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Hungarian Press Roundup: Debate Over Free Speech and Censorship

Hungary Today 2020.05.18.

The leading pro-government daily accuses ‘George Soros and his network’, in a series of articles, of censoring Facebook content and limiting free speech. A liberal commentator finds the accusations absurd. A neoliberal pundit notes that free speech is under threat throughout Europe.

Hungarian press roundup by budapost.eu

Magyar Nemzet has launched a series of articles discussing Facebook’s decision to appoint an oversight board that will decide which content should be allowed on its social media platform, and what should be banned. The pro-government daily claims that the oversight board is dominated by individuals who are part of George Soros’ network. Magyar Nemzet fears that the board will act as a de facto ‘censorship committee’ and will use its power to influence the US Presidential election and also to interfere in national politics all around the world.

In a sarcastic article on 444, Márton Bede criticizes Magyar Nemzet, and accuses it of inventing a conspiracy theory and spreading fake news. The liberal commentator finds the government media’s campaign against George Soros and the NGOs supported by him absurd.

On Neokohn, László Seres writes that free speech has been under threat throughout Europe. The libertarian pundit points out that the authorities tend to use their special emergency power to criminalize opinions that are not in-line with official policies. As an example, Seres mentions that a German government official was suspended after he published a long paper criticizing the German government’s coronavirus containment strategy. He thinks that the Hungarian police have also misused their power by harassing individuals who criticized the government’s emergency policies. Commenting on the two police interrogations in an interview on ATV on Friday, Justice Minister Judit Varga said that the police made a mistake, noting that it may happen to any authorities applying laws to make mistakes.

Featured photo illustration via pixabay.com