An Amazon banner promoting Tommy Robinson’s book is no longer on TR News home page after the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) filed a complaint to Amazon.
Tommy Robinson is a far-right, neo-fascist, white nationalist figure from the UK. As a result of a campaign by activists and British MPs, Robinson was banned from all major social media. In response, Robinson set up TR News to promote his racist worldview. Recently, TR News published a banner to advertise Robinson’s book Enemy of the State, featuring the Amazon logo.
Media Diversity Institute, GTTO partner in the UK, reacted immediately. Amazon’s own Creative Acceptance Policies state that “threatening, abusive, or harassing, or content that advocates or discriminates against a protected group (whether based on race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age or any similar or another category)” is prohibited from all ads. Having exposed Robinson’s hateful ideology on a number of occasions (here and here), MDI wondered why Amazon allowed TR News to use their logo to advertise Robinson’s book.
On 17th June, MDI sent an official letter of complaint to Amazon asking the online shopping giant “to stop associating its name with the racist statements of Tommy Robinson”. In addition, MDI requested a meeting with Amazon’s head of policy to discuss the issue of hate speech and possible collaboration in tackling it in greater depth.
A month later, Amazon replied to MDI agreeing that the advertisement banner at the top of the website TR News was against the Amazon brand guidelines. The banner was subsequently removed.
Regarding the sale of the book, unfortunately, Amazon refused to stop selling it. “Upon our review of the book you mentioned Tommy Robinson Enemy of the state we found the book does not contravene our policies and will remain on sale”, their reply said.
The refusal by Amazon to end the sale of Tommy Robison’s merchandising has been covered by national news media, including The Guardian, and several British charities have tried to achieve this goal too.