Amazon’s online shopping algorithm can guide users to purchase potentially lethal bomb-making ingredients, according to an investigation by U.K. broadcaster Channel 4.
The news organization said its investigations team had found that Amazon‘s algorithm guided users to the “necessary chemical combinations” by suggesting other ingredients that could be used to make explosives and incendiary devices.
It found that ingredients that could be used to make such devices were suggested for purchase under the “Frequently bought together” section of Amazon’s online marketplace.
For example, “ingredients for black powder and thermite are grouped together under a ‘Frequently bought together’ section on listings for specific chemicals,” Channel 4 News said on its website.
The broadcaster also said it was able to create a “shopping basket” on Amazon with up to 45 kilograms of ingredients for black powder (also known as gunpowder) even though current U.K. rules limit an individual to only purchase 100 grams of black powder for private use without storage.
In addition, Channel 4 News said: “On listings for some of these chemical components, Amazon’s ‘Customers who bought this item also bought’ section also offered steel ball bearings, push button switches and battery connectors and cables.”
Amazon told Channel 4 that all products must adhere to its selling guidelines and all U.K. laws. It also said it will work closely with police and law enforcement agencies should they need to assist investigations. Amazon was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.