Twitter has suspended About Hungary, an official account of the Hungarian government from Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s communication office, in what is seen as a dramatic escalation of censorship against the government of a European Union member state.
Zoltán Kovács, the secretary of state for International Communication and Relations in the Prime Minister’s Office, has decried Twitter’s actions, stating, “The beautiful new world has finally arrived, in which tech giants are silencing those who hold different opinions. We have taken the necessary steps and are awaiting an official explanation from Twitter.”
2/2 … the beautiful new world has finally arrived, in which tech giants are silencing those who hold different opinions. We have taken the necessary steps and are awaiting an official explanation from Twitter.
— Zoltan Kovacs (@zoltanspox) September 30, 2020
The suspension of the @AboutHungary account follows in the wake of the suspension of Polish English-language state media outlet Poland Daily. Remix News printed an exclusive interview from Polish Editor-in-Chief Tomasz Sakiewicz, who is responsible for Poland Daily, just this morning, in which he slammed social media giants for actively censoring conservative voices.
(Update: About Hungary’s Twitter account has been restored but no explanation has been offered as to why it is was suspended).
Although About Hungary’s Twitter profile’s biography stated, “From the International Communications Office of the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister,” it did not appear to dissuade the company from suspending the account.
Sakiewicz, in his interview, said that despite the Polish Ministry of Digitization appealing directly to Twitter about the suspension, the account has not been restored.
Although Poland Daily is a state media outlet, Twitter has not — as of yet — taken the step of banning any of Poland’s official government accounts on Twitter. With the latest suspension of About Hungary, the tech giant appears to have gone a step further in the case of Hungary.
Although Hungary is a member state of the European Union and features a democratically elected government, states such as Iran still have all their government accounts up and running, such as Iran’s Foreign Ministry.
The Twitter account of Remix News was also suspended on the same day as About Hungary’s suspension.