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eBay's Ill-Timed Lifetime Achievement Webby 316

theodp writes "eBay CEO Meg Whitman will accept a special Webby Lifetime Achievement Award next month on behalf of the eBay Community, which has 'permanently changed the way people connect, discover and interact with each other.' Perhaps by then, people will have forgotten how eBay enabled buyer 'Blazers5505' to hook up with sellers like 'oneclickshooting' just weeks before the worst mass shooting in modern US history, prompting eBay to issue a gun-parts-don't-kill-students-guns-and-ammo-do statement that showed little evidence of its celebrated commitment to social consciousness. CEO Whitman, who received $11.1M last year for her leadership efforts, has kept a low profile since tooting eBay's trust-and-safety horn for Wall Street analysts two days after the Va. Tech rampage."
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eBay's Ill-Timed Lifetime Achievement Webby

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  • Nice flamebait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 03, 2007 @11:56AM (#18973669)
    Ebay didn't kill anyone, sheesh. If he hadn't gotten the parts there, he would've gotten them somewhere else. What next, a story on how McDonalds is supporting criminals by allowing the to buy lunch there?
    • by deathy_epl+ccs ( 896747 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:14PM (#18974027)

      Ebay didn't kill anyone, sheesh. If he hadn't gotten the parts there, he would've gotten them somewhere else. What next, a story on how McDonalds is supporting criminals by allowing the to buy lunch there?

      You just don't get the big picture! If they were hungry, then they'd have been more occupied with trying to eat and they wouldn't have been able to commit their crimes!

      • by iamacat ( 583406 )
        Your statement is quite probably, and unintentionally, true. If Cho, or a typical gangster for that matter, had to make living by hunting or cultivating land, the crimes they committed would most probably not happen. Either they would overcome their hatred of society and tendency to spend long hours brooding in their own world, or they would starve to death on the first winter after being recognized as adults, probably around their 12th birthdays. It's an open question weather large segments of population,
    • Re:Nice flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The Warlock ( 701535 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:30PM (#18974339)
      How the hell do these stories make it to the front page? Geez, at least Digg has a "bury" option.
    • by jimbolauski ( 882977 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:31PM (#18974345) Journal
      Spoons and spoon makers are responsible for numerous people being fat, without spoons they couldn't shovel in the lard it would simply run through their forks. Anyone supporting spoon companies is directly responsible for fat people and should be ashamed.
    • Ebay didn't kill anyone, sheesh

      In all fairness, the submitter didn't imply eBay killed the students, he's only implying that Meg Whitman killed them. :)

    • Re:Nice flamebait (Score:5, Informative)

      by EQ ( 28372 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @03:37PM (#18977567) Homepage Journal
      What do you expect?

      Look at the "editor". kdawson again. He's responsible for more troll and flambeiat crap than anyone else on slashdot. What I want to know is why they gave him editor powers - and why he stall has them after he blatantly abuses them time after time to promote his agenda? This article is from a personal log here by Theodp (again, seems to be a kdawson fave), and is so poorly written and poorly reasoned that its obviously carp. If kdawson keeps falling for this and posting irrelevant crap, they need to get rid of him as an editor.

      If I want to red this kind of specious attack on capitalism, ebay or guns, I can go get it at indymedia or daily Kos.

      Hey KDawson, keep it up, you'll enter Katz territory soon. Everyone: I advise tagging stories like this "kdawsontroll"
  • Laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MeanderingMind ( 884641 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @11:57AM (#18973689) Homepage Journal
    Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't see the hypocrisy.

    Cho bought holsters and empty ammunition clips off of eBay, something they stated while refuting the rumors that any actual ammo or guns had been purchased. eBay expressed their regrets that any item purchased on their site was related to the shootings in any way, and contacted law enforcement and offered their assistance. How is this not committed to social conciousness?

    Who are we going to crucify next in our crusade against anyone and anything that might have contributed to the VA Tech shootings?

    -"Law enforcement officials confirm that Cho Seung-Hui was seen to have been breathing during the video sent to the NBC. It is unclear what role the earth's atmosphere may have played, but the investigation is looking at every angle.

    'We can not exclude the possibility that oxygen in the earth's atmosphere had a catalytic effect on Cho,' chief of Police Jurkfashe Eidjit stated to the press, 'We will be investigating this very thoroughly.'"


    -"In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, police discovered numerous articles of clothing, including shoes, in the dorm room of Cho Seung-Hui.

    'We are deeply disturbed by the presence of these articles,' investigator Stew Piddington stated, 'It is clear that Cho surrounded himself with many horrifying items, such as shoes.'

    Companies such as Nike, Reebok and New Balance deny the claim that shoes had any influence on the shooter."

    Or how about NBC?

    -"In a shocking new development, CNN reports that the Virginia Tech shooter, Cho Seung-Hui, exclusively watched MSNBC.

    'We've said for years now that MSNBC is a corruptor of our youth,' a CNN spokesman stated at the press conference, 'But now we have definitive proof.'

    MSNBC PR representatives were quick to deny the corrupting influence it had upon Cho, but public opinion has turned against them. The MSNBC offices were burned down by an angry mob this morning in a display of solidarity with the mourning families of Virginia Tech.

    'We can't let evil institutions such as these continue to propogate messages of violence and hatred,' one of the crowd stated, 'There's no telling what might become acceptible in our society if these unethical businesses aren't stopped.'"

    Seriously, there were a lot of factors involved in the shootings, but trying to attack ebay as though they had personally furnished Cho with his weapons is ridiculous.
    • by StressGuy ( 472374 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:06PM (#18973867)
      but it sure does seem that Slashdot's articles have been increasingly more "reactionary" or, at least, provocatively worded.

      I mean, it's one thing to specialize your content for a particular audience, it's quite another to "pander" to them.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Jaysyn ( 203771 )
        I've never even used eBay but this is obviously just someone trying to smear eBay for providing a forum in which to conduct legitimate business transactions, by tying an unfortunate incident which *they were not involved in* to their award. These are Jack Thompson's tactics & we should ignore it just like we do his lunatic ranting.
      • by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:20PM (#18974145) Journal
        Well said..

        I still highly enjoy slashdot but I have to say, I've noticed myself at times...buying into the world view too much. That is to say, I read slashdot and I feel like everything is going wrong--big corporations getting more powerful, government getting more powerful, losing civil liberties, everywhere in the world (not just Europe, but China, Iran, etc too!) being better than the US, etc etc. A large portion of things posted here now seem to become some kind of an anti-SOMETHING. Cellphone technology becomes a fight over why America is so backward, etc etc etc. It's kinda damn depressing.

        And then I read other news, and you know--talk to other people who don't just self-flagellate all day--and it's kind of eye opening. I don't know if it's me or slashdot, but it's been feeling to me lately like the slashdot editors especially are those bitter, negative, unhappy kids in highschool who blame everyone else but themselves for their unhappiness and hate the kids who AREN'T unhappy the most (all the while totally sure of their superiority).

        I don't know, maybe I'm just rambling..
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by 0racle ( 667029 )

          I read slashdot and I feel like everything is going wrong

          It is

          big corporations getting more powerful

          They are

          government getting more powerful

          It is

          losing civil liberties

          You are

          everywhere in the world (not just Europe, but China, Iran, etc too!) being better than the US

          They're not

          America is so backward

          It is

          It's kinda damn depressing

          You are comming to a sad realization, Cancel or Allow?

        • by e2d2 ( 115622 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @02:16PM (#18976017)
          Well the thing is this IS news in the western world these days. If you read the news then you'll find that your body is failing, your consuming the wrong foods, the ones you do consume kill you, the car you drive isn't safe, the school you go to isn't teaching anything, the people representing you are crooks, the guy you work for is a pederast, the planet is dying, and a there are at least 10 million reasons why the universe is going to end your pitiful ape life at any second. But not until 10 pm when they can beam this shit into your brain between commercials.

          I know a lot disagree with Michael Crichton over his environmental views, but his real point in that argument was not that global warming was a problem to be ignored or no problem at all. Instead his argument was that the "State of Fear" has engrosses our society and allowed this establishment, which he labels the Political/Legal/Media establishment, to make us into a bunch of scared children seeking a "father" that will save us. This can easily lead to a totalitarian state where the quest for "safety" overrides common sense and "political correctness" outweighs the truth. One where we seek safety in the arms of government and media and lobbyists and lawyers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Moridineas ( 213502 )
        Oh also...

        It would not surprise me in the slightest if the editor's spelling problems, dup posts, Roland posts, inflammatory posts, etc are 100% deliberate. Kind of like the quote I can't remember about how people go to the symphony as much for the mistakes as the good things.
      • by eln ( 21727 )
        Slashdot panders to its advertisers. It uses slanted and inflammatory speech to drive comment submissions. The whole idea of adding the Politics section was so that they could start posting stories on one of the key topics that people love to get worked up over.

        The more people that click on the Comments sections, the more ad impressions get served, and the more money Slashdot makes. The more inflammatory the article, the more people will click on the Comments section.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Jaysyn ( 203771 )
          There are ads on Slashdot?

        • by brkello ( 642429 )
          Hmm, the people who run Slashdot need to be more careful. The site encourages people to become more cynical. Bunch of cynical people start noticing that they are making us cynical purposely. Cyncial people become cynical about the site and start reading Fox News.

          It is a dangerous road. Think of the children.
      • by exley ( 221867 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:35PM (#18974417) Homepage
        It's not even the pandering that bothers me -- I expect that here at Slashdot. What's annoying to me is the blatant editorializing, which we seem to be getting more and more of from the submitter and/or one of the editors these days. This has, of course, been an annoying factor to varying degrees here on Slashdot in the past (our old friend Michael is a good example), and you have to expect some of it since no one is going to be completely unbiased.

        This submission is really raising the bar on that front. We already knew that he got gun parts off of eBay, and this submission adds absolutely no new information to the discussion. I really don't care what some random Slashole thinks about Cho getting some of his stuff off eBay. I can form my own dumbass opinions, thanks.
    • Re:Laughable (Score:4, Insightful)

      by the_wishbone ( 1018542 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:07PM (#18973877)
      100% agreed, you just said what was going through my head as I read the summary. I don't understand why the submitter needs to attack eBay in this regard. The Lifetime Achievement Award - you know, the actual subject of the article - seems to fade behind all this eBay bashing. What, are we going to say eBay is evil because they allow people to buy and sell ANYTHING that can be used as a weapon, or PART of a weapon? Please...

      I live in Virginia, know several engineering students at Tech, and have friends who were in that building that day, I know students of the teachers that died, and I know people who lost friends in the massacre. It hit me pretty close to home, being so near to everything and everyone, so I am by no means downplaying the events that happened that day.

      I was just bothered by the way this summary completely shifts the focus from the article, and turns it into senseless eBay bashing.
      • by MeanderingMind ( 884641 ) * on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:13PM (#18974021) Homepage Journal
        I'm guessing it's revenge for negative feedbacks.
      • It's not you... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mutube ( 981006 )

        It hit me pretty close to home, being so near to everything and everyone, so I am by no means downplaying the events that happened that day. I was just bothered by the way this summary completely shifts the focus from the article, and turns it into senseless eBay bashing.

        You're not the one in danger of downplaying the events at Virginia Tech. I just can't decide whether it's a eBay hater using the shootings as justification, or a gun hater using eBay as an excuse to spout off. In either case it's a rather c

    • by dr_dank ( 472072 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:14PM (#18974037) Homepage Journal
      'We are deeply disturbed by the presence of these articles,' investigator Stew Piddington stated

      If you want to be an investigator, changing your name from something that starts with "stupid" is a good first move.
    • by Jamu ( 852752 )

      eBay expressed their regrets that any item purchased on their site was related to the shootings in any way, and contacted law enforcement and offered their assistance. How is this not committed to social conciousness?

      Sadly a company that only cares about profit, might have done exactly the same thing when that profit depends significantly on public opinion. Although I don't wish to suggest that eBay is that mercenary.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )
      Maybe it's just me, but I see this particular story submission as an attack on the second amendment. It's got some pretty transparent logical fallacies wrapped up in it. I can buy a car via eBay, which I can then run over someone with. Would that also represent "little evidence of [eBay's] celebrated commitment to social consciousness"? I mean shit, I can stab you to death with a pencil, does that mean that the local stationery store is aiding and abetting potential criminal activities?
    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:50PM (#18974655) Homepage Journal
      Notice how Slashdot went nuts when a school board put a kid in a "special school" for making a game map of his school but then goes after EBay because somebody shot up a school after buy holsters and empty clips.
      Both are cases of fear of those that are not like you.
      I will bet big money that the person that wrote the summary really hates all guns. I am also willing to bet they don't hunt or shoot targets for fun. There for their mistrust of anyone that has anything to do with guns. They are all gun nuts waiting to shoot up a school. They are differnt from them and are not to be trusted.
      BTW I really am not a gun person. I don't hunt or own a gun myself.
      The school board members probably don't game. They know that the kids at that shoot up the school in Colorado played violent video games and that the young man that shot up VT made maps for a violent video game. They may or may not know that they where not of VT. They may also know that the September 11th terrorists used a video game "Flight Simulator" to practice their attack. People that play violent video games are differnt from them so they do not trust them.
      BTW the last FPS I played I think was Quake. I am not really into FPS but I do love Flight Simulator. I also really dislike games like GTA. I find them distasteful and will not play them myself.

      It is easy to hate the stranger. Those that are not like you. It is dangerous to trust the stranger. These are rules that go back to the cave man days. What scares me the most is most "Open minded" people have this exact same view but they just don't see it.

      I have no idea how we can get rid of this trait. It is the core of racism and all other forms of prejudice. Probably the best we can ever hope to do is to admit that we all have it and to not let it rule our lives.

      The simple truths are just this. The vast majority of gun owners will never shoot up a school. The vast majority of gamers will never shoot up a school.
      The real questions about the VT shooting are a lot more harder.
      Why didn't the laws on the books stop him from buying the gun in first place?
      And the really sad question is just this.

      What in his life made him so unhappy that this seemed like a good idea? How can a person feel so unloved and alone that going around and killing a large group of innocent people and then killing himself is a good idea?
      Where where his friends ,his family, his roommates?

      Ebay has no blame or guilt in this.

  • by Hijacked Public ( 999535 ) * on Thursday May 03, 2007 @11:58AM (#18973701)
    Recent information indicates that it will be necessary to also ban hammers from sale on Ebay, to avert future criticism along these same lines.
  • by Syncerus ( 213609 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:00PM (#18973745)
    What's your point, twerp? That somehow Ebay doesn't support your gun control agenda and is therefore bad in some way? Get a life.

    If the jerk didn't get a gun, he would have just run over a crowd with his car, or he would have built an ammonium nitrate bomb. Evil and crazy men will do evil and crazy things.

    Quite frankly the situation might have been ameliorated to some degree if concealed carry were legal on college campuses (VTech). Then a legally carrying civilian might have been able to stop some of the slaughter.

    Why the Ebay smear?
    • by otacon ( 445694 )
      Exactly....and he obviously had the guns already...he could just as easily have gone to gander mountain and bought magazines with no hassle. He probably was just looking for a bargain on them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brkello ( 642429 )
      Haha, classic! You call the guy a twerp for pushing his "gun control agenda" and then try to push your legal concealed carry agenda. A horrible thing happened...can't you guys just give it a rest?
    • ... I also have a hard time signing on to the idea that having one or more armed students shooting it out with Cho would have led to a better result. I think it highly likely that the student body would have ended up caught in the cross-fire, with no good way to escape, and no easy way for the police to figure out who were the bad guy(s). Among the possibilities: Cho bursts into a classroom and begins shooting the students. An armed student begins returning fire. Then a third armed student, hearing this, en

  • by Copperhead ( 187748 ) <talbrech&speakeasy,net> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:03PM (#18973799) Homepage
    I'm not sure where the problem is in Ebay's position. Anyone can go into a store and legally by a gun clip, without a background check, and without being 18 (assuming the clip itself is legal to sell). Therefore, Ebay has no responsibility to verify the status of the buyer, unlike guns, and bullets.

    It's the same thing with cigarettes and cigars. I can't buy tobacco products on ebay, but I can buy a butane lighter. Is this inconstancy on Ebay's part? Nope... anyone can buy a lighter, but you need to be 18 to purchase cigarettes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rabbit994 ( 686936 )
      Ebay is even more restrictive when it comes with magazines (clips are what Garands use). They only allow restrictive capacity magazines (10 rounds or less) to be sold despite that standard capacity magazines are allowed to be owned by private citizens in all but a handful states.
      • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @01:35PM (#18975351) Homepage Journal
        As an amusing note, probably due to the amount of ammunition expended, news programs were claiming that the Clinton weapons ban that expired would have prevented him from killing so many people because of the "high-capacity" magazines. They didn't seem to realize that it's quite easy to carry a satchel full of loaded 10-round (legal during the ban) magazines and exchange them quickly with some practice-- which is what Cho did.
  • wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:04PM (#18973823) Journal
    is this for real? EBay has made HUGE differences. They have moved auctions to the web in a big way. Now, you may blame e-bay for selling the weapon, but then why not blame the steal worker who dug the iron as well? Or the farmer who provided the food to the steal worker so that they can live. EBay did not even sell the gun. They simply provided a means to it being sold. If your logic says that everybody who is connected is guilty, then you have blood on your hands.

    And yes, e-bay, the gun maker, the steal worker, and the gun did not kill. Cho did. And he could have done more had he made IED and used them. Are you going to stop selling gas or other fuels for that potential?
  • Dear editors... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:04PM (#18973827) Journal
    I read that and wondered if the same guy has been submitting all the recent stories along this line: "[Company] is going to be participating in [some event]. I wonder if people are going to bring up [some random issue that I will now hold forth upon]?"

    Yup, same guy []. If it's necessary to give him a soapbox, perhaps you could at least remove the dishonest framing of these pieces as news?

  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:05PM (#18973847) Journal
    Holy crap, that is a pretty trollish summary.

    Admittedly, EBay has problems. But EBay didn't shoot anyone in Virginia.

    Furthermore, they didn't cause Cho to go haywire. The fact that they made it easy for him to get magazines is not a problem -- it's a sign of how the internet has changed how people interact with eachother -- which is exactly the reason why EBay got a webby.

    Mediums for exchange of information and property are not bad. People who use them for bad purposes are bad.
  • by coltrane679 ( 118528 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:05PM (#18973849)
    Gee, would it be possible to compose a more inane, hysterical post? I kind of doubt it. Every rhetorical flourish we decry from the the censors and prohibitionists we despise is reprised here--but since it is about GUNS and EBAY, well, were just supposed to swallow it?
  • by TheFlyingGoat ( 161967 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:05PM (#18973855) Homepage Journal
    They're correct about the whole guns don't kill people thing. This is Slashdot, so I'll make a technology analogy, even though people here tend to be far more political than technical. We like getting on Microsoft's case when they fix a bug, pointing out that there are far more existing bugs that they didn't fix. Hackers (or crackers, if you must) will exploit any available means to gain access to a system, so patching one hole in a system with many doesn't do a whole lot.

    The same thing happens with gun law restrictions. Do you really think that if this guy wouldn't have been able to buy ammo on Ebay that he wouldn't have gone on a shooting rampage? He would have just found a different way of doing it, whether it be with a hunting shotgun, a sword, or a fertilizer bomb. Keep in mind that while I'm in favor of concealed carry, it doesn't mean I think that people should be able to access semiautomatic firearms without a significant (1 month?) waiting period.

    I know that comparing the shooting to a system being hacked isn't all that accurate, but I'm trying to make a generalized point. There are many things out there that have both good and bad aspects, but that doesn't mean that we should focus only on the bad and ignore the good. Doing so is shortsighted and kneejerk, similar to all the save-the-children and ban toothpaste from airplanes crap. Be consistent in your criticism of this stuff.
    • They're correct about the whole guns don't kill people thing. This is Slashdot, so I'll make a technology analogy
      A better analogy here would have been buying a gun that doesnt kill people is like buying a car with the hood welded shut.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:06PM (#18973865)
    to kdawson!! Congrats on the award! How about a snarky, back-handed, sarcastic award speech for us?
  • Last time I checked, profits, not moral behavior was rewarded by share holders and pat-each-other-on-the-back webby awards.

    As long as Meg delivers the profits, there are no problems.

    If you feel strongly the other way, then maybe it's time for you to participate in our government and change that?
    • And eliminate profits?? What are you, a first-class moron? Profits are why people invest. Take away profits and they'll do something else with their money, like build huge mansions, or castles in the sky.
  • Let's concentrate only on the harm that guns make possible. That way we can demonify them. We can say that guns kill 20,000 people per year (in the US), so guns should be banned. But what if we did the same for automobiles? Cars kill 50,000 people per year (in the US), so cars should doubly be banned.

    Nothing is wholly good, or bad, except possible people who try to claim something is wholly good or bad. THEY are wholly bad.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Xonstantine ( 947614 )
      And medical malpractice kills 250,000 people per year in the US. Although gun control advocates like to make the public health argument, it isn't about public health, it's about societal control and the elites being concerned about not having a monopoly of force. It's a lot harder to shove your agenda down the unwilling throats of the little people when they can fight back.
    • It can be argued that cars are needed to survive in the current culture.
      It can't not be argued that pools are needed, or hard to get rid of.
      Yet they kill more children then firearms.

  • If the webby's gave out an award for the company/individual that destroyed profits, lowered wages in Silicon Valley and increased competition.

    It just doesn't work like that.
  • Sure they might have let one guy buy some bullets but let's not forget all the dangerous people they stopped from buying virtual +5 swords!
  • Note to self: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:09PM (#18973927)
    Add slashdot editor/submitter to personal block list for posting story that is nothing but flamebait. And only a day after I was praising digg for stealing our idiots. Looks like they missed a few.
  • by jcgf ( 688310 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:12PM (#18973999)
    Only an asshole blames the guns for killing people.
    • ...And only a really really dumb asshole blames the company who made possible the selling of empty clips and a holster for killing people.
    • Did you coach the summary writer on how to use inflammatory verbiage?

      I can't be the only one who knows responsible gun owners who have never shot anyone. I also know irresponsible gun owners who have never shot anyone, but will probably eventually shoot themselves while drunk - if they don't drunk-drive into a tree or blow themselves up on July 4 first.

      By the way, I've owned gun holsters before and I've never owned a real gun - I was a cowboy for Halloween when I was 9. I didn't need clips, though - I used
  • by brkello ( 642429 )
    This article summary disgusts me. If you think eBay is responsible (even in part) for the school shooting then you should wake up. There was nothing wrong with what they did. The implication is an insult to the rational people who read this site.
  • by Xonstantine ( 947614 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:13PM (#18974019)
    To imply that Ebay is responsible in anyway for Cho's deranged killing spree is dishonest and contemptible. It's not like Ebay or Paypal are firearm friendly to begin with.
  • Mr. Cho certainly isn't the first to purchase gun parts off Ebay, nor will he be the last. His actions don't implicate Ebay any more than the seller of the clips, the manufacturer of the clips, or the delivery company which transported them across the country.
  • It's a worldwide marketplace. How many murderers do you think get their schtuff off ebay, anyway?
    There's no tracking.

    Hell, I know military guys that get a lot of their stuff from ebay. This is mindless yellow journalism. How the hell was ebay to know, or the seller for that matter, that the buyer was going to use these perfectly legal items for bad?

    And the webby's cool too.
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:19PM (#18974131)
    Greenpeace issues a statement expressing their displeasure on how eBay has a poor environmental policy when it comes to computer manufacturing and disposal. An eBay spokesperson responded that eBay does not manufacture any computers. To which Greenpeace responded that eBay re-sells computers and therefore shares the social responsibility to ensure that the computers are manufactured and disposed in the most environmentally friendly way. To which the eBay spokesperson said, "Bite my shiny metal ass."
  • by DavidinAla ( 639952 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:22PM (#18974179)
    If a bank robber makes his getaway in a Ford, it doesn't mean that Ford is somehow responsible for the robbery. If a pair of kidnappers co-ordinate their activities via a Nokia phone on the Verizon network, it doesn't make Nokia and Verizon responsible for their actions. And if a drunken husband grabs a butcher knife purchased at Target and kills his wife with it, neither Target nor the knife maker has any responsibility.

    The real agenda of the person who wrote this spin is to say, "Guns and any associated parts are bad. If you deal with weapons in any way, you are evil. Therefore, eBay is evil because it doesn't have the policy I want it to have."

    Individuals have to take responsibility for what they do, and the rest of us have to keep a sense of proportion about how we react to the actions of crazed lunatics. Statistically, somewhere in the neighborhood of 120 people have died in this country in car accidents in the last 24 hours, but nobody is stupid enough or irresponsible enough to suggest that the utility of car travel be taken away from everyone else because of these deaths. Bad things happen sometimes in life. Sometimes we can't control all of them. We will NEVER have a completely safe world -- and it's not going to made perfect by following the panicked political agenda of those who insist that the rights of millions be destroyed (especially when their favored course of action wouldn't even save lives).

    • by Oswald ( 235719 )
      If a bank robber makes his getaway in a Ford, it doesn't mean that Ford is somehow responsible for the robbery.

      Citation, please.

      Individuals have to take responsibility for what they do

      Again, citation?

      Bad things happen sometimes in life. Sometimes we can't control all of them.

      Jesus, what planet are you from? I'm getting sick and tired of people using Slashdot as their personal soapbox for spreading their crackpot delusions.

  • Hey, awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wuhao ( 471511 ) * on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:22PM (#18974191)
    Slashdot is apparently now accepting terrible editorialization of news stories.

    It is well known that eBay does not know its buyers and sellers. It cannot filter out scammers and fraudsters. Expecting it to filter out murderers is even more insane -- so insane that I can only speculate that this is not what the poster even has in mind. I assume, then, that the poster's complaint is that eBay allows these items to be listed in the first place.

    Apparently, the poster is extremely fond of gun control. That's fine. You're entitled to your opinion. Choosing to capitalize on a tragedy to motivate a witch hunt in the name of your ideologies is another matter entirely. eBay allowed listing of these parts in full and complete compliance with state and federal laws -- laws which eBay has, in general, gone above and beyond the call of duty to satisfy.

    This witch hunt smells to me of exactly the same bullshit we went through after 9/11, when people looked for anyone and anything to blame, and when highly questionable "solutions" were pushed through the legislature with little thought or caution. And now after Va. Tech, we've got the usual crowd of people utterly unable to accept a world in which tragedy is a reality, attempting to blame anyone and anything for allowing this to happen. eBay gets blamed for allowing Cho to purchase magazines, even though these magazines were readily available elsewhere. Video games get blamed for allowing Cho to "train" for the murder. And, of course, the right of the People to keep and bear arms gets blamed for giving him the freedom to own firearms in the first place. Of course, the second amendment is hardly the only victim in the aftermath of all this: the first amendment has also suffered considerably, with people getting arrested for having highly laughable "warning signs," like violent writing.

    Frankly, these school shooting do not scare me. I fully accept that someday, it could be me among the dead in such a tragedy -- or my wife, my sons, or my daughters. But, eventually, my name will be among the dead for one reason or another. I refuse to live what days I have left, be it 100 years or be it a week, gripped in fear about when the curtain will drop on my life. And so what scares me far more than school shooters and terrorists are the people who are unable to do this; people whose fear is so profound that they will not only undermine their own lives in a futile attempt to stop death, but they'll demand that you undermine yours as well, ironically by undermining the very rights that literally millions of people have voluntarily stepped into the line of fire to protect.

    So, in conclusion, I do not find Cho to be a terribly threatening in the grand scheme of things -- not nearly so threatening as folks like Jack Thompson or, apparently, the author of this post, who attempt to inflame the matter with laughable policy suggestions that curtail our freedoms and do nothing to maker us safer.
  • Just because their social conscience differs from your own does not mean that they are wrong. When you persecute a company or an individual out of an outright intolerance for their beliefs then just how much of a dialogue do you expect?

    We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
        -- Anais Nin
  • by Panaflex ( 13191 ) * <> on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:28PM (#18974289)
    I worked for the company that sold the 9/11 hijackers their hotels. Could we have stopped them?
    What about American and United airlines?

    How far will the polemics go? There's fair laws for the posession of guns already.

    People need to stop focusing on the things and start helping those who are ill. It's obvious that Cho was mentally ill. It looks like many people did try, and some attempts were successful. But really - let's get wicked and blame the people who are, in my mind, really at fault:

    1. The university knew he was in deep trouble - several teachers and students reported many, many problems with the poor fellow. Why was he still there?
    2. The family weren't informed or simply ignored (I would assume) a huge number of problems in their son.
    3. The mental health community, Doctor's, Counselors and Psychologist apparently didn't follow up on Cho.
    4. Perhaps the insurance company was at fault here? Did they pressure the mental health workers to "get him well" without a thorough investigation?

    Really - guns, while they were the final horror of this situation - had little to do with why Cho went *snap*.
  • Stop blaming the guns. Or are you advocating "censorship" of eBay based on one person's slanted view of the constitution? People kill people. Guns are just one tool for doing it.
  • Shut Up Already (Score:3, Interesting)

    by madsheep ( 984404 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:34PM (#18974405) Homepage
    Really, I agree with what people have said above. eBay nor its sellers/community/etc. is responsible for what that piece of crap did. This shouldn't have any affect on an award and shouldn't cause it to be ill-timed. It's ridiculous to link these two together in such a way. There's no need to provide similar examples of why this is stupid as there are many above. It's time to let companies do what they need to do. No one is happy about the VT shootings, but harassing eBay and its sellers isn't going to help anyone. Btw, this is coming from a recent Virginia Tech graduate.

  • Nice spin, submitter.

    Last night for dinner I cut up some lettuce with a chef's knife, then later used a shovel to plant some flowers. Others have used those tools to kill people and bury the body, so I'm glad the hardware store I bought my stuff from didn't have any Social Consciousness, otherwise they never would have sold those items.
  • Whoa whoa whoa (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PingXao ( 153057 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @12:49PM (#18974639)
    I'm not a gun nut. I don't own any weapons. I think of the NRA as an organization that tends toward paranoia, and which attracts more than its share of fringe, radical elements. But I am completely behind the rights protected by the 2nd Ammendment. The reasons the founders put that in the Bill of Rights still exist today.

    If some people want to ban guns, their path is clear: an ammendment to the Constitution. They are perfectly welcome to try getting such a thing passed.
  • by nuzak ( 959558 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @01:01PM (#18974869) Journal
    This crappy slanted submission is barely even diggworthy. I'd call it yellow journalism, but it insults the name of journalism.

    Seriously, this is fucking trash.
  • Misplaced hatred (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Durzel ( 137902 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @01:06PM (#18974937) Homepage
    I'm all for hating eBay for the genuinely annoying [] things they do, as well as their , their questionable exclusion of Google Chuckout and other non-Paypal payment gateways, but blaming them for some random nutjob buying something which isn't even against the TOS to list - or illegal to purchase - is really clutching at straws. []

    How is the VT event in any way remotely relevant to this Lifetime Achievement award, or - for that matter - how is the Webby award even newsworthy?
  • by thumper666 ( 722064 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @01:22PM (#18975145)
    gunbroker link []

    This is an eBay-like setup for people to sell guns across the internet. Before the anti-gun hyperventilators (like the submitter) start, guns can only be shipped to a Federal Firearms License holder (or a C&R, but that's a special case that I won't go into). You then go to them and have a federal background check performed on you, and you pick up your gun.

    Many computer nerds I know often buy rare machineguns this way. (no, not semi-auto Democrat-newspeak "assault weapons", real belt-fed working machineguns like MG-42s and M2HBs as well as full auto assault rifles like the M16)

    Occasionally, a 105mm howitzer (includes 20 rounds free!), RPG, or 20mm anti-aircraft cannon will show up on gunbroker as well. Yes, private citizens can easily own WORKING assault rifles, frag grenades, machineguns, howitzers, smart bombs, and anti-aircraft cannons. No legal citizen-owned machinegun, mortar, bomb, howitzer, or grenade has ever been used in any crime. Ever.

    It's also interesting to note that there's no explicit regulation prohibiting you from owning, say , a nuclear-armed cruise missile - it's just you can't find anyone willing to sell them to you.
  • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @01:25PM (#18975195) Homepage Journal
    Seems that if you can blame eBay for a nutjob killing people, then you can blame eBay for scam artists ripping people off. But why stop there? Blame eBay for deaths caused by drunk drivers who bought cars, furries who bought stuffed animals, and trolling Slashdot submitters who bought new computers.
  • Moral Outrage (Score:3, Insightful)

    by happy_place ( 632005 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @01:27PM (#18975217) Homepage
    It's getting difficult to keep track of all the companies I'm supposed to be morally outraged at... I'm surprised that Slashdot permitted it through and tagged it so benignly, clearly someone has a political point they wanna make... Do people really blame Ebay for school shootings now? Perhaps we should get rid of all technology that enables violence and violent thoughts to be conveyed... --Ray
  • by kinglink ( 195330 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @01:58PM (#18975699)
    Ok he got magazines, not filled, but empty magazines, get over it people!

    Seriously, Ebay has changed the way we interact. Why are we quibbling over this? Oh yeah people want to shame ebay for this and blame it on anyone other than the student who commited the murder. They didn't tell him to do it, they didn't pull the trigger, this is one sale out of a couple million?

    Ebay and the founders deserve this award, hell they deserve another award for taking an idea from the dot com bubble and making a couple billion dollars off of it (kudos to them for that). Trying to throw dirt on them now is petty as hell, and Kdawson needs to figure out if he wants to keep posting biased and muck racking summaries or if he wants to actually post interesting news.

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