>Speaking out DOES matter.

15 Jan


Pat yourselves on the back.  This directly from Etsy:

Hi everyone, 

I’m writing to let you know about some policy changes we are making at Etsy — specifically disallowing items that denigrate people or promote hate — and to explain why we are making them. 

A few items listed in a couple of Etsy shops recently sparked an intense debate about what kinds of items should and shouldn’t be allowed on Etsy. I won’t go into the details of the items, but they clearly denigrated women and people with some disabilities. When some concerned members brought the items to our attention, we generally agreed that they didn’t feel like they were in the spirit of Etsy and our community. But they also didn’t directly violate our policies. So we did what we felt was right. We allowed the items to remain on Etsy and we took a cold, hard look at our policies. 

Our policies have prohibited disparaging or promoting hate against people based on race or religion for quite a long time. But they never covered gender, people with disabilities, or sexual orientation. We are changing that — and a few other policies — effective now.

We have posted our new policies in the Prohibited Items section of our DOs & DON’Ts on Etsy. 

For those of you who don’t want to read the full text of the policies, I’ll summarize the big changes. We no longer allow items or listings that promote, support or glorify hatred toward or otherwise demean people based upon race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation; including items or content that promote organizations with such views.

We also looked at our policies around violence and illegal activity and we have revised those, too. The revised policy now prohibits items or listings that promote or support illegal activity or instruct others to engage in illegal activity and items or listings that promote, support or glorify acts of violence or harm towards self or others.

If you are selling items that violate the new policies, we ask that you take them down. If you have questions about a particular item in your shop, you can contact us at content@etsy.com. We’ll be happy to help clarify.

We have always supported a broad range of perspectives at Etsy, even if we don’t always personally agree with the messages of our individual members. We will continue to do so. But we also want to recognize that tolerance and respect have to be part of the norms of our community. We feel that the kinds of items we are now prohibiting violated that spirit.

I’m sure that some of you will think that we are doing the right thing with these changes and others will disagree. I respect that. I’m reasonably new to the Etsy community, but it’s pretty clear to me that a healthy debate has always been part of Etsy’s history. However you feel, I hope you’ll understand that our goal is to make and keep Etsy an amazing marketplace and a community where we value tolerance and respect.

Thanks for listening.

The next step is to see if they back up what they say.  Time will tell, but it is nice to know at least our efforts were heard.

And just as an odd side note bit of synchronicity, to those that get it, this was the photo on the above article at Etsy’s site:

Thanks, Universe.


16 Responses to “>Speaking out DOES matter.”

  1. Mynx January 16, 2011 at 12:15 am #

    >Yay, a win for the good guys

  2. Oilfield Trash January 16, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    >That is awesome that they did that. Now to see if the actually do it.

  3. becca January 16, 2011 at 12:26 am #

    >this is great and i hope they do back up what they are saying. I guess sometimes the little guy is heard

  4. hed January 16, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    >This.This is awesome!I'm so glad that when people step up that every once in a while they actually get heard…it kind of restores my faith in humanity a little :)hed

  5. Lynne H. January 16, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    >One voice….has the power of many and you started this choir my friend!!!Thank you!

  6. mel January 16, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    >*gasp*….the cranes! thank you Universe, indeed…let's hope they walk the walk….but it's very encouraging to see this much.xo

  7. lyndylou January 16, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    >wow! Glad that your petition got somewhere but the "proof will be in the pudding!"Onwards and upwards :)http://lyndylou-whocares.blogspot.com

  8. Lolamouse January 16, 2011 at 10:28 am #


  9. Kate January 16, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    >Good job! :)Kate x

  10. The Absence of Alternatives January 16, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    >Wow. I am frankly surprised and of course pleasantly surprised, and excited. There is still hope yet indeed.

  11. Georgina Dollface January 16, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    >Awesome! This really gives me hope that when people speak out, we can make change! This such wonderful news. Like you, I am a cautiously optimistic – only time will tell if Etsy's new policies align with their practices over the long term. But it's a great start. Thank you Rabbit, and Thank You Rabbit friends and readers for making this happen!!! – GPS. I'd like to share this good news with a link-up on my blog, it's just such good news.

  12. Pam Tucker January 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    >Oh, it IS encouraging that they've done this much. Thanks to you! Yes, time will tell, but I am very happy to see this! 😉

  13. gayle January 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    >Great news!

  14. Cat Chat With Caren And Cody January 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm #


  15. Jhon Baker January 16, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    >Good job Rabbit. You can Stay.

  16. Marlene January 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    >I am so happy to hear this!!! I never heard anything back from them when I logged my complaint….but am glad they took it seriously (along with the hundreds if not thousands of other complaints!)

Comments are closed.