Amazon has removed conservative content from its store and from Amazon Web Services. It has banned books and censored Parler, an online free-speech platform. Its AmazonSmile charitable program worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to exclude nonprofits such as Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom. Amazon fails to protect its employees from viewpoint discrimination. Amazon uses both its corporate reputation and its corporate funds to advance ideological causes and organizations hostile to freedom of expression. For these reasons, Amazon receives a "High Risk" rating.
Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.
Amazon stopped selling Ryan Anderson’s book “When Harry Became Sally” on charges of treating transgender identity as a mental illness (1). Amazon Web Services removed Parler’s web presence over concerns of violent speech just as Parler was growing among conservatives (2). Amazon has also hindered the release of documentaries by or about black conservatives, namely Clarence Thomas (“Created Equal” was removed from the Amazon Prime streaming service) and Shelby Steele (“What Killed Michael Brown” was delayed without reason) (3). Amazon also has banned other conservative books, such as Alex Berenson’s book on COVID-19 lockdowns, which was “accidentally” banned (4). It removed Matt Walsh’s previously best-selling children’s book from its online retail store (5). Amazon declined to run paid ads for Matt Walsh’s “What is a Woman” book as well, stating that “we don’t allow content that appears to infer or claim to diagnose, treat, reverse or question sexual orientation” (6). The company received a score of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Among other requirements, this means Amazon has pledged to vet vendors based on LGBTQ policies (7). Amazon’s new “inclusion policy” sets benchmarks for casting, including “30% white women and non-binary people, 20% men from underrepresented races and ethnicities, 20% women and non-binary people from underrepresented races and ethnicities,” indicating that the company bases its hiring practices on identity politics rather than merit (8). Amazon-owned Twitch is a Select Partner of the Global Disinformation Index, which has withheld advertising funds from conservative news outlets (9)(10).
Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.
Amazon does not have an employee matching program but does donate through AmazonSmile, a program that has labeled Christian groups like Alliance Defending Freedom as hate groups (1). Amazon will retire its AmazonSmile program in February 2023 (2). Amazon claims to work with 28,000 faith-based nonprofits through their Amazon Business reduced rates for charities but continues to work with the SPLC to allow certain nonprofits and not others selectively. (3).
Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.
Amazon does not protect its employees from viewpoint discrimination (1).
Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.
Amazon has clearly voiced support for various ideological causes, including increased minimum wage and police reform legislation (1). Amazon has joined the Business Coalition for the Equality Act and advocates for transgender participation in girls and women’s sports (2)(3). Additionally, Amazon publicly referred to laws like Georgia’s voting integrity law as an effort to disenfranchise black voters (4). Amazon opposed the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in schools to kids in K-3rd grade (5).
Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.
Amazon funds many ideological groups hostile to freedom of expression like the American Civil Liberties Union and Black Lives Matter, and the company is a Platinum Sponsor of the HRC (1)(2). In response to the leaked draft ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, Amazon announced it would pay for employees’ abortion-related travel (3).
All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
March 21, 2023
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