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Why Trade Me suspended accounts selling ‘Make Ardern Go Away’ hats

Two Trade Me accounts selling “Make Ardern Go Away” hats were suspended last week, but the company says this was not the reason for the suspension.

Magic Talk spoke to two men from the South Island, who had separate Trade Me accounts selling the hats. They were in the style of US President Donald Trump’s red “Make America Great Again” or “MAGA” caps.

The men were selling the hats for $40 and $20 respectively, before finding their accounts had been suspended by Trade Me.

One of the men was told by Trade Me he was suspended due to an “intellectual property” issue, while the other was told it was due to the nature of his account.

But Trade Me head of trust and safety George Hiotakis says the hats were welcome to be sold on the website.

“When we’ve gone and reviewed this it’s simply been human error,” he told Magic Talk’s Sean Plunket.

“At any one time we have eight million listings, and the people that we have here go and interpret those kinds of things – unfortunately, occasionally, we get it wrong, and this was one instance where we did get it wrong.”

Hiotakis said the accounts could be reinstated should they operate within the company’s terms and conditions.

“It has nothing to do with the cap and with the political message, it is related to how they have their accounts set up.

“We’ve spoken with both the members, and provided them with information they need to be able to interact with Trade Me again.”

@SeanPlunket Is there copyright infringement for the two accounts removed?

Head of Trust & Safety George Hiotakis: No there was not there was human error in removing the listing.— Magic Talk (@MagicTalkRadio) July 23, 2019

But one of the men told Magic Talk said he had not been contacted by Trade Me.

“No, that’s not true,” Hiotakis told Sean Plunket. “I don’t have my staff in the room with me but walking in here, my understanding was that we’d talked to all members involved.”

Hiotakis said there was no third parties or agencies of state involved the suspension of the accounts.

Newshub.

If any of you reading this, believe this crap, then you can bugger off from ysb. Human error is code for a company stuff up but we will not admit it. Easier to blame some fictional staffer and quickly forget it.


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20 COMMENTS

  1. So,

    Has the human responsible been shown the door (or at the barest minimum been given a verbal warning)?

    Have the accounts been reinstated without the BS?

    Without both actions, TradeMe’s words are hollow.

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  2. I paid for my hat using Ping and my credit card. I have just had notification from Ping that they have refunded my $25. So, I have just e mailed the seller nzmaga saying I still want my cap and will pay by internet banking so as to cut Trade Me out of the deal for being arseholes. Trade Me is dead to me now.

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    • post the sellers e mail so others can buy direct. ( unless this breeches the blogs rules somehow?)

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  3. Hats off (pun intended) to you Ed for publicising this bullshit…. but also a big thank you to Sean Plunket for running with it and taking it to a wider audience.

    Sean has been doing great work on Magic Talk ever since he came on air with them and I reckon he’s a rare champion in the MSN.

    Thanks guys! ?

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  4. Is this human error like the staffer who deleted the petition against the Migration Compact off the National Party website because they personally deemed it offensive? Surely not another snowflake employee who believes it is their right to make moral decisions above their pay grade.

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  5. Their new owners are going to have a hard time earning their money back if they keep this up.
    Trademe has always been about trust. It is no longer to be trusted.

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  6. The membership is no longer active – it wasn’t the hats that were the issue.

    Shara helpfully includes a link to all the MAGA hats (Trump MAGA, not Ardern MAGA).

    Trademe is so full of shit we need a Trademe Poop Keychain instead.

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    • I e mailed a complaint about that keychain and received the following response from Clare:

      Thanks for letting us know about your concerns here. Leave things with me and I’ll make sure this is looked into and dealt with properly.

      While I won’t be able to let you know exactly what action we’ll take behind the scenes due to privacy reasons, there are a number of things we can do in these sorts of situations. Generally, we’ll start with a heads up about how things work on Trade Me and if we don’t see any changes made within a time-frame, we’ll look at removing the listing.

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  7. Hey Ed how about offering one of these hats as a one-per-week prize for the comment which gains the most upticks, or the comment with the most replies or something similar?

    You could run it for a month and see how it goes …. waddyarekkun?

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  8. Trademe are too quick to remove listings and posts on their forums if you mention Maori or muslims.
    They started this four or five years ago.
    If anyone complains they just ban you, no warning no reason.
    Just “the our trading terms”

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  9. This t shirt seller “It’s Okay To Be White” was thrown under the bus.
    One moment deemed ok then was basically doxxed by the so called “public” of “youth & community works”
    What a tangled web they weave, as they begin to deceive.

    28th May 2019. In a statement on Tuesday, Trade Me’s head of Trust and Safety George Hiotakis said the “It’s Okay To Be White” t-shirts sold by a Nelson-based business VJM Publishing had been removed.

    Public interest in the shirt picked up last week when TV host Kanoa Lloyd took a ‘tongue in cheek’ shot at the controversial item, sharing a picture on her Instagram.

    The slogan, intended to provoke a backlash against an “inoffensive” message, has been associated with white supremacist organisations and endorsed by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

    Trade Me initially said the slogan did not “cross the line”, and it erred on allowing legal listings to run.

    Hiotakis said the company “knew there was some ambiguity associated with this phrase so it’s been a tough one for us to wrestle with.
    “But we listen to our community and we will change our mind if we feel there’s a good reason to do so.”

    The shirts attracted a number of complaints.

    “New Zealand has told us that they don’t want to see this sort of thing on Trade Me and we agree,” Hiotakis said.

    He said the listing was removed last Thursday evening, a week after it had been put up.

    The Human Rights Commission said it seemed likely the T-shirts were intended to convey a message of intolerance, racism and division, and there was no place for the message in New Zealand. https://i.stuff.co.nz/life-style/fashion/113048340/trade-me-bows-to-public-pressure-over-okay-to-be-white-tshirts

    So the human rights commission, probably like the Canadian one that wants woman to handle and shave trannies cock and balls, have their fingers in this too.

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  10. I notice the flawed human overlooked banning the pooing Donald Trump Key rings, despite a number of complaints being made about them.

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