Remember my posts on eBay being used as a platform to sell terrorphernalia? They came to the attention of a reporter with Ecommerce Bytes, who decided to use his journalistic powers for good..instead of what we are used to.
Not only did he report about it, but he also contacted eBay, and manage to get some of the items removed.
Searches conducted this week of eBay’s listings for the terms “Hamas” and “Hezbollah” retrieved hundreds of results, including some permitted items such as books about the organizations, but also flags and other materials that appeared to promote the groups.
As an example, EcommerceBytes shared with Moore one such listing, which carried this description: “Clear Acrylic Keyring Key Ring 7 5cm x 5cm Flag Hezbollah.”
The next day, that listing was gone. eBay also appeared to have removed all other Hezbollah-related items that were in violation of its policy.
“As it relates to the item you’ve brought to our attention, this is an item that is not allowed on eBay and we’ve since removed it,” Moore wrote. “We’ll continue to actively monitor our marketplace and remove items that are brought to our attention that may have bypassed our filters.”
As of this writing, however, numerous items relating to Hamas, including the Palestinian militant group’s flag, remained on the site.
The State Department names both Hamas and Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations, which Moore said is the basis for eBay’s enforcement of its policy on the marketplace.
Despite eBay’s swift action when a reporter called attention to the issue, the eBay user who said he has reported numerous terrorist-related items over the years remains frustrated with the company’s response.
“Nothing happens after I reported several listings, as I’ve saved them in my watch list to observe,” the user said. “I’ve even called eBay about this at least 2 years ago and nothing was removed after a (customer service representative) said he would look into it.”
Moore would not directly address that user’s experience.
“I can’t comment without knowing which specific items were reported, but in general, we are always working to ensure appropriate action is taken on items reported to us,” he said.
As of the time of this post, the Hizbullah items previously listed by user Rennes2004 have been removed – although the user and some of his items remain – but the Hamas flag of user galaxyflags remains. As for user al-ghurabah, he is still allowed to hawk some of his terror-wares, but the Shahadah Cap showing rifles and Shahadah patch showing swords are no more.
I guess this is progress of sorts, but it is a shame eBay don’t treat all of its complaints about the selling of terrorist-related merchandise as having come from a reporter.
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