[Leer en Español]
The Minister of Justice of the Polish government, Zbigniew Ziobro, announced a new bill proposed by the official Law and Justice party that aims to defend freedom of expression in social networks owned by Big Tech companies such as Twitter and Facebook, which have censored thousands of conservative users. The project called “law for the freedom to express their opinions and obtain and disseminate information on the Internet” will give legal floor to users to appeal to censorship measures such as banning or deleting of content.
The announced bill will also establish a Court for the Protection of Freedom of Expression and users who make the corresponding complaints will be able to appeal to this court to strengthen their cases against Big Tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. Under this law, citizens who are banned or have their content removed must first report the problem to the platform and wait twenty-four hours before filing a complaint with the Court.
Within forty-eight hours of the platform’s decision, the user will be able to file a formal appeal with the court for the return of access. The court will consider the complaints within seven days of receipt and the entire process will be electronic.
According to the Poland In portal, Ziobro stated that “Often, the victims of ideological censorship tendencies are also representatives of various groups operating in Poland, whose content is removed or blocked, just because they express points of view and refer to values that are unacceptable from the point of view of communities […] with an increasingly strong influence on the functioning of social networks”.
Thus, Big Tech will not be able to remove content or censor profiles if they have not violated Polish law. To a certain extent, this law seeks to “nationalize” freedom of expression so that Polish citizens are not at the mercy of large corporations known to persecute speech and profiles that are opposed to the “official” narrative.
“We would like to propose tools that will allow both sides to ask for the decision of an organization that can decide if the content appearing on a social network account really violates personal rights, if it can be removed, or if there is censorship.”said Zbigniew Ziobro, Poland’s Minister of Justice.
If the court decides in favor of the plaintiff and the Big Tech corporations do not obey this decision, they could face fines of up to 1.8 million euros.
The new special court, IT Hardware reports, will also block requests for content and accounts that actually violate Polish law. It will also allow lawsuits involving anonymous users – a method to which many conservatives have migrated.
“A Polish social network user will be able to sue an anonymous Internet user, providing only the pseudonym of the author, the platform on which the offensive content was published, as well as the time and date of publication,” the blog continues.
According to the Polish government, the new regulations strengthen the EU’s Digital Services Act, which, instead of protecting freedom of expression, focuses on removing prohibited content, comments Paweł Czajkowski, author of the article. “Poland wants to adopt its own regulations, effectively defending the constitutional right to freedom of expression, so that in the event of a dispute, the courts can decide on possible violations of the law,” says IT Hardware.
2021, the year of the Big Tech
“Trump was the last thing stopping Big Tech from lowering down the boom, but I think 2021 will be the year of the bans. They’ll be soft bans at first. There’ll be more algorithmic depressions, shadowbanning, that kind of thing, but then it’ll start bothering people,” said Rubin Report host Dave Rubin about Big Tech’s censorship, in an interview with Breibart’s Alex Marlow.