During the pre-election mental decline, Orbán’s then top minister, Lázár, posted a migrant-bashing video on Facebook. It was first taken down by Facebook – but then reinstated. Then Facebook-censors were instructed not to touch Fidesz’ stuff anymore.
„We received instructions from Facebook not to touch the posts of the cabinet minister” – A report by 444.hu on what happened at Facebook that day and how the government may have intervened.
“During the 2,5-minute clip, Lazar attempts to show the impact recent migration had on a certain district in Vienna. The video was initially taken down by Facebook due to the violation of the community standards, then it was made available again after a few hours.
It’s shocking we can’t talk about migration in an honest manner because of Facebook’s censorship.
This is what Lazar said on the day of his video’s removal in another clip uploaded to Facebook titled “We stand against censorship”. Following his lead, the whole pro-government media machine swung into motion, saying that the Western liberal elite aided by Facebook is trying to interfere with the Hungarian election process. This is the line of thinking PM Viktor Orban followed, and took even further during his annual summer speech at Băile Tușnad. In late July, a few months after winning a landslide victory at the parliamentary elections, Orban spoke about the end of free speech and democracy in the West.”
The whole thing turned out in Fidesz’ favour. Facebook’s censorship efforts backfired just as the lack of them did. 444.hu went after the story and found Hungarians working on Facebook’s censorship team – they call them moderators – and asked them what happened. They discussed the story anonymously.
“After we took Lazar’s video down, and someone above our paygrade reinstated it, we received instructions not to touch any of his posts, along with posts of the pro-government news portal Orgio.hu, but to forward all reports concerning these straight to the Irish Facebook headquarters.”
Read the whole report in English on 444.hu, shedding light on Facebook’s moderation policies and raising more questions about background deals than it answers.
One of the most disturbing takeaways – among many – is that Orbán and his campaign got away with obvious hate speech, because it is not concerning any of the “protected groups” on Facebook’s demented list. How about not stirring fear and hatred against anybody, folks?
Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @_MwBp