This diary is going to be short and I'm sorry about that. I'm at work and jobs are hard to come by these days so I'd like to keep mine. I was hoping someone else would post this but haven't seen anything yet.
First, please go read kat68's diary about the right-wing extremist's Psalm 109:8 campaign.
And when you're done...
After Kat68's diary made the rec list yesterday many of us complained to Zazzle & Cafe Press about the inflammatory and dangerous Psalm 109:8 merchandise being sold on their sites. Both Cafe Press and Zazzle decided yesterday to pull the merchandise.
Cafe Press alerted everyone in an email that did not blind copy us in but gave our email addresses out to everyone involved in the email campaign. They said:
As you may know, CafePress.com provides an automated service to a rich and vibrant community of international users. Unfortunately, because our service is automated, sometimes content that is not consistent with our Offensive Material & Prohibited Content policy is posted on CafePress.com. We appreciate that you have brought this content to our attention and it has been removed from our site. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.
If there is anything else I can do for you please let me know.
We hope we have answered all of your questions. If not, please chat with us now.(Mon-Fri)
CafePress.com Support Associate
Later in the day, Zazzle did the same thing (minus the mass email crap):
Thank you very much for your email to Zazzle.
For a full statement in response to the issue you have raised in your email, please refer to our blog here: http://blog.zazzle.com/...
We value your feedback and opinion, and thank you for being part of the Zazzle community!
Content Management Team
I went to bed pleased with DKos, pleased with Cafe Press and Zazzle and thinking that what we do here really does make a difference. I was all warm and fuzzy.
And then, today after lunch, I got this from Cafe Press (in yet ANOTHER mass email in which no one was bcc'd):
Thank you for contacting CafePress.com!
Cafepress looks at content on a case by case basis, and makes decisions about what content is permissible based on our content usage policy.
Anti-presidential gear has been a mainstay at Cafepress since we were founded in 1999 and has become a key component of political discourse. Our site has become a cultural barometer of public opinion and as such designs often come into question. In managing our content we are trying to protect self expression, while making sure we are not advocating violence.
We initially pulled the Psalm 109:8 content from our products today because broader media dialog indicated that these designs potentially suggested violence towards the president. Based on current public discourse and further review of the actual content, we have determined that it is fair political commentary and we are in the process of reinstating this merchandise. As with all of our content, these designs will continue to be reviewed and if at any time their meaning is construed as advocating violence we will revisit our decision.
Your ticket code is LTK419085799243X. Please use this code in any further communication.
Content Usage Associate
(650) 655-3104 (O)
(650) 240-0260 (F)
I think this is a poor decision on their part and wonder at the reversal. I suggest we all do what I've just done, which is delete your Cafe Press account if you have one, and tell them why you are cancelling your account.
My apologies again for the sucky diary but I have to get back to work.
MikeConwell has also posted about this. Sorry, Mike... I did not see your diary.
UPDATE: First, thanks for the rec list. I would also like to point you to MikeConwell's diary... he actually posted a diary about this before me. And kat68 got the ball rolling (with a little nudge from Rachel Maddow, that is. :)
I have no idea what the legal implications for Cafe Press are, in regards to pulling (or reinstating) the merchandise. I do believe that this kind of crap is probably protected as free speech but that Cafe Press (and other businesses) have a moral obligation to look at the whole picture and make the right decision. It's very clear to anyone that reads the entire Psalm in context that the right-wing extremists are using this as a call for violence. At the very least, if they are NOT using it as a call for violence, then the fact of the matter is that there are enough nutjobs out there to construe it as such.
It may very well be legal for Cafe Press to keep selling the merchandise, but I think it's morally reprehensible and irresponsible to do so. That's my opinion and my opinion only and it's why I cancelled my account with them.
UPDATE 2: Morning, folks. Pacific NW Mark alerted us in the comments to the Cafe Press blog, where they have a poll up about this as well as a place you can leave comments.
You can also join the 'Boycott CafePress'Facebook page here.
UPDATE 3: Cafe Press has now reversed its decision of its original reversed decision. :-) Good work guys. As I said before, it may be legal for them to sell the merchandise but that doesn't make it right, and I think we made ourselves clear about why we thought the merchandise was over the top and went far beyond the usually harmless political merchandise we've grown accustomed to seeing on sites like Cafe Press & Zazzle.
Good on Cafe Press for reversing its decision to reverse its decision. And thanks to everyone who got this ball rolling (kat68 and Rachel Maddow for starters), and all those who emailed, called and blogged about this.