Amazon is the world’s largest online marketplace. That’s why its decision to act as “speech police” should concern us all.
And you can do something about it. If you are an Amazon shareholder, an Amazon Prime member, a small business partner, or a customer, you can tell Amazon to end its viewpoint discrimination.
Let’s take a deeper look at the problem and how you can help.
What’s the Problem?
AmazonSmile allows Amazon customers to donate a small percentage of their purchases to their favorite charity. Amazon customers have donated over $160 million to nonprofits through AmazonSmile.
But if the SPLC doesn’t like what your favorite charity has to say, then you won’t find them on the list (something that we at ADF know all about).
Amazon’s content censorship is also concerning. Amazon policies claim to provide customers “access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable.” Yet, it has recently removed books based solely on customers claiming offense at a book’s content.
That is a slippery slope. It would require every author, artist, producer, and entrepreneur to fall in line with Amazon’s (or its offended customers’) preferred viewpoint if they wish to participate in the Amazon marketplace. So much for a “variety of viewpoints.”
Why You Should Care
Viewpoint diversity is better for our society. If some are refused the freedom to express their beliefs and ideas, that threatens freedom for us all.
Viewpoint diversity is also good for business and shareholder value, and its absence harms them. Respecting varied and peaceful social, political, and religious beliefs in policy, governance, and the marketplace helps companies mitigate risk, improve performance, and better align business goals with shareholders’ interests.
On the other hand, when corporations become cultural partisans by endorsing or opposing particular views, they risk alienating customers and undermining firm value. Amazon’s ongoing partnership with the SPLC and habit of content censorship put its company and shareholders at risk.
But it also poses an even greater risk than that.
When Amazon uses partisan “hate” labels to ban groups and content, it ceases to function as an impartial marketplace, and becomes a viewpoint censor. With the company’s vast size and economic dominance, viewpoint discrimination at Amazon could pose broad societal risks by limiting market access for thousands of authors, nonprofits, and faith-based businesses.
Urgent: Your Help Needed
Whether you are a shareholder, nonprofit, business advocacy group, or concerned customer, you can stand up to Amazon's viewpoint discrimination.
But you must do so by the end of the day on Tuesday, May 26!
- If you are an Amazon shareholder, please vote in favor of Resolution 12 on Amazon’s Proxy Statement (which you can read at the bottom of page 41 at this link).
- If you are an Amazon customer, please sign the petition to urge Amazon to stop discriminating against people of faith.
Please don’t wait. Act now and encourage your family and friends to do the same. What you and others urge Amazon to do during these final days will make a real difference.
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