US must protect its citizens from online censorship

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Polish state secretary Sebastian Kaleta. (Photo: V4 Agency)

By: V4 Agency

It is alarming how Christian and patriotic content is increasingly being treated as hate speech by big social media platforms, Polish state secretary Sebastian Kaleta said, pointing out that the tech giants dominating the social media landscape should not enjoy such broad powers through anonymous moderators.

Some European countries, like Angela Merkel’s Germany or Emmanuel Macron’s France, already apply regulations to ensure that social media companies remove certain types of content. Poland is approaching the issue from the opposite direction, said Sebastian Kaleta, State Secretary at the Polish Justice Ministry.

Poland wants to ensure that no lawful content could be legally censored, Mr Kaleta pointed out, adding that several politicians were interested in their concept because “we see that freedom of speech is in danger and we want to protect it”.

Although many argue that social media providers are private companies, therefore they can censor any online content at their discretion, Mr Kaleta disagrees with this approach. He says many big phone service providers have started out as private companies but, because of their influence, they became regulated actors of the community with bodies that can be held accountable through democratic oversight. “It wouldn’t be acceptable to ban someone from making a phone call simply because they would communicate ‘bad’ thoughts over the phone,” Mr Kaleta pointed out.

The government’s decision is not about wanting to remove content from social media, it’s about only allowing the big platforms to delete illegal content, the state secretary said in The Glenn Beck Program podcast.

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