Facebook plays a key role in communication and public debates in all parts of the world, including Hungary. The American tech giant’s moderation practice, however, is regularly targeted by critics, a survey says.
According to VG, it is hard to support the opposing standpoints with empiric data in the different debates since most people do not have such information. Based on a 2019 survey representing the adult Hungarian population and done by the Institute of Information Society at the National University of Public Service,
10.1 pc of Hungarian Facebook users remember
at least one case when the company suspended their account or deleted one or more of their posts.
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People least affected by Facebook bans are those who have a school-leaving exam but do not obtain a degree (5.8 pc). Meanwhile, this number is higher among those who only finished 8 classes (14.7 pc). 36.5 pc of those who the company banned or deleted their comments appealed and asked for the abolishment of Facebook’s decision. However, 43.5 pc of the users did not remember receiving any answer to their message while 30.4 pc said that the company decided in their favour and, for example, restored their account.
Based on the results of the survey, 78.4 pc of Hungarian adults regularly use the internet and 79.3 pc check their Facebook at least once a month. That means that the target group of the American tech giant is at least 4.9 million people in Hungary, Péter Nádori, a researcher at the university, said in a blog post.
58.9 pc of the users are so-called “heavy users”,
which means that they are active on the page daily. In the case of women, this rate is even higher, at 64.4 pc.
As we reported before, Opposition Párbeszéd proposed a parliamentary decree under which the government would be obliged to give up its “attempts to restrict Facebook”. The party’s deputy parliamentary group leader, Bence Tordai, suggested that Facebook should operate under rules by the European Union rather than governed by member states. He said that the Hungarian government “has no tools” to exert such control, adding that “an anti-democratic regime” could not ensure the democratic operations of social media. He also suggested that the opposition should start talks on how to
counter Fidesz’s attempts at “censorship of Facebook”.
Earlier, the National Data Protection Authority criticised Facebook’s “fluctuating” practice of “unjustified” suspension of personal profiles. The authority suggested that the Hungarian government should draft rules under which profiles could only be suspended with a sound reason, and the Hungarian authority could overrule those decisions.