I *never* saw that one coming.
We got kicked out of the Amazon Associates program for reasons that remain unknown.
Amazon told us that its “criteria” used to kick us out were proprietary. Amazon would not provide evidence of our alleged Operating Agreement violations to us or to the Daily Caller News Foundation, which was investigating the story.
I noted in my prior post a concern about how we were treated based on Amazon kicking Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) out of another Amazon program, the SMILE program for charities, where Amazon customers can designate a charity to receive a percentage of whatever the customer spends. ADF, in case you were unaware, has won a string of U.S. Supreme Court religious freedom cases, including the Colorado bakery case that was just decided.
Yet ADF was kicked out of the SMILE program because it has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Relying on SPLC’s evaluation of groups reflects a corporate political culture that is hostile to conservatives.
As readers are aware from dozens of our prior posts, SPLC has become a primary tool to attack conservatives and stifle speech through its hate and extremist lists. Those lists are highly politicized, including in the past people such as Rand Paul, Ben Carson and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Being designated a hate group or extremist by SPLC can spell the end of campus and other appearances. In the case of the Family Research Council, it led to violence when an SPLC follower used the list as the basis to attempt a shooting at FRC headquarters.
An August 2017 Politico Magazine article, in which I was quoted, highlighted how SPLC has become politicized, Has a Civil Rights Stalwart Lost Its Way?:
William Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell and critic of the SPLC, says the group has wrapped itself in the mantle of the civil rights struggle to engage in partisan political crusading. “Time and again, I see the SPLC using the reputation it gained decades ago fighting the Klan as a tool to bludgeon mainstream politically conservative opponents,” he says. “For groups that do not threaten violence, the use of SPLC ‘hate group’ or ‘extremist’ designations frequently are exploited as an excuse to silence speech and speakers,” Jacobson adds. “It taints not only the group or person, but others who associate with them.”
SPLC has lost its credibility as being anything other than a weaponized left-wing political activism group intent on shutting down political opposition. Nonetheless, many of the internet oligopolies use SPLC as part of their “hate speech” monitoring.
But no group has gone as far as Amazon in actually turning over control to SPLC, according to a Daily Caller report:
Four of the world’s biggest tech platforms have working partnerships with a left-wing nonprofit that has a track record of inaccuracies and routinely labels conservative organizations as “hate groups.”
Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter all work with or consult the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in policing their platforms for “hate speech” or “hate groups,” a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found….
Of the four companies, Amazon gives the SPLC the most direct authority over its platform, TheDCNF found.
While Facebook emphasizes its independence from the SPLC, Amazon does the opposite: Jeff Bezos’ company grants the SPLC broad policing power over the Amazon Smile charitable program, while claiming to remain unbiased.
“We remove organizations that the SPLC deems as ineligible,” an Amazon spokeswoman told TheDCNF.
Amazon grants the SPLC that power “because we don’t want to be biased whatsoever,” said the spokeswoman, who could not say whether Amazon considers the SPLC to be unbiased.
The Smile program allows customers to identify a charity to receive 0.5 percent of the proceeds from their purchases on Amazon. Customers have given more than $8 million to charities through the program since 2013, according to Amazon.
Only one participant in the program, the SPLC, gets to determine which other groups are allowed to join it.
Christian legal groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom — which recently successfully represented a Christian baker at the Supreme Court — are barred from the Amazon Smile program, while openly anti-Semitic groups remain, TheDCNF found in May.
One month later, the anti-Semitic groups — but not the Alliance Defending Freedom — are still able to participate in the program.
Consider this my *shocked* face that Amazon would turn over policing to SPLC. I *never* saw that one coming.
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