Amazon has dropped some Nazi and neo-Nazi sale items after angry complaints from a major international Jewish organization.
The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center sharply criticized Amazon in a statement posted on its website Thursday for “monetizing Nazi and neo-Nazi paraphernalia” – and said it had demanded in an email to company that it “removes these articles immediately”.
“At a time when 63% of all religion-based hate crimes in the United States target American Jews – 2.4% of the American population – at a time when black people are once again the number one target of crimes racially-based hate speech, Amazon should not use its business model to market neo-Nazi hate symbols and paraphernalia,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of global outreach at the center, said in a statement.
The center provided screenshots of some of the products for sale, including a swastika necklace and bracelets, other jewelry, badges and pins featuring or evoking Nazi symbols.
Amazon said in a statement to the New York Post that it uses “proactive mechanisms” to “catch offensive listings before a customer ever sees them.” Our technology continuously scans all products listed for sale for text and images that we believe violate our policies, and removes them immediately. »
Company officials also noted that “the field of potentially offensive products is nuanced and diverse” and that the number of products offered on the site is huge.
Although Amazon removed a number of items, similar products were still offered for sale, Gizmodo reported on Friday. Cooper then told Gizmodo that Amazon had to respond to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He said he was angry that the company couldn’t be proactive in keeping the hate away from the site.
“It’s just not acceptable for the biggest economic behemoth in the neighborhood to play wack-a-mole games rather than fix things,” Cooper told Gizmodo.
Amazon has a policy on offensive and controversial content. It prohibits products that promote intolerance of race, religion or sexual orientation.
In a similar controversy, Walmart last week stopped selling boots marked “KKK” online. Walmart removed an online listing of hiking shoes with a red “KKK” on the tongue, telling Business Insider it would look into how the “inappropriate merchandise” got to its platform in the first place.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has had problems with anti-Semitic products.
A year ago, the Simon Wiesenthal Center sent a letter to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos demanding that Amazon remove more than 20 Nazi propaganda films that were either for sale on Amazon’s online portal or available for streaming on its Amazon Prime video network.