Amazon is enabling and profiting from hate groups and ideologies, according to a damning report released on Friday.
The report, “Delivering Hate: How Amazon’s Platforms Are Used to Spread White Supremacy, Anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia,” details a variety of ways that hate groups take advance of Amazon’s massive platforms and inconsistently enforced policies. Two advocacy groups ― Partnership for Working Families and Action Center on Race and the Economy ― compiled the study.
When asked about the report, Amazon referred HuffPost to its official guidelines, which prohibit the selling of “products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views.”
But critics say that this policy often doesn’t reflect reality.
Amazon’s approximately 300 million active customers can encounter products that feature hate symbols and hateful language on Amazon Marketplace, which has allowed racist, Islamophobic, anti-LGBTQ and anti-Semitic groups to sell merchandise.
The report found items for sale that included a costume of a lynching victim, a hangman’s noose decal, Nazi memorabilia and children’s toys featuring alt-right symbol Pepe the Frog.
Amazon users can unwittingly purchase these products without realizing that they are funding hate groups that operate on the platform.
Some items, like George Lincoln Rockwell’s children’s book The Fable of the Ducks and the Hens: A Dramatic Saga of Intrigue, Propaganda and Subversion, do not explicitly advertise their white supremacist roots. The book is described as a colorful and entertaining read ― but it is actually a warning about the danger of allowing immigrants into one’s country. The item description also doesn’t mention that Rockwell created the American Nazi Party and coined the phrase “white power.”
“The world of white supremacist symbols is not something that the average person is going to recognize,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. “You could have, for example, an iron cross or you could have obscure things that look cool but you don’t realize that that’s from … a hate group.”
The report detailed items that were active on Amazon as of last month. HuffPost found that some of the items are no longer available for purchase
SOURCE: Michelle Lou