The Malta Independent 24 September 2020, Thursday

Trump merchandising site stopped from using Maltese tech company’s services

Tuesday, 15 September 2020, 17:36 Last update: about 8 days ago

A Maltese company that analyses website data has stopped a US President Donald Trump merchandising site from using services it provides.

Hotjar's founder and CEO David Darmanin said that he did not want to add fuel to Trump's 'racist' rhetoric, and that he will donate €50,000 to help fight racism.

A statement on the company's website reads: "Like almost all self-service technology companies, we neither police nor approve Hotjar accounts as they are created, and we will never do so, but it was recently brought to our attention that the Trump-Pence campaign is using Hotjar on their online merchandise shop. Upon further investigation, we found that the Hotjar account, which is managed by the Republican National Committee, also includes other GOP-related websites."


"We pride ourselves in being diverse and inclusive, and for standing against racism and injustice. We are proud to have a team situated in 24 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, and Africa, whose voices continually shape how our culture evolves. We do everything in our power to truly live by our values, of which we never want to be in a position to compromise for any reason."

"Donald Trump has said racist and hateful things as the evidence that anyone can access on the internet shows, as well as has taken a number of actions that have targeted marginalized groups. 'Make America Great Again' has become a rallying call of far-right groups across the United States, and statements like 'Build the wall and crime will fall' might not be linguistically racist, but they have become contextually racist."

"The campaign and the Republican party today stand behind a candidate who has made statements that promote racism, division, and discrimination. Therefore, we believe that the values displayed by this organization as a customer of Hotjar are clearly not aligned with our values as a company, and in the spirit of living our value of working with respect, we have decided to take action."

"We have updated our Acceptable Use Policy to disallow not only sites that directly promote or condone hate, but also sites that promote or support organizations, platforms, or people that promote or condone such hate. In applying this updated Acceptable Use Policy and through our own internal investigations, we have consequently decided to stop allowing the use of Hotjar on the Trump-Pence campaign merchandise website, as well as the GOP as the account owner. We believe that this decision is true to our values, and to our team who in turn support our customers and our community."





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