Walmart has withdrawn a menacing t-shirt from sale which apparently advocated the lynching of journalists after a journalist advocacy group complaint about the implicit threat.
Black t-shirt’s bearing the words ‘Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required’ had been offered for sale via Walmart.com for the sum of $18.99, although the listing was in fact created by Teespring, a third-party commerce platform.
Teespring allows customers to manually create their own t-shirt content for printing, ostensibly with filters and controls in place to prevent malicious messages from slipping through – sytsems which clearly failed in this case.
Commenting on the breach a Teespring spokesperson wrote: “As soon as we were alerted to this content promoting violence against journalists we removed the content, added this content to our automated scanning systems, and kicked off a human sweep of the site to find and remove any similar content.”
Walmart followed up by confirming that the content ‘clearly violates our policy’, adding: “We removed it as soon as it was brought to our attention, and are conducting a thorough review of the seller's assortment.”
This isn’t the first scandal to befall Teespring which found itself in the spotlight over the summer after putting a ‘rainbow Swastika’ up for sale.