Financial News

  • 13 August 2014, 6:58

Barcode Scanning App Used To Boycott Israel

More than 400,000 people are boycotting goods produced by Israeli-linked companies using a barcode scanning app.

Buycott allows users to identify the source of products instantly so that purchases do not conflict with their beliefs.

People can set up banned product lists to support their own particular interests or causes, but it is the anti-Israeli lists which have boosted the app's popularity.

Founder Ivan Pardo told Forbes: "I noticed three weeks ago that we were seeing an unusual spike in traffic.

"Next thing I knew Buycott was a top 10 app in the UK and Netherlands, and number one in a number of Middle Eastern countries. Word was spreading through social media."

The group Long Live Palestine Boycott Israel lists 49 brands to avoid and has 275,000 members.

The firms on the list include hummus maker Sabra, SodaStream due to its operation in the West Bank, and Volvo, whose machinery was used to dismantle some Palestinian settlements.

Another anti-Israel group has more than 100,000 members.

Those who have signed up to the list can then scan barcodes on products using their smartphone, and the app shows whether it is Israeli-made or not.

But Mr Pardo pointed out that the app was not designed specifically to target Israel, and says he has no strong views on the conflict.

"It bothers me that a lot of people are downloading Buycott and thinking that it was written specifically to boycott Israel.

"It was not, and to counter that notion I have been actively encouraging pro-Israel groups to start campaigns supporting Israel."

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