A Polish court held an initial hearing Wednesday in a case brought against Facebook by a historian who claims the tech giant engaged in”censorship” by suspending accounts that had posted about a nationalist rally in Warsaw.
The situation comes as major tech firms like Facebook and Twitter have been introducing new measures for stamping out extremist content and closing down misinformation on the internet, under growing pressure from authorities pushing for action.
Historian Maciej Swirski has whined that Facebook in 2016 suspended a few reports that supplied information within a liberty day march organised by far-right groups.
“I am not a part of the National Movement, but as a citizen I wished to inform myself about the case in question and that I was blocked from doing so,” Swirski told AFP.
“This censorship doesn’t concern my own articles, but rather content that I had wanted to see.”
The historian is also the president of this anti-defamation organisation Reduta Dobrego Imienia, that strives to defend Poland’s image, especially in the context of World War II.
Swirski maintained that Facebook had wanted to transfer the trial to Palo Alto and also have it take place behind close doors, however, the Warsaw court refused.
“We’d like to know what mechanics Facebook uses to moderate material,” he said.
AFP was unable to hit Facebook officials in Poland for comment Wednesday.
But lawyers for the company argued that censorship can only be exercised by the state and that a private media company is not obligated to publish any specific content.
Swirski claimed however that the”international giant” is not a media company like any other.
The next court hearing will occur on October 30.
Facebook is under the spotlight following its role in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
After revelations from a whistleblower, it was shown that thousands of users had their own private data intercepted from Cambridge Analytica, a political firm working for Donald Trump at 2016.