Amazon has pulled a bunch of Nazi and white supremacist-glorifying merchandise from its platform, after complaints from racial equality campaigners and lawmakers.
The Action Center on Race and the Economy flagged the problem early last month, in a report that highlighted Amazon’s sale of products such as a baby onesie featuring a burning cross, and a children’s backpack emblazoned with “Neo-Nazi Pepe the Frog” artwork.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) then wrote to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to complain. “The availability of all the material listed in the aforementioned report indicates to me that either Amazon is willfully refusing to enforce its own policies against the sale of racist products, or its sheer size makes it impossible for the company to police itself,” he said.
Now Amazon (AMZN) has responded by writing to Ellison to say it has removed the offending products, as they break its prohibition on “products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual, or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views.”
“We have reviewed the products and content referenced in your letter, and removed the listings that were found in violation of our policies and permanently blocked the seller accounts that were in violation of Amazon policy,” wrote public policy chief Brian Huseman, who added that Amazon was reviewing the sellers’ accounts “for potential suspension.”
Amazon told The New York Times it had actually scrubbed the items from its platform before receiving Ellison’s letter. While they are no longer available on the company’s website, it said, it is still in the process of removing them from its fulfilment centers.
However, as the Times pointed out, Amazon is still selling an illustrated children’s book by American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell, that was flagged up in the Action Center on Race and the Economy report and then by Ellison.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has come under fire for selling Nazi-themed merchandise—the issue also came up in 2015, after the murder of nine churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, by a white supremacist.
Later that year, Amazon also removed Nazi-themed advertising for its adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle from the New York subway, following complaints.