A Different Kind of Social Media Freedom

New Regulatory Offensive by the Polish Government

24 February 2021

Filip Konopczyński

Visegrad Insight Fellow

A Polish government proposal obliges major social media platforms to standardise, monitor and report complaints against its decisions regarding the removal of user-generated content. The creation of a so-called ‘Freedom of Speech Council’ risks bringing an Orwellian approach to social media, and it would shape the playfield on which the democratic debate takes place.

Not long after the European Commission published drafts of the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA), the Polish government decided to take its swing at the global social media platforms.

The project is entitled “Protection of freedom of speech on internet social media services” and, according to the officials, will be implemented by the Sejm (Parliament) in the following weeks. In what may look like a paradox, given the loud and clear anti-EU sentiment of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, the proposed law does not ostensibly differ from the framework of the DSA.

Despite many similarities, the political motivations as well as a legal toolset, its implementation will undoubtedly bring results that profoundly differ from the European establishment’s intentions.

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Filip Konopczyński

Visegrad Insight Fellow

Visegrad Insight Fellow. Co-founder of Kalecki Foundation, an independent think tank devoted to sustainable economic and environmental development. He is a social researcher and market analyst as well as a publicist and commentator.

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