November 18, 2009
Dear Zazzle Member or Concerned Citizen—
Today, there has surfaced a great deal of discussion and debate over certain products in the Zazzle Marketplace which reference text from Psalm 109 in combination with reference to President Barack Obama. We at Zazzle are aware of the issue, and would like to take this opportunity to respond in a unified and public fashion to all parties and viewpoints.
Zazzle puts great value on its Marketplace as a forum for discussion and debate of the issues of our day. We are proud of the fact that no matter how arcane or apparently esoteric a subject may be, there can often be found Zazzle products pertaining to it. We are particularly sensitive to Zazzle as an open forum for the expression and debate of political viewpoints. The rigorous debate and discussion of political issues, including candidates for political office, our elected leaders, and pending and actual legislation, is something that drives the very democracy that in turn allows for our freedom as citizens to make these expressions in the first place.
With that in mind, it is only after great thought that we have determined that these products, in the context of the full text of Psalm 109, may be interpreted in such a way as to suggest physical harm to the President of the United States. In deference to the Office of the President of the United States, and in accordance with federal law prohibiting the making of threats against the physical wellbeing of the President of the United States, Zazzle has therefore determined that these products are in violation of the Zazzle User Agreement and not appropriate for inclusion in the Zazzle Marketplace. We have begun efforts to remove them from our website, and we will be vigilant to the publication of similar products moving forward.
Zazzle will continue to allow and encourage the submission of products that express disapproval or approval of the President’s policies and actions, but Zazzle will not permit products that may be interpreted to suggest violence toward the President.
The Zazzle Team