An Amazon seller has had his anime figures removed from sale from Amazon, after they deemed that the figures “promote child exploitation.”
Author, Brand Chat Co-Founder, and Lead Developer Chuck Gaffney recently raised the issues he had had on Amazon. In a series of tweets [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], Gaffney explained his store had products removed.
“Might be the same asshats I’ve been noticing on Amazon. Out of nowhere a few months ago,old Good Smile Company & other official Miku listings from my store(& all sellers) got removed from Amazon; wrongfully claiming it was CP. A suspicious mass flagging of all anime products also”
“Even worse is that Amazon wouldn’t remove the listings from my seller inventory & would threaten me to manually delete them or delete my account. Listing that have been sold out for 5+ years. Been meaning to get back to selling like I used to; used to sell a ton of figma & GSC.”
“As a preface, my store has been rather dormant for a number of years (long story); only selling here and there but from 2008-2012 I was selling $100,000+ worth of figures on my site, ebay and Amazon.”
“Here’s a screenshot of the emails from Amazon. Oldest is from 2015, newest was just back on the 21st. Not too many figures but then again being that I’ve been dormant in selling for a bit is a sign that bigger sellers got far more than me”
Gaffney then posted images of the anime figures in question, along with the emails from Amazon. Normally we would warn our readers if the images required discretion (or omit these images if they were graphic, or illegal). However, the figurines in question do not appear to sexually explicit or suggestive.
Gaffney asserted that this was due to a mass reporting campaign by unknown individuals. Gaffney even proposes his “sexiest figure”¬†(of 18 year old Sonico) had been flagged back in 2017 due to “the same type of flag spammers.”
While Gaffney stated it was difficult enough for smaller anime figure sellers “to convince people you are not selling bootlegs,”¬†he proposes the recent flaggings are due to the “the recent puritanical BS against anime.”
“I feel 4 other smaller sellers; its bad enough when just trying to convince people you are not selling bootlegs is still 2 this day a major challenge..let alone having people spam the flag functionality of Amazon to either some neopuritan crusade or purposefully done biz sabatoge”
“From the frequency on even my dormant store, I’d say it’s picked up in the past year. Is it mass flags? A retailer with a bigger list would know but seeing a K-On figma getting flagged is a damn good sign of the recent puritanical BS against anime”
Recently, an Australian senator has called for a review on all anime and manga sold in Australia, and ban any they also deemed to be showing child exploitation.
Gaffney’s comments began after replying to another user, who had noticed a news story of Sega thanking users for alerting them of being able to see Hatsune Miku’s underwear in Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix.
The same could also be said of Japanese video games with anime-style characters, with numerous cases of censorship over the last few years [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and more]. The most infamous of these were on the PlayStation 4, with Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia President Atsushi Morita stating the censorship on their platform was due to them trying “to meet global standards.”
We will keep you informed if we find more stories of this nature.