Online portal Amazon has been unintentionally instructing customers about how to make explosive bombs. A recent report by Channel 4 News proves that Amazon’s algorithm was guiding users to the necessary chemical combinations for producing explosives and inflammable devices. Ingredients which are innocent on their own are suggested for purchase together as “Frequently bought together” products, as it does with all other goods.
The Amazon feature was inadvertently directing shoppers to combinations of chemicals, detonators, makeshift shrapnel, and other materials that can be combined to create a homemade bomb.
Steel ball bearings often used as shrapnel in explosive devices, ignition systems and remote detonators are also readily available. These products are highlighted by the Amazon website under “Customers who bought this item also bought” tab.
This shocking investigative report coincidentally comes out within a week of the London underground bombing that injured 30 people. The bomb behind the explosion was wrapped in a plastic grocery bag concealed in a bucket. It is unclear if the ‘bucket bomb’ was made with the materials purchased online from Amazon but it would be unfair to ignore the consequences that might take place in a similar circumstance.
Yvette Cooper, chair of Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee, said the findings were “very disturbing”.
Alongside Amazon, Facebook and Google too have been under scrutiny of misleading its users through advertisements.
It has mainly come out to be troublesome in UK. While these products, if sold independently are not illegal in UK. Amazon has announced on Wednesday that it would launch a review and said that all products must adhere to their selling guidelines and all UK laws. They also say they will work closely with police and law enforcement agencies if there is a need to go ahead with further investigations.