V4 Report: Hungary: Facebook on Wednesday reversed a decision to take down a video posted by a Hungarian political aide that blamed crime on immigrants, saying it was making an exception to its usual ban on so-called “hate speech” (which has lost virtually all meaning due to overuse).
** Interesting. Last week, EU Justice Minister Vera Jourova of the ALDE Group (pictured below) cried “foul” and tried to silence Matteo Salvini over his post regarding aggressive male migrants from North Africa and a 13-year old Italian girl. She said it was “hate speech” and then clumsily tried to explain why his tweet should have been deleted within 24 hours. We are not suggesting a connection, but there seems to be some pressure being applied.
*** Poll below: Majority (85%) of Austrians are worried about mass immigration, majority (75%) afraid of mass immigration from Africa in the next decades – @Szazadveg poll
The video was posted to Facebook on Tuesday by the chief of staff to the Hungarian prime minister. It focused on immigrants and crime in neighbouring Austria ??.
Janos Lazar, the top aide to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who himself was unjustly called a racist by the U.N. human rights chief this week (see our post from yesterday), accused Facebook of censorship after the social network removed his post.
On Wednesday, Facebook said it was restoring the video.
“People use Facebook to challenge ideas and raise awareness about important issues, but we will remove content that violates our community standards, including hate speech,” the company said in a statement.
“Exceptions are sometimes made if content is newsworthy, significant or important to the public interest,” it said.
In the video Lazar posted to his page, he addresses the camera in a street in Favoriten, the district of Vienna with the most foreigners living in it.
“Disorder is much higher, there is much more dirt and litter in the streets and the few Viennese still living here say that crime is a lot higher and people are living in bigger fear,” Lazar says, accompanied by downbeat piano music and shots of Muslim immigrants.
“If we let them in and they are going to live in our towns, the result will be crime, poverty, dirt and impossible conditions in our cities,” Lazar said.
Facebook, Twitter and other networks have in many countries surpassed traditional media as a way for politicians to reach voters, effectively giving them a new role as referees of political speech. Referees? We have a feeling this issue is only going to get more controversial as governments attempt to “regulate” speech or debate, which is indeed a very slippery slope.
*** On a personal note, to be fair, the V4 Report can say that we have not experienced any problems or “push-back”, at least as far as we know, from these two organizations regarding any of our posts or tweets. Please let us know if you have experienced any problems that we should be aware of.