EBay on Thursday began removing listings for the six Dr. Seuss books that were discontinued by Dr. Seuss Enterprises earlier this week. Ebay has been emailing people who attempt to sell the books, saying their listings violate eBay’s “offensive materials policy.”
“At eBay, we have a strict policy against hate and discrimination to ensure our platform remains a safe, trusted, and inclusive environment for our global community of buyers and sellers,” a company spokeswoman told the Washington Examiner.
The spokeswoman referred the Examiner to the company’s offensive material policy and added the company is “currently sweeping our marketplace to remove these items. It can take some time to review all existing listings and provide education to impacted users. We’re also monitoring the newly published list to be reviewed.”
Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced Tuesday they are no longer reproducing six Dr. Seuss classics (“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”) because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”
President Joe Biden also refused to acknowledge Dr. Seuss in his remarks on Read Across America Day, a departure from a White House tradition even former President Barack Obama upheld.
After the banning, owners of the six books began listing copies for up to tens of thousands of dollars on online retailers like eBay and Amazon. Arkansas native Carol Carson was trying to sell a copy of “And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street” on eBay until her listing was taken down on Thursday.
A screenshot Carson shared with the Examiner shows a message from eBay explaining her book was delisted because “it didn’t follow our Offensive material policy. Listings that promote or glorify hatred, violence, or discrimination aren’t allowed.”
“I don’t understand why they’re taking them down other than virtue signaling,” Carson told the Examiner. “They have so many other listings that are WAY more offensive. I sell books for a living. This was the first time I’ve ever had a post get bids so early on,” she added.
Sellers have been posting all day to Twitter with screenshots of emails from eBay informing them their Dr. Seuss books have been removed. Other users have pointed out that clearly “offensive material,” like Adolf Hiter’s “Mein Kampf,” porn, and Louis Farrakhan literature are allowed to stay on the site.
What exactly is @eBay’s policy on “hate and discrimination”? Dr Seuss is apparently out, but Mein Kampf still fetches a pretty penny! pic.twitter.com/Y6pN1cH9UI
— Thomas Chatterton Williams (@thomaschattwill) March 4, 2021
This. Is. INSANE.@eBay is pulling down listings of Dr. Seuss books—yet you'll find copies of Hitler's Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto for sale with zero complaints.
For the Left, book burning is good if the "right" books are being burned. https://t.co/Kjn2k9uMGZ
— YAF (@yaf) March 4, 2021
EBay told the Examiner they have rules against selling books like “Mein Kampf” as well and “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.”
However, it is clear eBay has taken a special interest in Dr. Suess, as there is an abundance of other “offensive materials” on their site that has gone uncanceled.
I sell antique books on eBay, including stuff that's arguably more controversial than this, & I've never had a single listing removed for "offensive material."
EBay allows porn, Nazi glorification, & Farrakhan literature, but this is what they deliberately flag? https://t.co/njQrgffPiY
— Alex (@_alex_joshua) March 4, 2021