A newly launched Hungarian social media network claims it wants to create a censorship-free platform with a million users in a country of ten million people by the end of the year.
The new network, named Hundub, has attracted 40,000 subscribers so far after launching on December 6th, 2020, to a Hungarian audience. It is seen as a close homage to Facebook but has promised to provide users with an environment free of censors, beyond what is illegal under Hungarian law.
According to a report from French newspaper La Croix, the network has some differences from Facebook, including a button that allegedly encourages users to post politically incorrect images on the platform.
Csaba Pàl, the founder of the network, said he was surprised at the platform’s rapid growth. However, some have criticised Hundub’s launch; others have even claimed that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is secretly behind the network, which the creators have denied.
The new social media company’s formation comes after members of Orbán’s party, the conservative Fidesz, have clashed with Facebook, including Justice Minister Judit Varga.
Poland to Pass Law Protecting Online Free Speech Against Big Tech Censorship https://t.co/TUH7XEjOFu
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 26, 2020
In December, Varga accused Facebook of manipulating and changing its algorithms to decrease the number of interactions with her Facebook page. She also discussed the role of social media in the upcoming 2022 national election.
“We see what is happening in the world, we see that the power groups behind global tech companies can even make choices. We must not be naive, we must be prepared for any eventuality and the operations and decisions of these global companies must be made transparent,” she said.
Facebook later responded to the accusations, stating that the company had not taken any actions against her social media page.
While Hundub states it will be free from censorship, swastikas and the communist hammer and sickle symbol are both banned from the platform due to it operating under Hungarian law. The site’s creators hope to attract a million users by the end of 2021, in a country of around ten million.
Big Tech censorship had been a significant issue in the United States, where many social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Google are based.
In November, conservative political commentator Tucker Carlson stated that big tech censorship was a form of election tampering and cited a well-documented claim that Google has suppressed stories about then-candidate Joe Biden from its search algorithm.
Hungary Announces Investigation into Social Media Censorship in Europe https://t.co/r8yoQCsZHX
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 13, 2019