clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Shopify hits President Trump where it hurts: His wallet

The software firm has taken down President Trump’s online stores.

A Trump bobblehead wearing a USA cap.
Vendors offer merchandise for sale at a Trump rally on September 10, 2020, in Freeland, Michigan.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

While Facebook and other social networks suspended President Donald Trump from their platforms in the wake of his support for a mob that stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, another tech firm took a different tack on Thursday. Shopify shut down his online merch stores.

Shopify, the Canada-based tech company that makes popular software tools to help merchants run online stores, shuttered the Trump Organization’s on Thursday morning, as well as the e-commerce portion of the president’s election website.

“Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence,” a Shopify spokesperson said in a statement. “Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.”

The spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for information about any other “affiliated” online stores that were taken down as a result.

Shopify’s decision targeting Trump followed those of several other large internet companies in the wake of the president’s call for supporters to rally against Joe Biden’s election victory, which devolved into an insurrection on Capitol Hill. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube all took steps to restrict Trump’s ability to use their platforms in the last 24 hours, with Mark Zuckerberg writing on Thursday that Facebook and Instagram had suspended the president’s accounts until at least Inauguration Day.

“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

It’s unclear whether other e-commerce providers, such as Amazon, Etsy, or eBay, will remove any Trump merchandise or Trump-affiliated sellers from their online marketplaces. On Thursday afternoon, shirts adorned with the phrase “MAGA Civil War,” which was seen on apparel worn by some rioters in DC on Wednesday, were available for sale on eBay. By Thursday evening, one of the shirts still appeared in eBay’s search results, but the listing had been deactivated.

“At eBay, we have a strict policy against hate and discrimination to ensure our platform remains a safe, trusted and inclusive environment for our global community of buyers and sellers,” a spokesperson told Recode. “While we are not removing politically affiliated merchandise from the site, we will remove any merchandise glorifying the violence incited on Capitol Hill.”

Update, January 7, 8:10 pm ET: This story was updated to include a statement and update from eBay.