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Shopify terminates Trump’s merch websites after US Capitol stormed

Donald Trump supporter (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
January 07, 2021

President Donald Trump’s campaign store and another site for his personal brand, both hosted by Shopify, were taken down on Thursday.

As of Thursday, the link to Trump’s campaign merchandise store says, “This shop is unavailable” while an archived link to the page from Wednesday shows the page had once offered Trump-themed apparel and other merchandise. The TrumpStore, dedicated to Trump’s non-political branded items was also unavailable.

In a statement to TechCrunch, a Shopify spokesperson said, Trump’s campaign store and another store for his personal brand products were both removed.

“Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence. 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,” Shopify told TechCrunch. “As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.”

The removal of Trump’s merchandise store comes after planned pro-Trump rallies in Washington D.C. on Wednesday saw groups of demonstrators enter the U.S. Capitol building and clash with police.

Four people died during the incident including a woman, Ashli Babbit, who D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officials said was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer. Another woman and two men died after what MPD described as “medical emergencies.”

52 people were arrested in connection with the incident at the Capitol and multiple firearms and explosives were found, according to MPD officials.

Trump issues multiple tweets and a video statement calling on demonstrators to leave the Capitol “in peace.” In his video statement, Trump alluded to his challenges to the 2020 election results but called on people to leave the building.

“We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side, but you have to go home now,” Trump said. “We have to have peace. We have to have law and order.”

Shopify is not the first internet platform to break with Trump after Wednesday’s clashes at the Capitol.

On Wednesday night, Twitter locked Trump’s account and rendered unavailable Trump’s video statement calling on demonstrators to leave the Capitol. Twitter said Trump’s account would remain locked for up to 12 hours after Trump manually removed the video and two other tweets they said violated the platforms policies.

On Thursday morning, Facebook also banned Trump from posting on the platform for the remainder of his term in office. Facebook added the ban could extend indefinitely beyond the end of Trump’s term.