Hungary has officially declared that it is preparing to issue a law against censorship by Big Tech, asserting that it has a duty to fight for digital freedom.
According to Breitbart News, Justice Minister Judith Varga lamented, “Today, anyone can be arbitrarily disconnected from the online space without any kind of official, transparent, or fair procedure, or opportunity for redress.”
“They could (arbitrarily) switch off bakers, hairdressers, pensioners, teachers, small businesses, and state leaders as well,” Varga said after a meeting with her ministry’s Digital Freedom Committee.
Varga assured that the deliberate digital attack influenced by ideological and political interests could not happen without any repercussions in Hungary. “Freedom is rarely given as a gift. We must now also fight for our digital freedom! Go Hungary!” she said.
The Hungarian government’s decision to tackle the censorship of Big Tech was reportedly motivated by the decision of Poland’s minister, Sebastian Kaleta in charge of leading a bill known as the Freedom Act.
The bill hopes to set up an independent body to hear appeals from social network users who have been censored or had their content removed from the platforms.
The Free Speech Board will have the power to order the reversal of censorship measures against users as determined by law and impose fines against technology companies that do not comply, according to Breitbart.
The Polish government became concerned once it began to observe censorship of Christian pages on Facebook. “We saw that many Big Tech firms started banning and removing content that presented the viewpoint of Christian society, of traditional society … on the basis of ‘hate speech,'” Kaleta said.
Meanwhile, last week, the Hungarian justice minister charged that Facebook was limiting Christian, conservative, and right-wing views, adding that companies could be penalized for “unfair commercial practices,” according to the Daily Mail.
The measures taken by Poland and Hungary come after Big Tech censored former President Donald Trump’s accounts, removing him indefinitely.
Conservative Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, had a close relationship with Trump. Orban fears that he could also be banned from social networks and that this could affect his chances for the next elections.
The Daily Mail details that the European Union has also imposed restrictions on Big Tech, but the new laws will apparently still take a few years to come into force, with Poland and Hungary the forerunners of anti-censorship measures.