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The great porn purge: eBay bans ‘sexually oriented materials’

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eBay is closing its ‘Adult Only’ section, with the online auction and sales site banning the listing of items showing sexual “activity” or “content”.

The site announced the move last week, saying that “sexually oriented materials, including items containing nudity and displays of sexual activities” were being banned. Examples of such materials given included video games, films (including DVD and VHS formats), magazines, animation, manga and hentai.

The Adult Only section of eBay, which currently requires verification from users that they are over the age of 18, only exists on the US version of the site. It will be inaccessible for new listings from July 15, the site announced.

The change will cut off a significant trading post for buyers and sellers of collectable materials such as [both NSFW] vintage porn magazines and hentai materials. Some collectibles that would have previously been listed in eBay’s Adult Only section will be able to be relisted if they adhere to certain conditions, including not showing displays of sexual activity.

Editions of Playboy, Playgirl, Mayfair, and Penthouse magazine, often popular with collectors, will be exempt from the adult magazine ban provided the listings do not contain nudity or other explicit content.

Nude art can be listed for sale as long as listings do not display “sexually suggestive poses or sexual acts”, and are listed in designated Art or Collectibles categories.

Beyond adult-oriented collectables, eBay has become a throbbing marketplace for sex toys. Sex accessories and toys will still be able to be sold on the site by pre-approved sellers, as long as they are listed in the Sexual Wellness category and their listings don’t breach nudity  or other rules. The requirements for gaining approval to sell in this category are not clearly defined, however.

“We want to make adult items available to those who wish to purchase them and can do so legally, while preventing those who do not wish to view or purchase these items from easily accessing them,” eBay said in a statement on the site’s adult items policy run-down.

The changes arrive in a climate of increasing public and political scrutiny of tech companies hosting porn and sex-related material. Social media sites and apps such as Instagram have been toughening nudity and sex content policies and implementation. Porn sites such as Pornhub have reacted to scrutiny of potentially illegal content by overhauling moderation processes.

Read next: Pornhub removed over 650K items that breached its content rules in 2020

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1 Comment
  1. Great! Sex is dirty again.

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