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Defamation claims

eBay.co.uk is a venue that allows anyone to offer, sell, and buy just about anything, at anytime, from anywhere, in a variety of pricing formats and venues, such as Shops, fixed price formats and auction-style formats. We do not review users' listings or content and are not involved in the actual transaction between buyers and sellers. We have no control over and do not guarantee the quality, safety or legality of items advertised, the truth or accuracy of listings, the truth or accuracy of Feedback or other content posted by users on our sites, the ability of sellers to sell items, the ability of buyers to pay for items, or that a buyer or seller will actually complete a transaction.

If you feel that material has been posted on our site which defames you, we will take appropriate action. We have developed the following procedure for handling such claims.

1. Check that you are sure the content you have identified is in fact defamatory

According to English law, defamation is broadly defined as a publication communicated to someone, other than the subject, which tends to "lower him in the estimation of right thinking members of society generally", or exposes him to public hatred, contempt or ridicule or which causes him to be shunned or avoided. Defamatory publications will include aspersions upon an individual's reputation for honour, honesty and integrity, as well as disparagement of an individual's reputation in trade, business, profession or office. (Thus, for example, stating that "User X did not deliver my Beanie Babies and he stole my money" is likely to be defamatory, both as to competence and as to integrity.)

It is true that not all publications which satisfy this definition will be defamatory. For example, a statement which is true usually will not be defamatory. However, the onus is on the maker to prove the truth of his/her statements, not on anyone alleging defamation to disprove them. (So in the above example the maker would have to be able to prove that X did actually steal, i.e. did more than just be incompetent with the delivery.) There are also numerous other defences to allegations that a statement is defamatory. Defamation is a complex area of the law and you should carefully evaluate any claim before you make it as making false claims could potentially expose you to liability. It may be wise to consult a lawyer.

2. Make your Feedback private

If the allegedly defamatory content appears in a comment in your Feedback ratings, you have the ability to immediately make your Feedback private, meaning the comments portion will not be publicly displayed. This enables you to minimise any damage that you perceive may be done to you by the alleged defamatory material. Please be aware that we don't allow sellers to list items if they have private Feedback.

Make your Feedback private

3. Ask eBay to intervene

You can ask us to intervene, in which case we need you to follow our process. You must submit a form to us detailing the exact material which you consider to be defamatory.

To submit a Notice of False and Defamatory Content to eBay:
  1. Download the Notice, print and complete it.

  2. Scan the completed form into your computer (.gif, .jpg, .png formats).

Get more detailed instructions and tips for uploading documents to eBay

Please ensure that all your personal details match the information you've registered on your account. Rest assured that eBay treats your personal information with the utmost care.

What happens once I've sent the Notice to eBay?

Once we have had a chance to look at your completed form, we will notify you of the action which we have taken. Please note that we have no effective way to gather and evaluate all relevant facts, and we must bear in mind the interests of all members - therefore, as stated in our User Agreement, we do not accept responsibility for correctly identifying all cases of defamation, only to use reasonable efforts. The rating (negative, neutral or positive) will remain on your account and will not be removed as a result of you sending in this claim of defamation 

Reporting multiple Feedback comments

Please note that one Notice of False and Defamatory Content is required for each comment which you consider to be defamatory and are requesting to be removed. Please submit a separate Notice of False and Defamatory Content for any additional claim or claims which you wish to make, unless the claims relate to comments left by the same user ID in which case you may submit one Notice.

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