8 min article

Offensive material policy

eBay connects a diverse and passionate community of buyers and sellers. We maintain these guidelines to ensure our marketplace offers the widest selection of items possible while promoting trust and respect, as well as adherence to the law.

As such, we don't allow items that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance, or promote organizations with such views.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What sort of material is prohibited?

As well as prohibiting the sale of items that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance, or promote organizations with such views, we'll also remove listings and products that portray graphic violence or victims of violence, unless they have substantial social, artistic, or political value.

What are the rules around selling items that contain adult material?

Items that contain nudity or adult material are governed under the Adult items policy. Please review that policy for information on adult items.

Read our full policy

Offensive material policy overview

We don't allow items that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual, or religious intolerance, or promote organizations with such views. We'll also remove listings and products that graphically portray graphic violence or victims of violence, unless they have substantial social, artistic, or political value.

eBay has always exercised judgment in allowing or disallowing certain listings and products consistent with the spirit of a worldwide community. We carefully consider all the details before deciding to remove such listings and products when they're brought to our attention, looking at the entire listing or product to see if it goes against our guidelines.

Items that contain nudity or adult material are governed under the Adults items policy. Please review that policy for information on adult items and how they can be listed.

Make sure your listings and products follow these guidelines. If they don't, they may be removed, and you may be subject to a range of other actions, including restrictions of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

What are the guidelines?

Disasters and human tragedies

Allowed Allowed
  • Items and media related to natural disasters or human tragedies that have substantial social, artistic, or political value:
    • Newspaper clippings
    • Documentaries
    • Books on the tragedy or disaster
    • Photos of the devastation of a tragedy or disaster
    • Commemorative photos, paintings, or works of art
  • Charity websites or charity listings set up to benefit the victims of a disaster or tragic event
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Listings and products that graphically portray, glorify, or attempt to profit from human tragedy or suffering, or that are insensitive to victims of such events.
 

Terrorist organization and hate groups

eBay listings and products may not include items that imply or promote support of, membership in, or funding of a terrorist organization.

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Items promoting or commemorating other groups with views of hatred, violence, racial, religious, or sexual intolerance (such as the Aryan Brotherhood and Neo-Nazi groups)
 

Items related to violent felons

Out of respect for the families and friends of victims, we don't allow listing items closely associated with violent felons within the past 100 years. We also don't allow the listing of items that benefit people convicted of violent felonies, whether the item is listed by that person or by someone else.

Allowed Allowed
  • Violent felon items more than 100 years old, such as items related to Jack the Ripper
  • Books, documentaries and Hollywood-style movies about violent crimes
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Personal belongings of anyone convicted of a violent felony or any work, such as a book, from which they might profit
  • Letters or artwork created by serial killers or violent felons
  • Novelty items related to or glorifying violent felons
  • Items from notorious crime scenes
  • Items promoting violence against an individual, including convicted criminals
 

Nazi and Nazi-related

We recognize the historical significance of World War II and that there are many militaria collectors around the world. We allow some related historical items, but ban others, particularly those that amount to Nazi propaganda, or that are disrespectful to victims.

Allowed Allowed
  • Stamps, letters, and envelopes displaying Nazi postmarks (must comply with the Stamps, currency, and coins policy)
  • Currency issued by the Nazi German government, including military scripts
  • Historically accurate WWII military model kits that have Nazi symbols
  • Historical and religious items that bear a swastika if they are made before 1933 and are not related to Nazism
 
Not allowed Not allowed

Items that are not permitted include, but are not limited to:

  • Historical Holocaust-related items, including reproductions such as:
    • Uniforms and personal belongings of concentration camp prisoners
    • Jewish identification (armbands, Star of David)
    • Holocaust photos that depict dead bodies, executions, or other violent or degrading scenes
    • Nazi-issued documents (passports, travel papers)
  • Historical Nazi-related items, including reproductions such as:
    • Uniforms, uniform components, weapons, or other items that bear Nazi symbols, whether visible or covered
    • Listings and products in which images are edited or cropped to try and hide Nazi symbols
    • De-Nazified items (items that originally had Nazi symbols that have been removed)
    • Items that were owned by, affiliated with, or books written by Nazi leaders such as:
      • Joseph Goebbels
      • Hermann Goering
      • Rudolf Hess
      • Reinhard Heydrich
      • Heinrich Himmler
      • Adolf Hitler
      • 1936 Olympic medals
  • Any item made after 1933 that bears a swastika (e.g., jewelry, clothing, rugs, fabrics), unless listed in the allowed section above. We are sensitive that the swastika is commonly and legitimately used in religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism. However, given the highly offensive nature of the Nazi swastika, we have decided to not allow any non-historic items bearing a swastika.
  • Media identified as Nazi propaganda or that otherwise promote hatred or racial supremacy including historic and current items
 

Offensive or violent material

AllowedAllowed
  • Items of historical importance associated with acts of violence against public figures
  • Documentaries and Hollywood-style horror movies, even if they have graphic, violent subject matter
 
Not allowed Not allowed

Items not permitted to be listed include, but are not limited to:

  • Any item that glorifies or promotes violence towards humans or animals
  • Execution or torture-related media or devices
  • Explicit crime scene or morgue media
 

Racially or ethnically offensive language, historical items, reproductions, and works of art and media

We don't allow the use of racially derogatory language or racially or ethnically offensive listings or products except in a few very specific cases described here, including items with historical significance.

Restricted Allowed in some situations
  • Art and media listings and products (such as books and music) where the offensive word or phrase is part of the title of the work may be listed. These items must be listed in the correct category.
  • The term Negro is okay unless it's used in a derogatory or offensive way
  • Actual Black Americana items listed in the appropriate category
  • Reproductions of Black Americana items can't include racially offensive words in the title or description and can only be listed in the Collectibles > Culture & Ethnicities > Black Americana > Reproductions category.
  • Images of items that contain offensive terms can be listed if it is part of the actual name of the item but the term cannot be in the title or description of the listing.
  • Authentic or vintage items must clearly state authenticity within the listing and product
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Racial slurs
  • Items promoting or marketing intolerance toward religion, sexual orientation, race, or ethnic background
  • Slavery items, including reproductions, such as tags, shackles, documents, bills of sale, etc.
  • Confederate battle flag and related items with its image
 

Additional information

Here are some related links that might interest you.

Information about terrorist organizations:

You can also review eBay Germany's Nazi policy page. Please note that this policy is published in German.

Why does eBay have this policy?

eBay connects a diverse and passionate community of buyers and sellers. We maintain these guidelines to ensure our marketplace offers the widest selection of items possible while promoting trust and respect, as well as adherence to the law.

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