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Frog only for residents? These barriers are not “just for decoration”

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A sign with the inscription “Żabka shop only for residents of the housing estate” was to be hung on the fence of one of the housing estates in Katowice. Her photo circulated the network, sparking heated discussions about restricting access to the store. How is it actually?

“My Żabka is better than yours”; “Exclusive housing estate, with its own Żabka no no” – comments of this type appeared under the photo, which has been sent out massively in social media in recent days (original spelling of all posts). It shows a fence in front of one of the Żabka stores in Katowice – this store is on the ground floor of the block behind this fence, and a large sign on the fence reads: ‘Żabka’ store for residents of the estate only’. She just evokes so many emotions. “Meanwhile, in Katowice… Polish cage breeding has reached the state of its absolute perfection…” – commented the Internet user who published the photo on January 8. His tweet was viewed nearly 600,000 times. times, collected almost 14 thousand. likes. On January 8 and 9, the photo circulated on Twitter and Facebook – Internet users willingly commented on it and passed it on. Under the most popular tweet, they left over 300 posts.

A photo of one of the stores in Katowice that sparked a discussion among Internet usersFacebook, Twitter

Many of the comments were ironic, like the ones quoted above. But some wrote that limiting access to the store is a good idea. “What’s the problem? If the security guard let people into the frog, then the closed estate would become open” – noted one of the Internet users. Some commentators focused on the plaque. They claimed the photo had been edited. “Just zoom in on the graphics to see how weak this fake is”; “It must be fake. It even looks fake”; “You can see that it’s pasted in” – they wrote.

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What is fake news in this story and what is not? We checked.

We’re trying to enter the estate. “And you to whom?”

The shop you see in the picture is there at ul. John Baildon in Katowice. The estate is surrounded by a fence, and from the side of the shopping center by a high wall with a soundproofing screen. Gates and wickets lead inside. In order to go through the gate, you need to punch in the magnetic card reader. There is a security guard at each gate in the booth. – And you to whom? – stops me when trying to pass the barrier – This is Żabka only for residents of the estate. If you want to come in, you have to give the address of the tenant or have permission from the administrator. This is a protected neighborhood, he says.

“But I just wanted to go to the store,” I say. – Are you joking? You don’t know what a protected community is? You think these barriers are just for decoration? That I’ll chase you around the block? – ends.

I try another gate – you can see Frog right behind it. A dozen steps. “You won’t come in,” the other security guard laughs. Nicer than the previous one. He explains that the entrance of an outsider is a whole procedure: you have to give the number of the apartment to which the guest is going, the security guard then calls the boss, and the boss notifies the resident, who agrees to let the stranger in… Unless the resident warns the security guard in advance, who and when he chooses.

So I introduce myself as a journalist. At my request, the bodyguard calls his boss, but he is relentless. He does not allow to enter the estate and does not want to give the telephone number to the manager of Żabka. – The administrator is not in the estate, please find a contact on the Internet – he cuts off.

In the third gate, I give the apartment number of my friend from this estate. Inside, there is a lot of space for pedestrians, greenery, playgrounds, benches and a lot of cameras. A man met in the estate estimates that 20-30 customers pass through the local Żabka a day. – These are only residents of the estate, because no one else will pass through the gate, excluding verified guests – he says.

– We used to have a local shop, but it collapsed after the pandemic. This frog was needed. It’s been three months. I go there for rolls and if I need something in the evening or on Sunday – says one of the residents I met on the estate. He admits that Żabka can be seen from the street, which is why the neighbors from the estate next door are nervous that it is so close and they cannot enter. – If they let them in, strangers would be walking around the estate, and that’s not why we moved here, that’s not why we pay for monitoring and security – explains the woman.

I’m going to Frog. No one asks me what I’m doing here or whether I live in the neighborhood I came to. About 10 people pass through the shop for half an hour. The clerk puts me in touch with the store manager, but he doesn’t want to talk, he sends me to the press office of Żabka.

So, in fact, only those who pass through one of the gates of the estate will enter this store.

Plate? Not here, not like this

We did not find the plaque on the fence visible in the photo. Some Internet users did not believe in its authenticity. “Before you post something, check it 3 times if it’s true,” one Twitter user wrote on January 9. “It’s fake,” he argued in another tweet, noting the transparent border of the circular frame. Below we publish taken on January 10 by a TVN24 reporter.

– There was such a big round card on the gate that this Żabka is only for residents of the estate? – we ask the security guard. “That’s not true,” he says. – There was such information, but so small, here – he points to the window of his booth.

Service katowice.wyborcza.pl reached the original of the popular photograph. On it you can see a rectangular plate with the inscription “Store ‘Żabka’ only for residents of the estate”. In the photo sent on the Internet, however, this inscription was greatly enlarged. Thus, what Internet users see as a large plate on the fence is the result of correcting the photo in a graphics program.

“The card informing that the facility is available only to residents of the Katowice housing estate has been suspended without our knowledge and has already been removed” – Konkret24 informed the press office of Żabka Polska. “At the same time, we would like to inform you that the regulations regarding access or lack of access to a given housing estate remain beyond the decision-making of Żabka Polska” – it was written.

Author:Małgorzata Goslinska, Krzysztof Jabłonowski

Main photo source: Konkret 24/Twitter





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