Popular auction website eBay is banning sales of items showing sexually suggestive content, including animated adult content. The decision is going into effect on July 15th, 2021.
eBay’s Adult items policy page now lists all prohibited items. Banned content includes sexually suggestive content, and content containing nudity. The page explicitly states that “Sexually explicit anime, comics, books, animation, manga, hentai, yaoi” are no longer allowed.
The ban creates a problem for anime and manga fans who have been using the site as their go-to place for finding rare editions. The sales ban on “adult-only” DVDs and collectibles extends to anime for the adult audience. Yaoi fans will be hit especially hard, as eBay is a gold mine for out-of-print volumes. The policy change will also affect cosplayers since clothing that hints at nudity is no longer allowed.
eBay website states that as of July 15, 2021, the Adult Only category will no longer be available for new listings on the U.S. site. Interestingly, eBay is allowing sellers to continue selling nude art, as long as it’s not sexually suggestive.
Sales of adult toys are also continuing, but only for pre-approved sellers. Items must be new and properly categorized. They also can’t be available for international shipping.
eBay’s motivation to ban the sales of sexually explicit anime and other adult materials at this time is not clear. Their website offers an ambiguous explanation: 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.
There are many problems with allowing sales of adult-only content, from advertisers to potential legal risks. When it comes to anime and manga, fans are already familiar with delisting and removals. Most fans are probably familiar with the Australian hentai ban. Fears of child sexual abuse images being disguised as animated adult content brought on the ban. The popular series No Game No Life also had 3 volumes banned in Australia.
Just last year, Amazon removed certain light novels and manga titles from their website. No Game No Life, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash and Oreimo were among the affected. Amazon never gave an official explanation. It will be interesting to see if eBay will give one.
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