“Beats by Hitler” Headphones Offer Final Solution to the Audio Question
Hitler brand headphones appeared on the web store Massdrop.com offering customers “the final solution to the audio question.”
Massdrop.com is an online community where users discuss items they are interested in purchasing. If a product receives enough attention through a poll started by a community member, the website managers will arrange for a "drop," a bulk purchase of the product that can drastically reduce the prices. The more people who commit to purchasing the product, the lower the price drops.
The latest featured product to show up for purchase polling on the site was "Klangs" by Hitler, a headphones set in the same style as "Beats" by Dre produced by Beats Electronics. In place of the brand's symbol "B" on the red over-ear headphone, the product featured a swastika.
The Klangs, a word in German meaning sound, have been listed in several polls for voting by community members including "Best celebrity-endorsed headphones" and "Best noise cancelling headphones."
"Unfortunately we have already become accustomed to finding such cases of the glorification of Hitler on the internet," said Ori Ohana, the program coordinator for ISCA, Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism, a student based initiative to fight anti-Semitism on the internet.
"In many cases it is intended as a joke but we believe that is is done mostly to keep the image of Hitler alive in an attempt to make him more normative, acceptable and popular," he added.
Ohana explained that he believed the image had been uploaded as a joke but emphasized that despite that, the product should have been immediately removed by the site's managers.
"We regret that many companies do not control what happens on their sites and don't take responsibility for what their users upload thereby allowing the glorification of Hitler to take place in their own backyards," said Ohana.
"We will continue to take action against such cases and do everything in our power to ensure it will not happen again," he added.
ISCA has put out a call to action for it's Facebook followers to report the listing for the headphones to the site for removal and has sent an official complaint to the website to have the product taken down immediately.
In response to the report, Massdrop.com told The Jerusalem Post that its platform was not selling nor advertising any such product.
"Our site is a platform that gives the community a voice in the products they want and allows for creative discussion for the things they love. While we have a zero tolerance policy for hate speech of any kind, the freedom to make polls and comments is something that occasionally does get abused," the online store said in an e-mail.
"These polls and comments are moderated as soon as we see them which is usually within 24 hours, but occasionally they are seen by our users before we do," the e-mail added. "We appreciate the community bringing this to our attention and all the offending polls have been removed. In no way do we condone or share the opinions of everything that appears on our site."