The Polish government said on Friday it is working on legislation to limit the power of social media platforms, remove content or block users. According to the developed rules, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. may only take action if the content or the person violates Polish law. The legislation proposes creating a “Freedom of Expression Council” to investigate complaints from users whose content has been removed or accounts suspended.

“The law will provide tools that guarantee fundamental freedoms and freedoms for Polish citizens on the Internet,” Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro told reporters in Warsaw.

He said that the new legal framework would require “global players” to abide by Polish law, adding that “only social media today decide what content is censored.”
He said parliament would appoint future assembly members for a six-year term, and politicians would not qualify.

“The council will defend the constitutional right to freedom of expression in all social media operating in Poland,” the minister said.

The measures are expected to take effect in January next year.

“The platform will look into the complaint and either it will restore access to the content and the case will be closed or the complaint will not be accepted,” said senior Justice Ministry official Sabastian Kalita.

He added: “The user has the right after that to appeal to the Council, which has seven days to resolve the user’s complaint,” explaining that the process was completely electronic.
An appeal against the council’s decision can be submitted to a Polish court.

Failure to comply with council and court decisions could result in fines of up to 50 million Polish zlotys (11 million euros, 13 million US dollars) for social media platforms.

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(With AFP input)