In the wake of Friday’s incident at UC Davis, in which Lt. John Pike was caught on film using pepper spray against peaceful protesters, an outcry is being heard in an unlikely place — on Amazon.
A visit to the Amazon page for the pepper spray product used by Pike shows reviews by 18 Amazon customers and counting that mock the use of police brutality. “More than just pepper spray!!!” one reviewer wrote sarcastically. “If you have this gigantic public space and a dozen people are sitting there with their arms linked — this will really help in your effort to de-link those arms.”
A video editor at the Atlantic points out that the product had no reviews before this weekend. The first fake review, which appeared a day after the incident and has now been found “helpful” by 631 customers, is below:
“Amazon seems fully aware of the potential of its reviews to be used for comedy or social commentary,” Technology Review reported Tuesday,. pointing to Amazon’s Review Creation Guidelines. “Is it possible the most trenchant take on this entire catastrophe is going to appear not in a traditional news medium, or even a blog, but on Amazon.com? It seems it already has.”