This propaganda is going to get unhinged | Kenan Malik

Viktor Orban’s antisemitic, White nationalist Hungary is the one European country to turn a blind eye to the problem of profit-driven Silicon Valley companies sweeping the world with their content. But here’s the kicker:…

This propaganda is going to get unhinged | Kenan Malik

Viktor Orban’s antisemitic, White nationalist Hungary is the one European country to turn a blind eye to the problem of profit-driven Silicon Valley companies sweeping the world with their content. But here’s the kicker: Orban’s government has increased the power of the country’s security services over internet companies in general, and Facebook in particular. As one of its top priorities, the Hungarian government wants the social media giant to remove nearly every comment, image, video and image posted on the internet by its citizens.

For a national security problem, this seems unlikely. What can a national security agency possibly do to stamp out an Austrian tip about dirt buried under Vienna’s Danube River? Alternatively, the Hungarian government could try to block Amazon from selling books by its favorite authors.

I must say, I’m even impressed by the loyalty Orban’s ruling Fidesz party shows to Facebook. As the GOP stumbles, and the entire world worries about the cyberwar that the U.S. bears with China and Russia, the far-right Fidesz party looks to another free-market GOP ethos to defend them: that the positive benefits of the internet, and the free market which it created, should be their unquestioned right to withdraw its protections and content from the greedy Silicon Valley giants.

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Fidesz’s rulers that pulling their content from Facebook’s platform could at best lead to their offline commercial exploitation and cyberpromiscuity, and at worst to a host of new violations of basic rules of online freedom and copyright protection. And that’s unless they’re willing to accept the fact that the web represents the one true global, free-trade system that still possesses some kind of free-market goodness.

Europe, not the U.S., should take the lead on regulating social media companies

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