Hungary’s Justice Minister Judit Varga announced that “systematic abuses” of freedom of expression by tech giants should be addressed by the current government.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Varga said the platform “limits the visibility of Christian, conservative, right-wing opinions” through shadowbans, violating “all those fundamental democratic legal norms that form the basis of Western-type culture.”
“I also have personal experience of that,” she claimed, referring to restrictions on “the visibility and access of a user profile without its knowledge about it.”
Varga explained to her followers that she will meet with members of the country’s competition watchdog this week to tackle what she calls “unfair commercial practices.”
She also cited a recording of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey telling his staff that enforcement actions against problematic accounts would go “far beyond” the permanent suspension of Donald Trump.
The Minister for Justice has also convened an extraordinary meeting of the country’s Digital Freedom Committee to discuss the matter, following Angela Merkel’s criticism of Twitter’s expulsion of the US president.
Varga’s comments, made to her 120,000 Facebook followers, come just days after Poland also announced it was considering fines for social media companies that remove content which staff deem offensive.
“The censorship of freedom of speech, the domain of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, is returning today in the form of a new, commercial mechanism fighting against those who think differently,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on January 12.
Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro had announced before Christmas that the government was drafting a law to protect freedom of expression online.
“It’s not uncommon that representatives of various groups operating in Poland fall victim to ideological censorship when seeing their content removed or blocked from the internet,” he explained.
If passed, the law would prohibit social media companies from removing any content except for that which breaches Polish law.