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Dad's Army racist! Who do you think you are kidding, Mr eBay?


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Dad's Army board game banned from eBay for 'inciting racial hatred'



By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 1:58 PM on 28th January 2010




A family board game based on the popular TV sitcom Dad's Army has been bizarrely banned from sale on eBay because of its 'association with Nazis'.


The game was described as 'offensive material' by the online auction website which could 'promote violence, hatred and racial or religious intolerance' as it had a swastika on its front cover.

Seller Dave Davidson, who bought the game at a car boot sale, only listed the game for 99p - but was outraged to see it removed from the auction site after a few days for breaching the company's offensive material policy.


article-1246724-080EA38E000005DC-219_468x332.jpg Outraged: Seller Dave Davidson was told his board game breached eBay's offensive material policy because it had a Swastika on the cover


The box of the 1970s game shows the famous cast of the comic TV show, such as Captain Mainwaring and Sergeant Wilson, alongside arrows of swastikas and one of a Union Flag, as seen in the opening credits of the programme.


But despite its apparent family-friendly content, where players attempt to get their platoon to one location on the board, eBay stuck by their decision to ban the auction, declaring: 'We don't allow the sale of memorabilia associated with the Nazi Party.'


Mr Davidson said: 'I couldn't believe it when they sent me an email telling me my Dad's Army board game could insight violence and hatred.


'Its so annoying because any human being with an ounce of common sense can see Dad's Army is the most harmless TV programme in the world.


'There's no swearing, sex or violence - its not like I'm trying to flog a piece of Nazi memorabilia here.


'They allow coins and stamps with swastikas and there are hundreds of novels which are war stories that have them.'


article-1246724-05712ABA0000044D-53_468x360.jpg Funnymen: The cast of Dad's Army, a popular TV show featuring characters in the Home Army during World War II


Mr Davidson, from Droitwich, Worcestershire, discovered his item had been removed from the site last Saturday when he received an e-mail from eBay.

It said his listing breached the company's offensive material policy and added: 'We don't allow sellers on eBay to list items that promote violence, hatred, racial or religious intolerance, or items from organisations that promote these views.

'We don't allow items or memorabilia associated with the Nazi Party.'

The 'Dad's Army Board Game' was released in the mid-1970s when the TV series was at the height of its popularity.


The game contains all the famous characters from the TV series, including Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson, Corporal Jones, Pike, Fraser, Godfrey, Hodges and even the Vicar and the Verge.


Jenny Thomas, spokesman for eBay UK, said: 'eBay will remove listings that bear the marks of organisations that promote hatred and racial intolerance and we are strict and unapologetic in adhering to this policy.


article-1246724-07F1F082000005DC-726_468x313.jpg A sign outside eBay headquarters in San Jose, California


'With 100 million listings globally we have to apply this rule to any item bearing such insignia, regardless of whether it is an innocent item like a board game.'

Mr Davidson,a retired bank worker who is in his early 50s, added: 'I've amassed a lot of junk over the years and just wanted to make a bit of room.


'But instead of making a few quid and clearing some space, I've been made to look like I'm a racist or Nazi sympathiser. I'm very annoyed.'

eBay's stance was supported by Peter Oteng, chief executive of the Worcestershire Racial Equality Council.

He said: 'You can't joke with this because you are joking with millions of people killed.

'It's not a laughing matter at all. It's very serious.'

Mr Oteng said there were strict laws about advertising discriminatory material and eBay, as the advertiser, was protecting itself.

However, he added a compromise could have been to advertise the board game without showing the swastika image.

There are currently a number of other items carrying the Swastika image for sale on eBay, including a Dad's Army video and an Escape from Colditz board game.

Dad's Army, a sitcom about the activities of the Home Guard during the Second World War, featured the comic antics of a group of local volunteers, ineligible for military service, and was based in the fictional coastal town of Walmington-on-Sea.

The show ran from 1968 to 1977 but has proved so popular that it is still repeated on TV today.

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