Polish Justice Minister announces online freedom of speech bill

Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro announced a legal initiative on Thursday aimed at enabling internet users to file complaints against the removal of online posts as well as the creation of a special court for freedom of speech.

Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said the aim of the bill was to give internet users the feeling that their rights are protected and that their posts cannot be arbitrarily removed from online platforms.

The full name of the bill is the law on freedom of expressing one’s own views and searching and disseminating information on the internet.

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.

“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,” Mr Ziobro said. Via – Poland In

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