Amazon UK pulls misogynist t-shirts following outrage

Amazon has dropped a range of poor-taste t-shirts, with the makers blaming the offensive slogans on a "computer error".

Amazon UK has stopped selling a range of t-shirts that promote rape and violence towards women, after receiving a barrage of complaints.

The t-shirts, from Massachusetts-based company Solid Gold Bomb, feature slogans based on the "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster from World War II. Examples include "Keep Calm and Hit Her" and "Keep Calm and Rape a Lot". Unsurprisingly, Amazon was inundated with complaints, and has removed the offending items, though it continues to sell other garments from Solid Gold Bomb, the Guardian reports.

An Amazon UK spokesperson told Sky News: "I can confirm that those items are not available for sale." 

Solid Gold Bomb was flooded with complaints and death threats, leading it to delete its Twitter account and Facebook page. It issued an apology, blaming the offensive slogans on "a computer error".

Apparently to make its t-shirts, the company relies on "computer-based dictionaries and online educational resources i.e. verb lists". These generate word lists "using simple scripting methods". In other words, it used software to randomly jumble words together, then printed the resulting slogans. Because it sells a big range of t-shirts, some offensive terms slipped through the net, Solid Gold Bomb claims.

Sound like a lot of nonsense? Well amazingly it could actually be how the company operates, with some of the slogans on its t-shirts ("Keep Calm and Skim Me", "Keep Calm and Bomb Not") making no sense whatsoever. Either that or the people producing them are illiterate, which could also be true.

Even if we give Solid Gold Bomb the benefit of the doubt, and assume it just didn't check which slogans the computer had thrown out -- which I'm doubtful about -- it's still phenomenally irresponsible.

Have you ever heard of a company coming up with slogans by using a computer to randomly assign words? Or does this all sound like an excuse? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.

About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.


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