Facebook removes page of Hungarian anti-Semitic website


(JTA) — Facebook removed an official fan page of Kuruc.info, a U.S.-based website in Hungarian that 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 the social network by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League and its Hungarian counterpart, the Budapest-based Action and Protection Foundation of the Jewish community.

Several Jewish organizations hailed the closure of the 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, and it acquired nearly 6,000 followers almost immediately.

Still, the ADL praised Facebook for closing the original page, 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 Nepszava, 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.”

Recommended from JTA