Poland’s largest ad platform OLX and the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association have partnered together to monitor and delete sales of racist, fascist and antisemitic propaganda items. In the joint declaration, both sides commit to act in line with Polish and international law and in particular with the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination.

OLX is owned by the South African technological corporation Naspers.

In the first weeks of the partnership, OLX, acting on the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association’s recommendations, deleted 655 offers of neo-nazi gadgets, such as a lead plaque ‘celebrating Hitler’ and badges with Nazi SS symbols. Some of the deleted offers also featured extremely antisemitic books such as the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ – the most popular antisemitic pamphlet of the 20th century, and ‘The Controversy of Zion’ (Strategy of Zion in Polish) by Douglas Reed, a Holocaust denier. Other deleted items included releases of Polish and foreign music bands that support nazism and racism.

According to Rafal Pankowski, Professor of Sociology at Collegium Civitas and co-founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association: – ‘It is symbolic that the first item to be deleted was a hoodie with a Celtic cross (an international symbol of white supremacy), a flag of the Confederacy (which fought to uphold slavery in the American Civil War), and a three-armed swastika used by the South African neo-nazi group Afrikaaner Resistance Movement (AWB).’

Members of this organisation fought against against the dismantling of racial segregation by committing terrorist attacks and murders. Janusz Walus, a Polish emigrant who murdered anti-apartheid activist Chris Hani in 1993, was a supporter of AWB.

Dr. Anna Tatar from the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association said: – ‘As part of the partnership, NEVER AGAIN will support the OLX Group through expert consultations and provide recommendations on ways discrimination can be tackled. This involves trainings to educate employees on how to identify racist and fascist content.’ Together with organisations outside Poland, the association will also report similar content on OLX platforms in other countries, such as Romania and Hungary.

Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, Chief Executive Officer of Naspers South Africa voiced her support for the partnership between the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association and OLX: – ‘Both Naspers here at home and OLX in Poland abhor and condemn any form of racism and xenophobia and any attempt to disseminate hate speech of any kind.’ She also added, ‘Our team in Poland has also been engaging with NEVER AGAIN and we welcome their commitment to fight racism and discrimination. NEVER AGAIN has been working with OLX to further identify (limited incidents of) content that break the rules and are listed on the platform.’

For a number of years now, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association has also been in partnership with the large online sales platform Allegro to eliminate sales of fascist and racist propaganda items. On 21 March 2018, the International Day Against Racial Discrimination, the association became a partner in the Partnership to Protect Rights, created by Allegro. As a result of the partnership, between March 2018 and March 2021 the platform deleted 99 percent of items identified by ‘NEVER AGAIN’, which was over 12 thousand offers in total (the final decision to delete an auction is taken by Allegro based on its terms and conditions). Among those offers were replicas of SS medals, flags of the Third Reich, as well as CDs of neo-nazi bands and books promoting antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

Among the items removed from the Allegro site upon intervention by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association was a book entitled ‘The Way of a Nationalist’ by Tomasz Greniuch, who was, for a short time, director of the Wroclaw chapter of the state-sponsored Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). The book contains praise of fascist movements. The author refers to the antisemitic conspiracy theory, according to which a ‘world government’ was supposedly aiming to destroy Poles and Poland ‘in the time of Zionist triumph, when the idea of globalism presumes the enslavement of all the nations of the world into one superpower under the aegis of the world diaspora.’ Moreover, in his book Greniuch supports the Hitler salute: ‘We are not ashamed of our views, or of our tradition. To us the Roman salute, the greeting of the Aryan Europe, shown by raising the right arm in the direction of the sun is not a gesture meant to order beer.’ He also praises the Belgian SS officer Léon Degrelle, who was sentenced in absentia to the death penalty for his collaboration with Nazi Germany, and Corneliu Codreanu, creator of the Iron Guard, the Romanian fascist organization responsible for anti-Jewish pogroms.

Tomasz Greniuch was the leader of the fascist group National Radical Camp (ONR) in the Opole region of Poland. His many years of extremist activity have been documented by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in the ‘Brown Book’, a publication which monitors hate speech and hate crimes. In 2005, Greniuch co-organized a march to commemorate the 1936 anti-Jewish pogrom in the town of Myslenice. A year later, he publicly gave a ‘Heil Hitler’ salute in a student club at Opole University. He was also the founder and co-organizer of the so-called Independence Day March in Warsaw. In 2016, the program of the international far-right music festival ‘Eagle’s Nest’ included a discussion meeting with Greniuch. In 2018, he was awarded the Bronze Cross of Merit by Polish President Andrzej Duda.

Since 2018, Greniuch worked in the Opole branch of the Institute of National Remembrance, becoming head of the branch in November 2019. In January 2021, he organized an exhibition glorifying the wartime Holy Cross Brigade of the far-right National Armed Forces (NSZ), which had openly collaborated with the German Nazis. In February this year, Greniuch was appointed as Director of the Wroclaw chapter of the Institute of National Remembrance. Following protests against his appointment, both in Poland and internationally, he resigned from the position.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia. Since 2005, it has led the ‘Racism-Delete’ campaign, which has the objective of removing racist content from the internet. The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is a member of the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH). The Association also takes part in projects to counteract online hate speech including ‘Get the Trolls Out’ and ‘Open Code for Hate-Free Communication’.

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The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association has managed to remove more than 3,500 items with fascist and antisemitic content through its cooperation with the major online sales platform Allegro. These included numerous copies of contemporary editions of Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ without critical commentary as well as books by David Irving, a rabidly antisemitic pseudo-historian who has denied the existence of gas chambers in Auschwitz and the extermination of six million Jews during World War II.

 Irving calls Auschwitz a ‘Disneyland’. For peddling such ideas in public, in 2006 he was sentenced to prison by a court in Austria. In 2007, thanks to an intervention by ‘NEVER AGAIN’ and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, he was removed from the International Book Fair in Warsaw. In September 2019, Irving with a group of followers planned another ‘sightseeing trip’ through the former death camps. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that his theories are unacceptable under the Polish law and he would not be allowed to enter Poland.

– ‘Upon our recommendations, Allegro removes such items, even though new ones continue to pop up and need to be removed, too; this requires much effort and commitment,’ said a member of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ team Jacek Dziegielewski. Dr Anna Tatar, also a ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association representative, adds: ‘The final decision on removal is always taken by Allegro, but in almost all the cases our interventions were successful. We have formed a partnership which allows us to counter racist and fascist propaganda very effectively. And we are talking about the biggest internet sales platform in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, with more than 21 million registered users, at a time of a general growth of antisemitic and racist hate speech in our society.’

The offers reported by ‘NEVER AGAIN’ included newly-made Third Reich flags and SS uniforms, records with Nazi music, lighters with an image of Hitler, or pendants with Mussolini.

Moreover, in cooperation with ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Allegro removed books by SS officer Leon Degrelle who praised Hitler after the war and denied the Holocaust, by Hennecke Kardel who claimed that the Jews themselves were responsible for the Holocaust, and publications glorifying the Iron Guard, a Romanian fascist group who murdered many Jews.

The legal basis for deleting the auctions are Articles 256 and 257 of the Polish Penal Code together with the provisions in Appendix No. 1 to the Allegro Code of Conduct. In 2018, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association became a partner to Allegro’s programme of ‘The Rights Protection Cooperation’ and since then helps eliminate offensive content from the platform.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization established in Warsaw in 1996. Among others, it is a member of the International Network against Cyber Hate (INACH), which brings together organizations from twenty countries fighting hatred and discrimination on the Internet.

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Stowarzyszenie ‘NIGDY WIĘCEJ’ we współpracy z Allegro usunęło już ponad 3500 aukcji o treści faszystowskiej i antysemickiej. Wśród nich znalazły się liczne aukcje ze współczesnymi wydaniami ‘Mein Kampf’ Hitlera bez komentarza krytycznego, a także publikacje Davida Irvinga – skrajnego antysemity, który od lat zaprzecza istnieniu komór gazowych w Auschwitz i Zagładzie sześciu milionów Żydów w czasie II wojny światowej. 

Irving nazywa ekspozycję w muzeum oświęcimskim ‘czystym Disneylandem’, gdzie ‘Polacy i inni zepsuli to miejsce przez chęć generowania pieniędzy i propagandy’. Za publiczne propagowanie takich tez został skazany w 2006 roku przez austriacki sąd na karę więzienia. W 2007 roku dzięki współpracy ‘NIGDY WIĘCEJ’ i dyrekcji Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau został usunięty z terenu Międzynarodowych Targów Książki w Warszawie. We wrześniu 2019 roku Irving wraz z grupą swoich zwolenników planował kolejną ‘wycieczkę objazdową’ po byłych obozach zagłady. Już w marcu Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych RP poinformowało, że ze względu na to, iż głoszone przez niego poglądy są niedopuszczalne z punktu widzenia polskiego prawa, nie zostanie wpuszczony do kraju.

– ‘Allegro po naszej rekomendacji usuwa takie oferty, wciąż pojawiają się nowe i również są sukcesywnie usuwane, takie działanie wymaga konsekwencji i wytrwałości’ – powiedział Jacek Dzięgielewski ze Stowarzyszenia ‘NIGDY WIĘCEJ’. Dr Anna Tatar z ‘NIGDY WIĘCEJ’ dodaje: – ‘Ostateczną decyzję o usunięciu aukcji każdorazowo podejmuje firma Allegro, w zdecydowanej większości przypadków nasze interwencje były skuteczne. Udało nam się wypracować takie sposoby współdziałania, dzięki którym możemy się realnie przeciwstawić propagowaniu rasizmu i faszyzmu w internecie. Mówimy o największej platformie sprzedaży w Europie Środkowej i Wschodniej’.

Wśród ofert, które Stowarzyszenie ‘NIGDY WIĘCEJ’ zgłosiło do usunięcia przez Allegro, znalazły się współcześnie wyprodukowane flagi III Rzeszy, mundury SS, czapki i naszywki ze swastykami, imitacje nazistowskich odznaczeń, płyty z muzyką nazistowską oraz takie gadżety jak zapalniczki z wizerunkiem Hitlera, sygnety z symbolem Totenkopf (używanym przez strażników obozów koncentracyjnych), medaliony z Mussolinim.

Usunięto również wiele aukcji z książkami oficera SS Léona Degrelle’a, który po wojnie wychwalał Hitlera i negował Holokaust, Hennecke Kardela (wedle którego to Żydzi byli odpowiedzialni za Zagładę) czy wydawnictwa gloryfikujące Żelazną Gwardię – rumuńskie ugrupowanie faszystowskie, które dokonywało mordów na Żydach.

Podstawę do usunięcia ofert sprzedaży stanowią m. in. artykuły 256 oraz 257 Kodeksu karnego, a także zapisy zawarte w Załączniku nr 1 do Regulaminu Allegro. W 2018 roku Stowarzyszenie ‘NIGDY WIĘCEJ’ zostało partnerem stworzonego przez Allegro programu Współpraca w Ochronie Praw, w ramach którego wspiera serwis w eliminowaniu tego rodzaju ofert.

Stowarzyszenie ‘NIGDY WIĘCEJ’ jest powstałą w 1996 roku niezależną, apolityczną organizacją, która od wielu lat prowadzi monitoring zdarzeń na tle ksenofobicznym pt. ‘Brunatna Księga’. Stowarzyszenie jest m. in. częścią międzynarodowej sieci International Network against Cyber Hate (INACH), która skupia organizacje z dwudziestu krajów, przeciwdziałające nienawiści i dyskryminacji w internecie.

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