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Political Parties Spent HUF 3 Billion during Campaign Period on Facebook Alone

Hungary Today 2022.04.11.

Spending on Facebook ads promoting the parties’ messages during the campaigning period comes to HUF 3 Billion (EUR 7.9 million), Telex reports. While the two major sides were tied in the official parties and politicians’ spending, there is a pro-government dominance detected in the case of the organizations and outlets not officially linked to the parties still exclusively supporting them. 

Official parties and their candidates’ Facebook spending: A draw

In the case of the parties and their candidates, the parties’ hands are tied (meaning their spending is limited by law). This results in the two major sides being neck-and-neck.

  • Fidesz–KDNP (including Fidelitas): HUF 349.4 million (EUR 924,000)
  • Opposition alliance (including 99 Movement): HUF 348.3 million
  • Far-right Mi Hazánk: HUF 87.6 million
  • Porn tycoon György Gattyán’s Solution Movement (MeMO): HUF 120.4 million
  • Satirical, government-critical Two Tailed Dog Party (MKKP): HUF 9.7 million.

Other organizations and media outlets: Pro-government dominance

A large pro-government dominance may be detected if we take into account the spending of those organizations and media outlets that officially don’t belong under the parties, but still exclusively reflects the political messages and narrative of at least one of them.

  • The pro-Fidesz sides’ (Megafon, media conglomerate KESMA’s outlets, pro-gov’t think-tanks, etc.) aggregated spending comes to HUF 1,461 billion (EUR 3.9 million)

For example, in KESMA’s outlets’ case, it is important to note that this wasn’t exclusively spent on political messages; however, an overwhelming part definitely was. In addition, Telex also compared these sites’ spending before the closure of the campaign and after, and found huge differences, meaning that their spending was definitely in connection with the campaign.

  • This “twilight zone” spending in support of the opposition alliance (Ezalényeg and its related sites, Erősítő, Nerpédia, etc.) comes to HUF 663.7 million (EUR 1.8 million).
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Aggregated Facebook spending by the parties: 60% was in support of Fidesz

  • Fidesz: HUF 1,810 billion (EUR 4.8 million)
  • Opposition alliance: 1,012 billion (EUR 2.7 million)
  • MeMO: 120.4 million (EUR 318,000)
  • Mi Hazánk: 87.6 million (EUR 232,000)
  • Two Tailed Dog Party: HUF 9.7 million (EUR 25,600).

Telex noted that the spending of the two major sides is equal, or even exceeding the limit set by the law (and again this is only the Facebook spending) and only goes for the official campaigning period. In addition, the rest of the campaign spending is very much non-transparent.

featured photo illustration via Viktor Orbán’s Facebook page

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