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Facebook Closes Hungarian Chief Rabbi’s Page

Hungary Today 2024.05.29.

Facebook blocked the social network page of Slomó Köves, the Chief Rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation (EMIH) on Sunday, as well as the social network page of Neokohn.hu, a Jewish, conservative-liberal news and opinion portal, the website announced.

As the portal wrote, the newspaper’s Facebook page was no longer accessible on Sunday morning after the social media giant blocked it.

After a year and a half of brutal restrictions, Meta deleted the Facebook page of Neokohn with 30,000 followers without any justification,

they stressed, adding that it is not yet known exactly why Neokohn was blocked, as the U.S. company has since denied access to the page where they could view it.

The latest information we have is that the site violates Meta’s “Community Principles.”

We will, of course, be appealing this outrageous decision in the forums available to us. In the meantime, we encourage our readers to contact our site directly,” they said.

They also reported that Meta had previously restricted their access on the grounds that “as a conservative-liberal Jewish site, we were promoting (!) the terrorist organization Islamic State.” Absurdly, the two articles on the portal that Meta had labeled “dangerous” at the time were based on MTI news that was widely circulated in the Hungarian media, they added.

Later, Neokohn also drew attention to the fact that Meta had blocked the Facebook page of Slomó Köves, the Chief Rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation. This was also confirmed by zsidó.com, the website of the EMIH. As they wrote, Meta blocked the Facebook page of “one of Hungary’s best-known rabbis, Slomó Köves, the chief rabbi of the EMIH, without giving a reason.” The rabbi shares content of a “typically religious nature” on his page.

Slomó Köves. Photo via Wikipedia.

According to the website, the rabbi was informed by email that his Facebook page had been blocked. They also wrote that no reason was given for the blocking, raising the question of why the right to freedom of expression is being restricted in this way. “It is unclear whether Jewish religious or communal issues, perhaps Talmudic studies or a clear commitment to Israel, is under attack by the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, that led to the ban.”

Köves told the newsportal Index that he does not normally publish political content on his site, only religious videos and posts. Furthermore, Meta did not give a reason for the ban.

“We have appealed against the decision. The Action and Protection Foundation (TEV) has an informal relationship with Facebook, hence they used this forum to let us know that they were investigating the reason for the ban. However, we have not heard back. We also do not know if there is a connection between Neokohn and my block,” explained the rabbi.

The situation is absurd because Köves receives numerous hateful, clearly anti-Semitic comments on his page every day – during Talmud and religious lessons – “and it does not seem that these comments particularly bother Facebook,” he added.

Another possible explanation for the social media ban is that Rabbi Köves has maintained a balanced relationship with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in the past and has made his gratitude clear for the Hungarian government’s attitude towards the well-being and security of the Hungarian Jewish community. In an earlier interview, for example, he emphasized:

It is quite certain that without the openness and support of the Prime Minister and the government, there would be far fewer opportunities for the resurgent Hungarian Jewish community in the areas of religious life, education, and community life.”

In fact, Facebook is covering their tracks so consistently after their latest attack on free speech that they have immediately removed the post linking to the above article from their pages, alleging that Hungary Today had tried to mislead others with the publication of this news story. We have appealed their astonishing decision; it remains to be seen if they revoke it.

Screenshot: Facebook

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Via Ungarn Heute; Index; Featured image via Pixabay

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