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9 Feb, 2017 12:59

Shopify refuses to drop merchandise sales of conservative news site Breitbart

Shopify refuses to drop merchandise sales of conservative news site Breitbart

Canadian e-commerce firm Shopify said it will continue to host Breitbart’s store despite pressure to kick the conservative American news site's merchandise off the platform.

Breitbart News has been accused by left-wing opponents of being far-right and misogynistic.

"To kick off a merchant is to censor ideas and interfere with the free exchange of products at the core of commerce. When we kick off a merchant, we're asserting our own moral code as the superior one. But who gets to define that moral code?" wrote Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke in his blog on Medium.com.

He added companies can use the Shopify platform "even if they are unpopular or if we disagree with their premise, as long as they are within the law."

Lutke said he received “more than 10,000 emails, tweets, and messages saying the same thing: stop hosting Breitbart’s online store”. “Shopify employees are facing similar pressure,” he added.

Breitbart News, previously run by White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, has posted some controversial headlines like "Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy", "There's no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews," or "Hoist it high and proud: The Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage."

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The site has an online shop that sells T-shirts endorsing US President Donald Trump’s initiative to build a US-Mexico border wall or saying “Want to come to America? Great. Do it legally and get in line.”

Last year, a social media campaign against Breitbart forced companies like Kellogg's to stop buying ads on the site.