NEWS: After Amazon.com pledged to stop selling Confederate flag merchandise, rumors claimed that the online retailer still carried ISIS flags.
On 23 June 2015, Amazon.com (among other retailers) announced that they would no longer by vending Confederate flag merchandise on their site, a move prompted by controversy following the 17 June 2015 racially motivated shooting that left nine people dead at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
Shortly after vendors began pulling Confederate flag-adorned merchandise from their listings, a rumor began to circulate on social media claiming that the flag of the Islamic State radical militant group (also known as ISIL, ISIS, or Daesh) was nonetheless still available for purchase through Internet retailing giant Amazon.com — supposed evidence of an unseemly double standard:
— Lib’ral Larry (@LarryLibral) June 24, 2015
Social media iterations of this rumor were typically appended with a screenshot of the Amazon.com page upon which the ISIS flag was supposedly offered for sale, rather than an actual link to that page (or a stored version of it), which made the rumor difficult to verify.
A 24 June 2015 search of Amazon.com did not return any results for terms such “ISIS flag,” “ISIL flag,” “Daesh flag,” or “Islamic State flag,” but a Google-cached page seemingly shows an Amazon listing that matches the one in question, offering a 3’x5′ “Islamic State FLAG” for $19.99 + $4.99 shipping:
Is isn’t clear when this listing was pulled from Amazon, but customer reviews (in this cached version, at least) spanned only the range of May 22-27 2015, and it seems this version of the page dates from around early June, before the Confederate flag controversy kicked in:
A good deal of merchandise offered for sale on Amazon.com comes from third-party vendors who place listings on the site that are not necessarily reviewed or approved by Amazon in advance, so sometimes inappropriate or offensive material may be available for sale through the site for several days before the matter comes to Amazon’s attention and they remove the listing.