Facebook briefly deletes state television’s post on Orbán’s peace rally speech

The social media giant deleted a speech by Hungary's PM Viktor Orbán after claiming it "shared symbols associated with individuals and organizations classified as dangerous"

By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Social media giant Facebook deleted a video on Sunday of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at the June 1 Peace March, published on its site by state television channel M1, the TV station said in a news release.

Facebook justified the decision by saying that it believed the broadcaster had “shared symbols associated with individuals and organizations classified as dangerous, and glorified and supported dangerous individuals and organizations.”

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of Hungarians from across the country and Hungarian-inhabited regions of neighboring countries marched through downtown Budapest to Margaret Island on the Danube River.

The place has a strong symbolism for Hungarians: In the 13th century, Margit (or Margaret in English) was the daughter of King Béla IV, who essentially rebuilt his country from ruins after a Tartar invasion.

“We have come to Saint Margaret’s Island because this is the island of peace. Saint Margaret brought peace to the Hungarians. When the Tatars were laying waste to our country and our only hope was in prayer, the King offered his daughter to God in exchange for peace. And it came to pass: The Tatars decamped, peace arrived, and Saint Margaret withdrew to a monastery here,” Orbán said in his speech.

“Before Margaret, this place was called the Island of Rabbits, but today we are not interested in rabbits. This is no place for timid bunnies because what we need now is a great and courageous deed: We must win, and we must win the European elections in such a way that the bureaucrats in Brussels take fright, open the gates of their city before us, and hurriedly quit their offices.”

Although at the appeal of the television channel Facebook restored the post later on Sunday, it remains unclear what originally prompted the ban, since neither the speech, the peaceful march, nor the pro-peace banners carried by the crowd contained anything offensive.

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