Wikipedia sites leave GoDaddy due to SOPA concerns

By on March 13, 2012, 6:30 PM

The Wikimedia Foundation announced it has ditched GoDaddy in favor of a new domain registrar. The foundation claims it had been mulling over the idea for some time as their legal department believed GoDaddy was a poor fit for Wikimedia, but the registrar's initial support of the controversial anti-piracy legislation, SOPA, ultimately set the process in motion.

The foundation's new registrar, MarkMonitor, was a natural choice according to Wikimedia. The company currently provides brand protection services for Wikipedia's umbrella organization. Their blog says the foundation has been impressed with MarkMonitor's exceptional customer support and they appreciate the efficiency of combining the two services.

After months of deliberation and a complicated transfer, the Wikimedia Foundation domain portfolio has been successfully transferred from GoDaddy to MarkMonitor. The portfolio transfer was formally completed on Friday, March 9th, 2012. The transfers were done seamlessly and our sites did not experience any interruption of service or other issues during the procedure.

As the provider of the 5th most visited web properties in the world, the Foundation cares deeply about who handles our domain names. We had been deliberating a move from GoDaddy for some time -- our legal department felt the company was not the best fit for our domain needs -- and we began actively seeking other domain management providers in December 2011. GoDaddy’s initial support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the controversial anti-piracy legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, reaffirmed our decision to end the relationship.

Source: wikimedia.org

GoDaddy has garnered a great deal of public ire over the years. One of Godaddy's most widely criticized features is the basis for its advertising campaign: sex appeal. The company's ads typically ooze with unwholesome allure, exploiting scantily-clad women and sexual innuendo to sell its services.

At the center of the company's public image troubles is GoDaddy's founder, Bob Parsons. The boisterous CEO has drawn public criticism for being "sexist", "selfish" and continues to be lambasted for his periodic elephant-hunting safaris. In 2011, PETA issued this strongly worded statement suggesting users boycott GoDaddy's services.

From a more technical perspective, GoDaddy has made a number of controversial domain deletions and suspensions on behalf of corporations and government officials, sometimes with seemingly little second thought. Interestingly, the company has often been involved in periodic domain seizures by ICE and court orders, sometimes even when GoDaddy isn't the registrar. The company has also been accused of cybersquatting

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