Polish Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta announced fines of up to $13.5 million for Big Tech that imposes censorship measures on users residing in Poland that are not justified under local laws.
Poland’s proposed new legislation could implement massive fines for tech giants that censor users or remove publications for ideological reasons.
In addition, the measure sets a global precedent that, should other countries take similar actions, could be the method to curb the ideological subjugation that big technologies seek to impose.
In statements to Fox News, Kaleta assured that social networking companies have targeted conservatives, Christianity, and traditional values by banning them or removing publications.
“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.”
Under the new Polish legislation, any platform that unfoundedly bans a user from posting any content, or worse, removes it, will face fines of $13.5 million unless the content is also illegal under Polish law. A monitoring and arbitration committee will be set up to intervene in disputes.
Poland’s decision follows months of blatant and rampant censorship by Big Tech, which included the banning of former President Donald Trump’s accounts by Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram after he was baselessly blamed for inciting violence at the Jan. 6 rally at the U.S. Capitol.
“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,” Kaleta said.
Kaleta’s voice condemning Big Tech’s authoritarian behavior is not a comment that should go unnoticed. Poland spent 45 years under communism, an experience he said has taught him the value of free speech and the need to know when to draw a line amid disturbing new trends toward censorship.
Australia is another country that is planning to crack down on the power of Big Tech. In late January it announced its intention to pass a law requiring Google and Facebook to pay media outlets for the right to use their content.
In response to the measure, although it has not yet been approved, the social networking giant Facebook blocked from Thursday on its platform in Australia, all content from news media and a large number of Australian government pages, such as the Department of Health, Civil Emergency, and others.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called Facebook’s decision to ban Australian users from viewing news content “arrogant” and warned that he is in regular contact with world leaders who are wrestling with how best to regulate big technology.
“Facebook’s actions to unfriend Australia today, cutting off essential information services on health and emergency services, were as arrogant as they were disappointing,” he said in a statement posted on his Facebook account. “They may be changing the world, but that doesn’t mean they run it,” he added about Big Tech.