Whether it is Robert De Niro saying he wants to punch him in the face or a man smashing his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a sledgehammer – bashing Donald Trump is not an uncommon thing.
However, Trump has devised a rather cunning plan for preventing such Trump-bashing from occurring online – by buying domain names insulting to himself and his brand.
Donaldtrumpsucks.com, no2trump.com and trumpmustgo.com and two dozen other web addresses which sound as though they are slating the billionaire presidential nominee. Why would Trump want these bizarre web addresses though? Well, because he doesn’t want anyone else to have them to use against him.
According to research firm DomainIQ, Trump and his Trump Organisation own more than 3,600 domain names. Mostly these bear the names of his products, properties and family, with 274 domains featuring the name of his daughter Ivanka alone. in comparison Trump’s opponent in the US election Hillary Clinton owns only 70 addresses and none with any derogatory names.
This method is not uncommon from companies. For example, Verizon, the US mobile phone company, owns verizonsucks.com.
“Domains are cheap,” Rebeccae Lieb, a branding expert, said. “Mopping up when somebody acquires a domain and does something malicious with it is expensive.”
Web addresses cost only a few pounds to buy, then once you own them you can sell them to the highest bidder. Trump himself has had to use his lawyers at least 40 times to force outsiders to hand over domains, such as MelaniaTrump.com.
Some of Trump’s addresses include business ventures which never got off the ground. For example Trump still owns trumpfollies.com a site built for a Trump-produced Broadway show featuring the music of Irving Berlin – this is genuinely serious.
There are some domain names Trump failed to snag in time though. For example Chris Puchowicz in the US bought trump.org at auction in 2012 for $1,272 (£1,038) and trump.tv for $251 (£205) a few months later. Puchowicz used these to post an anti-Trump rant.
But surely the domain name which causes Trump, and his presidential running mate Mike Pence, the most pain is votefortrumppence.com. This was bought by Brian Lam, a software engineering student from St Louis, Missouri for $9 (£7) – but the picture he posted to it suggests he’s not promoting Trump’s campaign.