Researchers find Amazon is selling white supremacist products

Goods that violate Amazon's principles are still sold in its store & music service.

A pair of watchdog groups reported that despite Amazon's policy against the sale of racist or 'hatred-glorifying' goods on its platforms, white supremacist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and homophobic goods are still sold on the sites. That allegedly includes products in its online store along with material on its publishing and music outlets.

The two groups, Action Center on Race & the Economy and the Partnership for Working Families, released the report (PDF) today criticizing the online shopping giant for failing to enforce its policies, which explicitly prohibit "products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views." The researchers allegedly found toys with propaganda symbols, books and other products aimed at children that normalize racist beliefs.

Amazon's failure to enforce its policies "provides a number of channels through which hate groups can generate revenue, propagate their ideas, and grow their movements," the report stated, adding that the company profits when it takes its cut of sales. That negligence allows these groups and writers espousing their beliefs to spread their speech in e-books and through the brand's music store, providing "a platform for openly racist writers, musicians, and activists, including some who advocate for violence against Black people, Muslims, Jewish people, and LGBTQ people."

The report urges Amazon to take a public stand against hate movements and their ideologies as well as publicly pledging not to profit from hate, removing such items from its various platforms and destroying any physical products that exist in their warehouses. Amazon spokesman Aaron Toso told Engadget that: "Third-party sellers who use our Marketplace service must follow our guidelines, and those who don't are subject to swift action, including potential removal of their account."

An Amazon spokesperson told the paper that they are currently removing some neo-Nazi bands that had been identified from its music platform. Spotify, Google and Deezer all purged their libraries of racist music back in August 2017. In the same month, Apple removed Apple Pay support from white nationalist sites and Squarespace culled hate sites from its web hosting service.