Amazon has apologised after hackers defaced its UK website with racist abuse

Amazon UK has been forced to speak out against a "bad actor", after racist messaging appeared on its website.

For a short time over the weekend, racist abuse could be seen on its site when users searched for "Apple AirPods" and similar products.

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"We investigated, removed the images in question and took action against the bad actor," Amazon told the BBC.

The offensive posts come at a time when race riots are erupting across the US after the death of George Floyd.

"Being Black right now is hard enough," said Nadine White, a journalist for the Huffington Post. "We don't need to be called the N-word while shopping online, to boot".

It is not clear how long the abuse was available to be seen on the website, nor how many products it affected, but it appears as if the content was available far longer than it should have been.

"Extraordinarily poor site administration," said another Twitter user. "They're still on Amazon UK."

'Digusting'

It is thought the offensive images were uploaded through Amazon's Marketplace programme.

Marketplace allows third-party retailers to sell goods through its website; the company makes about half of its retail revenues through this.

Though the offensive images were included as part of entries from "new sellers" with little to no feedback, they were still visible enough to get "Airpods" trending in the UK.

Another user said: “Disgusting and disrespectful Amazon for letting some racist idiot advertise on your site.”