Right now in France, the government is cracking down on what’s considered anti-Semitic speech. In America, however, white supremacists are allowed to fund their hate by selling white power products and memorabilia.
Vice’s Dave Schilling wonders why Amazon bans some grυesome products, but seems fine with allowing customers to purchase items that promote racial hatred:
Amazon seems to be doing a great job preventing me from purchasing a sεvered head from Ground Zero, but are lacking when it comes to the Nazi and white power memorabilia that remains for sale. It may be that it’s impossible to police an open marketplace the size of Amazon.com, just in the same way that it’s pointless for me to try to prevent people from saying nasty things about me in the comments below this article. But Amazon isn’t some fly-by-night deep web site, it’s a major retailer. Does it have a responsibility to make sure it’s not at all involved in selling paraphernalia of hate? (Through a spokesperson, Amazon declined to comment for this story.)
There seems to be a level of selective outrage in terms of what is viewed as offensive. We should add, though, that this is not just about the mega-seller. Companies are allowed to make their own rules and decide on what they view as offensive.
Schilling sides with free speech, concluding: “I don’t want some racist asshole selling Nazi flags through Amazon, because I don’t want that guy to have that platform—but that’s not an opinion I’m particularly proud of. I would like to live in a world where I’m able to say what I want and express myself.”
Others, however, view this as Amazon.com allowing people to profit from hate. What do you think?