Political boycotts keep getting stranger in the Trump era. One of the latest targets is Shopify, which provides the backend to over 375,000 online merchants, including the store for Breitbart News Network. The Canadian firm says it will drop clients only for breaking laws, not for speech that even Shopify’s CEO Tobias Lütke finds offensive.
That doesn’t sit well with some Shopify employees who have opted to quit in protest. Now, SumOfUs, a Canadian organization targeting Shopify, is helping defectors get back on their feet. “We are creating a simple tool that allows values-aligned employers to post job postings for Shopify employees that are starting to quit,” says Emma Pullman, lead campaign strategist at SumOfUs.
I’m leaving Shopify. Cognitive dissonance got too loud.
Looking for software dev job, exp in mostly js & ruby. ????
— Tessa Thornton (@tessthornton) February 13, 2017
It grew out of discussions after developer Tessa Thornton announced on Twitter her departure due to “cognitive dissonance.” Thornton’s post got dozens of replies, many including tips about new jobs. Pullman decided to consolidate the offers through an online form where prospective employers can list jobs for members of the Shopify diaspora.
Only a few employees have gone public about leaving Shopify, but the number could grow. Over 130,000 people have joined the SumOfUs online petition to Shopify, including “dozens” who identified themselves as employees, says Pullman. The technique could extend beyond the Shopify boycott. “I think it’s a pretty interesting and effective tool, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other campaigns picked up on trying tactics like this in the future,” says Pullman.