On Jan. 6, pro-Trump extremists stormed the US Capitol complex and disrupted Congress’s joint session to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Days later, social media companies went on a free speech crusade against President Trump, banning or limiting the president from various platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat.
It appears some Polish government officials have denounced big tech’s censorship of Trump. They are preparing to draft a law that will make it illegal for tech firms to ban accounts, according to The Guardian.
“Algorithms or the owners of corporate giants should not decide which views are right and which are not,” wrote the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
“There is no and can be no consent to censorship.”
Morawiecki’s comments were published on Facebook days after Twitter and Facebook suspended the US president, citing a “risk of further incitement of violence” in the wake of his supporters storming the US Capitol building in Washington, DC.
Speaking vaguely and without mentioning Trump, Morawiecki said:
“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,” he said.
“The owners of social platforms cannot act above the law,” Morawiecki added, noting that in Poland, the functioning of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are regulated by law.
“We will suggest that similar regulations are also put in place in all of the European Union,” he said.
Morawiecki’s comments came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Trump’s ban from Twitter is “problematic.”
The fallout from last week’s deadly raid on the Capitol has included the purging of Parler, which is a social media app mainly used by conservatives. Apple and Google both banned Parler from their respective app stores over concerns the app aided Trump supporters in the Capitol attack.
Banning Trump from Twitter and other social media platforms has set a dangerous precedent where big tech companies can, at their convenience, censor anyone they want, even the president of the US.