Amazon.com on Sunday said that it was removing some of the images after messages using extremely strong racist abuse appeared on the listings of some of its products like Apple AirPods when users searched for on them on its U.K. website. The messages were criticized and the company was slammed by users on Twitter, with the topic AirPods trending in the United Kingdom. This comes days after angry protestors in the United States were seen taking the streets against police brutality that disproportionately targets black Americans.
However, Amazon initially disagreed with the report, calling it a pure "political act" and an action to tarnish the image of the company. Also, this isn't the first time that Amazon has courted a similar kind of controversy. Earlier this month, Amazon was slammed by lawmakers and women rights activists in the U.K. and accused the e-commerce giant of racism for selling a book titled Ten Little N****r Boys.
Amazon said that it is removing some of the images after messages using extremely strong racist abuse appeared on the listings of some of its products including AirPods when users searched for them on its U.K. website. The messages immediately sparked outrage on Twitter, with many users slamming the company for being racist. Screenshots of the messages criticizing the company were doing the rounds on twitter on Saturday, with the topic "AirPods" trending.
According to Reuters, an Amazon spokesperson said, "We are removing the images in question and have taken action on the bad actor." Following this, the listings with the abusive message were no longer visible on the company's U.K. website. The news comes as social media continues to be dominated with videos and images of mobs across the U.S. protesting against police brutality that disproportionately targets black Americans.
Repeat Offence by Amazon
This isn't the first time that Amazon has faced similar allegations. Last month, a number of Amazon's foreign websites, including the U.K. website, were added to the U.S. trade regulator's "notorious markets" report on marketplaces known for counterfeiting and piracy concerns.
Earlier this month, Amazon was accused of being racist in the U.K. The e-retailer sparked outrage on Twitter for not only selling an old book of poetry called Ten Little N****r Boys but also labeled it as "collectable". U.K-based lawyer and women's rights activist, Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, took to Twitter after discovering the title on the website, and called the book 'racist' and 'offensive'. She accused Amazon of 'profiting on oppression of Black people and enabling racism.'
The controversy Amazon surrounding Amazon comes at a time when many cities in the United States are gripped by riots over the death of George Floyd. The past week saw angry protestors taking the streets on several occasions following Floyd's violent on-camera death. Floyd was captured in a video being pinned down by a white police officer and later died. He could be heard screaming, "I can't breathe," in the video. Also, protests were followed by random looting in Minneapolis last week.