After Donald Trump was hurriedly ejected off the echo-chambers of the left-leaning social media platforms viz. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, the world leaders are lining up to give their support to the outgoing President. Among those leading the charge is the European country of Poland which has come in full support of Trump and is simultaneously chalking out a draft law that will stop social media companies from censoring posts and deleting accounts if it does not violate any Polish laws.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki took the fight to Facebook by writing a scathing piece where he questioned such companies and their partisan decision making.
“Algorithms or the owners of corporate giants should not decide which views are right and which are not,” said Morawiecki who further added, “Censorship of free speech, which is the domain of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, is now returning in the form of a new, commercial mechanism to combat those who think differently.”
Morawiecki’s sentiments were echoed by Sebastian Kaleta, secretary of state at Poland’s Ministry of Justice. Kaleta remarked that Facebook’s decision to remove Trump’s account was hypocritical, politically motivated, and “amounts to censorship”. Kaleta further added that the draft law prepared by the Polish justice ministry would make it illegal for social media companies to remove posts that did not break Polish law.
“Removing lawful content would directly violate the law, and this will have to be respected by the platforms that operate in Poland,” Kaleta told a national daily.
As reported by TFI, Trump has received support from world leaders around the globe, even when he is set to leave the White House, come January 20. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reservations about the way Donald Trump’s Twitter account was suspended, her spokesman said, adding that legislators, not private companies, should decide on any necessary curbs to free expression.
Additionally, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said private social media companies make their own moderation decisions, but they should be accountable.
As reported by TFI, the government of Uganda on Tuesday banned all social media apps and platforms in the country, including Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp citing gross interference of such platforms in the country’s democratic process.
Twitter put out a passionate statement where ironically it put itself in a paradox by saying, “We strongly condemn internet shutdowns – they are hugely harmful and violate basic human rights and the principles of the #OpenInternet.”
Ahead of the Ugandan election, we're hearing reports that Internet service providers are being ordered to block social media and messaging apps.
We strongly condemn internet shutdowns – they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights and the principles of the #OpenInternet.
— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) January 12, 2021
Jack Dorsey and his coterie of Vulcan level intellectuals should understand that shutting down access to Twitter’s vicious bias is not shutting down the Internet. And even if it were, Twitter is not the global protector of Democracy.
Also reported by TFI, an Internet Service Provider Company named ‘Your T1 WIFI’ – based in Idaho, USA banned Facebook and Twitter from its services after the social media platforms unilaterally banned the accounts of American President Donald Trump.
Poland and its right-wing government is one of the few regimes in Europe that have shown the spine to tackle the contentious issues, ailing the continent with some bravado and steadfastness. When Islamic riots were raging across Europe (Read: Malmo, Sweden) last year, it was Poland that was left virtually unscathed by the vandalism.
The Polish government has refused to accommodate Arab refugees or North African refugees since 2015 when Europe was hit by the migrant crisis and today it doesn’t face a radicalism issue, unlike other European countries.
By supporting Trump and calling out the ‘Silicon Sinister Six’ the Polish government has once again taken a clear side in the future war to come where big tech companies are expected to become more ruthless in censoring the opposing POVs. Europe needs to call out Facebook and Twitter much loudly, rather than whispering in hushed tones.
A state head of the most powerful country on the planet has been silenced, and if not today, it can happen pretty soon in the future to the leaders of Europe as well — if they do not take a clear side. Taking a cue out of Poland’s book of keeping the Tech giants under the thumb by drafting stringent laws is the only way to go about things. Doing anything else would only be desultory and superficial.