Even though it's supposed to be the "Season of Giving," there are still those who value making a profit over integrity.
Just this week, Amazon pulled a series of ornaments, listed by some of their private sellers, for portraying images of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The images included portrayed the gates to Auschwitz, one of the most recognized roadways to the concentration camp, a watchtower and a train car on its way to Auschwitz. These images were ready to print on a variety of items, including key chains, mouse pads, and Christmas ornaments in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Upon discovering some of these items, a spokesperson for the Auschwitz Memorial, the memorial museum established on-sight at the former concentration camp, took to Twitter to tell Amazon to do something about the inappropriate items.
The spokesperson said:
"Selling 'Christmas ornaments' with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate. Auschwitz on a bottle opener is rather disturbing and disrespectful. We ask @amazon to remove the items of those suppliers."
The Auschwitz Memorial wasn't alone in pressuring Amazon.
Many took to Twitter to share how disturbing it was to see the images, let alone to imagine that someone was willingly selling or purchasing such items to open a beer bottle or to hang on their Christmas trees.
@AuschwitzMuseum @amazon I called customer service and they were appalled as well. Even got an email from seller. T… https://t.co/LTeDu8tfWb— Wytt (@Wytt) 1575226216.0
@AuschwitzMuseum @sigourneybeaver @amazon I am so glad sense prevailed and these were removed before I saw them. Wh… https://t.co/9HOqlNNsWz— Jill Collier (@Jill Collier) 1575230572.0
@AuschwitzMuseum @amazon That it was necessary is abysmal. Didn't Amazon have this super duper technology and AI wh… https://t.co/UxfmtAYoyR— ModestyBlaise (@ModestyBlaise) 1575225776.0
@AuschwitzMuseum @amazon Who in their right mind would make/purchase/have anything to do with these 😡— Cara Millar (@Cara Millar) 1575225867.0
@AuschwitzMuseum @amazon One of the many reasons Amazon needs to be held exclusively accountable for the content on… https://t.co/788uUWjHmE— EarlWRobinson_UK (@EarlWRobinson_UK) 1575291668.0
The Memorial followed up shortly after, stating:
"It seems that [Amazon] has removed all of the 'Christmas ornaments' with the images of the former Auschwitz camp. Thank you everyone for your activity and response."
Some have pointed out that the seller may have been using a collection software that pulls popularly-used images from the internet to print on their products. It's possible that these images of Auschwitz were considered "popular" by the program's algorithms and automatically presented as potential printing options on the website.
Nevertheless, even if this was an accidental listing, Twitter is arguing that Amazon and its associated sellers need to have protocols for their products. The independent seller should be fully aware of the products they are offering to print and have some kind of filtering system in place prior to an image going live for sale.