Heads up Etsy sellers - effective September 8, 2023 there will be new child safety rules in place for photos that feature minors.
Etsy is deeply committed to marketplace integrity and we regularly review our policies and industry best practices to make sure we are keeping our community safe. As part of this, we are making some changes to our policies to strengthen our commitment to child safety.
Effective September 8, 2023, we are clarifying and expanding our policy to prohibit content that features minors in undergarments, images of minors in form-fitting clothes that are cropped to focus on private areas, or poses that could be interpreted as age inappropriate. While we know that most Etsy sellers have the best of intentions, we also recognize that images are subjective and can sometimes be perceived differently by various audiences.
These updates provide clear and consistent guidelines across our marketplace and minimize the risk that content featuring minors could be misused or misconstrued.
Child safety is a responsibility we all share, so for anyone who features minors in their listings on Etsy, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- No minors in undergarments: In keeping with evolving industry best practices, photos of children or minors in undergarments will no longer be allowed on Etsy. If you do sell these types of items, please use a mannequin or other product displays.
- Zoom out: For images featuring children or minors, we recommend using full body images, especially when minors are wearing form-fitting clothing, such as leotards, bathing suits, or leggings. If you do need to show a close up of product details that would normally cover private areas (e.g., genitals, buttocks, or chest), please use images of the item not on a live model.
- Use age-appropriate stances and settings: While we appreciate the creative and artistic imagery that Etsy sellers like you use, please ensure it is age-appropriate. Minors should pose in a neutral stance, including with legs closed or shoulder width apart and looking directly at the camera. Minors should not be photographed in a bath, shower, or bed.
These updates build upon our longstanding policies that prohibit child sexual abuse material and minor nudity. We will continue to take our responsibility to remove and report this content very seriously. Our House Rules page outlines what content is and is not allowed within our marketplace.
Etsy seller and ecommerce consultant Cindy Baldassi shared some additional information about the new policy in a LinkedIn post, pointing out that Etsy did not give specific examples in their announcement and many sellers may be caught off guard with increasing use of automation and bots for policy enforcement.
Banned photos and images include (wording copied directly from the policy):
❌ Photos that are staged in a bath, shower, or on a bed
❌ Minor posed with their legs spread, such that knees are positioned wider than shoulder width
❌ photos that are cropped closely on private areas
❌ photos of young minors photographed from overhead or below chest height, moving a garment up or aside, looking over their shoulder from behind, and so on
Requirements or exceptions for posing include (wording copied directly from the policy):
✔ neutral stances, with the minor facing forward, arms and legs straight, and the camera zoomed out to capture the entire head and body
✔ images of male minors without shirts
✔ children under toddler age who are pictured partially nude, or in undergarments/diapers
✔ depictions of nude minors may be permitted in certain educational, historical or classic art contexts
Doing certain searches on Etsy today, I see numerous photos that will possibly be banned as of September 8. Those include listings for leggings, underwear, beds and even toys. A few of these listings have Etsy Pick and Bestseller badges, so having the product removed could cause significant hardship for shop owners.
Given that Etsy uses bots to remove prohibited item and images, listings that do not fall under any of the above examples could still be removed by accident, and Etsy may also end up interpreting this policy very narrowly.