Freedom of speech on social media is important for Polish PM - daily

The Polish prime minister wrote on Facebook on Tuesday that social media platform owners could not operate above the law. "We'll do everything to map out the framework for the operation of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other similar platforms," he vowed. Mateusz Morawiecki/Facebook

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, wants the European Union to focus on freedom of speech on social media platforms, a Polish daily wrote on Friday.

According to the daily Rzeczpospolita, the blocking of US President Donald Trump's Twitter account made politicians and the public be more focused on social media and the regulations according to which they operate.

The daily recalled that several days ago Prime Minister Morawiecki announced that the protection of freedom of speech on the internet was a priority for him. According to a government source quoted by the daily, the Polish government will conduct intensive work to prepare related EU regulations.

"The year 2020 is proof that Prime Minister (Morawiecki) is effective on this forum, and that domestic regulations have no sense without EU ones," Rzeczpospolita wrote, adding that the government wanted to make Poles convinced that access to social media is equal and free.

"This is the fundamental guideline of the entire strategy," the daily said.

The paper added that Poland's experience in the fight against censorship was particularly strong due to historical reasons, and that, in the past, social media was especially important for the right wing since "it was easier for the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) to present its message there."

Speaking on the same subject, Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta has said that the Justice Ministry "has been finalising its work on a related draft, which will be sent for debate in the government within several days."

A draft on the freedom of expression of views as well as the acquiring and disseminating information on the internet was announced in December by Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro and his deputy, Sebastian Kaleta, who is responsible for the bill.

Under the draft, social media will be allowed neither to remove the contents nor block the accounts of their users if they do not violate Polish laws. If the contents are removed or the account is blocked, its owner will have the right to file a complaint with the social service, which will have 24 hours to review it. The user will also be allowed to motion a court to restore their access. Courts will have seven days to review the complaint.

"The goal of the proposed regulation, which is now being prepared by the ministry, is to make a social media user feel that their rights are respected, and that the contents they place online will not be arbitrarily removed from social media platforms," Kaleta said in December.

The Polish prime minister wrote on Facebook on Tuesday that social media platform owners could not operate above the law. "We'll do everything to map out the framework for the operation of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other similar platforms," he vowed.

"Everything which is not forbidden is allowed. Also on the internet. Censorship is not and cannot be accepted. Neither state censorship, like in the time of the Polish People's Republic, nor the private one, which is being attempted to be imposed today," the prime minister said.