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Clothing company yanks rainbow swastika T-shirt

NEW YORK — An apparel company that lets people design their own clothes has removed a rainbow swastika T-shirt from its site amid fierce criticism. Teespring said it is adding layers of oversight to prevent people from offering offensive designs for sale. The company allows anyone to post a T-shirt design, and if it sells Teespring will produce it.

The designer keeps a portion of the sales.

Calling for global #BoycottTeespring until @teespring grows a brain & stops selling nazi swastika shirts. Not cool, very disgusting. pic.twitter.com/gfGloB79F3[1][2][3]

— Trainer Gloria ?? (@TrainerGloria) August 6, 2017[4]

After images of the shirt circulated on social media, Jewish groups and others pushed for a boycott of the site. Arsen Ostrovksy, executive director of the Israeli-Jewish Congress, in a tweet[5] called the shirt “obscene” and “disgusting.”

Teespring, which is owned by KA Design, says it didn’t sell any of the design and didn’t profit from it. In a video[6] on its Facebook page, KA Design said the swastika is thousands of years old and is a symbol of peace, love, life and other ideas. But the Nazi party corrupted that symbol, the company added.

“[T]hey stigmatized the swastika forever. They won. They limited our freedom.

Or maybe not? The swastika is coming back,” the video said. Teespring says it typically uses keyword detection, image recognition and human reviews to keep offensive designs out, but will add layers of review.

Other shirts featuring swastikas and images of Adolf Hitler were still on the site Monday afternoon, but were removed by Tuesday. (C) 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

References

  1. ^ #BoycottTeespring (twitter.com)
  2. ^ @teespring (twitter.com)
  3. ^ pic.twitter.com/gfGloB79F3 (t.co)
  4. ^ August 6, 2017 (twitter.com)
  5. ^ tweet (twitter.com)
  6. ^ video (www.facebook.com)

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