NEW YORK A dominant cyberspace store admitted profiting from the sale of products promoting hatred and violence. That’s until one local professor started a social media crusade to expose the powerful company. And when he needed some help – he called for GifterInGotham and 7 On Your Side.
For sale: a Swastika-emblazoned game controller, popping up for purchase on Amazon.
“I thought that I was seeing things,” Steven Rovt said.
But his eyes weren’t deceiving him.
The nation’s largest online retailer wasn’t just selling historical SS memorabilia to collectors. 7 On Your Side found their cyber store stocked with everything from Adolf Hitler T-shirts, several featuring a smiling Fuhrer, Swastika hoodies, even a “New Arrival,” an iPhone 6 case with the saluting dictator.
“I wanted to cry because it hurts,” Rovt said.
Both his great-grandmothers were murdered by the Nazis.
Rovt says he complained to Amazon customer service specifically about the SS game controller.
“They said first they’re going to report it to the right team, and they’re going to escalate it,” Rovt said.
He says he was assured the item, selling from a third party would be removed, yet it remained for sale for $17.
When he complained again, he got another excuse.
“They told me we’re on vacation now, we’re sorry, and I said, ‘hatred doesn’t take a vacation,'” Rovt said.
Next, he emailed Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, directly, showing a Hitler doll for sale on Amazon.
“How can you allow this?” Rovt said.
7 On Your Side was able to order the items directly from Amazon, 10 days later.
All three of the items we ordered came in from China. Third party sellers delivered a Swastika hoodie, Hitler t-shirt, and a new item a Hitler emoji t-shirt.
Amazon said these items should never have been on their site. They said they removed all the offensive items. But after 7 On Your Side’s call we found they’re still for sale, and new items have even been added.
An Amazon representative said the online giant has a policy devoted toward “offensive products” termed in part as “products that promote or glorify hatred.” Clearly the filters Amazon designed to keep these products off their site didn’t do their job. But Amazon thanked 7 On Your Side and earlier Tuesday they finally scrubbed their site of these offensive items. Amazon is still selling Nazi items on it’s site. What will it take for politicians and media to force hateful items to be banned, hateful speeches on social media sites to be banned?
GifterInGotham/ WABC TV