After pressure from activist group Sleeping Giants, Amazon has banned groups tied to the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters militia movements from its AmazonSmile charity program, the company tells The Verge. Members of the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters have been arrested for their suspected involvement in the January 6th attack of the US Capitol.
Through its AmazonSmile program, Amazon donates 0.5 percent of eligible purchases on the site to a user’s chosen charity. Users can pick from more than 1 million charities — a list that, until recently, included the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters groups. AmazonSmile’s participation agreement says that groups that engage in or support hate, terrorism, or violence aren’t eligible for AmazonSmile.
[email protected], why are you helping the Oath Keepers, a militia group, raise money?? pic.twitter.com/MTmrfMqHnI
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) January 19, 2021
Amazon banned a total of five groups in response to the pressure, including Delaware III Percent, the Texas wing of the American Patriot Vanguard III Percent group, Oath Keepers United, Indiana Oath Keepers Inc., and Oath Keepers Educational Foundation, according to Amazon.
Three people with ties to the Oath Keepers who were involved in the January 6th riots were charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes last week. The FBI has also filed charges against a man believed to be affiliated with the Three Percenters due to his connection with the riots.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has come under scrutiny for groups that are a part of AmazonSmile. Last February, The Guardian revealed that people could select a drug rehabilitation charity linked to the Church of Scientology to receive donations through AmazonSmile. In December, openDemocracy found dozens of US-based anti-LGBT groups fundraising on AmazonSmile.