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English Section

Poland plans social media law, says aim is to protect free speech

15.01.2021 17:30
The Polish justice ministry has drawn up a bill which it says aims to protect freedom of speech on the internet and give users the right to appeal if their posts are removed, state news agency PAP reported on Friday.
Photo:Robin Utrecht/ABACAPRESS.COM

Under the bill, social media platforms would not be allowed either to block users or remove content if these do not violate Polish laws, PAP reported.

If content is removed or an account blocked, the user would have the right to file a complaint with the social platform, which would have 48 hours to review it.

According to PAP, a user would also have the right to appeal to a new body called the Freedom of Speech Council. The council, which would be established by the planned bill, would have seven days to review the appeal.

The Freedom of Speech Council would consist of five members appointed for a six-year term by a three-fifths majority of votes by the lower house of the Polish parliament, PAP reported.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that social media platform owners “cannot operate above the law”.

“We will do everything to define a framework for how Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other similar platforms function […] We do not agree, we cannot agree to censorship”, Morawiecki said.

He added: “Algorithms or the owners of corporate giants cannot decide for us which views are right and which are wrong.”

US President Donald Trump’s accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have been suspended following violent rioting at the Capitol last week.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said in a statement last Friday.

Hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol building last Wednesday to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.


Source: PAP