Collaborating Authors

The Angle: Racism Is Solved Edition


She "only want[s] to write about somewhat unlikable Jewish women having really inappropriate ideas about life and sex," and that's what she delivers in I Love Dick, a new TV pilot from Amazon. Willa Paskin points out that "Soloway, the creator of Transparent, is Amazon's most important creative asset. If you are a network, you give her what she wants, including another show."

Employees, ACLU demand Amazon stop facilitating government surveillance


Instead of merely selling copies of 1984, Amazon appears determined to help bring the dystopian classic's vision of widespread government surveillance to life. And Amazon employees are really not happy about it. In 2016, Amazon unveiled Rekognition, an AI-powered facial recognition software that scans videos or photos to detect people or objects. It can analyze a person's face to determine their emotions, identify 100 faces in a single photo, and track a person throughout a video even if they leave and reenter the field of view. In other words, it's a powerful surveillance tool, and government agencies and law enforcement are apparently two of Amazon's target customers.

Amazon Removes Racist Messages From Listings Of Apple AirPods, Blame 'Bad Actor'

International Business Times

Amazon on Sunday confirmed the removal of racist messages that appeared on certain listings for Apple's popular AirPods in the U.K. The images containing the extreme racial slurs were enough to cause "AirPods" to trend on Twitter in the U.K. for a time over the weekend. "We are removing the images in question and have taken action on the bad actor," an Amazon spokesperson told Reuters. The company has so far not elaborated on what sort of "bad actor" caused the messages to appear and why. The messages appeared on AirPods listings from third-party sellers, meaning that they were not visible on listings from Amazon or any other major vendor. The sellers in question were noted for being relatively new and having little or no customer feedback.

Lawmaker blasts Amazon's 'performative' support of Black Lives Matter movement

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Amazon, which last week imposed a one-year ban on selling its controversial facial-recognition technology to the police, is being called out for a "performative" gesture amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. That technology, known as Rekogntiion, has long drawn the ire of racial justice groups and civil liberties advocates, who claim it is biased against black people and should not be sold to law enforcement agencies in the U.S. "Corporations have been quick to share expressions of support for the Black Lives Matter movement following the public outrage over the murders of Black Americans like George Floyd at the hands of police," said Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., in a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. "Unfortunately, too many of these gestures have been performative at best. Calling on Congress to regulate facial recognition technology is one of these gestures. However, Amazon – as a global leader in technology and innovation – has a unique opportunity before them to put substantive action behind their sentiments of'solidarity with the Black community' by not selling a flawed product to police, and instead, play a critical role in ending systemic racism in our nation's criminal justice system," the California lawmaker continued.

Researchers find Amazon is selling white supremacist products


A pair of watchdog groups reported that despite Amazon's policy against the sale of racist or'hatred-glorifying' goods on its platforms, white supremacist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and homophobic goods are still sold on the sites. That allegedly includes products in its online store along with material on its publishing and music outlets. The two groups, Action Center on Race & the Economy and the Partnership for Working Families, released the report (PDF) today criticizing the online shopping giant for failing to enforce its policies, which explicitly prohibit "products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views." The researchers allegedly found toys with propaganda symbols, books and other products aimed at children that normalize racist beliefs. Amazon's failure to enforce its policies "provides a number of channels through which hate groups can generate revenue, propagate their ideas, and grow their movements," the report stated, adding that the company profits when it takes its cut of sales.