For a few months now, Poland and Hungary, two member states of the European Union accused for some time of limiting freedom of expression and the press within their national borders, have developed two social network To ensure far-right ideas are circulated, sometimes they are censored by large platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Polish society is called Albicla and Hungarian Hundub: both promise to “defend freedom of speech” and conservative right-wing values, such as those who wish to deny the rights of people in the LGBT + community.
Albicla and Hundub follow the model of the American social network Speak upIt is one of the sites most used by the American right as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter, especially afterKick By former US President Donald Trump from the major platforms this past January.
Polish Prime Minister Matthews Murawiecki, voiced by the far-right Law and Justice Party (PiS, abbreviated in Polish), Have commented The expulsion in a Facebook post saying that “neither the algorithms nor the owners of the multinationals must decide what is right and what is wrong”; Both the Polish and Hungarian governments Then they started To click on social networks to allow all content to be shared, even those from the far right.
According to Adrian Shahbaz, director of the “Technology and Democracy” program at the NGO that deals with civil rights, Freedom House, the decision to create social networks, so to speak, free of censorship is Particularly controversialBecause governments “that were the first to restrict freedom of the press are now pretending to be defending freedom of expression”.
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Albicla Social Network was introduced in Poland last January by the big publisher that publishes the populist right-wing weekly magazine. Gazeta Polska The same thing we owe to the posters that appeared in 2019 in self-proclaimed Polish cities.Free from LGBT ideology“.
In Albicla, its name is derived from Latin words Eagle I wearThis is the “white eagle,” a national symbol of Poland, and many law and justice officials signed up on the spot. Tomasz Sakiewicz, director Gazeta Polska One of Albicla’s most famous users, they argued that from that point on it would be up to the right to “ensure this world continues for free, especially online.”
The Hungarian social network Hundub was launched in Hungary shortly before, on December 6 (Hundub takes its name from the country and the Hungarian word “dub”, which means beehive).
It is not clear if the government was involved in its development, because as of the end of January the platform was owned by an offshore company based in Belize. According to the Hungarian newspaper The Hungarian nation, Very close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Hundub would have been an unsupervised Hungarian alternative to Facebook, which the government has said is treating Hungarian politicians unfairly.
In January, Hungary’s Minister of Justice, Judit Varja, who is considered very close to Orban, said that in her opinion the main social networks “limited the perception of Christian, conservative and right-wing views,” and in that sense they were guilty of crimes of “systematic violations” of the freedom of information.
In the past there have been several attempts to build a kind of “Polish Facebook”, Raval Pankowski, head of the Polish anti-fascist organization Nigdy Wiecej (which means “never again,”) said, but none of them were successful. ; For some time there was a type of “Polish YouTube,” called w Realu24Which, according to Pankowski, would prefer to post dangerous anti-Semitic and homophobic content.
According to different observers, Albicla and Hundub still have different limitations and will not be able to achieve the same popularity as the big social networks, which are still widely used in both Poland and Hungary. For comparison, the Polish social network has 73,000 users and the number of Hungarian users is less. About 40 thousand. According to the data collected on the Statista portal, however, in Poland they use Facebook About 23.5 million Of the 38 million people in the country, while in Hungary there are Facebook users Around 7 million Among the population of less than 10 million.
Both systems also appear to have large technology gaps. At the end of December, Hundub suffered from a major Internet attack, While Albicla later also showed that he had computer security issues. Already the day after its release, the data of thousands of Albicla’s accounts were visible online, while some hackers were able to Replace the logo From the social network, green and pink A with white eagle feather, with A with colors Rainbow flag, LGBT + community symbol.
Others have also created false profiles of Donald Trump or Pope John Paul II on Albikla, which were then removed, prompting the Polish social network to do something that went against its initial intentions: profiles or censorship information.
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