How Amazon determines ‘appropriateness’ of product listings?

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Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting saw the discussion of the “appropriateness” of product listings on the marketplace.

Amazon faced 12 resolutions from 11 Amazon shareholders. The meeting raised the subject of the accepted standard of sellers’ product listings on Amazon.

Citing Amazon’s product listings policy Offensive and Controversial Materials , they said that “global community of customers and cultural differences and sensitivities” are the top criteria Amazon keep in mind when reviewing and choosing to display sellers’ product listings.

Amazon say that this process is global and involves obtaining multiple internal perspectives. They have developed automated systems which also involve a manual review for ambiguous cases. In the last 12 months, Amazon removed hundreds of product listings that are in violation of Amazon’s product policy. Here is an example of products Amazon prohibits:

Examples of products Amazon prohibit

Violence, intolerance, and hate

  1. Products that contain violent or offensive material that has no historical significance. Amazon reserves the right to make a determination on the historical value of the item.
  2. Products that promote, incite, or glorify hate or violence towards any person or group. This includes products that contain violent or offensive material that has no historical significance. Amazon reserves the right to make a determination on the historical value of the item.
  3. Products that promote or glorify suicide
  4. Products related to terrorist organisations
  5. Products that promote or glorify people that have been found guilty of violent or sexual crimes.

Intolerance

  1. Products that promote intolerance based on race, religion, and sexual orientation.
  2. Products that contain racially derogatory language
  3. Human tagedies and disasters

Products related to human tragedies and natural disasters

  1. Child Abuse and Exploitation

Products that depict child abuse/exploitation

  1. Products intended for use by children that contains adult content, profanity and sexual references
  2. Products depicting children or characters resembling children in a sexually suggestive manner
  3. Products marketed to or targeted at children or teenagers that are age-inappropriate

What if a seller violates the policy?

Amazon say that they maintain these policies to ensure a welcoming environment for global customers and selling merchants. However, if a seller supplies a product in violation of their offensive products policy, Amazon will take corrective actions. This means that sellers accounts will be terminated. They will also see the termination of their privileges, destruction of inventory in Amazon fulfilment centres without reimbursement as well as permanent withholding of payments.

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