Boycott app’s downloads surge during Israel-Gaza war

The app was not initially developed for the purpose of detecting Israeli products

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Many consumers are now using an app which identifies the sources of products, in a move attempting to boycott Israeli goods, UAE-based daily Gulf News reported on Friday.

“Buycott” allows users to scan products’ barcodes, using their smartphone camera, which the app then cross-checks against an archived database of companies and brands, to eventually find the origins of the products, along with some information about the brand.

“Buycott” was not initially developed for the purpose of detecting Israeli products. “Buycott helps you learn about the social impact of the products you buy,” reads the app’s description.

However, the app has grown popular in recent weeks because of the violence in Gaza, as it was used in movements calling for the boycott of Israeli products.

“I noticed three weeks ago that we were seeing an unusual spike in traffic, but there hadn’t been any articles written about the app or Israel campaigns, next thing I knew Buycott was a top 10 app in the UK and Netherlands, and number 1 in a number of Middle Eastern countries. Word was spreading through social media,” the app’s creator, Ivan Pardon, was quoted by Gulf News as saying.

Two of the most popular apps calling for the boycott of Israeli products are “Long Live Palestine Boycott Israel” and “Avoid Israeli Settlement Products.” Around 527,000 people have joined both campaigns.

Big company names such as Nestle, Marks & Spencer, SodaStream and Victoria’s Secret are listed on the app’s database, which currently has 49 Israeli brands.

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