Amazon sells 'Mein Kampf,' other items encouraging hate - ADL report

The ADL wrote a report highlighting some of the merchandise available on the site

By
July 31, 2019 18:52
2 minute read.
A copy of Hitler's self-written memoir 'Mein Kampf'

A copy of Hitler's self-written memoir 'Mein Kampf'. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has slammed Amazon for continuing to allow “items and merchandise” promoting white supremacy, right-wing extremism and the anti-government militia movement and to be sold on the site by third-person sellers.

“Hateful books [including paradigmatic white supremacist novel, The Turner Diaries] are easily accessible, usually available without warnings and often proactively ‘recommended’ by Amazon’s algorithm,” the ADL wrote in its report about the matter. “Hateful merchandise, including flags and t-shirts, can be a bit harder to find, but it’s available, as long as you know which – slightly obscure – search terms to use. None of these [non-book] items should be available, according to Amazon’s own policy covering the sale of ‘offensive and controversial materials.’”

Their policy, updated in November 2018, states that “Amazon’s Offensive Products policies apply to all products except books, music, video and DVD… Amazon does not allow products that promote, incite or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views.”

Selling such items clearly goes against this policy.

The ADL also pointed out that flags with extremist symbols are by far the most widely available extremism-related products. For example, a search for “Germany Black Cross,” brings up the popular white supremacist Celtic Cross flag, erroneously labeled as “Germany Black Cross Flag WWII.” Another flag – reminiscent of the red, white and black Nazi swastika emblem – is being sold as a “Celtic Cross Red Flag,” among others.

More extremist items for sale also include a bronze statue of Adolf Hitler; Hitler’s self-written memoir, Mein Kampf; and large posters of the infamous dictator and other Nazi figures, all from third party sources.

One of the descriptions on Mein Kampf states that only 6% of it addressed the Jews, adding that “Mein Kampf offers an interesting interpretation of politics, people and foreign policy matters. To characterize it as simply a racist work is to oversimplify its message. Germany did not follow Hitler because he was a racist, they followed him because he promised a great future, and Mein Kampf is where he promised that great future.”

Another item that was available was a swastika-patterned pillow case for just a few dollars; however, the sellers don’t deliver to Israel.

The ADL continued in its report that “given its size and scope, Amazon exerts considerable influence over the global marketplace.

“Amazon was responsible for over half of online retail traffic in the US in the fourth quarter of last year,” the organization explained. “Put another way, the number of Amazon users worldwide is likely as big as or bigger than the population of the US. That adds up to a lot of views – and potential customers – for online purveyors of extremist merchandise.”

However, it did emphasize that “overall, while Amazon has taken steps to curtail the sale of hateful products, we are working with the company on doing more.

“Hateful merchandise has no place on Amazon, and hateful books should never be suggested proactively to users,” the ADL stressed.

Earlier this month, there was a major outcry after it was discovered that several bookstores were found selling copies of Mein Kampf, which were accompanied by a full Nazi blurb, as well as a price tag that contains a coded reference to white supremacy.


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