Amazon and Google, two of the biggest online shopping platforms have been profiting from the sale of firearms and gun accessories, until an apparent violation that wiped off over thirty people. The sites acknowledged on Tuesday that their platforms had listings for the sale of firearms-related products which is against their stated policies. Both platforms announced that the listings have been taken down.
This comes after three mass shooting killed over thirty people in the United States. These shootings have disrupted activities and shaken the country. Before the massacre, the sites had offered for sale rifle models with a capacity to accommodate 25 or more bullets.
Google had on its site, “listings for boxes of shotgun rounds like the $31.25 20- round Hornady Critical Defence set, described on the manufacturer’s website as able to place all projectiles on a man-sized target at seven yards and provide excellent penetration,” The Washington Post reported.
It is quite unfortunate that the software algorithm which are meant to catch and eliminate banned goods like shotgun slipped through. Google has proceeded to ban every promotion of products that instigate violence or cause damage. It said that the listings that direct products as these should have detected by the company’s software, but somehow, they slipped through.
“The sale of weapons, guns, and certain gun parts is strictly prohibited on Google Shopping. As soon as we found policy-violating result, we removed them and are working to prevent these instances from reoccurring,” a spokesperson from Google said.
Google, after being contacted has eliminated the listings such as the Hornady rounds and a box of Remington hollow-point rounds, which you could locate by typing “ammunition” in the search box on the shopping site and clicking an option for “Buy with Google.” Posts found with “rifle magazine” and “ammunition belt” were also taken down.
Amazon’s policies clearly state that sales of firearms and ammunitions are prohibited, although the company allows retailers to sell scopes-including night vision optics- and laser sights, as well as flashlight and other tactical devices.
“All sellers are required to follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account,” Amazon said in a statement.
Google’s spokesperson said the company is working to ensure the episode does not recur. Amazon didn’t say if it banned the third-part seller for the listing.