eBay removes advertisement for car owned by one of the gunmen in the Columbine High School killings

eBay has pulled from its website an advertisement for a 1982 BMW that was advertised as once belonging to one of the gunmen in the Columbine High School killings. According to the Rocky Mountain News, eBay spokesman Hani Durzy said the listing was what eBay officially terms "offensive material," or in this case "murderabilia".

Do you agree that this material should have been removed from the eBay website? Is this censorship, or should eBay be able to decide what is sold through its website?

Comments

Danielle Milani said…
This is my first comment on the Blog and it is not going to be very profound. But I thought I'd comment for what it's worth. I don't think it should be illegal for someone to sell distasteful or offensive things over the internet if it does not detrimentally impact on another person's human rights (eg child pornography). People who access the interet have the choice not to visit the site or purchase the car.

However I do think it is acceptable for a company like ebay to decide whether or not it wishes to have such things sold on its website. It is a form of censorship but I think a company should have the discretion to set its own policies on matters like this in order to protect its reputation. The seller can always set up another site to sell their products, as this one did.
Corrina said…
I agree that it is the legitimate right of any business, online or otherwise, to determine what they sell and how they do it. I don't think this is censorship at all but a simple business decision.

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