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Online auction giant eBay Incorporated asked a federal judge in Chicago on Tuesday to shut out of its interactive web site a South Side man who has allegedly deluged other customers with harassing, profane, obscene, and threatening messages. The San Jose, California company, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, says it is seeking a restraining order here because the man has successfully avoided numerous electronic security measures by creating a never-ending surplus of phony accounts. “It’s very unusual and unfortunate that we had to take this step, but we thought it was absolutely necessary,” said Kevin Pursglove, a spokesman for the Internet auction house tells the Sun-Times. The defendant, Braxton Anderson, denies many of the company’s allegations, saying he is being singled out by a group of auction-house customers with a vendetta. “I don’t care if they get a restraining order,” he said late Tuesday. “I’ve already said I’m not going to go back to eBay.” If the company persists with a separate lawsuit against him, however, Anderson said he would file his own lawsuit. According to the Sun-Times, court papers filed by eBay portray Anderson as the ultimate pest � an average eBay user who allegedly turned sour after being temporarily suspended in October 1998 for misconduct involving allegedly jacking up prices on his own items offered for sale via false bids. eBay, which claims more than 12 million users, is the world’s largest online trading company. Members buy and sell a vast array of merchandise � mainly of the garage sale variety. The company claims Anderson has circumvented a recently imposed lifetime ban on its site by creating and using more than 50 bogus electronic identities. Each time one of his identities is discovered and blocked, Anderson has allegedly created a different electronic alias. Anderson has said, however, that he used only three such accounts, the paper reports. The electronic auction house alleges Anderson’s conduct has included persistent harassing of members and staff, the posting of pornography on public sites, and even bringing an eBay message board down by overloading the site with information. In court papers, the company included a sampling of electronic messages sent by its clients begging Anderson be banned from the site. After one of his alleged postings, one member said: “He’s insulted and inflamed everybody . . . our patience runs thin . . . Please do something.”

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