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Image credit: REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

Amazon removes Indian flag doormats after Twitter shaming

Want to get Amazon's attention? Have your country's government tweet at them.
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REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

Amazon's massive range of inventory and marketplace vendors can sometimes get the online retailer into hot water. In the latest product controversy, the government of India threatened to rescind visas for any Amazon employee after a third-party seller in Canada was spotted hawking doormats resembling India's tri-color flag. The product was swiftly removed from the site on Wednesday after India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj took to Twitter to make her country's displeasure clear.

Reuters reports that Amazon's Canadian portal sells doormats with a variety of national flags, but India in particular has anti-desecration laws punishable by fines or imprisonment. Amazon initially tried to dodge responsibility, saying the doormats were not being sold on its portal in India, but the retailer backed down when Swaraj asked the Indian high Commission in Canada to look into the matter.

This isn't the first time Amazon has removed items for political reasons. In 2015, the company stopped selling Confederate flags following the mass shooting at an historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Meanwhile, in the US, you can still buy an American flag doormat with a displeased eagle on it.

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