Poland to fight so called “patostreaming”: Digital Affairs Minister

Minister of Digital Affairs, Marek Zagórski, said in an interview that a special group will be charged with the development of legislation aimed at the prevention of so called “patostreaming” and cyberbullying on video sharing platforms.

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“Patostreaming” is a term denoting live streaming of content commonly regarded as pathological, such as drinking parties, domestic violence and rude language, on video-sharing platforms.

The phenomenon has become popular among Polish youth and some channels are very profitable. Research shows that children comprise a large number of viewers of this type of channels.

“We are taking into consideration not only patostreaming, but also cyberbullying. We would like to start with self-regulation so that video-sharing platforms that enable patostreaming, begin to limit access to this type of content. At the same time, we want to form a working group, which will develop related legislation,” said Marek Zagórski.

The Minister continued to say that “The clue is to convince the biggest platforms and portals that they should be guided by the rule: I don’t profit from and I do not allow others to profit from cyberbullying”.

The popularity of patostreaming is increasingly worrying especially for institutions responsible for children and youth education and for the protection of human rights. Research conducted by NASK, a research institute working for the Ministry of Digital Affairs, in collaboration with the Commissioner for Human Rights, on a group of teenagers (13-15 years of age), indicates that 84 percent of subjects have heard about patostreaming, 37 percent watched this type of content (including 15 percent that watches patostreaming regularly), and that 43 percent is exposed to such videos once a week. Researchers indicate that an alarmingly high percentage of viewers (38 percent) think that patostreaming is a good way of generating income.