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8 May, 2019 05:47

Auschwitz Memorial blasts print-on-demand service for selling death-camp-themed skirts, pillows

Auschwitz Memorial blasts print-on-demand service for selling death-camp-themed skirts, pillows

The Auschwitz Memorial has attacked print-on-demand online marketplace Redbubble for offering miniskirts and throw pillows printed with images of the concentration camp, sparking a wildfire of outrage.

Calling the screen-printed clothing and accessories "disturbing and disrespectful," the Auschwitz Twitter account posted several images of products offered on Redbubble's site, including a skirt depicting one of the camp's crematoria, a pillow printed with the train tracks leading to the camp, and a tote bag featuring a "danger high voltage" sign, demanding to know whether these were "acceptable."

Redbubble replied almost immediately, agreeing that the items were neither "acceptable" nor in keeping with its community guidelines, and removed them – but not before facing a torrent of outrage.

Trying to be heard above the critics, Redbubble explained that as a third-party marketplace connecting a huge number of buyers and sellers, who upload their own images and choose what products it is sold on, the site couldn't police every design, and that users were responsible for reporting offensive material.

The explanation of the print-on-demand model appeared lost on a lot of people, however, with many apparently assuming Redbubble had either designed the products itself or made the decision to print the images on clothing.

It's unclear whether the products actually violate any established Redbubble policies, or why other products featuring Auschwitz images – including postcards and prints – are permitted. The policy includes one line about "works dealing with catastrophic events such as genocides or holocausts," merely mandating that they be "sensitively handled." In those same community guidelines, Redbubble actually asks that users "do not seek or engage with content you don't agree with (no need for troublemaking)," but it was probably wise not to point that out to the Auschwitz Memorial.

A few lonely voices pointed out that Redbubble couldn't be blamed for what people uploaded to its site.

And a clever few found the real villain of the piece.

Also on rt.com ‘Disgusting’ and ‘offensive’: Anti-vaxxers under fire for use of Holocaust symbols at protests

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