Several leaders have already rejected the current wave of censorship on social media, but without a doubt one of the harshest sentences has come from Poland.
This afternoon, the Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki published a statement on his Facebook page. You can read it in full here translated into English:
“I was born and raised among people for whom freedom was the most precious value. In Poland we are so attached to freedom because we know what it feels like when someone tries to cut it off.
For almost 50 years, we lived in a country where there was censorship; a country where Big Brother told us how to live, what to think and feel and what we did not have the right to think, speak and write. That is why we look at all attempts to limit freedom with such anxiety.
One of the synonyms for freedom has always been the Internet. The most democratic medium in history, a forum where everyone can speak freely. A tool that allows each person to have a real impact on reality, to a degree not known until a few decades ago.
Freedom from the lack of regulation of the Internet has many positive effects. But there are also negatives: it is gradually dominated by large supranational companies, richer and more powerful than many countries. These companies have only begun to treat our online activity as a source of profit and to enhance global dominance, but also to protect political correctness in any way they please. And they fight against those who oppose them.
Recently, we are dealing more and more often with practices that seem like a thing of the past. Censoring freedom of expression, the dominance of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes returns today as a new commercial mechanism to combat those who think differently.
Discussion is about sharing points of view, not putting gags in your mouth. We do not have to agree with what our opponents have written, but we cannot prohibit anyone from expressing a legitimate view.
What is not prohibited is allowed. Also on the internet. There is not and cannot be consent to censorship. Neither from the state – as used to happen in the PRL [People’s Republic of Poland], nor from a private individual, as they are trying to introduce today. Freedom of expression is the salt of democracy, that is why we have to defend it. The algorithms or the owners of the corporate giants cannot decide which views are correct and which are not.
Poland will always defend democratic values, including freedom of expression. Social media owners cannot act above the law. Therefore, we will do our best to define the framework for the operation of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other similar platforms. In Poland, we regulate this with the relevant national regulations. We will also propose that similar provisions apply throughout the European Union.
Social networks must serve us, society, not the interests of their powerful owners. All people have the right to freedom of expression. Poland will defend this right.”