Walmart has a team of a dozen employees who are responsible for preventing the retailer from offending customers with controversial products.
The team scours Walmart’s website daily in search of potentially offensive items, like distasteful Halloween costumes, Bloomberg reports.
But sometimes offensive items slip under their radar, such as the Israeli soldier costume for kids that made headlines this week.
Walmart pulled the costume after customers expressed outrage over the ensemble, which featured a toy machine gun in ads.
The Walmart team’s work is sometimes dictated by the day’s news, and it stays on top of headlines to make sure it isn’t missing anything that has potential to offend, according to Bloomberg.
For example, as Bloomberg noted, the team started pulling Confederate flag merchandise from the site after a gunman who displayed the flag on his social-media profile shot and killed nine people in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, earlier this year.
In the age of social media, it’s important for retailers to appear politically and socially correct, and customers tend to see a company’s products as an extension of the business itself and its beliefs.
Some retailers found selling Confederate flag merchandise after the Charleston shooting, for instance, were called racist by critics on social media.
But in the case of Walmart, it can be difficult to make sure every product is inoffensive.
The retailer sells millions of items on its website and partners with many third-party sellers online as well.
A third-party vendor got Walmart in trouble last year around Halloween. The retailer had to pull a Pashtun Papa costume sold by the vendor after the costume was criticized as racist on social media.