinced, maybe Stephen Colbert can explain it better:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Stop Online Piracy Act
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Stop Online Piracy Act – Danny Goldberg & Jonathan Zittrain
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

6 Comments

  1. Matt

    Your breaking update is news to me–I hadn’t heard that GoDaddy was reversing its support for SOPA.

    Do you still support the GoDaddy boycott? Is their move too little too late, or is it important to reward a company’s willingness to respond to a mass movement by adjusting course?

    1. Scott Allen

      GoDaddy took a step in the right direction, so I think it makes sense that the mass exodus should slow, if not stop entirely. However, now it’s coming out that they still support the Sendate version, the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The pressure needs to keep up. And we also need to move it beyond GoDaddy.

  2. Dave Zan

    Hi Scott, just checking your blog after reading your post in the Warrior Forum. Lately I’ve developed an interest in social media, especially arising from my former customer service work.

    As an FYI, TechCrunch just reported that Go Daddy is no longer listed among SOPA’s supporters:

    techcrunch.com/2011/12/27/godaddy-officially-removed-from-the-houses-list-of-sopa-supporters/

    This is arguably one interesting social media/PR case study!

  3. Shirley Blue

    I am obviously against SOPA as well, but that infographic had me smiling because some of those graphs are obviously made to scare the living daylights out of people. Not very factual, but speculation of the end of internet as we know it.

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