Tuesday, 25 January 2011

More RedBubble Hijinks - They are Nazi-apologists and Liars

Just to keep you up to date, I have had an interesting exchange of emails with RedBubble.

It started with this from them to me:

Hi David,

Recently, one or more of your works or communications has come to our attention as being a personal attack. No matter what situations people find themselves in while interacting on RedBubble, we expect artists to conduct themselves within the community guidelines and to report any more serious issues to us so we can follow them up directly. A personal attack is where a member writes hurtful or insulting things about another member. This also includes personal remarks made with the intention of hurting someone or upsetting them. Personal attacks include attacks on groups of artists (e.g. all the members of the ‘I love flowers’ group are losers). Most importantly, provocation is not a justification for a personal attack on another member. Personal attacks are not permitted. The following comments are considered a personal attack under the RedBubble Community Guidelines
  • Profiting from genocide. Shame on you. Jason. You are clearly in need of help. Get some.
  • Yes, RedBubble is still selling HipsterHitler’s horrible shit, and still deleting comments underneath the t shirts that offends those nazi fuckwits by criticizing them. Ah. Poor nazi babies.
  • This makes them no better than the people who made the gas for the nazi concentration camps in my view. Simply: profiting from genocide is evil, and sick.
  • such as this crap: http://www.redbubble.com/people/hipsterhitler
We have de-published the following journals as they contain content that is considered a personal attack.
  • Still selling offensive Nazi shite on this site - spoiling a great social network...
  • Not for Sale, 
  • I don't want to be part of a website that tolerates racism as 'art', but Merry Xmas anyway
In addition we have today removed 30 comments on Hipster Hitler work that read:
  • Profiting from genocide. Shame on you
The descriptions in your works "If you tolerate this" and "Profiting from genocide is evil", read as follows:
  • RedBubble continues to sell ‘amusing’ Hitler T shirts referring to Auschwitz, genocide etc. It’s not that far removed to being an arms dealer is it? Well my fury is being directed constructively at least. Shame on RedBubble.
  • RedBubble continues to sell ‘amusing’ Hitler T shirts referring to Auschwitz, genocide etc. It’s not that far removed to being an arms dealer is it? Well my fury is being directed constructively at least. Shame on RedBubble. Also – song-inspired: the Manics: If you tolerate this your children will be next
These descriptions, in conjunction with your comments and journals as outlined above are defined as harassment under our Community Guidelines:
  • Harassing behaviour includes: to disturb persistently, torment, humiliate, bother continually, pester or persecute. Names don’t have to be mentioned in order for behaviour to be considered harassing.
As such, we have made the decision to remove these works.

In accordance with our Community Guidelines on personal attack and harassment, this notification indicates the beginning of a suspension period. For the duration of your suspension, you will not be able to log into your RedBubble account, and your profile will not appear in RedBubble's search results. However, your profile is still viewable should your customers wish to make a purchase.  

Your account will remain suspended for at least seven days, please take this time to familiarise yourself with our Community Guidelines. Suspensions do not expire automatically. Please reply to this email after 31st January 2011 to arrange for your account to be reinstated. Upon your return to RedBubble we ask that you have no further contact with HipsterHitler or directly related parties, as this will be considered a continuation of harassment. We must also warn you that if we receive another valid report within the next six months, which qualifies for a suspension according to the Community Guidelines, your account may closed permanently.

RedBubbles Approach to Content
RedBubble has a clear set of content guidelines designed to outline what we will and will not host. These are not designed as a comprehensive statement of freedom of expression in society but an expression of what we at RedBubble will host. Every company must take some view on what it hosts based on its audience and own values, and our guidelines have been developed after much consideration and a number of years of experience dealing with these issues in the RedBubble community. We have a robust reporting mechanism in place for people to report concerns. All concerns are carefully looked at and works are removed or actions taken when behavior or content falls outside our guidelines.
We may not agree with all the work on this site, but if it fits within our guidelines we will defend the artist’s right to show it. If you disagree with something you see on RedBubble, please be mindful that it's not ok to target other artists, write personal or hurtful comments about them or use them as negative examples under any circumstances. Such actions are considered a breach of our guidelines on acceptable behavior. No matter what personal feelings you have about content uploaded to RedBubble, we ask that you are respectful in your interactions with others.
Our community guidelines can be reviewed here, and a summary of our content guidelines here

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation,
The RedBubble Support Team

Community Guidelines: 

If you're interested you should take a look at those guidelines: read the stuff about offensive material, and about racism, and then try and justify their stand on HipsterHitler. You should probably also know that I am not the only one protesting and there have been a number of people being censored by opposing HipsterHitler's sale of T shirts.
Anyway - here's my reply:

Dear RedBubble

Your action is disgraceful. You are prepared to publish offensive material such as HipsterHitler's, and to profit from it, and yet you are not prepared to allow protest. HipsterHitler, and subsequently RedBubble, are profiting from genocide. You think this is, no doubt, an over-reaction, but I challenge this. Whilst HH was only producing comics as he (they) says (say) "parodying" stuff - well fair enough, even if lacking in taste. But selling T shirts with the offensive comments on them as they do is over the top. I understand they are the T shirts that their 'character' in their cartoons wears - but that's exactly it: on one hand they understand how appalling it is to go around with a "Death Camp For Cutie" or "Eastside Westside Genocide" T shirt, and therefore stay within the reasonable grounds of parody - but once they start selling them (and you too) then they are as bas as the person they claim to be parodying in.

It is clearly no longer "ironic"  - you only have to read the forums on their own website to see that, and look at the 'parodying' anti-semitic shite their. You clearly have some very odd 'libertarian' views which are unsustainable under intelligent examination because you fail to understand what racism is (there is NO debate unlike you think) and you fail to understand what is and what is not offensive.

To be more concerned about defending a sicko who thinks "Hitler had a view that needs to be heard", than worry about how HipsterHitler's work offends people is bizarre. You know how many of your users are upset, and are making a completely unjustifiable stand. By removing my journals, by removing my protest art you are acting in a way no better than a fascist state - China's actions on the internet come to mind. I don't understand your viewpoint - but I don't have the power to censor it. But HipsterHitler's work is being published and sold worldwide on RedBubble - and whilst it is not against the laws of the USA where you are, it is on the borderlines of law throughout Europe, and in Australia.

Since you have made the decision to censor my work which protests against profiting from genocide (bizarre) I no longer wish to have my work published on RedBubble, and so request you remove all of my work under both accounts David Abse and Gary Socrates. I will continue my campaign against HipsterHitler however, and against your selling of their offensive works.

I hope you give this some serious thought: You will in all probability become known as the home of nazi sympathisers: if that's your business model - well, in all honesty, I cannot wish you good luck.

Such a shame - RedBubble is such a well-built site and such an excellent social network for artists. What a stupid waste.

David Abse

And this morning I received this response:


We are happy for people to protest and many artists have voiced strong opinions and criticisms of RedBubble on the site over the past weeks but we have community guidelines on behaviour and conduct and all communications on RedBubble must fall within these guidelines. The wider community expects us to apply these guidelines to all cases, regardless of the circumstances. If you disagree with something you see on RedBubble, it's not ok to target other artists, write personal or hurtful comments about them or use them as negative examples under any circumstances. Such actions are considered a breach of our guidelines on acceptable behavior. We have made attempts to explain this to you in previous emails.

Your latest journal was removed as it contained yet another attack on an artist which is a breach of RedBubble's personal attack guidelines. You were also suspended from the site for seven days due to a previous breach of the guidelines so by logging in and posting this journal, you broke the conditions of your suspension. The guidelines clearly state that if you breach the guidelines again while on suspension or probation, the result is immediate account closure.

As a result, we have taken the decision to close your accounts on RedBubble. We ask that you do not open any new accounts on RedBubble in future. Any accounts found to be owned or operated by you will be closed without notice.

The RedBubble Objections Team
So, I have sent this reply:

Dear RedBubble

There are many things that are very interesting (and very strange) in your email. I find it astonishing that you need to pointlessly lie to me to justify your unilateral actions.  It's your website, you can do what you want but really I think you shouldn't lie to your users or ex-users - apart from anything else, there's not much point. Firstly you know full well that I did not post the journal AFTER being suspended - that would not have been possible. You have suspended and expelled me within the same 24 hours - and your expulsion comes 13 hours AFTER I asked you to close my accounts down - so I have no idea why you are deluding yourself and lying when it is so transparent. You even include my email requesting my accounts are closed in your email to me, so you can't claim not to have seen it. You are strange. (Oh dear, I seem to have broken your guidelines again by calling you strange - read on - I'm going to get worse). Anyway, perhaps it makes you feel better about your actions.

Your other lie is that you are happy for people to protest - well, that's clearly not so. I don't even need to explain this (but as you appear to be delusional h I'll carry on explaining to you) - your censorship of arguments on your own blog, your removal of all criticism of HipsterHitler, your removal of my art, your removal of my journals (not just one, but three, all written over a month long period before you suspended me and removed them) are all prima facie proof.

You also seem to think my comments: "Profiting from genocide. Shame on you" are personal or hurtful. I would guess only "hurtful" if true, eh? Personal in that they are directed at HipsterHitler and RedBubble (both companies who prefer to hide behind their companies' names) - that doesn't really fit with any definition I know. Although I do admit I asked a Nazi apologist to "get some help". 

You also seem to regard HipsterHitler's T shirts as 'Art'. You have such incredibly poor judgement it is terrifying. Let me explain again to you since you seem to be too poorly educated to understand: those T shirts are offensive. As such, that breached your rules. Also pointless racist comments about the French seem to be tolerated by you. There is no justification in selling racist, nazi-apologist T shirts that offend so blatantly like that, and no justification of parody, humour or 'art'. They aren't 'art' by anybody's standards - they are sheer exploitation and profit-making by a young uneducated person in New York, who clearly does not care how offensive they are, and only cares about how clever they are being and how much money they are making by selling to stupid, gullible people - I guess there is some irony in this. I can only assume you are the same and your only motive is profit, and you fear criticism to the point you have to censor it. It, as I have said before, is a shame, and a shame on you: you fail to understand what a good artistic social network you have built and prefer to profit at its expense in the lowest possible way. Why you don't open a new website just selling trash nazi t shirts is beyond me. You'd do good business with the American Nazi party. 

Do you know what I find even more amusing is the support I have received from all sides of the political spectrum, including positive feedback from the most alien political quarters for me, the Republican T party lot, as well as more understandable support from the left, internationally.

I'm sure you don't care, but I will continue to campaign against you in various ways: Hey, maybe you DO care, then you can take me to court - that would be interesting. So let me make it clear of what I am accusing you of (here and in public throughout the internet and in the art world).

1. Profiting from genocide
2. Putting profits before people
3. Putting profits before art
4. Lying
5. Censorship

Oh and I'm sure I'll find some more.

I don't want to hide from you so keep a look out on my blog  (you have the details - unless you forgot to note them down before deleting my account).

Keep in touch, don't be a stranger.

David Abse

Anyway - I hope this helps convince more people to abandon RedBubble and to protest against them and HipsterHitler (also on facebook - but they at least don't sell their T shirts.)


  1. I was banned for protesting the HH. I linked to the very vile jokes they had on their website. Martin is quite happy to make money from the t-shirts but he doesn't want to have anything to do with the filthy racist jokes on the website. Very hypocritical and most arrogant man I have ever encountered in my life.

  2. I was suspended for 7 days and placed on probation for 6 months for protesting the HH stuff. That sounds almost like a "criminal" sanction doesn't it? Probation? Really? RB treats artists that disagree with them like unruly children who need to be reigned in and punished. There is no communicating with RB. It is their way or the highway.

  3. David,

    I have created a website on the censorship by redbubble towards people speaking out against Hitler Hipster.



  4. Hi David,

    SO many of my posts were removed. I have so many questions that they still won't answer. I love their "Freedom of Speech" free to say anything nice but not free to complain.