Poland Proposes Millions in Fines for Big Tech Companies That Censor Conservatives

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 19, 2021   |   5:04PM   |   Warsaw, Poland

Lawmakers in Poland are considering imposing fines on Facebook, Twitter and other big tech companies for censoring political, religious and moral views on their platforms.

The Epoch Times reports Poland Deputy Minister of Justice Sebastian Kaleta said they are concerned about how these powerful companies are targeting people with conservative views.

“We see that when Big Tech decides to remove content for political purposes, it’s mostly content which praises traditional values or praises conservatism,” Kaleta told Fox News.

Having suffered under communist rule for decades, Kaleta said the people of Poland know the value of free speech and the dangers of censorship.

“Freedom of speech is not something that anonymous moderators working for private companies should decide,” Kaleta said. “Instead, that is for the national body; duly elected officials and all industries, car, phones, finance, were unregulated till they grew too large; the same should happen with Big Tech.”

The Polish Parliament is considering a bill that would prohibit online platforms from removing posts for ideological reasons. Violations would be punishable with fines up to millions of dollars. The bill also would establish an arbitration committee to consider censorship disputes. Online companies still would be allowed to remove posts that contain illegal content, according to the report.

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Kaleta said he was “very disturbed” when Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube banned President Donald Trump. In January, the social media giants censored Trump for supposedly “inciting violence” despite his calls for peace.

“… it sends a message to the world that we can ban anyone, whenever we want,” Kaleta said.

Hungarian lawmakers also are considering free speech legislation to crack down on online censorship, according to the report.

Poland is leading on the issue of life as well. Its high court recently banned abortions on unborn babies with disabilities, ruling that they are discriminatory. The pro-life country prohibits abortions in almost all circumstances now.

Meanwhile, concerns about censorship among pro-lifers and conservatives are growing. In January, “Gosnell” filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer temporarily were kicked off Twitter. The platform accused them of “violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam,” but later reinstated the account, saying it was “flagged as spam by mistake.”

Other individuals and groups also have noticed a steep drop in followers as social media giants censor conservatives. LifeNews.com has lost almost 27,500 followers on Twitter since Jan. 1.

Facebook and Twitter have been accused of bias against pro-lifers multiple times in the past.

In 2019, the pro-life organization Live Action said the social media site has been allowing a new pro-abortion group, Equity Forward, to attack pro-life organizations with a series of inflammatory ads.

Earlier in the year, makers of the pro-life film “Unplanned” had their Twitter account temporarily suspended. Twitter eventually restored the account and all of its followers.

Other pro-lifers also have reported problems with the social media company. In 2018, Twitter temporarily suspended the account of disability rights and pro-life advocate Charlotte “Charlie” Fien, who has Down syndrome.

Twitter also refused to run an ad from the Susan B. Anthony List in 2017 because it contained the phrase “killing babies.” In the fall of that same year, it rejected another ad from pro-life U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn because she mentioned Planned Parenthood’s sales of aborted baby body parts. Twitter later reversed its decision after LifeNews and other news outlets reported about the matter.

For years, Live Action has said Twitter has been censoring its ads. Founder Lila Rose said the social media site blocked their ability to advertise and told them they would have to change information on the organization’s websites if they want to start advertising again.

In 2019, Facebook also censored Live Action with a heavily biased “fact check” written by two abortionists. As LifeNews reported, Facebook tagged the Live Action post as “false news” because it explained why abortion is not medically necessary. Later, the pro-life group learned that Facebook’s fact-checking mechanism relied on two abortionists, Daniel Grossman and Robyn Schickler, who obviously have their own biases about the issue.

Later that year, U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted during a closed-door meeting that his social media company “clearly was bias” against the pro-life group Live Action and its founder Lila Rose.

Also in 2019, a whistle-blower at Pinterest also exposed how the site was blocking content from pro-life organizations by placing them on a list with pornography sites and other objectionable content.