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Google Shopping Will Yank Confederate Flags Following Amazon, eBay

Google Shopping follows Amazon and eBay in pulling Confederate flags from its online store.


On Tuesday morning, Amazon reportedly joined other e-commerce companies, such as eBay and Etsy, and national retailers in pulling goods with Confederate flag symbols from their digital shelves in the wake of the racist massacre in South Carolina.

This afternoon, Google said it will too. The company is planning to pull paraphernalia with images of the flag from Google Shopping, its online marketplace, as well as its product listing ads.

“We have decided to remove content containing the Confederate flag from Google Shopping and Ads,” a Google spokeswoman wrote in an email. “We have determined that the Confederate flag violates our Ads policies, which don’t allow content that’s generally perceived as expressing hate toward a particular group.”

Currently, you can find a bevy of products from third-party merchants if you search for “confederate flag” at Google’s shopping site. A nylon flag, from the United State Flag Stores, retails for $33; bikinis bearing the southern symbol, the first related term on the search, go for around $28.

Google Shopping launched in 2012, patched together from the remains of Froogle, the comparative product listing site. It has suffered a spate of executive departures recently, and Google has downplayed its reach in the market, next to rivals like Amazon and eBay, in response to the European Union antitrust probe.

Historically, Google has been sacrosanct about content online, preferring not to police it unless strongly pressed. But it has stepped back from that stance lately — earlier this week, the company said it will permit users to scrub “revenge porn” images from search results.

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