|Sun Aug 10 2014 22:05:34|
How Did Anti-Semitic Term Show Up on eBay Search Results?
By: Ina Steiner
eBay UK is suggesting shoppers searching for Star of David t shirts might be interested in items featuring an anti-Semitic term. A reader alerted me to the fact that when you search eBay UK for Star of David T shirt, it comes back with the related term "fuck jews." I was able to replicate the search myself - and not just once. Each time I tried the search on Sunday evening, it came back with the same hateful suggestion.
eBay rolled out its next-generation search engine Cassini in the U.S. in 2013 and has since rolled it out internationally. I emailed eBay PR in the U.S. and UK asking for an explanation of how the anti-Semitic term came to appear in that particular search.
I tried many other searches and couldn't come up with anything similar. Many searches resulted in numerous related terms to try, and only a tiny percentage came back with a single suggestion under the "related" prompt.
The term could be considered an attempt to send a message to Jewish shoppers on eBay UK - it's not clear whether an eBay employee might have manipulated the "related" search feature, whether eBay might have been hacked, or if there is some other explanation for how eBay's search engine would link a search for a Star of David t shirt with the offensive, anti-Semitic term.
On the heels of the eBay UK live-chat security breach, it certainly makes one wonder what's going on over there.