Yesterday, The Daily Beast revealed that the Trump Organization — the privately owned international holding company for all of U.S. President Donald Trump’s business ventures — owns trumpandoj.com (just in time for O.J. Simpson’s imminent prison release) as well as donaldtrumpsucks.com, trumpscam.com, donaldtrumpponzischeme.com and over 3,500 Trump-related URLs that web trolls could’ve used to torment Trump and his cronies.
The Trump Organization also owns no2trump.com, trumpmustgo.com, v, n ihatetrumpvodka.com among others. The reason, it turns out, is a pre-emptive form of damage control.
Patrick Ambron, the CEO of BrandYourself (an online reputation company), says that celebrity clients will often buy up potentially damaging URLs as a form of self-defense. That is, if Trump owns trumpfraud.com, then his critics can’t use it to defame, mock or attack him, which is probably a good idea seeing as Trump is a fraud who has run pyramid schemes and whose vodka sucks.
It turns out that lots of companies and celebrities do this. The U.S. mobile phone company Verizon, for instance, owns verizonsucks.com, various colleges have bought the .xxx versions of their URLs to stop porn entrepreneurs from making sexy versions of their academic websites and some sports teams have bought URL variations of their team names to stop marketers from making money off of their franchises.
“Domains are cheap,” says Rebeccae Lieb, a branding expert. “Mopping up when somebody acquires a domain and does something malicious with it is expensive.”
aylor Swift reportedly registered taylorswift.porn and taylorswift.adult because if anyone is going to make money off of her doing porn, it’s going to be her.
Trump’s lawyers have also apparently sent cease-and-desist letters to others who had anti-Trump URLs and have even gone to arbitration at least 40 times to force people to give up other Trump-related domains like melaniatrump.com.
But while Trump owns trumprussia.com (which is handy considering the ongoing investigations into Trump’s involvement with Russia), he doesn’t own impeachtrump.com nor does he own trumpurineparty.com, trumpnuclearholocaust.com or trumpdeemedmentallyunfit.com, so you intrepid web developers might want to jump on those while they’re still available.