Hungary plans to confront Big Tech censorship of Christians and conservatives
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BUDAPEST, Hungary, January 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Hungary’s minister of justice has warned that she is taking steps to tackle the “systematic abuses” of Big Tech censorship, in order to prevent censorship of Christians and conservatives on social media.
Judit Varga, the Hungarian justice minister, gave the warning in a Facebook post on Monday. She referred to the censorship employed by Big Tech companies, pointing especially to shadow-banning, which she described as “the act of social media providers secretly, for political purposes, restricting the visibility and access of our user profile without our knowledge about it.”
In her strongly worded statement, Varga pointed first to Twitter, making reference to footage of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealing his plan to conduct wide-spread censorship of various accounts.
“Tech companies thus violate all those fundamental democratic legal norms that form the basis of Western-type culture,” she said. “We could not only learn about the system-wide practice of shadow banning from a voice recording of the now-leaked Twitter CEO.”
She also specifically addressed the anti-Christian censorship which is occurring on social media platforms: “To reduce their reach, Facebook also limits the visibility of Christian, conservative, right-wing opinions. I also have personal experience of that.”
Varga announced that although the Hungarian Ministry of Justice worked with the EU in regulating Big Tech companies, it was necessary to speed up their work, as a result of the “systematic abuses” of Big Tech. “That is why I convened an extraordinary meeting of the Digital Freedom Committee (and this week I will also consult with the President of the Hungarian Competition Authority on the possibility of sanctioning unfair commercial practices).”
Poland is also taking steps to counteract the Big Tech monopoly on free-speech, and laws are being drafted which would make it illegal for Big Tech companies to censor social media accounts. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated, “Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of democracy — that is why we must defend it. It is not up to algorithms or the owners of huge corporations to decide what opinions are correct and which aren’t. The owners of social media networks cannot operate above the law.”
Varga’s statement comes in the aftermath of the global criticism which was launched at Facebook and Twitter, after President Trump was banned from the platforms.
Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated his disapproval of Trump’s ban from Twitter, saying: “I don’t like anyone being censored or taking away the right to transmit a message on Twitter or [Facebook]. I do not agree with that; I do not accept that.”
He was supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who declared that the right to express one’s own opinion is of “elementary significance.”
“Seen from this angle, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the U.S. president have now been permanently blocked,” her spokesman said.
Further moves against Big Tech companies are taking place in America, as an internet provider based in Idaho is widely banning Facebook and Twitter, after “over 2/3rd [sic]” of their customers complained about the censorship which they experienced on the platforms.
“Our Company [d]oes not believe a website or Social Networking site has the [a]uthority to [c]ensor what you see and post and hide information from you, stop you seeing what your friends and family are posting,” an email from internet provider Your T1 WIFI read.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well as Trump, have both condemned the censorship of conservatives, with Pompeo calling it “authoritarianism cloaked as moral righteousness … it’s not who we are. It’s not who we are as Americans.”
Trump also warned about the effects of Big Tech censorship, calling it a “catastrophic mistake.”