I Can Has Cheezburger Network founder, Ben Huh, got GoDaddy in major damage control mode yesterday when he tweeted that he was pulling 1000 of his popular websites off their server, because of their support of SOPA. Huh’s tweet caused a flurry of online reactions against GoDaddy and less than 24 hours later, GoDaddy, officially announced on Twitter that they were shifting gears and are now against the legislation.
— Go Daddy (@GoDaddy) December 23, 2011
I emailed with Huh to see what his thoughts are on next steps and mainstreaming the movement against the SOPA bill:
WT: What were the reactions from you speaking out against GoDaddy?
Ben Huh: It was universally supportive, especially from the Twittersphere. Many people also pledged to move as well. Mostly private individuals and some startups. But they amounted to thousands of domains. The Reddittor who started this is a corporate IT person, I believe.
WT: Did they reach out to you?
BH: We had been applying pressure privately to GoDaddy. It was clear they were taking it seriously, but I didn’t have a lot of hope that private pressure would be effective.
WT: Now that GoDaddy has given in saying they don’t support SOPA- do you think the damage has been done to their brand or all this won’t matter?
BH: I think they did hurt their brand a lot. I doubt this will impact their bottom line, but their new CEO and owners seem more focused on their brand perception. Brand matters, especially for Internet companies.
WT: Do you think all this noise will cause congress to take notice and repeal the bill?
BH: We will have to fight one step and one day at a time. The Internet will not rest. Congress seems to be clueless about the impact of this bill, the way the Internet works, and honestly, they have been dismissive of the needs of the Internet. We have to show that Congress should be accountable to us, not big corporations.
WT: Do you think that mainstream america gets what this bill means and how can be get the story more broad beyond the tech bubble?
BH: No. Most people have no idea this bill is even in the works. SOPA is trying to break the Web while the public is sleeping. This process has been the opposite of openness, transparency, and fairness.
WT: So, what should be done to raise awareness beyond the techies?
BH: Start with the low-hanging fruit — people who consume the open web, but don’t understand how to protect it. These people are casual amers, YouTube viewers, Facebook users, etc. Expand the circle of supporters while removing support from the other side. We don’t need everyone to join us to win, we just need to shrink the opposition while expanding our influence.
WT: Where are you hosting your sites now?
BH: We host with a local provider and with WordPress.com.