Amazon removes items with Nazi symbols

Amazon removes items with Nazi or white supremacist symbols after criticism from advocacy groups.

Ohad Tobi,

Amazon
Amazon
iStock

Amazon has removed items with Nazi or white supremacist symbols from its website after criticism from advocacy groups, an executive with the company said Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

The executive said the company blocked the accounts of some retailers and might suspend them.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota complained to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos last month. The company’s vice president of public policy, Brian Huseman, responded to Ellison, telling him that Amazon prohibits listing products that promote or glorify hatred, violence or intolerance.

A spokeswoman for Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. declined to comment further on Sunday.

In early July, the Partnership for Working Families and the Action Center on Race and the Economy highlighted Amazon listings including swastika pendants, baby onesies with burning cross logos and a costume that makes the wearer look like he has been lynched — the model appears to be a black man.

The groups said that Amazon’s “weak and inadequately enforced” policies allowed racist, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic groups to generate money and spread their ideas.

Ellison reportedly asked Bezos how much money Amazon made from selling material including books published by hate groups since 2015, and whether it would destroy such merchandise at its warehouses.

Huseman said Amazon “makes a significant investment” in enforcing seller policies, including automated tools to scan listings and automatically removing those that violate its policies.

Last December, the online retailer came under fire for selling toys based on Nazi-era German army units.

Previously, Amazon removed books that deny the Holocaust from online stores in countries where Holocaust denial is illegal, though it was subsequently reported that they remain available in the United States and the United Kingdom.


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