eBay has begun to delete any and all listings for the six Dr. Seuss books that were recently removed from publication, claiming that each title violates their “offensive material policy.”
Following the March 2nd announcement by Dr. Seuss Enterprises that the company would be ending publication of six Dr. Seuss titles they believe present “hurtful and wrong” imagery, eBay soon found itself flooded with listings for the cancelled books, many of which saw bid prices reach the upper hundreds.
The books removed from publication by Dr. Seuss Enterprises include And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer.
However, on March 4th, just two days after Dr. Seuss Enterprises made their announcement, eBay users began to report that their listings for the books in question had been removed by the online auction house on the grounds that the items violated their “offensive material policy.”
In a message sent to Twitter user @AUChizard informing him that his listing for And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street had been removed, eBay stated that “Listings that promote or glorify hatred, violence, or discrimination aren’t allowed.”
“Dr. Seuss Enterprises has stopped publication of this book due to its negative portrayal of some ethnicities,” eBay continued. “As a courtesy, we have ended your item and refunded your selling fees, and as long as you do not relist the item, there will be no negative impact to your account.”
As the site’s decision to remove the six Dr. Seuss books gained widespread attention, a spokesperson for eBay confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that “EBay is currently sweeping our marketplace to remove these items.”
Yet despite this apparent concern over ‘offensive materials’, as pointed out by numerous users, eBay continues to host listings for books filled with truly offensive content, such as Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf (which inspired antisemitism and Nazi support throughout early-20th century Germany) and Thomas Dixon’s The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan (whose contents directly inspired the racist film The Birth of a Nation).
In regard to these books remaining available for sale, an eBay spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal, that, with“ millions of transactions happening every day on our platform across more than 190 markets, we are constantly evaluating and making improvements to ensure prohibited items remain off eBay.”
eBay also assured the news outlet that Mein Kampf would be removed from sale, but as of writing, it does not appear that the site has begun to enforce this policy.
What do you make of eBay’s removal of Dr. Seuss’ now cancelled titles? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!