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Technology Amazon, Google and Wish pull racist products after investigation

02:30  26 july  2020
02:30  26 july  2020 Source:   engadget.com

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Amazon , Google and Wish have removed neo-Nazi and white-supremacist products being sold on their platforms following an investigation by BBC Click. Algorithms on Amazon and Wish also recommended other white-supremacist items. All three companies told the BBC that racist products

Amazon , Google and Wish have removed neo-Nazi and white-supremacist products being sold on their platforms following an investigation by BBC Click. Algorithms on Amazon and Wish also recommended other white-supremacist items. All three companies told the BBC that racist products

Major internet retailers still have an issue with racist products in their stores. Amazon, Google and Wish have removed white supremacist products on sale through their platforms after a BBC Click investigation revealed numerous examples. The online portals not only sold flags, hoods and other neo-Nazi and KKK material, but recommended similar products to shoppers.

Amazon fulfilment center in Sosnowiec, Poland on 13 May, 2019. The fifth Amazon fulfilment center in Poland is built in the Upper Silesia region. The property totalling 135,000 sqm is built on a 21-hectare site near Panattoni Park Sosnowiec. Amazons fulfilment centre in Sosnowiec is adapted to the high-bay storage system and dedicated to the distribution of shoes and clothes in Western Europe. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Amazon fulfilment center in Sosnowiec, Poland on 13 May, 2019. The fifth Amazon fulfilment center in Poland is built in the Upper Silesia region. The property totalling 135,000 sqm is built on a 21-hectare site near Panattoni Park Sosnowiec. Amazons fulfilment centre in Sosnowiec is adapted to the high-bay storage system and dedicated to the distribution of shoes and clothes in Western Europe. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The three companies all said they ban racist products, but didn’t explain in detail how they would prevent further racist goods from appearing. They also pulled material linked to the “boogaloo” movement, whose more extreme members have been linked to real-world threats and violence.

The discovery highlights problems with keeping merchants from listing hateful material and with the recommendation algorithms. While policies can prevent some products from slipping through, it’s evident others still get through. The algorithms, meanwhile, run the risk of suggesting racist content and further enabling those who profit from it. It may be difficult to completely remove these items, but this suggests there’s still room for improvement.

Google drops commission fees for retailers, aiming to take on Amazon .
The search giant wants people to shop on Google instead of other platforms.Previously, Google charged merchants to list items with the company's Buy with Google program, which lets people buy items directly through Google's website instead of being sent to an outside digital store. The fee was about 10 to 15% of the sale, comparable to Amazon's rates. The pilot is starting in the US before expanding internationally.

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