Auction items 

Nazi propaganda for sale on Trade Me is labeled ‘odious’

The Jewish community says the continued sale and promotion of Nazi propaganda material on Trade Me is “abhorrent.”

Community leaders and the RSA say the auction site should do more to control its own policy, which includes a ban on material created after 1933 that bears a swastika, and “any other media identified as Nazi propaganda or that otherwise promotes racial hatred or supremacy”. ”.

On Monday, Trade Me hosted dozens of ads that appeared to directly violate those policies, including stamps, postcards, books and posters with swastikas, Third Reich emblems, people giving the Nazi salute and portraits. of Adolf Hitler.

Many of the listings came from a seller based in Porirua, which has 112 listings relating to Nazi Germany and the Italian Fascist regime.

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Although the possession and distribution of these types of material is not illegal in New Zealand, Jewish community leaders have questioned whether their sale and promotion is in line with Trade Me’s stated values ​​and good corporate responsibility. ‘company.

“If I ran Trade Me, I wouldn’t want him representing the company I run,” said Rob Berg, president of the Zionist Federation of New Zealand.

Zionist Federation of New Zealand president Rob Berg said the lists should be a wake-up call that New Zealand was not immune to anti-Semitism, hatred and violence. discrimination.

David Holifield/unsplash

Zionist Federation of New Zealand president Rob Berg said the lists should be a wake-up call that New Zealand was not immune to anti-Semitism, hatred and violence. discrimination.

Berg said the auction was a “wake up call” that issues of discrimination, hatred and anti-Semitism were on our doorstep.

“It’s a reminder that these hate groups – whether they’re far right or far left or wherever they’re from – they’re out there, and they’re in New Zealand, and they’re feel emboldened.”

Berg said New Zealand must fight this through education rather than censorship.

“Because when things are underground you have no way of really challenging and educating people.”

Jewish Council spokeswoman Juliet Moses said there was a broader conversation to be had about the role the internet and algorithms have played in promoting hate.

Ricky Wilson / Stuff

Jewish Council spokeswoman Juliet Moses said there was a broader conversation to be had about the role the internet and algorithms have played in promoting hate.

New Zealand Jewish Council spokeswoman Juliet Moses said there was no magic wand to deal with the global rise of white supremacy or neo-Nazism.

But this example fueled a larger conversation about how to tackle hate in communities and the role the internet plays in radicalizing communities.

Moses said she was concerned Trade Me’s algorithms were promoting these items and possibly directing Kiwis down a dangerous rabbit hole.

The comments come after a Trade Me user promoted a portrait of Adolf Hitler by the site in its “reserve $1” specials on Friday.

The article was clearly labeled: “Nazi Germany Hitler Propaganda”. The seller described it as “a very special Hitler postcard”.

The Trade Me user, who asked not to be identified out of concern for her safety, said she had never searched for articles like this and was “pretty horrified” that the algorithms of the site suggest that he buy a portrait of Hitler.

Screenshot of an email sent to a Trade Me user suggesting they buy Nazi propaganda material using Afterpay.  The user thinks

Provided

Screenshot of an email sent to a Trade Me user suggesting they buy Nazi propaganda material using Afterpay. The user says he is “quite horrified” that the site’s algorithms allow this type of promotion.

After submitting an email complaint to Trade Me on Friday, the user received an automated promotional email from the auction site suggesting they buy a book about the 1936 Nazi Olympics on Afterpay. The album cover featured a swastika and the emblem of the Third Reich. It sold for $715 on Sunday.

“The fact that Trade Me is not just hosting it, but promoting it and profiting from it is sickening,” the woman said.

Trade Me was not the arbiter of what was socially acceptable, she said.

“But everyone who is a member of society has an obligation to stand up against the Nazis. I don’t think that’s a very gray line; it should be a very clear line in the sand.

There have been recent discussions of “dark forces” and misinformation being sown quietly online, she said.

“That’s not what’s happening here. It’s broad daylight. It’s swastikas, and the Nazi salute, and very clear and bold portraits of Hitler.

The woman said her grandfather ran away from home at 16 to fight in World War II.

“If he knew that a company in a country where he found safety after the war was profiting from Nazism, I don’t know what he would do.”

RSA national chairman BJ Clark said veterans were fighting for freedom of expression, but that did not mean this type of obviously offensive material should be freely available.

RSA/Content

RSA national chairman BJ Clark said veterans were fighting for freedom of expression, but that did not mean this type of obviously offensive material should be freely available.

RSA national chairman BJ Clark said New Zealand veterans are fighting for freedom of expression, but that should not mean patently offensive material should be freely available.

It was disappointing that Nazi memorabilia remained highly collectible when associated with the misery inflicted on so many people, Clark said.

The RSA was aware of the site’s strict policies regarding the sale of Nazi memorabilia, he said.

“We hope Trade Me will closely monitor listings of this nature that may cause offense, and act quickly to remove listings and ban users who violate their policies.”

Trade Me's Lisa Kerr says the site has zero tolerance for articles that promote or glorify hateful or intolerant ideologies.

Provided

Trade Me’s Lisa Kerr says the site has zero tolerance for articles that promote or glorify hateful or intolerant ideologies.

In a statement, Trade Me’s head of trust and safety, Lisa Kerr, said the site has “a zero-tolerance policy for articles that promote or glorify hateful or intolerant ideologies.”

As a general rule, historical objects, including photos, magazines, books, stamps and works of art, are not prohibited, provided they do not promote or glorify violence, intolerance or racist ideology, she said.

Historical items from the World War II era could be listed on the site, but there were strict rules on how they could be marketed. If they promoted hateful or intolerant ideologies, Trade Me would remove the article and, if necessary, notify the relevant government agencies.

“We understand that these items are not for everyone, but they can be legally bought and sold in New Zealand, and we don’t think it’s up to us to make that decision for Kiwis,” Kerr said.

Trade Me reviewed its algorithms to ensure recommendations were appropriate and relevant to its members. Kerr encouraged users to report any announcements of concern.

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