- Amazon has removed a host of products with Nazi insignia from its site after complaints from a Democratic congressman.
- Representative Keith Ellison penned an open letter to Amazon in July condemning its sale of “hateful literature, toys, and music.”
- Researchers found earlier this year that Amazon was selling Nazi paraphernalia such as a swastika pendant, a cross-burning baby onesie for fans of the Ku Klux Klan, and items branded with the Confederate flag.
- The company said in its letter that it has halted the sale of the products, but is still in the process of removing them from its warehouses.
Amazon has stated in a letter to Democratic Representative Keith Ellison that it has removed a host of Nazi and white supremacist products from its site.
We first saw the news via BuzzFeed.
Ellison sent an open letter to Amazon last month after a research paper written by The Action Center on Race & the Economy and Partnership for Working Families found a range of products including garments, childrens’ toys and even fidget spinners emblazoned with neo-Nazi insignia. “I am disturbed that such a powerful corporation is materially fuelling the rise of hate groups in our country,” wrote Ellison.
The researchers found disturbing items such as a cross-burning baby onesie, a swastika pendant, and items branded with the Confederate flag.
This morning I sent Jeff Bezos a letter asking why Amazon is selling content and products that promote and enrich white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups. https://t.co/vZxvSoRunr pic.twitter.com/kSAroJTBnN
— Keith Ellison (@keithellison) July 17, 2018
Amazon’s Vice President for Public Policy Brian Huseman responded to Ellison in a letter on Thursday. “Since receiving your letter, we have reviewed the products and content referenced in your letter, and removed the listings that were found in violation of our policies and permanently blocked the seller accounts that were in violation of Amazon policy,” he wrote.
“We are also reviewing the seller accounts for potential suspension,” Huseman added.
It is not clear how the accounts have both been permanently blocked as well as submitted for review for suspension.
Amazon, like other tech firms, said it relies on machine learning to flag problematic products, and said the technology catches most offending items before a human notices.
“These automated tools are supplemented by teams of investigators that conduct manual, human review of our listings on a regular basis,” wrote Huseman.
He added that Amazon is still in the process of removing the offending items from its warehouses.
An Amazon spokesman told Business Insider: “Sellers are expected to comply with our policies, and we immediately investigate any reported violations. The items referenced by Representative Ellison were previously reviewed, and we removed those that violated our policies well before we received his letter.”
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