This article says that Shopify is likely the single largest revenue source for Breitbart. I'd like to see a response from Shopify about this. I do not want my shop to be associated with a racist propaganda outlet and I'm prepared to close my Shopify account immediately if this isn't addressed.
I'm new to Shopify and recently heard about Shopify's position on Breitbart.
While I respect their position on freedom of speech (Quote: “Shopify was founded and operates as a platform that embraces freedom of speech. If we begin to arbitrarily remove products and merchants from our platform, we compromise this core value and threaten its sanctity as a driving force that shapes both our own company and that of society at large.), I will not be conducting my business using Shopify's services. I cannot support any company doing business with Breitbart or Trump.
T. Chick McClure
I got a canned response from Shopify today, looks like I'll be closing my account with them as soon as possible. Anyone have suggestions for another ecommerce platform?
Shopify was founded and operates as a platform that embraces freedom of speech. If we begin to censor products and merchants from our platform, we compromise this core value.
While we are sorry to hear that you have decided to leave the platform, we believe in diversity and we remain firm in our decision that service should not be refused to merchants based on their political beliefs, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or background.
Freedom of speech is not the issue here. There is no threat to forcibly shut down Breitbart, to prosecute its staff and seize its assets. Nor does Shopify support absolute freedom of speech, having already reserved the right to deny service on the basis of "offensive, threatening, libelous, defamatory, pornographic, obscene, or otherwise objectionable" content.
What Shopify is saying here is that it has made a decision to support Breitbart, and has no qualms with the fact that it's a popular source of overt misogyny, white nationalism, and violent xenophobia. Trying to disguise this as a commitment to some higher principle is insulting and absurd—it's a simple business decision. At this time nearly a thousand other companies have pulled their advertising from Breitbart, are they attacking Freedom of Speech by doing so? No, they are protecting their brands from being associated with Breitbart. It's a shame that Shopify doesn't want to do the same.
I really appreciate you posting about this in our community. I'd like to reply with Shopify's position as it stands.
Shopify operates as a neutral platform that supports the right to free speech. Shopify strongly believes in diversity and we feel that service should not be refused to merchants based on their political or religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or background. As Shopify is a platform, the hosting of a store is not an endorsement of a store, its products, or its owners. If a merchant's business and its products are legal in the jurisdiction where it operates, the merchant can use the Shopify platform.
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows businesses to set up an online store and sell products on their own website.
Shopify does not sell products on behalf of merchants, instead merchants host their stores on our platform, similar to how a social platform hosts a user account or a publishing platform hosts a blog.
Shopify was founded and operates as a platform that supports the right to free speech.
I am deeply concerned about Shopify's connection to Breitbart and the response that Shopify has provided, along the with comments on twitter made by your CEO. There is no "middle" ground in dealing with white nationalists, especially when these white nationalists have been given the power of a seat at the white house. The stance of Breitbart and the "alt-right" has been made clear, and any attempt to normalize their position as just an opposing view is dangerous.
I've been a very happy Shopify customer, it's a great platform and seems like a great company. It saddens me to have to move on to another provider, but I will have to make that my choice if Shopify doesn't reconsider their position and discontinue supporting Breitbart.
Let me start by saying that I've used, and loved, the Shopify platform for about 5 years now. And I still do. I'm a full time web applications contractor and registered Shopify expert.
This Breitbart issue has resonated with me though. The normalization of this type of rhetoric is immensenly dangerous for the US and around the world. The Breitbart ex-CEO now being the chief advisor to the president has unfortunately applied some justification to the explicitly hateful tone of Breitbart content.
There is a lot of talk all around the web and social media about deleting/cancelling Shopify. I actually don't think this is the answer. Shopify customers should unite and protest in an organized way.
Last Friday I deployed a new Shopify App. Shops can now "install" their objection to Breitbart. Please check it out when you can and spread the word if you feel it's appropriate
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