Poland: Social Network Criticized for ‘Black Ribbon’ Gifting Option

The majority of trending discussions this week in Poland evolves around last Saturday's crash of the Polish plane in Russia. One of the most popular discussions [PL] on Wykop, a Polish bookmarking engine, is the new gifting option that Nasza-Klasa social network has introduced: black ribbons.

A screenshot example, originally posted on Yfrog, has had nearly 80,000 views already:


"Congratulations to Nasza-Klasa on their ambitions"

Nasza-Klasa has also created an account dedicated to updates related to the tragedy [PL]:


"Information about the catastrophe in Smolensk"

Both actions have generated various reactions from the public. Most reactions are negative.

Mazaq‘s reaction is harsh [PL]:

Police should take care of this and close this foolish portal.

TomaszMazowiecki refers to the commercial nature of these changes [PL]:

Just to earn money, regardless of the means, […] no matter how… just to earn money, a big chunk of it.

Szykago also criticises the idea [PL]:

I saw it earlier. Administrators of nasza-klasa have gone too far. And those presents with a black ribbon – a disgrace. Just to earn money on something that can be described as a national tragedy. I hope they will pay for it. It's simply a joke.

GrubyKociol states [PL]:

Administrators went too far, but users are not any better. A MILLION of ribbons, candles. Why the f*** do you need it all? You want to show the world how sad you are? Pathetic.

Some, like dulek, do not mind the idea of a news updates page, still disliking the new presents [PL]:

Well those presents are stupid, but the idea of a news channel itself, as for me, is ok…

Ryu, however, is one of the few who welcomes the idea of black ribbons [PL]:

I used to laugh at those black ribbons all the time, but today somehow….For god's sake, we put some kind of a band on our arm, if we cannot simply wear black, so why would we not mark our profiles with something on the Internet? Internet is (more or less) our second life in a way, so it must be normal that we want to express the same as we do in real life.

When Nasza-Klasa took on board the criticism a day later and gave up on the black ribbon presents, Maras2003 noted [PL]:

NK has now changed their approach – one cannot add presents to the profile, but the whole profile works like RSS feed with the newest updates on catastrophe. Bravo! Could you not do this from the very beginning though?!

Ag_ points out [PL]:

There is a Facebook profile named “Smolensk catastrophe – all information.” As far as I understand, it's a way to provide updates to people, but somehow it feels stupid to click ‘become a fan’ :/

Kukaszd sums it all up [PL]:

I think that everyone should express their feelings, including sadness, individually. Somehow we seem to perceive commercialism as bad, and nonetheless we all support it. It would be ideal if everyone acted selflessly.

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