eBay removes more than 100 Nazi-related items and issues apology

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

eBay removes more than 100 Nazi-related items and issues apology

Online auction giant says sorry after Jewish News raised the alarm about offensive material on sale

Nazi badge on sale - flagged to eBay
Nazi badge on sale - flagged to eBay

Auction site eBay has apologised and withdrawn more than 100 Nazi-related items from sale after Jewish News raised the alarm – but has not said why almost 2,000 similarly flagged items were left in-place and sold in the past few months.

The issue was brought to the firm’s attention after Jewish News reader Tarbet Balfour reported 3,993 Nazi or Nazi-related items for sale through the website in the past 11 months, accusing the company of “ignoring” his complaints.

In response to enquiries from Jewish News, eBay launched an investigation and has now said that just over 2,000 of the 3,993 items Balfour reported were removed. Most of the rest were sold, bagging eBay a share of the sale price.

Many of the offending items are badges and medals adorned with swastikas synonymous with the Third Reich, some selling for thousands of pounds, with dozens of sales completed in the past month alone.

Nazi badge flagged to eBay

After Jewish News raised the issue of the continuing sales, despite these being reported and despite them breaching the company’s own policies, an eBay spokeswoman said on Monday that 109 items had been removed in recent days.

Balfour said: “I have been reporting the sale of Nazi-related items to eBay on a daily basis for months, but despite this they have continued to list these hateful items, even though it is against their own policy to do so.”

He added: “There is something very wrong with their reporting system, which allows you to report both by item and by seller. I flagged these items using both reporting mechanisms but was ignored.”

The listings removed by the company’s policy team were in breach of the firm’s offensive materials policy and serious questions remained this week as to the consistency and effectiveness of the policy’s implementation.

Nazi badge flagged to eBay

The seller said it uses block filter algorithms designed to stop certain items at the point of listing by searching for key words, and maintains that enforcement action against sellers can take the form of a warning, suspension, or ban,

An eBay spokeswoman said: “We have zero tolerance for discrimination or hatred in any form, and apologise these listings were not identified and removed sooner. None of these listings are available for sale any longer.

“In order to promote respect amongst our diverse community of members, items that promote or glorify hatred, violence, or intolerance are banned on eBay as per our offensive materials policy. Any seller in breach of our policies will find their listing removed and action taken on their account.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: