Hungarian Justice Minister congratulates Elon Musk, and expresses hope that all opinions will remain visible on Twitter
April 27. 2022. – 09:06 AM
Both Fidesz and the right wing Mi Hazánk welcomed the news that Elon Musk is buying Twitter, after the company’s board of directors accepted the billionaire’s offer of 44 billion dollars.
“We can only hope that Twitter will be a space where each opinion – regardless of political affiliation – will remain equally visible”
– Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga commented on her Twitter page, quoting Elon Musk’s statement that “free speech is essential to a functioning democracy”.
In recent years, Varga has expressed regular criticism about the operation of Facebook and Twitter. A year and a half ago for example, she complained that Facebook was limiting the reach of her posts. “We see what is happening in the world. It is clear that the powers behind the global tech companies are even capable of influencing the outcome of elections. We must not be naive, and we should be prepared for every eventuality, and make the operation and decisions made by these global companies transparent” – she said.
Two months later, on her Facebook page she wrote about Christian, conservative, right-wing opinions being restricted in social media. She believes that Facebook and Twitter are using “shadowbans”, i.e. “they are limiting our user profile’s visibility based on a political agenda, in secret, without us being aware of it”. Last January she even made a promise that the Justice Ministry would soon be submitting a bill to Parliament about regulating the Hungarian operations of large tech companies. “Deliberate, ideological or commercially motivated digital damage must no longer go unpunished in Hungary either!" – she wrote at the time.
László Torockai, president of the right-wing Mi Hazánk (Our Homeland) Movement has been fighting a similar battle with Facebook. The social media site suspended his page in 2019, and he even sued the company over this.
Torockai also reacted positively to Musk’s decision. “We occupied Budapest’s Andrássy út before Pride could, and Elon Musk bought Twitter. There will be a family parade, and free speech (at least here)” – the party’s chairman wrote on Twitter. (Background: Mi Hazánk reserved the usual route of the Budapest Pride Parade before the LGBTQI-movement did, for the exact day Pride will be held this year.)
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