Poland takes aim at Big Tech with landmark anti-censorship bill

The Polish government is on course to create a world-leading bill to protect the free speech rights of their citizens against the censorship agenda of Big Tech, in news that has gained more international attention since the de-platforming of US President Donald Trump.

The bill will forbid the tech giants from deleting material that doesn’t violate Polish law, with users having legal recourse if they’re muzzled by the Silicon Valley firms.

Polish citizens will be able to complain about ideological censorship, and will have the right to sue if the platform provides an unsatisfactory justification for the act of censorship or if they fail to reply within 48 hours.

The law, which was first reported on in December, will also empower the Polish state to levy massive fines on the tech companies if they fail to restore wrongfully deleted posts and accounts.

The fines, handed out by the nation’s Office of Electronic Communications, could be as big as 1.8m euros a pop and may cause a serious headache for the online platforms if they pile up.

“It is about time Poland had regulations aimed at protecting free speech online from the infringements by big corporations” said the politician responsible for the bill, Sebastian Kaleta.

The bill comes in the wake of a growing backlash against tech censorship, reported on this website earlier today.

The government of Uganda has blocked Facebook and Twitter from domestic web users ahead of tomorrow’s national elections, citing election integrity concerns, while Republican lawmakers in the US call for legislative solutions.

Perhaps Poland will offer a model for successful regulation.

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