- eBay says will remove any items that express support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- The online retailer told Insider the items violated its policy against glorifying “hatred or violence.”
- Russia has faced an corporate backlash following its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Online retailer eBay told Insider on Tuesday that it will remove items that express support for Vladimir Putin after the Russian president ordered his country’s military to invade Ukraine.
Trina Somera, a spokesperson for the auction site, said the company has a “strict policy against items that promote or glorify hatred or violence.” Accordingly, “merchandise that may indicate support for Vladimir Putin is prohibited on eBay.”
The new policy will not prevent the sale of “historical or education-related books and materials,” Somera added.
As of Tuesday morning, the top listings for “Putin” were mostly items that either expressed opposition to the Russian leader or support for Ukraine. But some merchandise that appears to violate the new policy, such as a calendar depicting the Russian president as “peacemaker,” were still listed on the first page of search results.
Other retailers could follow suit
Moscow’s February 24 war on Ukraine — which killed more than 1,000 civilians in the first two weeks, according to the United Nations — has spurred an effort by major corporations to themselves from Moscow, with brands such as Apple and Adida pulling out of the Russian market and explicitly condemning the Kremlin’s foreign policy.
On Amazon, users in Britain reported Monday that they were able to purchase shirts with the “Z” symbol being used by the Russian military in Ukraine. Following an online backlash, the items were removed.
For now, though, Americans can still purchase merchandise expressing support for Russia on Wish.com, such as a t-shirt with the Russian president in aviator sunglasses with the tagline, “Putin My Leader.”
As Insider reported last year, Wish.com has a policy against “products that glorify or endorse hatred toward others,” per a company spokesperson. But that hasn’t stopped it from listing items that express support for dictators, such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
The company did not respond to a request for comment.
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