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Poland to stop social media companies from censoring and blocking people

Poland becomes the first country that will not allow big tech and social media giants like FB Twitter and Google to censor people online. Poland's justice Minister announced an online freedom of speech bill. Poland's Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said the aim of the bill was to give internet users the knowledge that their rights are protected and that their posts cannot be arbitrarily removed from online platforms. Under its provisions, social media services will not be allowed to remove content or block accounts if the content on them does not break Polish law.

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 and the entire process is to be electronic. If a special court rules in favour of the plaintiff and the internet service does not obey the ruling it can subject the internet service to a fine of up to PLN 8 million (EUR 1.8 million) imposed by the Office of Electronic Communications. In other words, Social media companies will be fined huge sums for every post they take down that doesn't break Polish law.

This is a first time that social media companies will be fined for arbitrarily taking content of their websites without any justification or reason. In other European countries, like France and Germany social media companies are fined if they don't remove content which is arbitrarily deemed as “hate speech” or “breaking community standards.” Hopefully more countries will follow in Poland's footsteps, and will reverse the authoritarian and Orwellian course that big tech and social media companies have taken, and restore freedom of speech back to the internet.

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