The government is about to introduce legislation in parliament that would allow blocking and filtering politically incorrect information disseminated from foreign servers. Almost all nationalist websites have been hosted on foreign servers in order to avoid political prosecution in Hungary.
If the legislation goes through it will violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers"
As a result, these sites will be blocked or will be forced to use highly metaphorical language to outsmart censors. This won't be new to Hungarians and in fact, to Eastern Europeans because in the Bolshevik era all area of life was censored.
Censorship has a big disadvantages for rulers. When a piece of information is suppressed it might come back as a rumor and will haunt those who expected benefit from it. This is a natural consequence of thought control; oppressed news is more detrimental to the rulers than they may think. The ambiguous nature of rumor fires up people's imagination and it has the tendency to proliferate.
For instance, the first Fidesz government was brought down by a whispering propaganda campaign focusing on PM Viktor Orbán alleged gypsy background. The government couldn't prevent the false information from spreading because it had no control over the underground communication channels.
Communism was based on censorship. Yet, the runners of the system even after sixty years of brainwashing the population doubted that they could maintain power without oppressive measures, which at the end brought them down. This should be a warning sign to all officials who think that oppressing information is an effective way of silencing critical voices.
Hungarian has the capacity to communicate any sorts of information in a colorful way by using figurative language; peppered with humor, this language makes information more digestible to the less educated segment of society.
It is also true that the government is pressured by the usual suspects to ban all discourses that have the potential of uncovering their deceptive activities. The government is controlled; there is a tremendous pressure on officials to oppress every information related to the activities of the controllers.
Whatever way we look at it censorship doesn't work and at the end always hurts those who employ it. Oppressed information is more attractive, and if once properly digested by the target audience it becomes rock solid “information” as it is absorbed subliminally. Gossips are delicious by nature and have the capacity to spread like wildfire. The reintroduction of censorship into society will solve nothing. It is sad that twenty years after the collapse of communism we are back to square one.
Posted by HungarianAmbiance at 9:49 AM