Shopify is now the single largest source of revenue for Steve Bannon’s Breitbart
Since November, the vast majority of major brands that advertise online have blocked Breitbart.com from their ad buys. The Sleeping Giants campaign has lead the effort with participants raising the issue to thousands of companies.
The New York Times recently reported on the incredible progress of the effort, How to Destroy the Business Model of Breitbart and Fake News, and the pace of companies dropping Breitbart has accelerated since then.
With this precipitous decline in advertisers, Breitbart has become dependent on other revenue sources. In particular, the site is now relying more than ever on Shopify to sell Breitbart merchandise. It’s becoming clear that the largest single source of revenue for Breitbart is now Shopify.
If you visit Breitbart today, you’ll see that directly below their navigation and above the page content is a permanent ad for their Shopify site, built into the navigation. Also, when you visit the homepage, there are now frequently pop-up overlays advertising Breitbart’s Shopify merchandise. As ad revenue has dropped since Novemeber, Breitbart has been promoting their Shopify merchandise more and more aggressively.
More than 200,000 people have already signed a petition asking Shopify to stop fund the hate-site, but so far management has been silent.
Buzzfeed recently broke the story that Shopify employees have been pushing the company internally to stop doing business with Breitbart but have been dismissed or ignored by Shopify management:
Many walked away feeling their views were not taken seriously by executives, with female, Muslim, and LGBT employees feeling particularly uncomfortable about the association with Breitbart, sources said. A group of employees even wrote a letter to CEO Tobi Lütke outlining their concerns, but Lütke is said to have been “dismissive” of the effort.
But with pressure building on Shopify, it seems possible that this position will have to change in the coming weeks.
The incredible momentum of the #DeleteUber hasthag forced a rapid and substantial response from Uber management. Shopify, which is a Canadian company has even less reason to cower before the Trump administration.
Now that the #DeleteShopify hashtag has started trending, it may only be a matter of time before the company has to adopt a hate speech policy. Seems like a pretty basic thing to do, doesn’t it? Thousands of other companies, including major corporations, have had hate speech policies for years.