Walmart is under fire again for the political messages on some of the t-shirts that are available for sale on its website. Last summer, Walmart was on the hot seat for its Impeach 45 t-shirts. Now, people are asking whether it's appropriate for Walmart to be selling t-shirts with pro-gun messaging, particularly in light of the recent shootings.
Some of the messages on shirts that people have been pointing to as particularly offensive include "Gun control is being able to hit your target" and giving people a choice about whether to be a "gun owner" or "victim." According to media reports, at least some of the t-shirts, which appear to be sold by third party sellers, have now been removed from Walmart's website.
When online retailers make their platforms available to third party sellers, the public doesn't necessarily distinguish between the products that a company has chosen to produce and sell versus those that may just be available from others on the site. When you are opening up your platform to others, you have to consider the risks involved in allowing others to determine what's appropriate for sale on your site -- and what kind of procedures to have in place to ensure that your brand is protected.