Facebook removed an official fan page of Kuruc.info — a U.S.-based website in Hungarian which features anti-Semitic hate speech and propaganda by Hungary’s ultranationalist Jobbik Party.
The removal on Wednesday of the Facebook page, which had garnered 70,000 followers, came following a plea to Facebook by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League, or ADL, and its Hungarian counterpart, the Hungarian Jewish community’s Budapest-based Action and Protection Foundation.
Several Jewish organizations hailed the closure of the Facebook page as an important step toward limiting the reach of the anti-Semitic, anti-Roma, homophobic and anti-Democratic messages of Jobbik, Hungary’s third largest party.
But within hours, individuals with ties to Kuruc were able to open a new page on Facebook, a social network run by Facebook Inc. — an American private company whose main offices are based in Menlo Park, California, south of San Francisco. Kuruc’s new Facebook page acquired nearly 6,000 followers almost immediately after its opening.
Still, the ADL praised Facebook for closing the original Facebook page of Kuruc, which ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said was “conveying threats against Jews and Roma, inciting to violence, spreading vile anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, all of which are crimes in Hungary.”
According to Laszlo Bartus, editor-in-chief of the Amerikai Magyar Népszava, the oldest Hungarian-language paper in the United States, Hungarian authorities have tried to shut down Kuruc.info but failed because its servers are based in the U.S., which has more liberal legislation than Hungary’s on the limits of free speech.
“The deletion of the Facebook page of Kuruc.info is a first victory,” said Joel Rubinfeld, co-chair of the European Jewish Parliament. “Now, the actual website Kuruc.info, which is the non-official front of the Jobbik neo-Nazi party, must be shut down. In the interest of preventing the repetition of worst times of European history, it is high time for turning off the cyber faucets of hate.”