Amazon Facilitates Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist Materials
A questionable amount of racist, neo-Nazi and white supremacist publications have been found available for sale on Amazon. Interestingly, these materials are only available in certain areas of the business, while they are banned or regulated in others. For instance, a t-shirt having a racist inscription might be difficult to sell on the site, but a book containing even more racist thoughts and ideas could be sold easily on the site because unlike t-shirts, the sitepolicy does not require the company to ban books that hold questionable viewpoints.
An excerpt from its guidelines on books, quoted on Quartz, reads, “as a bookseller, we provide our customers with access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable.” The same guidelines make a provision for Amazon, to refuse to sell certain content, such as pornography or other inappropriate content. When asked what constitutes inappropriate content however, the company could not provide any details.
Quartz list a number of questionable publications' that can easily be bought off Amazon. They include;
- The manifesto by the White Rabbit Three Percent Illinois Patriot Freedom Fighters Militia, a hate group responsible for bombing a mosque in Minnesota. It’s just one of the episodes that prompted calls for Amazon to get rid of hateful publications. The manifesto is still on the site, where it sells for $6.75.
- The Turner Diaries, a 1978 novel by neo-Nazi leader William Luther Pierce that has inspired extremists from Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh to Idaho domestic terrorist group The Order, according to the FBI. The story portrays the violent overthrow of the US government, beginning with the bombing of FBI headquarters in Washington, DC. The Turner Diaries, which is banned in Germany, has been reviewed 353 times on Amazon, with an average rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars.
A whole lot of other publications by white nationalist and neo-Nazi titles are still sold on Amazon’s website, long after they were exposed by activists. There is also a lot of racist material which is sold by both Amazon and third-party sellers, and most are created through Amazon’s self-publishing platform.
Examples of such books include George Lincoln Rockwell, a Holocaust denier and the founder of the American Nazi Party. Rockwell’s 1966 tract, White Power, sells for $13.95 in paperback, $24.99 in hardcover, and $6.45 for the Kindle version. Amazon described this book as, “The last and most powerful book written by the founder of the American Nazi Party, George Lincoln Rockwell.”
It is equally disturbing that these books have an audience who seem to enjoy them. According to the article, one “verified purchaser” of White Power gave the book a 5-star review, writing that “the Jews” employ “psychological devices to bring about the complete destruction of a once honourable people,” namely whites, and added, “Anybody who has the European spirit flowing through their veins should read this book…Show the world that there is nothing wrong with loving the white race and embracing its inherent power.” Interestingly, seventy-eight people found that review helpful, according to Amazon’s site.