Apple has taken a stand against websites retailing clothing and other paraphernalia from hate groups and white nationalists.
On Wednesday, the confirmed to the press that it had disabled Apple Pay functionality for a number of websites selling T-shirts displaying the slogan “White Pride”, sweaters featuring Nazi logos and a bumper sticker depicting a vehicle careening into stick-figure demonstrators.
The company also disabled Apple Pay functionality from smaller websites such as vinlandclothing.com and americanvikings.com, both of which retail clothing with Nazi logos.
Apple’s decision to distance itself from hate sites comes at a time when various tech firms are facing intense scrutiny over allowing websites or social media accounts of white supremacist organisations and white nationalists.
Earlier this week, Google and GoDaddy both removed the registration abilities of white supremacist blog The Daily Stormer.
It is clearly stated in Apple’s Acceptable Use Guidelines that users are not allowed to incorporate services such as Apple Pay into websites that “promote hate, violence, or intolerance based on race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.’”
The owner of the americanvikings.com website, Brian James, said he saw himself as a pro-white civic nationalist and told the press he was not even aware that his business had ever used Apple Pay to receive money.
He described the website as a hobby and did not seem particularly perturbed over losing payment functionality or the possibility of it being suspended.
An unrepentant James said that he was unfamiliar with the legal aspects of free speech on the Internet or regarding owners of hosting firms, adding: “if you run a business you have a right to decide who or not you do business with. If they don’t like me, they don’t have to do business with me.”