Gov’t wants to secure free speech on social media

The repercussions of the political crisis in the US, which also resulted with banning social media accounts of President Donald Trump also reached Poland. The government plans to present solutions that will guarantee the freedom of speech to users of the social media platforms.

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Twitter permanently banned President Trump after his supporters stormed the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 6, unleashing hours of chaos in which five people died. The platform said his tweets could cause more violence. The outgoing US President was also banned on other social media platforms such as Facebook. Many other profiles, mostly associated with the right-wing, were also suspended or removed from social media.

“The technological giants have crossed the line which was settled, when the global community accepted that it stands for democracy and secures freedom for everyone,” Adam Andruszkiewicz from the office of the Polish PM told “Nasz Dziennik” daily.

“The events in the US were a signal that cannot be ignored. The freedom of speech has to be secured in Poland,” he added. Mr Andruszkiewicz also said that one of the key issues is the security of users’ sensitive data. “Only the most necessary should be processed,” he emphasised.

Mr Andruszkiewicz declared that already in Q1 2021, the conclusions and proposals will be presented.

Earlier in December, the Justice Ministry announced that social media platforms have to be regulated in order to prevent “censorship.”

“Frequently, the victims of ideological censorship inclinations are representatives of various groupings functioning in Poland, their content is removed or blocked,” Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro was quoted as saying in a ministry’s statement.

“Social media should be an area of free speech. More and more people observe undesirable intervention in their contents, that do not violate the Polish law,” the ministry wrote.

“Setting the common rules and maintaining high standards on the internet is essential for creating a unified approach to all platforms. This is a difficult task, because all the new rules have to protect the freedom of speech and take into consideration the benefits of the Internet, without violating security of the users,” Jakub Turowski of Facebook commented for CyberDefence24 website.

He also declared that Facebook will be open for discussion in this field.