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eBay Announces Restrictions on 'Adult' Anime, Games, Manga

posted on by Adriana Hazra & Rafael Antonio Pineda
Company's new policy on adult content will go into effect on June 15

eBay announced in a notice sent out to sellers listing items on its "Adult Only" section on Friday that the "Adult Only" category will no longer be available for new listings as of June 15. In addition, the company will forbid the sale of "items showing sexual activity, sexual content or sexually suggestive poses" on its website effective June 15.

The website's new policy details the items that will no longer be allowed for sale on the site, and states that "sexually explicit anime, comics, books, films, animation, manga, hentai, yaoi;" as well as "Adult films and video games with a rating of X, XXX, R18, or unrated for an adults-only audience;" and "adult anime/manga that include sexually-explicit content, nudity, or sexual stories" are prohibited.

eBay clarified that artwork depicting nudity are an exception and that sellers may relist such items under the website's "Art and Collectables" section as long as they do not contain sexually suggestive poses. Similarly, sex toys and sex accessories are still permitted, provided the products "[do] not include images of nudity or sexual content."

The new policy also makes a specific exception for the Playboy, Playgirl, Mayfair, and Penthouse magazines in the Magazines category of the site "as long as the listing does not contain nude images or explicit content."

Sellers will be able to relist the items that were in the "Adult Only" category that do not go against its new regulations in other categories. However, items containing nudity or depicting "sexual activity" are no longer allowed on the website.

The company defines nudity as "showing any part of male or female genitalia, anus, or female breasts where the areola or nipple is visible;" "modeled clothing that is see-through or very tight and shows human genitalia, the anus, or the nipple/areola of female breasts;" "male erections, even if the model is clothed;" and "people engaged in sexual contact or activity."

eBay also explained the reasoning behind this new policy, stating: "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."

In recent years, many platforms have come down on hosting pornographic or sexual content. Tumblr banned adult content in December 2018. Instagram updated its terms of use in December 2020 to disallow sex workers to advertise on the platform. In 2019, PayPal dropped its support of payments to pornographic content creators on the Pornhub website. Similarly, Patreon began suspending accounts of some adult content creators in 2018.

Sources: eBay, AVN (Peter Warren), Vice (Gabriel Gieger) via @KaroshiMyriad, @CartaMonir

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