For over two months, the Twitter account of @PolandDaily, the English-language version of Telewizja Republika, has been suspended. The editor-in-chief of Gazeta Polska and deputy CEO of Telewizja Republika, Tomasz Sakiewicz, tells Remix News that despite multiple appeals, the ban on the account has not been lifted.
Sakiewicz believes that social media censorship is not just an issue in Poland, but is a global threat that must be addressed, including by the Polish government.
Remix News: Was a reason provided for the blocking of @PolandDaily?
Sakiewicz: No, despite several attempts to contact Twitter, we were not given a reason for the block and any pleas to unblock it were left without a reaction. Moreover, a week ago my personal Twitter account and Poland Daily TV website were attacked by Russian hackers. My account was then blocked at the request of Polish special services, with my knowledge, but it still hasn’t been unblocked. I do not have the ability to use new passwords or to use my account. The only comfort is that the Russians cannot use it, but neither can I. We have seen no results so far despite requests from the Polish government and myself.
Remix News: Did you intervene with Polish authorities concerning @PolandDaily?
Sakiewicz: Yes. We contacted the Ministry of Digitalization and Polish authorities spoke to the Americans on the matter. Still, there has been no reaction, so the accounts remain blocked.
Remix News: Instances of Polish accounts being banned, especially conservative media outlets on social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) are increasingly common. What do you believe are the reasons for this?
Sakiewicz: There are three reasons. The first involves the hacker attack directed against me. Conservative media outlets which do not favor Russia, such as mine are often the targets of hacking attacks which makes the decision to block them easier. The second reason is the policy of social media itself. They eagerly block conservative accounts under any pretext and do not want to unblock them. The third reason is the activity of leftist groups which commit crimes for which then go unpunished — they file false reports concerning breaching the Terms and Conditions, etc. The right does not respond to them by breaking the law like they do, and they even boast about it.
Remix News: Is a joint action of Polish media against such practices by Facebook and Twitter possible?
Sakiewicz: Yes, I believe that a protest is crucial because the situation is becoming critical. They are treating us like a colony because they have gained a monopoly. Something has to be done.