Amazon, eBay block the sale of ‘stand back and stand by’ merchandise


Angela Lang/CNET

Amazon and eBay have blocked sales of merchandise featuring the phrase “stand back and stand by,” words that’ve been adopted by right-wing extremist groups after US President Donald Trump used the phrase during Tuesday night’s presidential debate. 

The two online retail giants and Teespring, an online custom apparel company, began on Thursday pulling down listings of merchandise bearing the phrase, as well as products that feature the insignia of the Proud Boys, a far-right group. The items included shirts, buttons and stickers. 

Trump used the phrase during the chaotic debate after he was asked if he’d condemn white supremacy and the Proud Boys. The president told the group to “stand back and stand by.” Since then, the words have been used as a rallying cry by extremist groups and have appeared on merchandise for sale online.

“We take a hard line against any listing attempting to spread hate and discrimination,” an eBay spokesperson told CNET in an emailed statement. Teespring didn’t respond to a request for comment. 

Amazon said it had “removed” such products. Teespring told CBS MoneyWatch, a CNET sister site, that it didn’t want to profit from “hate or violence” and had removed the designs.

The Proud Boys have been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which notes that the group was formed during the 2016 presidential election as an “anti-political correctness” and “anti-white guilt” movement. The group denies being racist, though its members do identify as “western chauvinists.”

The Proud Boys didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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