Facebook bans pro-Israeli Hungarian-Jewish news portal

Chief editor Jonatán Megyeri says Facebook gave no explanation for the ban and they have little means to appeal

Jonatán Megyeri, editor of Hungarian Jewish news portal Neokohn.
By Dénes Albert
4 Min Read

Hungarian-language Jewish news and opinion portal Neokohn‘s Facebook page became unavailable on Sunday morning after the social media giant deleted it, the news portal posted on their official website. They wrote that Meta had deleted the page of Neokohn.hu, which had 30,000 followers, without giving any reason, “which is outrageous because it makes it difficult to appeal.”

They added that “the last we heard, the site was going against the Meta Community Principles. Previously, Meta restricted our access on the grounds that we were a conservative-liberal Jewish site promoting (!) the Islamic State terrorist organization.”

Meta decided and then acted without giving any substantive reason, argues the news portal.

In connection with the incident, Mandiner contacted Rabbi Jonatán Megyeri, the editor-in-chief of Neokohn, to ask him to comment on what happened, what steps were taken in the case, and whether he had any ideas about the reasons behind the ban.

“We were informed of the blocking from an email. No explanation was given: No indication was given as to which article or image was the problem,” he added. “The problem is that Facebook is an — almost — inaccessible organization. There is an automated system, where we appealed, of course.”

He explained that it had happened before with the portal that Meta had objected to one or another article, but then they always indicated which article they had a problem with, and they tried to remedy the situation.

“Now, we don’t know what the reason for the ban was. And after a while, the administration interface was practically gone, so the site became inaccessible. In other words, there is no administrative interface where we can follow what is happening with our case,” said Rabbi Megyeri.

He further explained that they received a link in the email to the general operating rules, which was all they had to work with at first. As a next step, they informally contacted the officials at Facebook in Hungary, and now they are waiting.

“Our readers are already familiar with Neokohn, they know that we are a committed opinion site, so we make no secret of the fact that we have our views on various foreign policy issues. For example, our position on Israel is to take a total and unconditional stand for Israel,” Megyeri said. “We take that on board. We do not support any pro-terrorist movement. This is a conservative Jewish news portal, so it is pro-Israel by definition.”

He added: “If this is Meta’s problem, then we have a very big problem. I don’t know how long it has been a problem that someone supports the injured party in a war situation. If that was indeed the reason for our ban, it’s actually a violation of freedom of speech and a trampling of freedom of expression.”

In its mission statement, Neokohn defines itself as a “Jewish, conservative-liberal news and opinion portal.”

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