Etsy, Amazon and EBay have cut down or eliminated their stocks of Confederate flag products this week, after Charleston shooter Dylann Storm Roof heavily used the flag to symbolize his racist pride.
But Nazi memorabilia and products with swastikas are still prominent on all three sites – prompting business experts and the media to take notice of selective enforcement of policies.
All three have general bans on hate products; Amazon bans the sale of "products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views," Etsy has a section banning 'Hate Items'; and eBay specifically bans Nazi-linked products.
But while thousands of items have been eliminated relating to the Confederate flag after the shooting, internet searches clearly reveal several products on all three sites for sale with Nazi insignia, including some with S.S. symbols or images of Adolf Hitler.
One expert stated to Reuters on Wednesday that the issue is a matter of scale.
"eBay has had to work on everything from Nazi memorabilia to counterfeit jewelry and one of the hardest parts at their scale is to look at keywords, identify sellers with problems and flag issues," Derek Bambauer, a professor at the University of Arizona who specializes in Internet law, stated.
CNN Money noted a similar problem with Amazon, which is run mainly by third-party sellers – and which still has thousands of Nazi items for sale.
"We work hard on this issue every day because we know that our customers trust that they are buying safe and legal products when they shop on Amazon.com," the company responded.
The controversy has sparked a backlash on social media.
Amazon has hit trouble with selling controversial products that slip through the cracks before, including several Nazi items and – more recently – issues of Islamic State (ISIS)'s magazine Dabiq.