ADL Highlights ‘Hateful Merchandise’ Sold on Amazon

July 30, 2019
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a report on July 29 detailing the various “hateful merchandise” that is available on Amazon, mainly consisting of white supremacist material.

The report explains that such products show up when using “obscure search terms,” such as typing in “German Black Cross” to find a Celtic Cross, which the ADL describes as “a popular white supremacist flag.” Other white supremacist flags that can be found on Amazon include the British Union of Fascists (BUF) flag and Othala rune flag.

Additionally, people can purchase busts of Adolf Hitler as well decals emblazoned representing Oathkeeper, which is described in the report as “an anti-government militia,” as well as “hateful books” promulgating white supremacist propaganda.

The ADL report notes that Amazon’s policies state that the platform “does not allow products that promote, incite or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views.”

“Amazon exerts considerable influence over the global marketplace,” the ADL report states. “Amazon was responsible for over half of online retail traffic in the U.S. in the 4th quarter of last year. Put another way, the number of Amazon users worldwide is likely as big or bigger than the population of the U.S. That adds up to a lot of views – and potential customers – for online purveyors of extremist merchandise.”

The report concluded by noting that the ADL is working with Amazon the matter.

A spokesperson for Amazon said in a statement to the Journal, “We take concerns from the Anti-Defamation League seriously and have worked with them directly for several years. We are committed to providing a positive customer experience and have policies that outline what products may be sold in our stores. We invest significant time and resources to ensure our content guidelines are followed, and remove products that do not adhere to our guidelines– which can be found here for books and here for non-media products. We are always listening to customer feedback and evaluating our policy.”

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