Etsy to ban sex toys and other adult content

Online marketplace Etsy is banning the listing of sex toys and other erotica, in a bid to “keep our community safe”.

The e-commerce site announced in June that it would be taking steps to ensure it remains a “safe and delightful place for users around the world”, by updating its policies to reflect “evolving industry standards”.

Alice Wu Paulus, who leads the company’s trust and safety team, said: “Etsy has long had policies in place that prohibit certain mature content and provide guidance on how to appropriately list adult items. 

“Today, we are building on this foundation, updating our standards and introducing more rigorous guidelines. These updates can be found in our adult nudity and sexual content policy, and will take effect on 29 July. 

“We carefully crafted this policy with the goal of continuing to enable creative expression and the spirit of our marketplace, while taking into account evolving industry standards and best practices so that we can continue to keep our users safe.”

The key changes will mean Etsy significantly limiting the types of adult toys and sexual accessories that can be sold, and prohibiting items that depict sexual acts and genitalia, as well as introducing stricter criteria for listing images featuring mature content.

‘We feel betrayed’

Sex toys that will be banned include dildos, vibrators, anal plugs, sex dolls and fleshlights.

Photographs and photo-realistic – including AI-generated – depictions of sex and genitalia will also be prohibited, although nudity of adults will be allowed if it is non-realistic, such as in paintings. Etsy said “pornography in any form is never allowed”.

The stricter criteria means if your listing includes mature content, the first thumbnail image must be adequately obscured. Permitted nudity and sexual content should not appear in the public areas of users’ account, such as shop name, username or avatar.

The news has not been taken well by sellers, who have hit out, saying Etsy’s decision will affect their livelihoods.

Speaking to the BBC about the changes, the founder of sex-toy company Simply Elegant Glass, known only as Anna, said: “As creators who have helped make Etsy what it is, and who have remained loyal to their platform for years, we feel betrayed.”

She went on to accuse the site of “forsaking content-filtering tools in favour of blanket bans”.

The post Etsy to ban sex toys and other adult content appeared first on PinkNews | Latest lesbian, gay, bi and trans news | LGBTQ+ news.