While speaking to Fox News, Deputy Polish Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta unleashed on Big Tech, saying they have been targeting conservatives, Christianity and traditional values for too long and the Polish government has had “enough!”
“We see that when Big Tech decides to remove content for political purposes, it’s mostly content which praises traditional values or praises conservatism,” he said, “and it is deleted under their ‘hate speech policy’ when it has no legal right to do so.”
Check out what Fox News reported:
Under the new legislation, any platform that bans a user would face fines of $13.5 million unless the content is also illegal under Polish law. An arbitration committee would be set up to oversee disputes.
Tech companies had reached a point where they were deciding what was legal and what was not — but that was not their role, Kaleta says.
“Freedom of speech is not something that anonymous moderators working for private companies should decide,” he said. “Instead, that is for the national body; duly elected officials and all industries, car, phones, finance — were unregulated till they grew too large — the same should happen with Big Tech.”
He added that the removal of former U.S. President Donald Trump from social media platforms was just another example of Big Tech overreach and set a dangerous precedent.
“It’s very disturbing because if Big Tech sees themselves as an organization empowered enough to ban a sitting president of the U.S., it sends a message to the world –that we can ban anyone, whenever we want,” he added.
Poland spent 45 years under communism, and Kaleta says that experience has taught it the value of free speech and that when the country sees these disturbing new trends toward censorship, the red light goes on.
Meanwhile, in India, social media is also being curbed by the government but in a very different way: Twitter has caved to the demands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and removed 500 accounts that were being critical of his leadership during recent protests. Twitter relented after its employees in India were threatened with arrest.
Big Tech has been overstepping their bounds in recent months and it appears to be hitting a tipping point. Earlier in the month, Instagram announced that they will ban users permanently from their platform if they’re involved with “hate speech” in private messages.
The comments were made while Instagram was boasting about how 95% of the “6.5 million pieces of hate speech” from the months July through September were censored by the tech giant without anyone even reporting it.
“Today, we’re announcing that we’ll take tougher action when we become aware of people breaking our rules in DMs. Currently, when someone sends DMs that break our rules, we prohibit that person from sending any more messages for a set period of time. Now, if someone continues to send violating messages, we’ll disable their account. We’ll also disable new accounts created to get around our messaging restrictions, and will continue to disable accounts we find that are created purely to send abusive messages,” the statement said.
Instagram also noted that they are “committed to cooperation with UK law enforcement authorities on hate speech and will respond to valid legal requests for information in these cases.”