ebay reinvents it's self as the world leader for Call Girl and Escort Service spam ads. Elephant in the social media boiler roomThis situation has been ongoing for a long time now, and thus deserves another look. It got very limited attention when ecommercebytes did a blurb about. It did not even get it’s own headline. As with other ebaY issues, it has reached the level of the truly absurd.

(thumbnails open in new tab or window for larger view)

This is a live screencapture of the main ebaY community page as I compose this post, 12:47 AM pacific time on 10-21-2013

The phone numbers in this spam ad show on google search as an active Escort Service business from New York CityEach night, many of the numerous forums of the the ebaY community are filled with Call Girl or Escort service ads, not only for or from various locales and containing phone numbers in India, but some in the USA as well. Titles also include words like Russian, Dubai, ‘School Girls’ etc

This is the background from one of the call Girl ads with an obvious young teenage girl, standing in an obvious teenage girl bedroom.The ads often feature not only risqué photos, but also a fair bit of nudity, and perhaps most disgusting, obvious teenage girls represented to be escorts.

Allowing, and/or not preventing any and all of that is highly inappropriate, and very unprofessional to say the least.

'This topic veered off-subject and has been locked to prevent futher abuse.'...Where it begins to get truly bizzare though is how ebay and it’s forum moderation service Lithium Technologies choose to handle it. They are not preventing, nor even controlling the problem. Rather, on the ebay forums, threads discussing the issue are being locked, members are being sanctioned for reporting it.

Put simply, members who want a clean and safe site/environment/experience are being bullied into silence.

'I just came back froma 30 day vacation for reporting them, did not help that a mod told me that he did not see any of them and we were lying about them being an issue.  I sent a well-worded message to him and about 10 minutes later was slapped with a 30 day vacation for 'board disruption'Abused members have stated they get 30 day suspensions for reporting the spam, and advised that they “didn’t see anything”. It is also being said that the moderators are out to identify and silence a ‘clique of troublemakers‘, presumably those who report and/or discuss the spam. Screencaptures showing the the spam problem have been posted to the forums, and quickly deleted, many times over.

Why this multi-billion dollar corporation can’t prevent or control this problem is quite telling, as is the fact they choose to further alienate their members by increasing the Kafkaesque aura the site is now infamous for.

The most small-time, backwater forums out there all have software or other mechanisms to prevent and/or control spam. Why doesn’t ebaY? Is it possible they are deriving profit from the spam somehow? We’ve all seen ebaY act with lightning quick speed when they knew there would be bad PR or further decline of traffic, profits and whatnot, when various unsavory events took place.

Another peculiarity, ebaY is not NARU’ing the spammer IDs. (Not A Registered User) How much of ebaY’s reported membership growth can be attributed to them?

All this while ebay strives to reinvent it’s self as some sort of social site. Hilarious! These days, ebaY has more in common with social disease and sociopaths than it does with normal social behavior. To say there exists a hostile environment is a huge understatement. We’ve seen some really ugly examples of reprehensible, anti-social activity amongst the users.

As for the ads, there’s no way of telling what may happen if you click them, or call any of the numbers they show. It should be obvious there is a risk involved.

Is this the type of site you want to patronize or community you wish to socialize or participate in?

My advice: Avoid ebaY like you do STDs and the wrong side of town. Abandon the ebaY forums.

Update: Fresh discussion on the ebaY forums:

Almost 11 pages of Spam