Facebook blocking IPN over WWII content demands strong reaction, warns Culture Ministry
Poland's culture ministry has demanded action after Facebook blocked the English-language page of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) over a post from May on German plans to Germanise Polish children during World War Two.
The IPN is the largest scientific, research and archival institution in the country, and deals with the history of Poland from 1917-1990, with a particular focus on WWII and the communist era.
It announced that on February 6 its English language page had been disabled by Facebook but added that it “had been informed” that the content had fallen foul of Facebook's algorithms.
In a post on the social media page, the IPN said: "Facebook has once again blocked a post by the Institute of National Remembrance regarding German crimes against Polish children.
“In the banned post, we wrote about German plans to Germanize children, referring to authentic documents. Despite the submitted appeal, the account has been disabled since Saturday morning.”
Now Jarosław Sellin, Poland's deputy culture minister, said that Facebook's actions demanded a response.
He said: “It is not known whether it is bad will or simply ignorance and some algorithmic stupidity in these great digital tycoons who cut out some information from the machine because they do not like a keyword.
“Maybe the keyword germanization is censored. I don't know. But you have to intervene and it often brings results.”
Sellin said that in mid-January, Facebook had blocked the foreign promotion of an IPN film about a German labor camp in Łódź where 3,000 children had been imprisoned.
After an intervention, the post was unblocked.
On Monday, the Polish Center for the Monitoring of Press Freedom (CMWP SDP) also protested against Facebook's freezing of the IPN page.
"CMWP SDP calls for a stop to such activities and for the restoration of the English-language IPN account on Facebook," it wrote in a communique.
To read more about Nazi Germany’s Germanisation of Polish children click here.