Hate Speech

At Amazon.com, the Nathan Cummings Foundation wants a

report on its efforts to address hate speech and the sale of offensive products throughout its businesses. The report should...discuss Amazon’s process to develop policies to address hate speech and offensive products, the experts and stakeholders it consulted while developing these policies and the enforcement mechanisms it has put in place, or intends to put in place, to ensure compliance.

In the resolution, Nathan Cummings points out an increase in hate crimes and observes, “some have suggested that online hate speech, which Merriam-Webster defines as speech expressing hatred of a particular group of people, can help weaken inhibitions against harmful acts.” The company’s policy is not to offer products that “promote, incite or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views,” but the resolution asserts it is inconsistently applied and that a July 2018 report found “racist, lslamophobic, homophobic and anti-Semitic items on Amazon’s platforms.” It concludes the company may damage its reputation and “relationships with key stakeholders including customers, regulators and employees.”

(Additional resolutions related to hate speech are in Media section, below.)