Amazon launched an investigation after its Alexa device was accused of spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
According to TMZ, the issue was recently brought to light by the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism. The political group penned a letter to UK Amazon executives, pointing to several instances in which the virtual assistant had shared bigoted conspiracies when asked about about Jewish people and/or the Holocaust.
“We were appalled, therefore, to find that the Alexa voice service offers messages from antisemitic websites and conspiracy theories, using selective quotes and misleading sources in answer to a number of questions about Jewish people, the Holocaust and antisemitism,” the letter states. "Can you explain how this has happened and what you will do, immediately, to rectify this? ... The matter has been raised with the Home Secretary and we will be contacting the police, so that they might take a view on any breaches of communications or racial incitement legislation."
Some of the questions highlighted in the letter included: "Was the Holocaust a hoax?" "Is Israel guilty of war crimes?" and "Do Jews control the media." The latter inquiry prompted Alexa to cite the "Jew Watch" Wikipedia page, which stated: "Jews control the world's financial systems and media."
Andrew Percy, the vice-chairman of the Conservative Friends of Israel, shared a Twitter video to prove the claims.
An Amazon executive released a statement to TMZ, stressing the company's "zero-tolerance policy," and has reassured the public that the matter is being investigated.
"We have a zero-tolerance policy towards discriminatory and offensive content," the statement reads. "When we detect this type of content, we actively investigate and block responses that don't meet our policy, as we did in this case."