Ebay Will Monitor Racially Offensive Search Terms

Have you been desperately searching for “12 More Nigger Tunes?” What about an "Aunt Jemima Mammy Jolly Nigger Bank?" If you’ve had a hard time finding these items in local stores, simply check www.ebay.com, one of the world’s largest internet auction websites. Chances are, you’ll be led to dozens of “collectible” and modern items that may suit your needs. While some Ebay patrons may be thrilled by the wide spectrum of racial/ethnically steered products on the website, some people find the items that show up during search queries to be deeply offensive.

After a year of pressure from the National League of Cities, the largest organization for municipal government, Ebay formally announced Wednesday that it will implement a "pop-up" notification when "racially derogatory" search terms are entered on the website. However, no plans have been made to prevent auctioneers from selling those types of products online. Furthermore, the plan to monitor the use of derogatory racial terms will not include a censorship of religious or sexual epithets.

The new guidelines are troubling to some, who feel that the new mandate may make it harder for auctioneers to sell their products, which inadvertently affects Ebay’s profits as well.

“If you’re just making words illegal simply because of their past, especially in eBay’s regard, they’re potentially knocking themselves out of some commerce,” David Almasi, president of the conservative groups Project 21 told the Associated Press. “While you’re trying to save some people’s feelings, you’re hurting some other people’s collectible options," he added. Of course, this position is met with much opposition.

“Anyone who is looking for those products will ignore the warning anyway, so that’s a silly excuse not to cater to those who may be offended by certain items,” Beverly Burgess, 21, A Clark Atlanta University Student said in regards to Almasi’s comment. “As an Ebay user, I would hate to see derogatory books and figures come up when I’m looking for African American products”.