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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Let me get this straight...

Ebay, who earlier refused to remove an auction of a Pope John Paul II-consecrated communion host (revered as the real presence of the body and blood of Christ by Catholics) decided today to end an auction that was supposedly "outside the morality of its audience".

In their defense of allowing the auction of the Body and Blood of Christ, they wrote:

"The eBay community is a diverse and international group of more than 135-million users with varied beliefs.

"At times, there are items listed on eBay that may be offensive to some of our users somewhere in the world.

"We reviewed this listing when we became aware of it and quickly came to the conclusion that while we can understand it may be offensive to some people, there is nothing illegal about it and it does not violate our offensive materials policy.

"It does not promote hatred, violence, or intolerance to any group."

Oh, so gracious, don't ya think?

So, today, there is this story. It is about ebay taking down an auction for Live 8 (the concert thingy) because, and I quote, "Overwhelmingly the voice is that [our customers] would like us to take down the listing." The organiser (its an English thing) had earlier called the auction of tickets to his event "sick profiteering" and "completely against the interests of the poor".

Ebay then said they were "listening" carefully to the customers who wanted it removed. Caving, in otherwords, regardless of their actual terms of service or whether or not such an auction showed "intollerance." (I know, for a fact, of an email campaign circulated among Catholics and others who were sympathetic to the cause. But that outcry wasn't enough to make a dent in ebay's policy.)

But some concert dude calls an auction of a ticket profiteering and the auction comes down?!?! Now, ebay has no problem "profiteering" off any other item, including concert and sports tickets. Why is it when a group is upset over the outright desecration of a sacred object, its no big deal because it doesn't promot "intolerance", but when a big-money concert promoter is offended by an auction, it immediately comes down?!?

Guess we know where the priority lies.


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