Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I sell my beads on Etsy and ArtFire. When ArtFire first started up, I signed up for it. It wasn’t the fact that it’s cheaper to sell on ArtFire, it was because of the direction Etsy was taking. In 2008, even when shown evidence of fraud, they chose to ignore it. There was such an outpouring of indignation and people closing their shops, they finally had to pay attention to it.

Then there wwere the $2.99 Chinese ‘sterling silver-cored’ beads, in the Handmade section. Handmade, sure, in a ‘family’ factory. Sterling silver? More like white copper.

Then there was the article on the Etsy blog from Temple St. Clair about how coral should be banned from jewelry, disregarding the fact that there are coral beds that are sustainably harvested throughout the world. Temple St. Clair is a big name jewelry designer. Not a jewelry maker who makes her own jewelry to sell on Etsy, but a jewelry designer whose lines sell at places like Saks and Target. Why was she even on the Etsy blog?!

Then there’s the rape card debacle. A seller by the name of ‘youstupidb****’ (you fill in the letters, I refuse to type it out) opened a shop, selling cards showing a line drawing of a woman crouching in a shower with the words ‘congratulations, you got bad touched.’ There were other cards congratulating people on having a Downs baby, and having AIDS. This was Administration’s response to complaints, “I understand that some items on the site may be upsetting. The themes of this shop could be considered controversial, and I can see how they touch very personally. Etsy hosts a diverse global community with a very broad range of sensibilities, as well as a wide variety of artistic expression. Etsy does not control the content provided by members, and we do not pre-screen content before it is posted on the site. You may find some things to be offensive, harmful, inaccurate or deceptive.” The story finally got picked up by CNN, and Etsy removed the listings.

Etsy has every right to allow repugnant things like the cards to be sold. But I question my place in an organization like that, whose standards seem to be at lowest level of decency just because people have the right to say what they want.

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