eBay renames 'yellow star' after 'Nazi' complaint


June 18, 2010 Updated Feb 19, 2009 at 6:31 PM EDT

Internet auction house eBay has temporarily renamed the yellow stars it uses to evaluate sellers on its French site after a complaint that the symbol had anti-semitic connotations.

The move came after French eBay user Dominique Bellamy wrote to the company earlier this month to point out that during World War II the Nazis made Jews wear a yellow star on their clothes as a discriminatory mark.

His wife Francoise Bellamy told AFP Thursday that her husband "refused to be be given a yellow star, even a virtual one.

"It brought back bad memories of the occupation" of France by Germany during World War II, she said.

eBay's star system is used to show how many positive ratings a buyer or seller has received from the site's users. The yellow star is the lowest of the 12-point scale, and a silver shooting star is the top score.

On the company's French site the lowest rating was shown Thursday as a yellow star, but was listed as a "first star" (in French, "premiere etoile").

But on English language versions the lowest rank was still called the yellow star.

eBay said in an email to AFP that "the yellow star is part of a series of achievement stars that eBay users get. This system is used worldwide on all eBay sites."

It said that "no definitive change has been decided yet" on future use in France of the yeollow star, and that "there have been no such complaints in other countries."

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