Amazon has proven that they don’t truly object to hate speech, they only really object to conservatives communicating.
Americans were shocked to discover that the popular Twitter replacement, Parler, was taken offline days ago when its server host, Amazon, decided to stop hosting the application.
Conservatives had flocked to Parler in droves due to Twitter’s recent decision to begin heavily censoring speech they didn’t agree with, including banning President Donald Trump from the platform, indefinitely.
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Just days ago, however, photos of some disturbing content being sold on Amazon had customers questioning how the company justified their statements about Parler, and still sold merchandise that encouraged the killing of Republicans.
Buzzfeed reported on Amazon’s decision to revoke Parler’s hosting:
Amazon notified Parler that it would be cutting off the social network favored by conservatives and extremists from its cloud hosting service Amazon Web Services, according to an email obtained by BuzzFeed News. The suspension, which will go into effect on Sunday just before midnight, means that Parler will be unable to operate and will go offline unless it can find another hosting service.
People on Parler used the social network to stoke fear, spread hate, and allegedly coordinate the insurrection at the Capitol building on Wednesday. The app has recently been overrun with death threats, celebrations of violence, and posts encouraging “Patriots” to march on Washington, DC, with weapons on Jan. 19, the day before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Amazon’s position on Parler could, at first blush, seem like a valid concern that a business might choose to distance themselves from. However, the moral high ground begins to crumble quickly when their actions against the conservative platform are compared to how they deal with items that have found a home on their site.
Life News reported on the photos that were circulating of items sold on the mega-online retailer’s site:
The Media Research Center found at least 204 examples of merchandise sold on Amazon that promoted violence, either toward President Donald Trump, Republicans or members of the police force. Riot gear, including tasers, brass knuckles and stun sticks were also sold. Some of these violent products included a flag with a graphic image of Trump blowing his brains out, a mug with the slogan “Where is Lee Harvey Oswald now that we really need him?” and a black T-shirt with a red slogan, “Kill All Republicans.” The shirt that urged the death of Republicans was even a sponsored listing on Amazon.
The most popular item in question was the shirt being sold by Florence & Partner which had the slogan “Kill All Republicans” and was an item actually sponsored by Amazon. That means that the vendor payed extra for the item to be advertised. It also means that it fell under a special set of terms of service.
According to Life News and the Media Research Center, Amazon’s sponsored product guidelines were violated by the shirt, due to their statement that they prohibit “Content that promotes hate, incites violence or intolerance, or advocates or discriminates against a protected group, whether based on race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age or another category.”
Amazon’s sponsored product guidelines also prohibit “Content related to campaigns, elections, or political issues of public debate; that advocates for or against a politician or a political party; or that personally attacks a political figure.”
Worthy of note, however, is the fact that those same terms do not apply to media.
To be clear, Parler, which is a user-driven site that doesn’t actually sell anything was taken off their hosting service for allowing users to say things Amazon felt were inappropriate, but Amazon actively made money off people who were encouraging that people not involved in the problems of the day (i.e. Republicans, happily working their jobs and buying things with the money made) should be killed, because of their political affiliation.