Amazon profits off sale of white-supremacist items, report says

Amazon profits off sale of white-supremacist items, report says
© Getty Images

Amazon.com has done a poor job of enforcing its terms of service to keep white supremacist products and content off its site, according to a report published Friday.

The Partnership for Working Families and the Action Center on Race and the Economy, the two groups that released the report, said they found an ample amount of Confederate, Nazi and anti-black products on Amazon’s e-commerce platform, despite the company's policy that prohibits the sale of such products on the site.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the analysis, first reported by The Washington Post, the groups accuse Amazon of becoming a “platform for openly racist writers, musicians, and activists including some who advocate for violence against Black people, Muslims, Jewish people, and LGBTQ people.”

“These uses of Amazon’s platforms are made possible by what appear to be inadequate and poorly enforced policies,” the report says, adding that Amazon has responded slowly to the presence of racist products on its platform instead of working to quickly remove such content.

Nazi, white supremacist and racist content and products violate Amazon’s rules, which prohibit the sale of items that promote hatred.

The two groups, which say they are focused on advocating for racial and economic justice, expressed concern over the wide availability of Nazi and other hate products for children, warning that those items could help cultivate lifelong racist beliefs.

Examples of the products for sale include a fidget spinner featuring images of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon meme popular among the alt-right, with a swastika emblazoned across its stomach, as well as and a baby romper with Pepe on it.

Amazon also hosted white supremacist e-books and music, according to the report.

“By facilitating the publication of these e-books, Amazon is helping hate groups reach a large audience and make their materials available within mere moments,” the report said.

Amazon told the Post that it is in the process of removing neo-Nazi songs from its platform.

“Third-party sellers who use our Marketplace service must follow our guidelines, and those who don’t are subject to swift action, including potential removal of their account,” Aaron Toso, an Amazon spokesman, told the news outlet.

The Post is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.