Amazon faced a social media backlash yesterday after toilet seat covers and other items featuring images of Hindu gods were spotted on its US website. Thousands of Twitter users called for a boycott of Amazon, making #BoycottAmazon trend. Amazon said it was removing the products from its store. Multiple people tweeted images of them uninstalling the Amazon apps from their phones. Many of the products in question are no longer available on Amazon.com.

Amazon faced a similar backlash in 2017 when carpets bearing the Indian flag were found on its Canadian website. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj threatened Amazon with consequences, including withdrawing visas of American employees in India. Amazon then performed a global audit of its catalogue in all 14 countries where it operates. At the time, MEA had instructed Amazon leadership in India to ensure compliance with the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 and Flag Code of India 2002. Amazon then proceeded to make the said acts an ‘integral part” of the global compliance process in all 14 marketplaces.