Saturday, 21 November 2009

CafePress finally makes up its mind and decides to remove "Obama Psalm 109:8" products

Finally, we have a Happy Ending.

After much dithering and after putting up a poll on their own website, CafePress finally decided today to remove the "Obama Psalm 109:8" products.

The statement reads:

Nov 20th, 2009
Psalm 109:8 update

This morning we made the decision to remove all Psalms 109:8 designs from CafePress.

The public debate started with questioning if the design was simply intended to be criticism of the President or something much worse. The discourse was surprisingly civil online, given the heated nature of the topic. Given that, and the positions of groups like the ACLU and the Anti-Defamation League, we decided to let the dialogue play out publicly before making a final decision.

Last night we posted a poll on our blog, read through the emails we’ve received and weighed the nature of the calls we’ve received on the topic. In the process we also learned that many of the original designers of the Psalm 109:8 designs had already decided to remove them on their own.

General consensus has proven that the design does point to a broader interpretation of the Psalm and thus has been deemed inappropriate for sale at CafePress.

We try to create an atmosphere of self-expression. Many of the things we encounter are not black and white, but grey. When the dialogue is civil, we want to let the larger community work things out rather than making an uninformed ruling. The dialogue has played out and common sentiment has reached agreement – this merchandise is not appropriate.

Thank you all for your input.


Although I am happy to see the products gone, I think that CafePress has handled this situation extremely badly.

Predicably, the poll showed an overwhelming majority towards rating the products as inappropriate and inflammatory. At times, up to 92% of the voters decided that the products were unsuitable. Later this number dropped unexpectedly to 72-77% (I wonder why...?), but that is still a huge majority.

Why was it necessary to have such a poll in the first place? If CafePress had looked into the background of the matter themselves, they would have quickly seen that those products were just a code for extremists to promote violence against the president.

Let's hope that they do better if a similar situation arises in the future.

Well done to everybody who contacted CafePress. I left a comment on their website, but apparently I was not friendly enough, because it didn't make it through moderation. ;-)

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Thanks, Everyone! said...

Good work, Team Palingates!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

OT, but Palin's plastic surgery is now a well known people in the know in Hollywood, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad they did the right thing.

Anonymous said...

"The discourse was surprisingly civil online"

Guess that's something they aren't used to dealing with from the Teabaggers. Took them by surprise!! Maybe next time there is an issue, they won't play this game of disable items, enable them, and a poll. Seems CafePress had a long brainfart before they came to their senses.

Anonymous said...

I told CafePress that they'd go bankrupt if I took the lucrative Casa Biscuitbarrel crank bumper sticker account somewhere else, heh heh.

Thank heavens. I really do not recall anyone in the most severe throes of Bush Derangement Syndrome wanting more than seeing Shrub/Cheney do the perp walk in orange coveralls. We can dream...

Mrs. Tarquin Biscuitbarrel

Anonymous said...

Just one more example of why it is important not to give up or give in to the hatred of the far right that SP is fanning.

And speaking of fans, it's great that those REAL Americans in Indiana got a little taste of the REAL Sarah.

She'll blame it on the bookstores, or maybe even her handlers at Harpers.

At the risk of making some of you lose dinner, can you imagine the sequel to Going Rogue (published, of course, on SP's own HP) ?! If I were the Harper's publicist, I'd be keeping a Video diary of my interactions with Ms. Palin. At some point there will be so many people under the bus that it won't move no mo!

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed all the security around SP? What is that all about?

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with your assessment that CafePress didn't handle the situation well. As a self-printing outfit, I'm sure that all sorts of questionable slogans and products come through their online store. They can't simply take down every one that they take issue with. I'm guessing they have to be incredibly objective. You will find no bigger supporter of the president than me, I was just as incensed about these products as the next person on this site or others...but I also recognize the difficult ethical quandary CafePress likely faces every day in running that type of business. I'm glad they did the right thing in the end, but I don't believe this was as much of a cut-and-dry call as you make it out to be from their point of view.

Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion on how Sarah can improve her PR with the book crowd. With Piper and Willow along, I suggest that Sarah have some rubber stamps made with her signature (almost as good as the real thing). With Piper and Willow stamping books, this will speed up the line three-fold. And, Sarah still won't have to talk to people with the kids standing in front of her.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 1.33 You would have a point if they had not already pulled the plug and then reinstated the products only to remove them again.

Let's face it Cafepress messed up. They should have done some background research on the biblical passages as Patrick suggested. They should also have checked up on the types of individuals who were using those particular passages against President Obama in churches from the pulpit...calling for his death.

Patrick, as usual, did his research. Cafepress should have done the same.

conscious at last said...

Anon @ 1:35

I think that Piper and Willow should be at school. Don't you ?

Anonymous said...

Comment I left on CafePress:

I’m glad CafePress decided to follow the law on this one; but I’m frankly disappointed in the time they took to come to this conclusion. Zazzle immediately responded that such a prayer was unlawful as it called for the __ of the POTUS, which is prohibited by law (and one would think, by one’s personal ethics, but I see these “Christians” don’t follow the same bible I do).

There will be plenty more of this from the hatriots who claim to hate in the name of Jesus.

CafePress and other companies had better be clear about their boundaries and the law, so they can make quicker decision.

You shouldn’t need a poll to tell you this was wrong.

But I’m glad you finally came around.