Report: Google profited from sale of T-shirts praising Hamas
LONDON: A report by the Independent revealed on Saturday that Google has been profiting from the sale of T-shirts glorifying Hamas, days after the UK government designated their political arm a terrorist organization.
Last Friday, Home Secretary Priti Patel made the move in a bid to crack down on anti-semitism, making it a criminal offence to be a member of Hamas or even wear clothing suggesting affiliation.
Nevertheless, the Independent report found that Google has been displaying adverts for T-shirts bearing a picture of a Hamas fighter with the message “HAMAS ARMY” ever since Patel’s designation.
Google had been advertising the £9.93 ($13.14) shirts, to be sold via another website, at the top of the shopping section of its search engine. One advert even highlighted a price drop, showing that the T-shirt was previously sold for £19.26.
Shortly after the Independent published its report, Google removed the adverts.
“We prohibit ads or products that are made by or in support of terrorist groups. In this case, we removed the ads and listings from our platform. We enforce our policies vigorously and take action when they are breached,” a Google spokesperson said.
Teepublic, the website selling the T-shirts, removed the adverts after being contacted by the Independent.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We expect tech companies to tackle terrorist content on their platforms and respond to emerging threats quickly. We are pleased Google acted so swiftly here, and we will continue to work with companies to ensure it remains a priority.”