Amazon banned the popular website Jihad Watch from their Amazon Associates program four years ago, now they have banned another conservative website — Legal Insurrection.
In a post on their website, Jihad Watch discussed the recent article posted by Legal Insurrection titled “Amazon demonetizes conservative website (us).” In the article, Legal Insurrection stated that their “participation in Amazon Associates [was] terminated without warning, with false and shifting explanations.” Legal Insurrection was told that their Amazon Associates account was going to be terminated without warning and any profits currently generated by the account were being withheld. Jihad Watch notes that they faced this same situation in 2014.
On July 31, 2014, Jihad Watch received the following email:
We are writing to notify you that we have terminated your Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement and closed your Associates Program account. You will not receive further payment of advertising fees. We have taken this step because you are not in compliance with the Operating Agreement that governs your participation in the Associates Program.
You are not in compliance with Participation Requirement Number 26(https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/operating/participation) because you are sending traffic indirectly to the Amazon site via automatic redirection from another web site.
You can find the complete terms of the Operating Agreement and its Schedules via this link: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/agreement.
We insist that you immediately stop this activity and remove all Amazon content, including Special Links, from your site(s). Any other accounts you have or may open in the future may be closed and you will not receive any advertising fees. We reserve all other rights and claims we may have.
Jihad Watch replied:
I think this is an error on your part. To the best of my knowledge, I am not sending traffic indirectly to Amazon from an automatic redirect. Nor am I attempting “to intercept or redirect (including via software installed on users’ computers) traffic from or on, or divert advertising fees from, any site that participates in the Program.”
Is any appeal possible?
As previously stated, you have not complied with the Associates Program Operating Agreement that governs participation in the Associates Program and therefore your account was closed.
You can find the complete terms of the Operating Agreement, including the Linking Requirements and Participation Requirements, via this link: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/agreement.
We have confirmed that the decision to close your Associates Program account and withhold fees is final, and you are no longer eligible to participate in the Associates Program. Any other accounts you have or may open in the future may be closed and advertising fees withheld without further notice.
Because this decision is final, further requests to review your account for reinstatement will not receive a response.
Jihad Watch believes that the website was banned from the Amazon Associates program following their classification as a “hate group” by the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center. Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch writes:
It’s clear what Amazon is doing, and it’s clear that they’ve been doing it for years. But they don’t even have the integrity to own up to it, and instead try to conceal it in a blizzard of Kafkaesque false charges, in which they play judge, jury and executioner.
They need to be called out for what they’re doing, which is why I’m writing this post now, even though Jihad Watch was dropped from the Associates program nearly four years ago. Legal Insurrection and Jihad Watch should be reinstated to the Associates program, and the Amazon charities program should be opened up to 501c3 organizations that are currently banned from it (including Jihad Watch) on spurious “hate” charges. You’ll notice that I still have Amazon links all over the site. That’s because Amazon is essentially a monopoly today; there is no viable alternative except Barnes & Noble, and they’re no better. But Amazon’s monopoly status is all the more reason why this unjust and unequal treatment must stop, or Amazon must be broken up in accord with anti-trust laws.
Many have called for Amazon to be held to stricter standards under anti-trust laws for some time now, including President Trump. A source told Axios that the President regularly discusses Amazon: “He’s wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law.” The President reportedly focuses on Amazon when discussing tax policy and antitrust cases but has yet to develop a full plan to crack down on the company.
Douglass Kass, head of Seabreeze Partners Management, voiced his concerns about Amazon in 2017 saying, “I am shorting Amazon today because I have learned that there are currently early discussions and due diligence being considered in the legislative chambers in Washington DC with regard to possible antitrust opposition to Amazon’s business practices, pricing strategy and expansion announcements already made (as well as being aimed at expansion strategies being considered in the future.”
Update — An Amazon spokesperson provided this state to Breitbart News: “Legal Insurrection was removed from the Amazon Associates program due to a violation of the terms of the Amazon Associates Operating Agreement. We remain 100% focused on providing the best customer experience possible, which includes a customer’s experience with affiliate links and the Amazon Associates program. We have a robust team that monitors Amazon Associates activity, and use a variety of tools and procedures to ensure associates comply with the terms of the Operating Agreement.”