Thursday, March 01, 2012

CafePress removes racist products, or at least searches for them

CafePress is an online store where users can customize products such as T-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers and more and, if they want, sell them. Without proactive policing, however, earlier this week the site was forced to remove some pages focused on selling anti-Mexican products after bloggers and news sites brought them to the public's attention. -Specializing in Cheap Flights
The site said,

"The range of user-designed products varies widely in topic, taste and political opinion. CafePress' independent design community spans the globe, with users representing multicultural and multinational ideals and sentiments. As such, users may upload designs that some find distasteful or offensive, but are nevertheless consistent with our policies for expressions and content on our website."

CafePress said users could notify it of objectionable content at "We review all requests for content review, measure user-uploaded images against our policies and determine a plan of action if any is appropriate."

However, it was reported that all CafePress did was disable the search terms "Anti-Mexican" and "Anti-Mexico" in response to the publicity. Searching around the site, MSNBC found that CafePress did NOT remove the actual offensive products from its store, or at least, not many of them.

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Searching the store can find a number of still existing objectionable and racist material. For example, searching for "anti Canada" or "anti Japan" brings up a number of products.

And because it doesn't proactively police its users' products, this won't be the last time CafePress is in the news in a negative light. Just last October, in fact, the company removed a line of products advertising "Illegal Alien Hunting Permits."

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