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Etsy's Blog and the Coral Article

Oct 18, 2010

by Juliet Gorman

Hi everyone,

I'm Etsy's editorial director and I want you to know that I and all the blog editors have been carefully reading and discussing your feedback on the coral preservation article. Our aim in publishing this blog post was to raise awareness and provoke reflection about an under-recognized issue. It was absolutely not our intention to call out or cast a negative light on any Etsy seller. We come to work every day trying to build a better business for you, truly! So to anyone who felt unwelcome, my apologies. Our policies about what can be sold on Etsy are unchanged.

To clarify regarding questions that have been raised about our editorial policies, there is no "pay for play" on Etsy. No one can purchase editorial coverage.

Best,Juliet

* * * * *

Hello everyone,

I’m back to clarify a few things about our editorial policies.

First of all, I want to reiterate that there is no "pay for play" on Etsy’s blog. Some members have been wondering about contracts and terms of agreement between us and outside contributors. Etsy does not accept payment in exchange for editorial coverage, not in this case and not ever.

Your feedback on the coral article has made us recognize the need to clarify our internal guidelines on publishing opinions. We didn’t sufficiently vet the point of view to make sure it complied with Etsy's broader policies. (Coral is not a prohibited item on Etsy. Each seller does need to ensure that his or her use of the site complies with all applicable laws; that includes any regulations or restrictions for the sale of coral. Beyond the legal issues, however, Etsy members are responsible for making important moral or ethical decisions regarding what they buy and sell.) We also should have better anticipated the countervailing view. And if we still wanted to address the subject, we should have sought to introduce more balance and clearly labeled it as opinion, which reflects the point of view of its author and not Etsy as a company. You’ll see the results of our toothier internal guidelines in our future coverage.

Lastly, I’d like to step back from the specific content of this debate to make a general point about contributors to our blog who are new members of Etsy. We have a long history of featuring guests. They bring our community into conversation with the wider world, spark new ideas and by driving their audience to the blog, help raise awareness of Etsy with people who are not yet familiar with us. I understand why many of you were frustrated by this particular instance of a contribution by someone without long standing in the community. But I want to be clear that broadly speaking, a contributor’s history (or lack of) with Etsy is not a factor in whether we collaborate with them. The decision generally lies in whether the ideas they want to share are substantive and relevant to our readers.

We greatly appreciate the constructive feedback, as it will help us do better by you next time.

Best,Juliet

* * * * *

As an addendum, this article and subsequent discussion among you in the Etsy community makes it clear that this is a nuanced issue and one that can be fodder for really good discussion (as the Forums have seen in the past surrounding use of feathers, among other things) in the context of sourcing materials and making pieces of art. We are happy to host these discussions and encourage anyone with knowledge of the matter to participate and share your expertise!

With that said, we will be consolidating current and future discussions of the article referred to above into this thread:http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6659297

We understand that some members have very strong feelings about or relating to this article. While sharing those feelings and opinions may be difficult without risking violation of our Forum policies, these policies apply to discussion about this and any other issue on the Etsy Forums. You can find them here: http://www.etsy.com/dosdonts.php#thecommunity