Amazon is doing some self-examination after its website suggested customers purchase potentially dangerous groupings of products.
On Wednesday, Amazon told Reuters it was “reviewing its website” after the UK’s Channel 4 News reported that the e-commerce giant’s algorithm suggests that shoppers pair certain items with products that can be used to create homemade explosives.
According to the broadcaster, Amazon’s “frequently bought together” section for certain chemicals encourages customers to purchase other ingredients that can be combined to create potentially deadly reactions.
For example, a common type of chemical compound that is available on Amazon can be combined with somewhat common household products to produce thermite. Thermite is a potentially dangerous composition that “Breaking Bad” fans will recognise from when Walter White used it to burn through a lock and break into a chemical storage facility.
A search of Amazon’s “frequently bought together” suggestions for this compound by Business Insider revealed the products necessary to create thermite appearing as suggested items.
According to Channel 4, other chemical compounds (which the station chose not to name) also had steel ball bearings, push button switches, and battery connectors and cables listed in the “customers who bought this item also bought” section.
None of these things are illegal to purchase in the UK or US, and the ingredients for something like thermite are easily searchable online, as are videos of the chemical reaction burning through everyday items.
Amazon told Channel 4 that all products adhere to legal guidelines, and that the company works closely with law enforcement agencies if they need assistance. The e-commerce giant did not respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.
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