Shopify has removed stores associated with President Donald Trump, saying he violated its rules prohibiting the support of violence.
Online commerce and payment services have stopped the flow of money to Trump-related accounts in light of Wednesday's insurrection at the US Capitol. Software maker Shopify removed stores affiliated with President Donald Trump from its platform, and payment processor PayPal shut down an account raising funds for Trump supporters who travelled to Washington, DC.
All this happened after a mob of armed Trump supporters took over the US Capitol, forcing an evacuation of the building before lawmakers could finish recording electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election, won by Joe Biden. The account takedowns follow freezes on Trump's social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.
It's not the first time tech companies have removed accounts for far right groups. Airbnb deactivated users who hosted parties for a Unite the Right white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. The same year, Cloudflare ended its technical services to the Daily Stormer website, a white supremacist publication, after the site claimed that Cloudflare supported its ideology.
However, this is the first time that a mainstream political figure has been treated like a neo-Nazi distribution network.
Shopify said Thursday that the Trump stores, affiliated with the Trump campaign and Trump Organisation, violated its policies prohibiting users from promoting or supporting organisations that foment violence.
"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."
PayPal said the group raising money for Trump supporters, called Joy In Liberty, also violated its rules. "PayPal carefully reviews accounts to ensure our services are used in line with our long-standing policy", the company said. "We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence or other forms of intolerance."
The Joy In Liberty website features a form for "patriots" to request funds, and another where supporters can donate to "help patriots fulfill their dreams". The website also lists testimonials from people who used funds raised by Joy In Liberty to pay for travel to DC.