Amazon Just Pulled These 3 Items From Its Website
The marketplace just quietly removed these products.
Amazon has been criticized for its inability to adequately monitor listings in accordance with its guidelines. A recent controversy found 13 million records of direct messages between Amazon vendors and customers willing to provide fake reviews in exchange for free products. And the sale of products promoting hate have also previously put Amazon in hot water, including listings for books that promote anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim rhetoric, and most recently, COVID denial content. Now, the company has seemingly pulled three specific items from its website for violating its rules in a similar fashion. Read on to find out what's no longer for sale on Amazon.
Amazon just pulled three t-shirts promoting a far-right white nationalist meme.
On July 12, Media Matters reported that Amazon was selling three t-shirts promoting the far-right white nationalist meme Groyper (or Groyper Army). The group is led by Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist and founder of the podcast America First, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The Groyper meme is a toad-spinoff of Pepe the Frog, which was declared a hate symbol by the ADL in 2016. According to Media Matters, Groyper has become popular among far-right circles who see Pepe as too mainstream, but the ADL has yet to declare Groyper as an official hate symbol.
Amazon was selling two shirts featuring the text "Groyper" and "Groyper Army" on them. Their product descriptions read, "GROYPERS UNITE!, we want the true conservatism, this is Groyper War!!" The third t-shirt featured the Groyper meme and was marketed as a Halloween shirt. But by July 13, Business Insider reported that none of the t-shirts could be located on Amazon's website, suggesting the company had quietly pulled them. The shirts appear to violate Amazon's Offensive Products guidelines, which read: "Amazon does not allow products that promote, incite or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views."
Two of the t-shirts were reportedly listed as being sold and shipped by Amazon directly.
Before the three listings were removed, the two t-shirts featuring the text "Groyper" and "Groyper Army" were listed as being sold and shipped by Amazon.com directly, Media Matters reports. Items listed as being sold and shipped by Amazon have been purchased as inventory by the company and are sold and shipped from an Amazon warehouse. That would mean these items were seemingly owned by Amazon, not by an independent, third-party business, according to How-to-Geek.
Best Life reached out to Amazon to confirm that the t-shirts were being directly sold by the marketplace, but the company has not yet responded to a request for a comment.
Other products with the Groyper meme are still being sold on Amazon.
Amazon may have quietly removed three Groyper-related t-shirts, but many other Groyper products are still listed on the marketplace. Two books, The Groyper And Frens Coloring Book and Who's that_groyper? are still for sale on Amazon as of July 13. The author for both books is listed as Cameron Kiesser, who describes himself as a digital artist and "Groyper advocate" on a connected DeviantArt page. There is also still an Amazon listing for a sticker that features a combined image of Groyper and wrestler Hulk Hogan, who has become an icon among Groypers after sharing the meme in a now-deleted 2017 tweet, per Business Insider.
Sears and Walmart were recently under fire for another far-right-related shirt.
Recently, Sears and Kmart were selling t-shirts online that read, "Ashli Babbitt, American Patriot." Ashli Babbitt was a participant in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, where rioters stormed the building to protest the certification of Joe Biden's victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. While attempting to climb through a broken window on a door that led to the Speaker's Lobby, Babbit was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer, according to The New York Times.
On July 6, Vox reporter Aaron Rupar tweeted a screenshot of one of the Babbit shirts, leading to backlash and both retailers pulling the items from their websites. The official Sears account replied to Rupar on Twitter that day: "Thank you for bringing this product to our attention. This item is no longer available for purchase on Sears.com or kmart.com." It seems the shirts were listed through a third-party seller.