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02|16|2009 09:50 pm EDT

Twitter Users Gang Up On Godaddy

by Adam Strong in Categories: Registrars

Not getting anywhere with domain name support ?  Why not enlist the help of your friends and associates on a social media platform and go after the company directly ?

Christian Van Der Herst recently had his email address at Godaddy account compromised by a hacker. According to Christian, having access, the hacker was “able to get my emails and retrieve passwords from several account.  I tried to change them as soon as possible, but since they had access to the, they were able to trick companies, even calling them on the phone.”  Christian’s site is a web developers community that started in 1997 and has over 5 million unique users a month.

As a user with over 1600 followers, Christian tweeted (sent) out messages to  his followers and friends who took to “retweeting” his message.  Hundreds of people are pouring in the request in English and Spanish to Godaddy’s Twitter account.  All of them are requesting Godaddy give the domain name back to Christian. See image below for a sample of the requests taken earlier today.


The Retweeted message states :

@GoDaddyGuy i support the user @cvander is the owner of domain, could you return it to him please!

Godaddy doesn’t appear to have done anything wrong and this likely will be corrected in time, but it provides an interesting example of how Twitter users can gang up like in a lynch mob (call it a Twynch Mob for Twitter) and get something done.  Generally speaking, Twitter users haven’t been so kind to Godaddy. A simple search at Twitter shows a lot of venom toward the company (domainers catch a lot of this venom too).

The power of social media platforms allows for topics to be open for discussion on a massive level and companies can be in the line of fire quickly.  We’ll wait and see how Godaddy handles this and future cases of social media mayhem down the road. Kudos though to Godaddy and other registrars like NSI,, and (among others I’m sure) who put themselves out there and open the communication lines like this.

Here’s an idea. Maybe ICANN should be seeking public responses in a more open place like Twitter . . . Could you imagine ?   :)

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February 17, 2009 @ 12:40 am EDT

As far as I know the events occurred in other order, having the domains stolen they used them to get gmail and facebook accounts.

February 17, 2009 @ 1:26 am EDT

With social networking everything is so dynamic..

On fire today… Forgotten tomorrow.

There is always something going on there.

I don’t care what goes on there too much, I don’t have the time to follow with every network in the world even if there is a stolen domain or some other big event going on.

Got more important stuff that require my attention.


Mauricio Pastrana

February 17, 2009 @ 1:30 am EDT

Barring tinfoil hat conspiracies and shams on a personal attack stories, the point to this story is Christian had several of his personal service accounts hacked, including gmail, and apparently every single service provider had a line to Christian to prove he was himself (requesting actual documents to some extent, but still giving him benefit of the doubt).

GoDaddy on the other hand just flat out denied any help. THIS is why we as a community decided to try and lend a hand.


Adam Strong

February 17, 2009 @ 1:50 am EDT

Mike Thanks for the comments. I use twitter just like any other tool to track what’s going on in the domain world and internet as a whole. If you were online today and using twitter, these retweets were impossible not to see since there were so many. The story interested me because of how companies now are forced to handle situations differently. This is an interesting position to put domain companies in to, since they are traditionally not transparent, hard to reach and very secretive. The companies making this effort may get blasted from the community from time to time but in the end I think companies engaging customers like this are going to be the real winners. That’s something that I must have not communicated effectively in the story or you missed.

Adam Strong

February 17, 2009 @ 1:51 am EDT

roro thanks I rechecked the email correspondence I had with Christian. You are right I misread and have fixed the paragraph. Apologies

[…] en su Twitter (que sigue siendo suyo) lo que estaba pasando, y enseguida comenzó a generarse un movimiento de retweetings dirigidos a GoDaddyGuy para que hagan caso a su […]

Jorge Oyhenard

February 17, 2009 @ 4:53 am EDT

Roban dominios de Christian Van Der Henst…

Hace unas horas se llevo a cabo una de las peores pesadillas que puede pasarnos a quienes trabajamos en Internet, alguien con muchas ganas de joder se ha robado los dominios de Christian Van Der Henst, @cvander creador de y ForosDelW…

February 17, 2009 @ 5:22 am EDT

It’s a great tool and I’ve setup a couple of my employees to stay on top of things and keep up with the trends as we do a lot of research and need as much information as possible on various subjects… But me personally, I don’t even spend more than 10 mins per day on Twitter. Will take some getting used to.. Sooner than later though… I guess :)

Well, back to GD — they are smart enough in spreading out some of their resources. 24/7/365 tech support is crucial to any online biz.. Response times make all the difference in the world. As long as there is at least somebody there.. Or appears to be… It is great. Peace of mind. Even if things don’t get resolved, people like to complain and so on.. They feel better about it once they let it out.

So, GoDaddy have been staying on top of things as of late and of course, they will continue to remain the #1 registrar in the world. All the smaller registrars out there… Learn !


Ken Schafer - OpenSRS

February 17, 2009 @ 6:37 am EDT

We’re @opensrs and @opensrsstatus on Twiter. We’ve found Twitter incredibly useful to get feedback on how we’re doing and to offer a bit of guidance to frustrated registrants and resellers whenever we can.

[…] desde distintos puntos de vista: Robo de Identidad, Alt140, Domainers. Comunidades, Social Media, Social Web, […]

Turulcsirip - sylwiapresley

February 17, 2009 @ 8:35 am EDT

[…] interesting views on social media in action « el?z? | következ? » sylwiapresley — 2009. 02. 17. […]


February 17, 2009 @ 8:37 am EDT

I just cant believe that Godaddy didnt solve this already

Adam Strong

February 17, 2009 @ 11:41 am EDT

thanks Ken


February 17, 2009 @ 11:44 am EDT

I don’t know why some people blame godaddy if it was the domain owner fault.

Shashi B at Network Solutions

February 17, 2009 @ 3:20 pm EDT

Hi Adam,

Thanks for mentioning Network Solutions. We’re trying hard to meet customers where they are, which is resulting in greater efficiency for all parties. I’m @shashib on Twitter, and our customers can also find us on Twitter as @netsolcares.



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