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Associated Press Story For All The Ebay Haters

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Posted 06/16/2020   10:11 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add 51studebaker to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This story was published by the AP yesterday.


Quote:

eBay staff 'sent spiders to terrorise couple who published critical newsletter'

Six former eBay employees have been charged with waging an extensive campaign to terrorise and intimidate the editor and publisher of an online newsletter with threats and disturbing deliveries to their home, including live spiders and cockroaches, US authorities said.

Executives were upset about the newsletter's coverage, so the employees set out to ruin the lives of the couple who ran the website, sending a funeral wreath, bloody pig face Halloween mask and other alarming items to their home, authorities said.

The employees also sent pornographic magazines with the husband's name on to their neighbour's house and planned to break into the couple's garage to install a GPS device on their car, officials said.

Massachusetts US attorney Andrew Lelling told reporters: "This was a determined, systematic effort by senior employees of a major company to destroy the lives of a couple in Natick all because they published content that company executives didn't like.

"For a while they succeeded, psychologically devastating these victims for weeks as they desperately tried to figure out what was going on and stop it."

James Baugh, of San Jose, who was eBay's senior director of safety and security, and David Harville, of New York City, who was director of global resiliency, are charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.

The other former eBay employees charged are Stephanie Popp, former senior manager of global intelligence; Brian Gilbert, former senior manager of special operations for eBay's Global Security Team; Stephanie Stockwell, former manager of eBay's Global Intelligence Centre; and Veronica Zea, a former eBay contractor who worked as an intelligence analyst in the Global Intelligence Centre.

Court documents detail how two members of the company's executive leadership team orchestrated a plot to go after the couple after the newsletter published an article in August 2019 about a lawsuit filed by eBay accusing Amazon of poaching its sellers.

The article also discussed an executive, referred only in court documents as Executive 1, according to court documents.

Half an hour after the article was published, Executive 1 texted another executive, identified as Executive 2, saying: "(Victim 1) is out with a hot piece on the litigation. If you are ever going to take her down..now is the time," according to court documents.

An online article with the same headline as the one described in court documents shows the person described as Executive 1 as eBay's chief executive, who was then Devin Wenig.

He stepped down in September and is not charged in the case.

In addition to the disturbing deliveries, the employees set up fake social media accounts to send threatening messages to the couple, authorities said.

After the bloody pig mask was delivered, the editor received a message saying: "DO I HAVE UR ATTENTION NOW????," according to court documents.

They also posted the couple's names and address online, advertising things like yard sales and encouraging strangers to knock on the door if they were not outside.

Authorities said the staff lied to police about eBay's involvement in the cyberstalking campaign, and lied to company lawyers about their roles.

Gilbert, a former police captain in Santa Clara, California, even reached out to the couple to offer help in stopping the harassment, authorities said.

"They hoped this 'white knight strategy' would create some goodwill toward the company, result in more favourable articles and please eBay's management," said Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI office in Boston.

An internal investigation was launched after eBay was notified by law enforcement in August of "suspicious actions by its security personnel", company officials wrote in a prepared statement. The employees were fired in September, the company said.

The committee formed by the company's board of directors to oversee the investigation said eBay "took these allegations very seriously from the outset".

"Upon learning of them, eBay moved quickly to investigate thoroughly and take appropriate action," it said.


As someone mentioned to me, note that this involved eBay's Senior Director of Safety and Security. I guess eBay 'Safety and Security' can invest time and money in doing this kind of stuff but cannot figure out how to shut down the British Cartel.
Don

***Edit: Improved title***
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Posted 06/16/2020   10:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I assume "AP" is Associated Press and not the American Philatelist.
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Posted 06/16/2020   10:30 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, I do not think the APS/AP would do a story like this; they typically avoid anything negative about the hobby. I clarified the title to avoid any confusion.
Don
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Posted 06/16/2020   11:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Beyond despicable.
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Posted 06/16/2020   11:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redwoodrandy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The conspiritists and preppers were/are right. I have a lot of crow to eat.
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Posted 06/16/2020   12:17 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think this is a case of some 'bad apples' and is not a company policy nor should it be assumed that the entire company is made up of bad actors. The world is not binary but rather made up of many degrees no matter how hard many in the moronic media want us to buy into their division and hatred.

Groups of people, whether they be police, eBay employees, FBI, stamp collectors, auction houses, healthcare providers, teachers, or brick layers have good and bad people in them. But sensible people know not to paint an entire group of people as 'bad' just because the media is trolling for clicks and 30 second video bites.

This story is a good example of some bad people who happened to work at eBay, not a condemnation of the entire company. It is a story about human nature.
Don
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Posted 06/16/2020   12:38 pm  Show Profile Check paperhistory's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paperhistory to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Holy cow. Maybe just bad apples, but these are the sorts of things that can take whole companies down. I don't think we've heard the end of it.
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Posted 06/16/2020   1:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"I guess eBay 'Safety and Security' can invest time and money in doing this kind of stuff but cannot figure out how to shut down the British Cartel."

This kind of stuff the HAVE to do once they are made aware of it. To not do so would make them complicit in what their employees were doing, and open them up to a lot of potential legal trouble. Shutting down the cartel is a lot tougher, they are not employees of the company. It's also true that the cartel is a tiny fish in a small pond in a modest neighborhood of eBay country. The cartel is a big deal to us as collectors, but to eBay they are barely more of a problem then someone taking home some paper clips.
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Posted 06/16/2020   2:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TNJed to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What "British Cartel"? I know nothing about this....
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Posted 06/16/2020   2:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A stamp thief named Philip Ryle. If you search the name or "British cartel" in the forum you will find several threads.
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Posted 06/16/2020   5:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
DEFUND eBay
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Posted 06/16/2020   11:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add No1philatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As the present US president says, "lock em up." Despicable behavior by a few senior management and a couple other employees does tarnish the reputation of a company. Hope they have better screening of replacements.
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Posted 06/17/2020   03:43 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...Despicable behavior by a few senior management and a couple other employees does tarnish the reputation of a company...


But it should not, it only does because people make incorrect assumptions and sweeping generalizations about the majority of the eBay employees based upon a few. Why should 5 employees represent over 14,000 employees?

Our hobby has plenty of bad behavior, why do many of us work to help others and promote our hobby if a few bad people can tarnish the hobby? There are bad actors in any subset of our society.

We are not lemmings and can form our own opinions. Good people need to stand up and say 'no, a few bad apples do not represent the entire majority' and stop this nonsense.

A few years ago we were being told 'not all Muslims are terrorists'. Today we are hearing the same message in the form of 'not all black people are criminals' but unfortunately (and ironically) it is being delivered with 'but all cops are bad' message.

This consideration should never be a political football, it is something that we all should all strive to be consistent with. I cannot say 'do not make sweeping generalizations about stamp collectors because of a few bad apples' but then say out of the other side of my mouth 'all women are bad drivers because a lady driver just hit my car'.

Alarm bells ought to go off in our heads any time we hear a sweeping generalization and common sense ought to kick in.
Don
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Posted 06/17/2020   03:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One shouldn't tar all eBay employees with the same brush, but the problem in this case is that the criminal behaviour was not that of some rogue employees, but went right to the top of the company and its now-departed Chief Exceutive, whose "take them down" set this sordid campaign in motion.
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Posted 06/17/2020   04:34 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There has not been any evidence that this was a eBay policy or sanctioned by eBay as a company. All indications are that it was a handful of rouge individuals. The evidence is that eBay lawyers questioned these people and got lied to, eBay lawyers would not be investigating if this behavior was support by them.

This is no different than law enforcement. It would be inane to think that only 'cops on the beat' might be bad actors, bad people can exist at any level including going all the way to the very top. No different for our hobby. Yes, there are some bad stamp dealers. But bad stamp dealers occur at every level, not just the small part time dealers but some of the largest dealers.

If documentation or other evidence is uncovered that shows that this behavior was directed by a company decision, than it would indeed indicate that eBay as a company is 'bad'.
Don
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Posted 06/17/2020   05:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hmm. The Chief Executive is a pretty highly placed rogue individual. The question here isn't whether this behaviour is eBay policy, but whether the company exerted sufficient oversight and control of its staff - including its senior staff. When I dealt with the downstream gas and eelctricity industry in the UK, there was no suggestion that bosses of suppliers told staff or contractors to go out and mis-sell, but, when those staff did, the companies were hit with some swingeing fines.
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