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Offensive Material


Sellers may not list items that promote or glorify hatred, violence, or racial intolerance, or items that promote organisations with such views.

Sellers wishing to list items that may be covered by this policy must review the ‘Examples’ section for detailed information about items that may and may not be permitted on eBay.

Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:

  • Listing cancellation

  • Loss of eBay fees

  • Limits placed on account privileges

  • Loss of PowerSeller status

  • Account suspension

Items that Promote Hatred, Violence, Racial or Religious Intolerance

eBay has always exercised judgment in allowing or disallowing certain listings consistent with the spirit of a worldwide community. Therefore, eBay will judiciously disallow listings or items that promote or glorify hatred, violence or racial intolerance, or items that promote organisations (such as the KKK, Nazis, neo-Nazis and Aryan Nation) with such views. For example, eBay will generally remove items that bear the marks of such organisations, such as relics from the KKK or certain Nazi memorabilia.

Under this policy, eBay may in its discretion, remove items when the item or description graphically portrays violence or victims of violence, and lacks substantial social, artistic or political value.

For example, eBay may disallow sales of explicit crime scene photographs or morgue photos, while permitting military documentaries or photographs of war victims. eBay may also, in its discretion and out of respect for the families of murder victims, remove listings of items closely associated with individuals notorious for committing murderous acts within the last 100 years, such as personal belongings of such criminals, letters or artwork created by such criminals, or novelty items that bear the name or image of the criminal.

Further, eBay will remove any listing and suspend the users involved where it appears that a person convicted of a violent felony is attempting to use eBay (directly or through another person) to benefit financially from his or her criminal notoriety.

Items related to Natural Disasters or Human Tragedies

eBay does not permit listings that graphically portray, glorify or attempt to profit from human tragedy or suffering, which lack substantial social, artistic, or political value. This includes items that may be deemed inappropriate or insensitive to victims of natural disasters or human tragedies.

Exception: Items related to natural disasters or human tragedies that have substantial social, artistic or political value are generally permitted on eBay. Such items may include newspaper clippings, documentaries, books, and commemorative photographs or paintings.

Racially or Ethnically Offensive Historical Items and Reproductions

Accordingly, listings that are racially or ethnically offensive are not permitted on eBay. eBay and its community of users will not tolerate such material.

Occasionally, there may be listings of antiques or historical pieces that, while unacceptable in today's society, are relics of an era where racially inappropriate and insensitive products were widely available. While these items are offensive to eBay and its community, eBay recognises that such historical items find their way into museums and private collections, and serve as important tools for education about the past.

eBay permits such listings of historical pieces, but at the request of community members, eBay will not permit listings of racial or ethnically inappropriate reproductions.

Further, when selling potentially offensive yet true historical pieces, sellers must ensure that the language in their listings shows appropriate sensitivity to those in the community that might view it. For example, sellers may not use offensive words and phrases such as 'Jap' or 'Nigger' in the title or description of their listing, even if that word is part of the proper name or trademark of the item. Sellers may, however, display an image of such historical items within their listing even if the offensive word is plainly visible within the historical item.

Racially or Ethnically Offensive Works of Art, including Books, Movies, Music and Artwork

Artists occasionally use offensive words and phrases such as 'Nigger' and 'Jap' in the titles of media items such as books, movies, music and artwork. Examples of such items include books from prominent authors such as Randall Kennedy, Joseph Conrad and H. Rap Brown, and musicians such as John Lennon. Sellers may use such words and phrases in the title and description of their listings within media categories such as Books, Movies and Music, provided that the offensive words are actually part of the title of the listed item. eBay urges all of its community members to treat others as they themselves would like to be treated.

eBay will review listings that are brought to its attention by its worldwide community, and will look at the entire listing to determine whether it falls within this rule.

Examples of items that will generally be removed:

  • Items that bear symbols of the Nazis, the SS, or the KKK, including authentic German WWII memorabilia such as Olympic medals that bear such marks

  • Items that were owned by or affiliated with Nazi leaders

  • Music or films that promote hatred and racial supremacy

  • Holocaust denial books

  • Crime scene photographs

  • Morgue shots

  • Letters and artwork from notorious murderers

  • Electric chairs and related capital punishment items

  • Confederate battle flag and related items with its image

Examples of items that may generally be listed:

  • German coins and postage stamps (cancelled or otherwise) from the WWII era regardless of markings

  • WWII memorabilia that does not bear the Nazi or SS markings

  • Books and movies about WWII or Nazi Germany that do not contain propaganda, even if the Nazi symbol appears on the item

  • War documentaries or documentary photos portraying victims of war or violence provided they do not contain propaganda

  • Items of historical importance associated with acts of violence against public figures

eBay's community is a diverse, international group of users with varied backgrounds and beliefs, and it's easy to imagine how some items listed on eBay might be offensive to at least some of our users somewhere in the world. But one of eBay's great strengths is the diversity of its membership and the items they trade, and eBay believes that it's important to respect (and learn from) that diversity. That's why eBay generally permits listings of "practically anything on earth", even items which most of us find offensive.

Fundamentally, though, eBay is a community, and members of a community must respect each other as human beings. Listings that promote hate, violence or racial intolerance (or organisations dedicated to such notions) have no place in a true community - we're all here to trade, do business, and have fun with each other. eBay will not become a platform for those who promote hatred toward their fellow men.

Furthermore, eBay is now a worldwide community with many users residing in countries where the possession or sale of items associated with hate organisations is a criminal offence.

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