GoDaddy’s U-turn on SOPA: change of tactic, not of heart?

This is really interesting.

Surprise! GoDaddy has just recanted their support of SOPA, issuing a press release and blasting out a massive mountain of tweets on the matter. This comes just hours after they were seemingly cementing their position, shrugging off the boycotts as something that had yet to cause “any impact to [their] business”.

For those who somehow missed it: after GoDaddy publicly stated their support for SOPA yesterday morning, a colossal chunk of the Internet (read: the chunk that understands how the Internet works) began to rally. There were no torches or pitchforks here; the only weapons here were wallets, all being carried off in another direction.

The mob got loud, quick: Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh publicly announced that he’d be taking his 1,000+ domains (I Can Has Cheezburger, FAIL Blog, Know Your Meme, etc.) elsewhere if GoDaddy continued to support the act. Meanwhile, thousands of Redditors pledged to transfer their domains, with December 29th set as the mass-move day.

I had decided to move the domains I control from GoDaddy as a result of its support for SOPA but had been too busy over the last few days to actually make the switch. What’s happened is an interesting example of what can happen when the Internet community expresses its collective opinion. Money talks, especially when it walks. And it’s encouraging to see how dramatic the company’s U-turn has been.

But I’m not convinced that it represents a change of heart: it smacks to me of standard-issue corporate panic. So I think I will move my domains anyway — to an outfit like Hover, which seems to be run by folks who understand why a free internet matters. After all, as the TechCrunch post put it: “you’ve got to ask yourself: do you want to continue throwing money at a company blind enough to support SOPA in the first place?”


LATER: This rather confirms my suspicions.