Twitter has suspended Remix News from its platform on the same day that our outlet published an exclusive interview withTomasz Sakiewicz, the editor-in-chief of Gazeta Polska and deputy CEO of Telewizja Republika, about Twitter’s censorship of Poland Daily, the english-language version of Telewizja Republika.
Twitter also suspended.the official Twitter account of the Hungarian government, About Hungary, as well Hungarian news outlet Hungarian Insider on the same day. Twitter has since restored the About Hungary Twitter page with no explanation given.
Twitter also offered no reasons for the suspension of @RMXnews, but in the wake of the suspension of About Hungary and Polish state media outlet Poland Daily, Remix News serves as only the latest example of a media outlet covering Central Europe being silenced by the platform.
Although Remix News has started a new account on Parler, which we would request our readers to follow, Twitter is the arguably second biggest social media platform in the Western world. The removal of Remix News means it and other Central European platforms will be unable to participate fully in the free exchange of ideas and distribution of our content to a wider audience, which amounts to a blatant attack on press freedom conducted right in the heart of Europe.
Although a number of left-wing European Union officials and politicians have criticized the state of press freedom in countries like Hungary and Poland, both countries feature an open press with a variety of political opinions and viewpoints. Although Remix News and Poland Daily are both based out of EU states and report on issues important to Europeans, it is unlikely any of those same EU politicians and officials will direct their wrath at Twitter over censorship concerns.
Will Human Rights Watch or Freedom House issue a report on Twitter’s silencing of conservative outlets in Hungary and Poland? The reality is that these same organizations that decry authoritarian regimes shutting down social media platforms in countries like Turkey or China may very well support social media platforms shutting down media outlets these NGOs disagree with. At the very least, their silence will amount to tacit approval.
Remix News has reported extensively on social media censorship over the least two years, covering topics about Youtube censorship in Poland and the Czech Republic; Facebook censorship in the United States, the European Union and Hungary; and Twitter censorship in Poland, just to name a few of our stories. Regardless of whether an individual belongs to the left, right, or center, they should second-guess social media platforms banning news outlets which report on social media censorship.
As George Bernard Shaw wrote, “All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.”
His words apply more than ever.
Twitter and other big tech companies are now de facto the biggest censors in the world with unimaginable power to suppress information, and they are increasingly using that power.
Although we will appeal the ban and fight to have our account restored, regardless of the outcome, Remix News will continue to report on Big Tech censorship, the Central European region, EU policy, LGBT issues, migration, and other controversial topics that are increasingly attracting the attention of social media censors.