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Leonid Bershidsky

Banned from Facebook? A Polish Court May Help

A Polish group is suing Facebook for “private censorship” in a potentially landmark case.

Pressure on both ends.

Pressure on both ends.

Photographer: Niall Carson - PA Images/PA Images

Facebook is often criticized for not doing enough to police its platform for hate speech. But the opposite has also been a problem: Mark Zuckerberg’s company uses rather vague “community standards” as the basis for decision to remove users and posts. It doesn’t feel compelled to explain exactly how it applies them, either. Now, a Polish court may decide it should.

When Facebook banned Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Louis Farrakhan, Laura Loomer and others last week, all it said was that “the process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision.” The prominent right-wingers with huge audiences on the Facebook-owned platforms didn’t, in other words, get much in the way of explanation.