Has GoDaddy's Elephant-Killing CEO Finally Gone Too Far?
Insane GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons was last seen in Internet Outrage Land killing and butchering an elephant in Africa. But that's nothing compared to the nerd backlash sparked by his company's support of the Stop Online Piracy Act.
The internet has declared December 29th "Leave GoDaddy Day", after the domain registration company voiced its support for the Stop Online Piracy Act in a Politico opinion piece. SOPA is a poorly-crafted anti-piracy bill currently making its way through Congress which could give evil movie and record companies the power to censor websites for infringing content with no due process. Some say it will "break the internet."
In recent days, SOPA has become essentially the only thing geeks talk about on the internet. Probably 90% of America has never heard of this thing, but just mentioning the initials SOPA to a geek will cause them rage so hard they'll bust out of their clothes, Hulk-style. Seriously, try walking into your local coffee shop and yelling "I love SOPA." They'll be cleaning your intestines off the ceiling for months.
Anyway, GoDaddy has been one of the only tech companies to come out in support of SOPA, and now a mob of geeks have raised their digital pitchforks. GoDaddy only fed the flames when they issued a nonchalant statement about the impending boycott, saying they have "not seen any impact to our business." (That's 'cause the boycott hasn't started yet, duh.)
We suspect GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons, a former marine who once released a 7-minute-long trailer for his own wedding, is secretly brimming with glee over the hatestorm. He's mastered the art of trolling, using controversy to gain huge bursts of publicity for the incredibly boring business of doling out domain names. For example, when he killed that elephant in Africa and put it on YouTube, he earned a boycott and 20,000 fleeing customers. GoDaddy's dumb, sexist Super Bowl ads sparked reliable controversy for years. Still, GoDaddy survives and has even been in talks to sell for $2 billion recently.
But maybe GoDaddy has crossed a line this time. Tech genius Ashton Kutcher just tweeted he's joining the GoDaddy boycott.
I am moving my domains off of @Godaddy due to their support for #SOPA. PaulGraham is also doing the right thing (cc @paulg)
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) December 23, 2011
Update: aaaand GoDaddy has pulled its support from the bill. "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."
[Image via Getty]