WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s prime minister on Thursday criticized as undemocratic a Facebook ban imposed on a far-right party for alleged violations of the social network’s rules on the fight against COVID-19 and hate speech.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said — on Facebook — that the ban “hit at the basic democratic values” of freedom of speech and opinion and called it “cyber censorship.”
Facebook’s owner, Meta, removed the profile of Poland’s Confederation Freedom and Independence party on Wednesday, over its posts criticizing vaccination and the wearing of protective masks, as well as those hostile to some social groups.
Known for its nationalist, xenophobic, anti-LGBT and Euro-sceptic views, the party holds 11 of the 460 seats in the lower house of Poland’s parliament. Its leaders have warned of legal action against Meta.
Morawiecki said he and the Confederation have been often critical of each other but added that “criticism does not mean forcefully shutting someone’s mouth.”
Morawiecki’s right-wing cabinet is in conflict with European Union leaders who say the government’s policies, especially in the area of the judiciary, are eroding Polish democracy.