Amazon’s UK website targeted with racist messages posted by ‘bad actor’

‘AirPods’ trended on UK Twitter after abuse appeared in searches alongside the Apple product

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2019 file photo, people stand in the lobby for Amazon offices in New York.  Amazon said Friday, Jan. 31, 2020,  it now employs more than 500,000 people in the U.S., another sign of the online giant's rapid growth.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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The online retail giant Amazon has had to remove images and messages spreading racist abuse on listings on its UK website.
The company said it was taking down the racial slurs which appeared when online shoppers searched for Apple's AirPod wireless headphones.
The messages, which targeted the black community, now appear to have been removed.
Before the abusive content could be expunged, however, the term AirPods began trending on UK Twitter. Screenshots and videos captured of users encountering the messages were also shared on the social media site.
"We are removing the images in question and have taken action on the bad actor," an Amazon spokeswoman said.
The retail website has not elaborated on the identity of who posted the images. However, In April several of Amazon's foreign websites, including the UK domain, were added to the US trade regulator's notorious markets report on marketplaces known for counterfeiting and piracy concerns.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 31: People hold placards as they join a spontaneous Black Lives Matter march at Trafalgar Square to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and in support of the demonstrations in North America on May 31, 2020 in London, England. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, at the hands of police in Minneapolis has sparked violent protests across the USA. A video of the incident, taken by a bystander and posted on social media, showed Floyd's neck being pinned to the ground by police officer, Derek Chauvin, as he repeatedly said "I cant breathe". Chauvin was fired along with three other officers and has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Amazon strongly disagreed with the report , describing it as "purely political".
The racist messages were shared on the UK-facing site as days-long anti-racist protests in the United States spread to Britain and Germany.
Hundreds of people protested in London and Berlin on Sunday in solidarity with demonstrations in the United States over the death of George Floyd, a black man, shown on video gasping for breath as a white policeman knelt on his neck in Minneapolis.
Mr Floyd's death has unleashed public rage over racial bias in the US and across the world.

Protesters knelt in central London's Trafalgar Square, chanting "no justice, no peace", before marching to the US Embassy despite coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
The Metropolitan police said they had made five arrests outside the US Embassy, three for violations of the coronavirus lockdown guidelines and two for assault on police.
Hundreds of protesters rallied outside the US Embassy in Berlin where they held up placards with the messages "justice for George Floyd" and "stop killing us".