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GoDaddy threaten to delete domains for made up policy violations

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Einar Magnushttps://www.sausageroll.com.au
I'm the founder of Sausage Roll. I have two decades worth of experience working in entertainment and media under my belt. I started as a simpleton contributing author for Platform Nation and Next Gen News. I then founded my own Icelandic entertainment press, SCENE.IS, which quickly grew to become one of the most popular pop-culture presses on the tiny volcanic island. With my connections and know-how, I moved back to Australia to launch Sausage Roll which is now Australia's fastest growing pop-culture news source.

GoDaddy are doing an ‘audit’ and are lodging false compliance policy notices against specific sites to Domain Administrations in order to have them deleted.

It’s scary to know that your livelihood can be snuffed in an instant by a disgruntled and/or incompetitent GoDaddy support staff member. That nearly happened to us.

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GoDaddy reportedly have a history of wrongfully taking down websites that, even slightly, challenge the mainstream narrative… and that just may have been the case with us. Despite claiming to support small businesses, GoDaddy seem to be trying to take down sites they don’t agree with.

On the 23rd of June we received an email from a GoDaddy staff member claiming to represent the “.AU Domain Authorisation Team” stating that our domain would be deleted on June 29th for an auDA policy violation.

auDa (.au Domain Administration) is the policy authority and industry self-regulatory body for the .au domain, which is the country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Australia. They lease out domains and can just as easily delete them if any domains are in violation of their policies.

The email states that the Australian Domain Administration had contacted GoDaddy and that they intend to delete the domain if we cannot prove that Sausage Roll has a “close and substantial” connection to our business.

The email read: “We’ve been notified by .AU Domain Administration (auDA) of a complaint regarding the registrant’s eligibility to hold sausageroll.com.au.”

Despite providing them with the required business documents proving our connection to Sausage Roll, GoDaddy still rejected our appeal and said that our domain was set for deletion on June 29th.

In cases where .AU domains do infringe policies, the auDA usually prohibit them from being transferred to a different registrar — however — our site wasn’t restricted so we immediately moved our domain away from GoDaddy.

Before closing our GoDaddy account we combed through the policy; it was clear that we were not violating the auDA policy. So we contacted the Domain Administration directly only to discover that GoDaddy had lied to us.

GoDaddy threaten to delete conservative domains for made up policy violations.

“We want to reassure you that the complaint did not come from us. We just received the email from GoDaddy with the alleged policy violation and, after reviewing it, we don’t see anything wrong. GoDaddy told us they were doing some kind of audit,” the auDA representative told us.

GoDaddy delete conservative domains.

It turns out that GoDaddy lied about where the complaint came and made up a policy violation as an attempt to have the Australian Domain Administration delete our domain (possibly other conservative domains, too).

Deleting a site’s domain is a digital death sentence. Not only does it completely destroy the brand that company worked hard to build, but it nullifies all their past efforts; links gone, SEO ranking gone, brand gone, and income gone. It’s like having to start all over again.

A formal complaint has been lodged against GoDaddy for threatening to delete our domain using a made up policy violation, and pretending to represent the Australian Domain Authority. This case is under review by the auDA representative.

The hopeful, yet unlikely, result will be that GoDaddy will lose their license to sell .AU domains on their site.

It is still unclear whether this take-down attempt was politically motivated, but it could be likely especially considering GoDaddy’s past transgressions.

Regardless, it is near impossible to exist as a conservative company in the current political climate today. There’s no denying that certain opinions are being censored; on Twitter, Facebook, and even YouTube. Certain reputably conservative online news publishers have even lost the ability to monetise their domains through Google Adsense. So, with that being said, it’s not only important to follow your favourite publishers on social media but to also subscribe to their mailing lists in case they get struck down and censored.

When all is said and done, we should have done our research and avoided GoDaddy like the plague. Suffice to say that we, here at Sausage Roll, will never again do business with them, and neither should you.

Do you have any terrible experiences dealing with GoDaddy? If so, leave your stories below!

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