Google profited from sale of Hamas T-shirts – days after UK banned terror group

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Google is profiting from the sale of T-shirts glorifying the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas by advertising clothing, days after the UK government banned its political wing as a terrorist organization.

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The military wing of the Islamist group – which controls the Gaza Strip and does not recognize Israel’s right to exist – has been banned in the UK since 2001, but the entirety of Hamas was designated a terrorist organization last week .

The move, announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel to crack down on anti-Semitism, came into force last Friday. This makes it a criminal offense to be a member of Hamas or even to wear clothing that suggests a person is a supporter – violators of the law can face up to 14 years in prison.


In-spite of this, Granthshala The internet giant was found to be displaying advertisements for T-shirts with the message “Hamas Army”, along with a picture that clearly depicted a fighter of the terrorist group wearing a jacket emblazoned with a Palestinian flag .

Google was advertising a £9.93 shirt – for sale through another website – at the top of its search engine’s “Shopping” section. One of the ads also highlighted a “price drop”, indicating they were previously £19.26.

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The ads appeared after a search for “hamas” in the shopping section of its search engine. A message next to the ads explained that Google received payment in exchange for displaying them.

“Products and offers that match your query. Google is compensated by these merchants. Pay is one of the many factors used to rank these results,” it said.

Separately, garments also appear as items within the “Shopping” section, which displays goods sold on other websites, although sellers do not have to pay for them for convenience.

after submission independent Conclusion, Google removed the ads and listings within a few hours.

“We prohibit advertisements or products that are created by or in support of terrorist groups. In this case, we removed ads and listings from our platform. We strictly enforce our policies and take action when violations occur,” said a spokesperson.

It comes after Google’s parent company, Alphabet, posted a record quarterly profit of $18.93bn (£14.3bn) in October as it was boosted by growth in advertising revenue.

Marie van der Zyle, the chairman of the British Jewish Board of Deputies, said: “It is completely unacceptable for Google to accept ads on its platform to promote content glorifying a banned terrorist organization with blood on its hands. Do.

“Google did the right thing in removing the ad, but in the future it must be held responsible for due diligence on all products that it allows to be advertised on its platform.”

The T-shirts were being sold by TipPublic, a website that describes itself as “the world’s largest marketplace for independent creators to sell their work on the highest quality merchandise”.

Teepublic — which says it doesn’t manually screen content before it’s displayed on its website — allows users to upload designs and get paid when items are sold.

TeePublic was also showcasing other items designed by the “independent manufacturer” on the back of the “Hamas Army” T-shirt, including children’s versions of the clothing, as well as mugs, masks, hoodies and stickers. It is not clear how many “Hamas Army” T-shirts have been sold so far.

The website, owned by Australian firm Redbubble, has taken the T-shirt off sale after being contacted by Granthshala,

A Teepublic spokesperson said: “TeePublic uses technology and human review to scan over 10 million works uploaded by users on the Marketplace and offered for sale to potentially violate our Terms and Conditions.” material to be identified.

“The referenced designs go against our content restrictions that prohibit inciting and glorifying violence, so they have been removed and the account has been permanently suspended.

“While TipPublic regularly employs robust proactive review measures and screens for this type of content, some designs that do not comply with our guidelines are still available on the market.”

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, “a person commits an offense in a public place if he … wears an article of clothing, or … wears, carries or displays an article, in such manner or under such circumstances.” raises reasonable suspicion that he is a member or supporter of a banned organisation”. Those found guilty under this part of the law could face up to six months in prison and/or a fine.

Last month, a man confessed to a terror offense after wearing a T-shirt supporting banned Palestinian terrorist groups. Ferras al-Joysi, 34, wore clothes referring to the military wing of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Golders Green, an area with a large Jewish population in north London, earlier this year.

The move to make Hamas a terrorist group was supported by Labour, and brings Britain in line with both the European Union and the United States. The UK government website explains the ban on Hamas, saying: “Hamas is a complex but single terrorist organization. Hamas perpetrates and participates in terrorism. Hamas has carried out indiscriminate rocket or mortar attacks on Israeli targets. Have raided.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We expect tech companies to tackle terrorist content on their platforms and respond quickly to emerging threats. We are delighted that Google acted so swiftly here and we are determined to ensure Will continue to work with companies to ensure this remains a priority.”


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