‘Bomb Paralyzed My Wife’: Outrage Over Google’s Refusal to End IRA T-Shirt Sales
AP Photo/ Peter MorrisonTech16:48 25.09.2017(updated 18:18 25.09.2017) Get short URL328520
Google is continuing to ignore a growing wave of criticism over the online sale of T-shirts which glorify the IRA terrorist group.
Google is refusing to halt the sale of T-shirts which depict the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in a positive light, claiming the group doesn’t appear on a list of US foreign terrorists — despite being banned in the UK.
The IRA isn’t on the list, however, prompting Google’s refusal to remove the merchandise despite sparking anger among victims of IRA violence.
Kenny Donaldson, spokesman for Innocent Victims United, described the situation as “sickening” and is how calling for urgent regulation.
“The IRA are a proscribed terrorist organization in the UK and this is a matter on which the UK government needs to exert its pressure. Google needs hit financially through its very favorable taxation deal if it insists on being a facilitator for the promotion of terrorism idolatry,” Mr. Donaldson said.
‘Maybe Google Needs Help’
Former Conservative minister Norman Tebbit accused Google of lacking morality and said the trade must stop.
“Effectively, the company is saying that just because the IRA does not appear on the official US list, it is not a terrorist group. Maybe Google needs some help. The company could try talking to the widow of Ian Gow MP, who was murdered in July 1990 outside his home. Perhaps Google should also try talking to the relatives of the five people killed when Brighton’s Grand Hotel was blown up during the 1984 Tory Party conference. The bomb left my wife Margaret paralyzed,” Mr. Tebbit said.
In a statement, Google said that, “While we want Google Shopping to help connect people with advertisers and products, there are certain products that we don’t allow.
“We have strict advertising policies in place and when we find violations we work quickly to remove them.”
It’s unclear whether the policy regarding the sale of items will be reviewed.
In stark contrast, eBay who were also selling similar items have since promised to remove them immediately from its site.
Extremist Content Online
The refusal by Google comes just days after British Prime Minister Theresa May warned technology companies needed to go “further and faster” in removing extremist content.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, the PM urged them to help in the battle against terrorism and the ways extremists are posting their propaganda online.
Google had also been selling merchandise, including stickers and mobile phone cases as well as clothing branded with insignia of other groups, including Lebanese militants Hezbollah and Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers, but has now halted these sales after both organizations featured on the banned list.