The Polish Ministry of Justice is preparing a bill that will prohibit social networks from deleting messages and blocking users if they do not violate national legislation.
This decision is directly related to the information sweep that continues in the United States against Donald Trump and his supporters.
Polish officials reacted very sharply to what was happening. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote that “algorithms or the owners of corporate giants cannot decide which views are correct and which are not.” He noted that “censorship, which is the prerogative of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, is now returning in the form of a new commercial mechanism to combat those who think otherwise.”
In turn, the Secretary of State of the Polish Ministry of Justice Sebastian Kaleta said that removing Trump’s account from Facebook was hypocritical, politically motivated, and “tantamount to censorship.”
For the Polish right, including the ruling Law and Justice Party, friction with Western social media is common. In November, Facebook disconnected from the account, which had 780 thousand subscribers, the deputy of the Sejm Janusz Korwin-Mikke, known for scandalous far-right statements.
It is worth paying tribute to the Polish authorities, who are now showing much more steadfastness, consistency, and integrity than the overseas Republicans, a significant part of whom rushed to repent, renounce the past and denounce Trump. And many foreign politicians have chosen to distance themselves from the almost toxic former US president, as did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who deleted their joint photo from Twitter, which had long been the cover of his account.
And all this is happening in a situation where Warsaw’s circumstances are tough, and the prospects are very vague.
For the Polish authorities, Donald Trump was much more than just another president of Poland’s senior and main geopolitical partner. He was a true ally in the growing internal division of the Western world in recent years. Their positions coincided with the most pressing political topics (such as skepticism towards the European Union) and on fundamental ideological issues (a firm commitment to traditional values).
Now, Trump has not just been defeated in the election. Its victors clearly set out to politically and informationally destroy their rivals, resorting to methods that until recently seemed unthinkable. So far, we are talking only about internal American processes. Still, it is obvious that with such radicalism and ideological charge of the new administration, it is a matter of a short time when Washington will turn its attention to foreign policy partners who do not demonstrate the proper degree of consciousness and commitment to the most progressive ideas.
And Poland, together with Hungary — is at the forefront of the discussion in accordance with the latest ideological standards and best political practices.
In fact, the warning bells sounded immediately after Biden’s election victory. For example, in December, The New York Times published a column written by Robert M. Gates, a former Secretary of Defense who served under Republican Bush Jr. and Democrat Obama. Speaking about the new president’s foreign policy, he bluntly wrote that the US should “determine the consequences for NATO member states, such as Turkey, Hungary and, increasingly, Poland, that are moving towards authoritarianism (or have fully accepted it).”
Some may wonder: what about the anti-Russian vector, which invariably serves as the basis for strong cooperation between Warsaw and Washington? Will the United States abandon its partnership with the Poles, weakening its own position in the key country for the confrontation with Russia? Moreover, the scope of Russophobia of the Polish authorities can be estimated exclusively in the superlative degree.
But the fact is that there is no problem for the Americans here. Regardless of which political forces will be at the head of the Polish state — the current reactionaries or their liberal opponents, Poland will, in any case, pursue a tough anti-Russian policy and support cooperation with the United States. But with the latter, the new administration in Washington will not have to endure outrageous things like nationalism, homophobia, and support for the Catholic Church, anti-immigrant policies, restrictions on abortion, and so on.
The usual and very convenient disposition for Poland, which allowed playing on the growing contradictions of the EU and the United States, is a thing of the past. Now it will become one of the points where the interests of Washington and Brussels will converge in a common desire to punish obstinate reactionaries with too large-scale geopolitical ambitions and a tendency to strengthen independence.
Apparently, the Polish authorities are aware of this. And they decided to act ahead of the curve-using the very resource of national sovereignty, which they so diligently pumped for many years.
However, it is one thing to achieve success by balancing on the differences between Europe and America and becoming the object of their common policy and withstand the combined pressure.
The spectacle promises to be fascinating.