Morawiecki wrote on Facebook on Jan. 13 that the internet, over time, has come to be dominated by international corporations that treat people’s online activity as a source of revenue and a tool to increase their power.
“They have also introduced their own standards of political correctness, and they fight those who oppose them,” Morawiecki added.
“Discussion consists in the exchange of views, not in silencing people. We do not have to agree with what our opponents write, but we cannot forbid anyone from expressing views that do not contravene the law.”
Poland will adopt appropriate national laws to regulate the operations of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other similar platforms, the prime minister said.
“Everything which is not forbidden is allowed. Also on the internet, there is no tolerance for censorship, nor can there ever be,” Morawiecki said.
“That is why we are so concerned with any attempt to limit freedom.”
If the user content is removed or the account is blocked, the user would have the right to submit a complaint to the social media platform, Kaleta said. A complaint could also be filed with a social media network if a post violated Polish law. The complainant would be able to request to block it.
In both cases, the platform would have to resolve the complaint within 48 hours, according to the statement. If the user was not satisfied with the resolution, he or she would have a right to appeal to a new specialized Court for the Protection of the Freedom of Speech. The court would be obligated to consider the case within seven days, and the proceedings would be entirely electronic.
The proposal also provisions for a “blind lawsuit,” which can be filed by anyone whose personal rights are infringed by an unknown person on the internet, the statement said. The plaintiff will need to provide to the court only the URL (website address) of the site where the offensive content was published and the user name or user ID.
The proposal has been compared to regulations governing speech on the internet in France and Germany. The regulations in these countries focus “on the quick removal of content that is considered to violate the law of a given country, and not on the protection of freedom of expression,” the statement said.
For example, in Germany, a hefty fine may be imposed on a social media site that breaks the law, and the minister of justice decides whether a post violated the law.