Poland set to block social media censoring, making it illegal

In response to President Trump’s social media ban, the Polish government wants to protect posts that do not break nation’s laws.

Many officials denounced the bans and are working on a draft law officially aimed at combatting online “censorship.”

“The censorship of freedom of speech, the domain of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, is returning today in the form of a new, commercial mechanism fighting against those who think differently,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote in a Facebook post on January 12.

“The freedom resulting from lack of regulation of the internet has a number of positive effects. But there are also negative ones: gradually, the internet has become dominated by large, multinational corporations that are richer than many countries. These corporations have started to treat our internet activity as a source of profit only, and a way to strengthen their global domination. They adhere to political correctness in a way they deem appropriate. And they fight those who oppose them,” the prime minister wrote.

The First News reported other quotes, Morawiecki stating that the Internet has increasingly often seen “censorship of the freedom of speech.”

“We don’t have to agree with what our opponents write, but we can’t forbid anyone to voice their views if they are allowed by law,” Morawiecki also said, adding that “neither algorithms nor the owners of corporate giants should decide which views are correct and which are not.”

“We’ll do everything to map out the framework for operation of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other similar platforms,” the prime minister vowed.

Speaking to the daily Rzeczpospolita on the same day, Sebastian Kaleta, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, said that the blocking of Trump’s social media accounts had “an effect which could even be called censorship.”

“The time has come for Poland to have regulations that protect freedom of speech in Internet, protecting against the abuses of the big corporations of Internet.”

“The user of social networks must feel that their rights are protected. Nor can there be censorship of expression. Freedom of speech and freedom of debate are the essence of democracy,” said Minister of Justice, Zbigniew Ziobro.

Late last year, the European Commission presented a draft regulation under which US technological companies would face huge fines and the necessity to split up if they fail to respect EU laws.

As announced by the Polish Ministry of Justice, “social networking sites may not, at their discretion, delete entries or block user accounts, provided that the content posted on them does not violate Polish law. If the content is deleted or the account is blocked, your user will have the right to file a complaint with the website.” Likewise, the draft of the law contemplates “the presentation of a complaint to the social network site about publications that contain content contrary to Polish law, with a request to block them.”

An example of this was the censorship by Facebook, three months ago, of a Polish page that criticized the German-Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939.

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