Etsy on why it banned magic spells

spellsEtsy banned metaphysical goods recently, to the furious wrath of those selling spells, enchantments and other supernatural intangibles.

Roisin Kiberd elicited an explanation from the online marketplace, and it comes down to the inherent problem of quackery.

Sara Cohen, Etsy's director of communications, explained the changes: "Services have always been prohibited on Etsy. Any service that does not yield a tangible, physical item is not allowed, for example: tailoring, restoring or repairing an item, photographic retouching or color correction." Cohen also sent me Etsy's statement on its metaphysical sellers: "Our goal is to support as much of the metaphysical community on Etsy as possible… Sellers may continue to sell astrological charts, tarot readings, and other tangible objects, as long as they are not making a promise that object will effect a physical change or other outcome." …

Cohen noted that many of these listings actually fell outside Etsy's original remit. "What's not allowed (and never has been) are services and promises of future outcomes, regardless of connection to any religion. A prayer that cures cancer would be just as prohibited as a spell that cures cancer," she said. She pointed to spells promising to treat illnesses or give the customer bigger breasts or a bigger penis as typically problematic, adding that "the motivation behind this policy clarification was twofold: one, to reiterate that we do not allow services, and two, to protect our community from business practices that prey upon vulnerable and desperate shoppers."

Via JWZ.