Amazon 'reviewing' website after suggesting bomb-making materials to customers

Published September 20, 2017

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

The company made the statement on Wednesday after Channel 4 News, a British 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 seemingly innocent products like cooking ingredients.

The items were all completely legal to purchase individually, the outlet reported on Monday. But together, they began to make 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.”

Authorities have successfully prosecuted people whose purchase history showed they had bought several of the items needed to make explosives, Channel 4 reported.

This comes after a terror attack on Sept. 15 in London’s subway system. 30 people were reportedly injured after a homemade explosive, planted in a bucket, went off on a packed London Underground train.

Amazon is not the only company to receive a backlash lately about their website features. Facebook and Google were recently criticized after reports surfaced that the companies had reportedly allowed advertisers to specifically target racist and anti-Semitic keywords or audiences.