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ISPs liability

First court decision in SIN vs Facebook: the internet giant must not restrict the organisation’s activities in its services

The District Court in Warsaw, in its interim measures ruling, has temporarily prohibited Facebook from removing fanpages, profiles and groups run by SIN (a Polish NGO) on Facebook and Instagram, as well as from blocking individual posts. This means that – at least until the case is decided – SIN’s activists may carry out their drug education without concerns that they will suddenly lose the possibility to communicate with their audience. The court has furthermore obliged Facebook to store profiles, fanpages and groups deleted in 2018 and 2019 so that – if SIN wins the case eventually – they can be restored together with the entire published content, comments by other users, as well as followers and people who liked the fanpages. This is not the only good news: the court has also confirmed that Polish users can enforce their rights against the tech giant in Poland. The court’s decision is not final – after the delivery of the decision, Facebook Ireland will have the right to appeal it with the Appeal Court.

SIN v Facebook: tech giant sued over private censorship in landmark case in Poland

On 7 May 2019 Spoleczna Inicjatywa Narkopolityki (Civil Society Drug Policy Initiative, “SIN”), supported by the Panoptykon Foundation, filed a lawsuit against Facebook in a strategic litigation aimed at fighting private censorship on the Internet. Online platforms act as the ‘gatekeepers’ to online expression, thus gaining tremendous power over the information circulated on the Internet – power which they wield without an adequate accountability or responsibility. Moderation is necessary to fight illegal, harmful content but unfortunately perfectly legal and socially valuable materials often fall prey to it.  We hope that our lawsuit against Facebook will help change this.

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