Members of Congress recently proposed controversial legislation called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) which awakened a beast in online communities. The proposed SOPA legislation met furious resistance and a boycott against SOPA-supporter Go Daddy was executed. The boycott was so successful that the company reversed its pro-SOPA stance within days of the boycott beginning. The successful Go Daddy boycott has shown that companies care deeply when it affects their profits and are willing to change policies when customers exercise their power to purchase. By acting on these events, Boycott is taking a leadership position in customer awareness and boycott execution.
Currently there are two versions of Boycott: a free app and a paid app, both for the Android operating system. Boycott's main function is to return boycott-related search results to customers interested in researching a company before doing business with them. The application features text-based search as well as a shopping-friendly UPC bar code search that uses the phone's camera to look up a product's manufacturer via a UPC scan. The results displayed show the user if there is a boycott on the company. If there are reasons to boycott the company, the user can read more about the topic and also read a reference that shows that the information is accurate. The database is built off of user-contributed suggestions, so it will become more useful over time.
When asked about the reasons for Boycott's development, a developer of the Boycott team said the following:
"Boycott's development was inspired by the furious resistance to the SOPA, PROTECT-IP, and NDAA. As the online resistance gained traction, it was made clear on Reddit that people needed a mobile app to easily distinguish which companies support SOPA."
"We predict a bright future for the app as consumers become aware of their power as informed purchasers."
"Until now, consumers had no way of staying well-informed of controversial issues. People don't want to support companies with unethical policies, but it was hard for people to stay aware of the issues. All that has changed now that shopper can use Boycott to easily check every item they purchase and every company they do business with. With Boycott, customers can be confident their purchases don't support bad policies."
"Advocates of responsible consumerism had no clear recommendation for people interested in ethical shopping. Now they can recommend Boycott so that people can stay aware of the issues."
The consumer activist movement will continue to evolve and become more powerful as people are enabled with mobile devices capable of transforming them into informed citizens. There is no doubt that customers will affect public policies well into the future, and Boycott will be there allowing users to sleep easy at night, knowing they practice ethical shopping. This revolutionary app puts the power of choice back into the customers' hands.
For more information about Boycott, visit http://www.theboycottapp.com, or try the recently completed free, ad-supported version of Boycott which can be downloaded in the Android app market at http://market.android.com/