Those shopping for Asian artwork on Etsy may have instead found themselves staring at photos of topless Asian women, according to an investigation by The Verge, which first reported on the incident.
The issue was brought to light by an Asian American artist on Twitter, whose identity remains undisclosed due to harassment concerns.
The Etsy search turned up recommendations for photos of Asian women next to completely unrelated Asian products.
Underneath the product description for an illustration of Asian women was a separate “You may also like” section that featured rows of erotic photos of Asian women. The listing for Asian beauty-inspired photo filters showed similar images underneath as well.
It was found that searches for Asian women, in particular, turned up recommendations for erotic photos more than any other race.
This report comes less than two weeks after the shooting in Atlanta in which six out of the eight victims were Asian women. Though the shooter denies that his actions were racially motivated, the incident has sparked numerous discussions on the fetishization of Asian women and the danger it poses.
Etsy has since taken action to remove the photos.
In a statement to The Verge, an Etsy spokesperson wrote: “We began working to correct this issue as soon as it was brought to our attention. We have added new controls around the types of listings that surface as recommendations. We will continue to work on improving our algorithm to avoid surfacing recommendations where not relevant or appropriate.”
Feature Image via Etsy