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Amazon reviewing website algorithm that pushed bomb-making materials

news
21 September 2017

Amazon said it is ''reviewing'' its website algorithm after it reportedly suggested bomb-making materials to customers after they made purchases.

The statement came yesterday after Channel 4 News, a UK media company, reported that items, such as steel ball bearings and remote detonators, were found in the ''Frequently bought together'' and ''Customers who bought this also bought'' sections after customers purchased such items like cooking ingredients.

All the items were completely legal to purchase individually, the outlet reported on Monday, but together, made up the needed components of a homemade explosive device.

''All products sold on Amazon must adhere to our selling guidelines and we only sell products that comply with UK laws,'' Amazon said in the released statement.

''In light of recent events, we are reviewing our website to ensure that all these products are presented in an appropriate manner,'' they said. ''We also continue to work closely with police and law enforcement agencies when circumstances arise where we can assist their investigations.''

According to Channel 4, people had been prosecuted by authorities when their purchase history showed that they had bought several of the items needed to make explosives.

The development follows a terror attack on 15 September in London's subway system that reportedly injured 30 people after a homemade explosive, planted in a bucket, went off on a packed London Underground train.

Amazon said on Wednesday that it was reviewing its website after a British television report said the online retail giant's algorithms were automatically suggesting bomb-making ingredients that were ''Frequently bought together.''

The news is particularly timely in Britain, where the authorities are investigating a terrorist attack last week on London's Underground subway system. The attack involved a crude explosive in a bucket inside a plastic bag, and detonated on a train during the morning rush.

Amazon issued a statement that said all products sold on its website ''must adhere to our selling guidelines and we only sell products that comply with U.K. laws.''

''In light of recent events, we are reviewing our website to ensure that all these products are presented in an appropriate manner,'' the statement continued. ''We also continue to work closely with police and law enforcement agencies when circumstances arise where we can assist their investigations.''





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