Cashing in on merchandise depicting the coronavirus as a joke has been a lesson learned for Etsy. The vintage, craft merchandiser removed all coronavirus-themed items, including a T-shirt characterizing a stenciled President Trump with the words "Coronavirus 2020."
Etsy says some of the items removed, such as coronavirus-shaped crochet art, were designed for science education. Other T-shirts displayed text like "I Survived Coronavirus 2020," “Straight Outta Wuhan” and "I don't have coronavirus I’m just drunk.”
“In order to keep our marketplace safe, our team is prioritizing taking down any listings that claim to protect against coronavirus," an Etsy spokesperson said. "In the past few days alone, we have removed thousands of items that make such medical claims. We have also taken down hundreds of items that attempt to exploit the developing coronavirus situation. Our teams continue to automatically and manually review and remove items that violate our policies.”
As of Wednesday, over 95,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide, with 3,000 deaths.