Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Internet astir over eBay auctions of 2013 Boston Marathon medals

A number of 2013 Boston Marathon commemorative medals have appeared on eBay, with controversy following. Some consider it insensitive to sell -- and profit from -- a memento of the tragedy, although at least one of the auctions, still visible on Wednesday, says the auction is for charity.

As noted by the USA Today, many of the listings, completed without bids. At least one had a starting bid of $1,000. Another, which did in fact sell, went for a final bid of $485.

As a protest, one eBay user created a fake listing with nothing for sale, chastising the medal sales but also the buyers. The listing said:
What an utter and complete shame that people would spend HUNDREDS, and even a THOUSAND dollars to own a medal that was NOT EARNED, but was stolen.

How despicable. How could any human see the carnage and choose to use that as the time to LOOT a merchandise stand? How could ANY OF YOU put the money in the pockets of those people and not send that money to the people that have lost one or both legs?
The one advertising itself as a charitable auction -- the seller says proceeds will go to the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts -- has a bid of $315 at the time of this writing.

eBay, however, said it was monitoring the auctions to ensure that no one profits from the Boston Marathon bombing, which took the lives of three people and injured more than 260. eBay's terms of service "does not allow listings that graphically portray, glorify or attempt to profit from human tragedy or suffering."

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