Despite a history of banning items it deems “offensive,” the online auction website eBay is continuing to allow users to sell the handheld video game “Laden vs. USA,” in which players fly airliners into a crude depiction of the World Trade Center.
The game’s packaging boasts a picture of United Airlines Flight 175 crashing into the South Tower, as well as photos of bin Laden and former U.S. President George W. Bush. It also indicates that the game is intended for “Ages 5 and Up.”
According to descriptions of the game on various eBay profiles, players can control either the United States or Osama bin Laden’s forces, and a hollow rendition of “Deck the Halls” plays upon the destruction of the Trade Towers.
“Laden vs. USA” has been sold as a “rare” item for more than five years, attracting starting bids of up to $250 from collectors and gaming enthusiasts.
“We don’t allow items that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual, or religious intolerance, or promote organizations with such views,” eBay writes on its “Offensive materials policy” page. “We’ll also remove listings that graphically portray graphic violence or victims of violence, unless they have substantial social, artistic, or political value.”
“Listings that graphically portray, glorify, or attempt to profit from human tragedy or suffering” are among the categories of items specifically banned by eBay’s policy. “We won’t become a platform for those who promote hatred toward others.”
In January, eBay pulled the plug on the official “Django” dolls for “trivializing” the plight of slaves, sending the price of the collectibles soaring up to nearly $500. And late last year, it killed an auction started by radio personality Glenn Beck that offered visitors the chance to purchase a bobblehead of Barack Obama soaking in a container of fake urine.