E-commerce companies like Amazon and eBay used the coronavirus outbreak to make a profit by selling t-shirts which made fun of the humanitarian crisis. Though eBay has removed the t-shirts from its platform after online outrage, Amazon has continued with the sale of such t-shirts.
One of the t-shirts on eBay, priced at £15.45, had a quote which read, “I survived the Coronavirus and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.” Other t-shirts on the website, mocking the coronavirus in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, had quoted like “Wuhan City Tours” and “Just arrived from Wuhan”. Another £10.99 t-shirt was available on the website which had a logo of Corona beer with "Corona Virus" written on it.
According to Daily Mail, a spokesperson of eBay admitted that the sale of ‘Coronavirus t-shirts’ breached company’s ‘Disaster and Tragedy policy’ and has removed them. The spokesperson said that such items are banned from eBay platform and they are educating the third-party sellers.
“Listings or items that portray, glorify, or attempt to profit from human tragedy or suffering, or that are insensitive to victims of such events, are not allowed,” states the eBay policy.
The spokesperson reportedly said that showing respect and sensitivity to the global community of members is “very important” to eBay. The company supposedly don’t allow sellers to list the items that are hurtful to the victims of tragic events such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters.
Meanwhile, Amazon has not removed such items from its platform and selling it under the “Funny men's cotton short sleeve T-shirt” category. One of the t-shirts, listed on Amazon, has a picture of a gas mask with the quote “I survived coronavirus” and priced at £10.99. There is another ladies white v-neck shirt with “Coronavirus inside” written on it and costs £11.99.
The death toll due to coronavirus has spiked to nearly 1,665 and around 68,000 confirmed cases have been detected till now. While most of the cases are from Hubei province of China and the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, other countries, including Japan and the Philippines, have also now reported deaths related to COVID-19.