Amazon Removes Over 1 Million Products Over False Coronavirus Claims

Amazon Removes Over 1 Million Products Over False Coronavirus Claims
Written by:
Michael Harris
1st March, 15:00
  • Amazon banned more than 1 million products over inaccurate claims that said products cure or protect against Coronavirus
  • The retailer has also removed “tens of thousands” of overpriced health products from dishonest dealers
  • According to BBC, searching “coronavirus” on Amazon still brings up products with unreasonably high prices

Amazon.com has banned over 1 million products from sale, and the ban includes products falsely claimed to cure or protect against the coronavirus, the online retailer said Thursday.

Additionally, it has also weeded out “tens of thousands” of overpriced health products from deceitful dealers.

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The move came after the World Health Organisation (WHO) voiced its concern about some deceptive listings on the website earlier this month, such as fake treatments for a virus that has taken around 2,800 lives so far worldwide.

According to the WHO, false coronavirus claims were creating mass confusion online and pushed tech companies to fight against misleading information.

The deadly epidemic emerged from an illegal wildlife market in China, and now the infections have spread around the world. Australian and Iranian authorities have closed schools, cancelled events and accumulated health supplies to prevent the virus from spreading further.

Amazon did not disclose the names of the products it says it has banned, but a simple “coronavirus” search on Amazon still brings up many price-gouged products on the website, says BBC.

For instance, the price of a 50-piece stack of surgical masks from one seller costs over £170, while another seller priced the same product at around £36, which has also risen in price since January when it was priced at around £10.

Some of the price-gouged products are not even relevant to the needs, such as disposable dust masks or surgical masks.

Another example is that a 3-pack of a common hand sanitising gel was priced at between £10-15 until early January when its price rocketed to £50. It’s currently priced at around £30.

“There is no place for price gouging on Amazon,” said an Amazon spokesperson, alluding to the sellers who boost the prices of their products to extreme levels because of an increase in demand.

She said the policy of the company allows it to ban products which “hurt customer trust”, including instances when pricing “is significantly higher than recent prices offered on or off Amazon”.

The retailer will continue to watch out for spikes in prices, she said.

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