If you've been watching the news and/or following social media trends, you've likely heard about the Go Daddy scandal. In summary, Bob Parsons, the CEO of the most popular domain name and website host company, killed an elephant in Africa and bragged about it on his blog. Animal activists are outraged, many people are alarmed, and lots of Go Daddy customers are closing their accounts - including myself.
When I first heard the news about Go Daddy my heart began to pound - how could someone running a company I've trusted and promoted for years do something like this? Not only am I pissed off about his actions, I'm also irritated that I have to find a new domain host for this site - it's scary when my entire business depends on it. But many eco and vegan companies, including PETA, have easily switched. Since many people are trying to decide what company to go with, I thought I'd layout some options. But first, I want to fill you in on more details of the Go Daddy scandal (skip down to the bottom if you just want the domain host recommendations)
My first reaction to the Go Daddy story was horror - the photo of Parsons standing next to a dead elephant with a big smile on his face is disgusting. Then I watched the video - though dubbed as being explicit, it's nowhere close to other animal cruelty footage I've seen, yet it's still painful to watch. Especially since the subtitles and music convey a sense of adventure and fun, manipulating the audience into thinking Parsons was doing something good. In fact, many people think he was - Parsons claims that he needed to kill the elephant in order to help the Zimbabwe people protect their sorghum crop. According to an article on Mashable, "to keep elephants from trampling crops, villagers try building fires, banging drums, cracking whips and even building fences. But the light and noise are ignored, and the fences, Parson says, just get trampled." After the elephant is shot in the video (you can barely see it happen), villagers are shown feasting on the carcass while wearing Go Daddy hats...
There's a part of me that wants to give Parsons the benefit of the doubt in that killing the elephant was the only means to protect the crops, but my intuition is telling me otherwise. There's just something disturbing about it all, something not right, and it's probably the photo of Parsons post-kill or how he presented it on Twitter by saying: “Here’s my vacation video. Enjoy.”. My heart is telling me that it's not OK to kill elephants and be happy about it, no matter what. And non-vegans are reacting the same way. Call me a rich, optimistic American, but I can't support a company that tries to make light of killing animals, especially when there's something I can do to boycott it. I encourage you to research the story from both perspectives and see how you feel. Here's an article to check out: Three reasons why GoDaddy’s CEO was wrong to kill an elephant
It's an interesting topic - how can I as a relatively wealthy American relate to an African culture? Parsons has been publicly defending himself by saying things like:
- "I think everyone’s heart is in the right place, but they are missing that things are different over there,’ he said. ‘If they had an animal destroying their livelihood and they were going to starve to death … they’d look at it differently. And that’s the situation in Zimbabwe."
- "These people are on the brink of starvation; they need their crops and need to eat. Elephants are not endangered and probably there are too many of them."
- "The bulls stay separate from the herd. So when you shoot the bull, it has no impact on social structure - and people get to eat," he said. "You talk about appreciative! When I go (to Zimbabwe) they can't thank me enough and they greet me with open arms."
Without having any knowledge of African culture it's hard for me to look at this from an educated perspective, but like I said earlier, something just feels off about it all. And I received an insightful comment on my Facebook page: "As a native of Zimbabwe, those beautiful creatures were in my backyard, so this spectacle is beyond disgusting and incredibly sad to me."Parsons said in a CBSNews.com interview: "I couldn't be any better. The blowback - you've got to look at who it's coming from: a small but very, very vocal group that moves in unison, inspired by PETA. Very few of them are our customers...I expect sales will go up. The reason is that first of all, the average American is a very good individual who understands that people need to eat. They know there is a circle of life and they don't much care for political correctness. When they see this, people who are not familiar with GoDaddy will check us out. It'll be a good thing." In other words, he's not ashamed of killing the elephant, doesn't intend to apologize, and thinks this will actually benefit the company instead of hurt it.
Well, I know approximately 50 people who are definitely closing their Go Daddy accounts, and that's just the amount that vocalized it to me yesterday - reading through comments on other sites I would say there are at least hundreds of others doing the same. If this doesn't matter to Go Daddy, then what does that say about how they value their customers?
And finally. the moment you've been waiting for - recommendations on what domain/web host companies to switch to from Go Daddy!
I asked my social media community what companies they recommend. Out of 30 responses, the Top 4 sites mentioned were (in order):
- NameCheap - 8 votes
- Host Gator - 5 votes
- Network Solutions - 3 votes
- Verio - 2 votes
Other companies that got one recommendation each were: Bluehost.com, Doteasy.com, Doster.com, DreamHost.com, DynDNS.com, Fatcow.com Ferngullygraphics.com, Liquidweb.com, Koredomains.com, Manicanet.com (vegan company), Name.com, Openaccess.org, Photobiz.com, and Powweb.com.
So how does one choose from all of these recommendations? Right now, integrity is key. Most people are going with NameCheap because:
- They are offering a discount on domain transfer as well as a donation of 20% ($1) to savetheelephants.org. They are taking a loss of $3 per domain for this, which is very generous.
- They promote animals through many contests and are very concerned about the elephant cause.
- Enter code BYEBYEGD to get the $4.99 domain price. The transfer promotion ends 4/1/11 11:59pm.
- You can enter the code SWITCH2NC afterward which also offers a discount.
- They have excellent customer service, just check them out on Twitter to see for yourself. They are open 24/7/365. Live Chat can answer any questions you have.
- If your Go Daddy domain doesn't expire for a while, NameCheap will add a year of registration to the domain transfers. For example, if your domain with Go Daddy expires in May 2011, NameCheap will extend that to May 2012 if you switch to them.
My only hesitation in going with NameCheap is that everyone seems to be switching to them because of their social media push - I'm always skeptical with that kind of PR. Some people have also warned that domain companies may be part of Go Daddy and just using a different name, so be sure to do your research by visiting WhoIs. I'm going to look into Host Gator because of their environmental aspect - they use wind power! I also need to figure out what to do with my Eco-Vegan Gal email account, which is hosted through Go Daddy...
Good luck with your transfer and please leave your thoughts and advice in the comment section below.