Report: White Supremacist Organizations Are Using Amazon, ‘Delivering Hate’ Online
Several white supremacist groups are using Amazon to profit and spread their hateful viewpoints, a new report alleges.
In a study titled “Delivering Hate: How Amazon’s Platforms Are Used to Spread White Supremacy, Anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia” with the added “and How Amazon Can Stop It,” researchers list bigoted groups selling items and services, and provide suggestions to better combat their endeavors.
“Amazon has been called the ‘everything store,’ but today it is much more than just a store, with publishing, streaming, and web services businesses. Its reach and influence are unparalleled,” a summary of the report reads. “A close examination of Amazon’s various platforms and services reveals that for growing racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic movements, the breadth of Amazon’s business combined with its weak and inadequately enforced policies provides a number of channels through which hate groups can generate revenue, propagate their ideas, and grow their movements.”
Products offered on the platform, according to Action Center on Race & the Economy and the Partnership for Working Families, which cite the Anti-Defamation League, include Confederate flag T-shirts, infamous Nazi paraphernalia and garb, lynching symbols, and a “Cross burning baby onesie for boys,” among several others.
It also outlines “hate music” available for digital download on Amazon.com, while detailing the “hate band,” album and songs, as well as “hate publishers” that have work featured on its proprietary Kindle eBooks.
“These uses of Amazon’s platforms are made possible by what appear to be inadequate and poorly enforced policies,” the report says, acknowledging that they have a policy that forbids such views, but either “does not find the materials outlined in this report offensive or otherwise contrary to its policies, or it does not consistently enforce its own policies.”
By allegedly allowing such activity, or more aptly not doing enough to stop it, “Amazon enables the celebration of ideologies that promote hate and violence,” even “facilitates” it, the report says.
“Amazon has been reactive, not proactive, in its response to use of its site by peddlers of hate,” it continues. “Amazon has a history of responding slowly — or not at all — to public pressure on this front rather than effectively preventing hate groups from using its platforms in the first place.”
Certain items and content embedded in the report’s appendix are no longer available on the platform, seemingly showing that Amazon has removed them. Others, however, remain. (RELATED: Following Charlottesville, Companies Are Laying Down The Hammer. But What’s The Criteria?)
Some urgent suggestions from the two nonprofits include destroying merchandise that displays hate symbols from any of their warehouses and distribution centers, and better clarify and enforce its policies by working with experts who study hate movements. They argue that since Amazon has so much money, which has allowed it to enter and prosper in multiple industries, it could easily allocate and invest more resources into product-policing efforts.
“Amazon has responded to public pressure in particular instances and for particular parts of its empire, but has failed to create internal systems,” to help, the conclusion reads. The tech conglomerate “has an ethical and moral responsibility to stop delivering hate to the world.” (RELATED: There’s A Newfound Hatred Of Silicon Valley)
Amazon did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time of publication.
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