It is not unusual for people and businesses to purchase domain names so they can either use them in the future or prevent others from passing themselves off as the owner. People and companies sometimes acquire sites to prevent others from using them in a negative way against the owner. As Mashable
notes, it is the number of domain names acquired by Trump over the years that is unusual.
CNN used DomainTools to search Internet records for the past 20 years. Domain Tools keeps track of domain purchases, transfers and lapses. Many of the names purchased by Trump were regular business names such as TrumpOrganization.com, TrumpBuilding.org and TrumpEmpire.com.
Amanda Miller, a spokeswoman for Trump’s company, said
it is not unusual for companies to buy domain names to protect themselves from cybersquatters. Miller added these domains, both positive and negative, were purchased because the company takes its corporate image and intellectual property very seriously.
In 2009, Trump launched a multi-level marketing (MLM) business. These types of businesses, such as Amway and Herbalife, are controversial because they depend on paying sales people large sums of money to recruit other sales people. Two years before the business was started, Trump acquired TrumpNetwork.com to use in his new venture.
Trump realized the business might be criticized because it was a multi-level marketing scheme. But what was unusual was the current occupant of the White House also acquired 19 other domain names related to the MLM. Even more unusual were the names of some of these domains. They included TrumpNetworkPyramidScheme.com, TrumpNetworkFraud.com and TrumpPonziScheme.com. He was clearly aware he would be accused of fraud, running a pyramid scheme and/or conducting a Ponzi scheme.
, a crisis public relations expert, told CNN reputable organizations do not usually buy the kind of websites that indicate they are anticipating accusations of running pyramid and Ponzi schemes.
Trump sold the business in 2012 after allegations of fraud were made.
Trump also purchased
157 domain names in an attempt to protect Trump University. The University closed in 2011 and lawsuits alleging fraud were settled just days before Trump was sworn in as president.
Trump thought of running for president as far back as 2012
From his domain name acquisitions, Trump was considering running for office as far back as 2012
. During that year, he purchased TrumpMustGo.com, VoteAgainstTrump.com, and NoMoreTrump.com. Other domains were purchased later including MakeAmericaGreatAgain.vote and MakeAmericaGreatAgain.us. Still others were added during the Republican primaries and during the general election campaign.
Of the 3,643 domain names registered to Trump’s private company, about 50 of them
are being used for his businesses as normal businesses would use them. Most of the others are either blank pages or re-direct people to other websites. Some of these other sites are connected to Trump such as one selling “Proud to be Deplorable” t-shirts. Others seem to have no relation to the president.
When someone attempts to buy up so many domain names to prevent others from using them for negative purposes, they are bound to miss the occasional one. One domain name Trump did not buy is www.ImpeachTrump.com
. That website is being used to gather support for the impeachment of the president.
SEE ALSO: Thousands of anti-Trump protesters say 'not my president'
Trump registered his first domain name, DonaldjTrump.com, in 1997.