EBay to ban Confederate flag listings

EBay to ban Confederate flag listings
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EBay announced Tuesday that it will ban listings for the Confederate flag and other items containing the image.  

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"We have decided to prohibit Confederate flags, and many items containing this image, because we believe it has become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism," the company said in a statement. 

"This decision is consistent with our long-standing policy that prohibits items that promote or glorify hatred, violence and racial intolerance," it added.

EBay made the decision after criticism of the Confederate flag intensified following the shooting deaths of nine people at a Charleston, S.C., church. The accused killer was shown holding the flag in a number of photographs. 

On Monday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) announced she would push to have the flag removed from state Capitol's grounds. While not South Carolina's state flag, the Confederate flag flies at a memorial near the state Capitol. 

Only a few hours after eBay's announcement, Amazon told various news outlets it would remove its Confederate flag listings too. Listing for the flag earlier in the day had seen sales spike amid the controversy. 

Etsy also said it was removing Confederate flag listings, consistent with its policy to "prohibit items or listings that promote, support or glorify hatred."

EBay appears to be following the lead of other major companies. Wal-Mart and Sears recently announced they would discontinue selling Confederate flag-related items. 

Some in the tech community had already been speaking out. 

Apple chief executive Tim Cook over the weekend said on Twitter that the country should honor the nine victims of the South Carolina shooting "by eradicating racism & removing the symbols & words."

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff made similar statements and previously thanked high-profile venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, who called for Silicon Valley to lead a boycott of South Carolina until the flag is removed.

— This report was updated at 3:25 p.m.