The Hungarian government has confirmed that it will legislate against Big Tech censorship online, declaring that “we must fight for our digital freedom!”
Judit Varga, the Minister of Justice in Prime Minister Viktor Orbán national conservative government, lamented the fact that “today, anyone can be arbitrarily disconnected from online space without any kind of official, transparent or fair procedure, or the opportunity for redress.”
“Bakers, hairdressers, pensioners, teachers, small and large enterprises, and state leaders too can all be disconnected”, Minister Varga said, declaring the status quo untenable in a press release seen by Breitbart London.
The Hungarian politician appears to be following the lead of Poland’s deputy minister of justice, Sebastian Kaleta, who is spearheading a new draft law dubbed the “Freedom Act” which will empower an independent body to hear appeals from social media users who have been banned or had their content removed from Big Tech platforms. That body — the Free Speech Board — will have the power to order such removals reversed if the speech users were censored for was lawful, and to impose heavy fines on tech firms which do not comply.
“Digital damage inflicted deliberately out of political or ideological interests can also not occur without repercussions in Hungary anymore!” wrote Minister Varga.
“Freedom is rarely given as a gift. We must now also fight for our digital freedom! Go Hungary!”
Hungary Govt to Stop ‘Shadowbanning’ of ‘Christian, Conservative, and Right-Wing’ Voices Online https://t.co/dvc6QWnRAV
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 19, 2021
While Poland and Hungary’s strong action against Big Tech comes in the wake of then-President Donald Trump’s mass purge from virtually all major social media platforms, followed swiftly be Apple, Google, and Amazon wiping the fast-growing, free speech oriented platform Parler off the internet, the two countries have been looking at the issue of online censorship for some time.
The Polish government has said it began to grow seriously concerned when it observed Christian pages being censored on Facebook, while Minister Varga has previously claimed that she herself has been “shadowbanned” on the Zuckerberg platform, and the official About Hungary account on Twitter was deleted without explanation before government complaints secured its restoration.
“We saw many Big Tech firms starting to ban and delete content which presented the point of view of Christian society, of traditional society… on the basis of ‘hate speech’,” explained the aforementioned Polish justice minister, Sebastian Kaleta, in a recent interview with Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow.
Previously, he has argued that the “well-worn quip” of “‘If you don’t like our social network, just build your own” had been “finished off once and for all” by the “rapid” removal of Parlier from the internet as people began flocking to Parler following Donald Trump’s ban.
“Guaranteeing citizens recourse against Big Tech arbitrariness is a first step in the direction of orienting the internet toward the public good… arbitrary exclusion of voices, and even companies, from the internet makes it clearer than ever that social media companies are not just platforms, but publishers — and not merely publishers either, but monopoly gatekeepers for the rapid transmission of information to the public at large,” he insisted.
When other countries moved to regulate social media, it was to force networks to delete content. Poland is turning that concept on its head, legislating to protect freedom of speech on online platforms https://t.co/F1Y3o8aaNo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 28, 2021