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Social media platforms could face fines in Poland for censoring free speech

In December, the Polish government announced an initiative that may compel social media companies to uphold free speech or recieve fines of roughly two million dollars, if they remove content or block an account that does not break the law in Poland.

Ian Miles Cheong Montreal, QC
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In December, the Polish government announced an initiative that may compel social media companies to uphold free speech or recieve fines of roughly two million dollars, if they remove content or block an account that does not break the law in Poland.

"In the event of removal or blockage, a complaint can be sent to the platform, which will have 24 hours to consider it. Within 48 hours of the decision, the user will be able to file a petition to the court for the return of access. The court will consider complaints within seven days of receipt," Poland In reported.

Zbigniew Ziobro, Poland’s Justice Minister, stated:

"Often, the victims of tendencies for ideological censorship are also representatives of various groups operating in Poland, whose content is removed or blocked, just because they express views and refer to values that are unacceptable from the point of view of communities… with an ever-stronger influence on the functioning of social media."

The minister added, "We realize that it is not an easy topic; we realize that on the internet there should also be a sphere of guarantees for everybody who feels slandered, a sphere of limitation of various content which may carry with it a negative impact on the sphere of other people’s freedom."

He concluded by saying, "But we would like to propose such tools that will enable both one side and the other to call for the decision of a body that will be able to adjudicate whether content appearing on such and such a social media account really violates personal rights, whether it can be eliminated, or whether there is censorship."

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