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Jan 19, 2021

Social media firms could face sanctions over "repeated abuses" of free speech

Justice Minister Judit Varga called a special meeting of the Digital Freedom Committee tasked with monitoring online space over what she says are violations of democratic norms by social media giants.

 

Justice Minister Judit Varga has said social media firms could face sanctions over "repeated abuses" of free speech.

According to MTI, Minister Varga called a special meeting of the Digital Freedom Committee tasked with monitoring online space over what she says are violations of democratic norms by social media giants.

Minister Varga said the firms were violating “all those fundamental democratic legal norms that form the basis of Western-type culture” by “shadow banning” certain users “for political purposes”. The minister cited a recently leaked recording of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in which he is heard telling staff members that the company’s policy enforcement actions would go “far beyond” the suspension of US President Donald Trump’s account.

The minister also accused Facebook of limiting “the visibility of Christian, conservative, right-wing opinions”, adding that she had “personal experience” of such practices. Minister Varga said the ministry is contributing to the EU regulation of global tech companies with the work of the Digital Freedom Committee, indicating the need to take prompt action. Hungary’s competition authority will discuss the possibility of sanctioning related unfair trading practices later in the week.