Facebook blocks pages of Polish nationalists

After media reports that Facebook has blocked the profiles of several Polish nationalists Poland's Deputy Justice Minister Patryk Jaki has accused the social network of censorship, and the PiS government is considering taking legal action. The pages are said to have been reported for containing hate speech and racist content. Polish commentators discuss whether Facebook has acted lawfully - and intelligently.

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Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Facebook acting within its rights

The allegation that deleting comments is censorship is false, writes legal expert Krzysztof Izdebski in Rzeczpospolita:

“From a legal point of view Facebook can delete all the comments it wants to because users have accepted this by agreeing to the terms of use. To talk of censorship here is simply wrong. Only state institutions must guarantee the right to freedom of expression, not private corporations. Moreover if Polish law were applied consistently the distribution of certain other content that can also be found on Facebook would have to be banned. The legal provisions for freedom of expression on the Internet are not clear at the moment. Perhaps the international organisations should formulate common standards.”

Super Express (PL) /

Only the nationalists will benefit

Being expelled from Facebook will only add fuel to the radicals' fire, Super Express warns:

“The [liberal] PO recently proposed that the [nationalist] organisation ONR should be banned. What it fails to see is that doing so would only strengthen the extremists within the group. Unfortunately Facebook is making the same mistake even though it is probably acting in good faith. Maybe those in charge of this hugely popular social network really believe that banning the nationalists from agitating on their site will actually help. The fact is, however, that such a move does them an invaluable service. Because it will make these nationalists seem somehow more likeable to a lot of people, making them more forgiving towards them. Especially young people who are against society are often ready to lend their support to groups that are victimised by the establishment.”