The freedom of press has died in Hungary recently. YouTube deleted our channel with no explanation, but later explained its decision with several different, contradictory reasons. PestiSrácok.hu and PsTV are official, registered content providers in accordance with European Union rules, not just a vlogging channel brought together by teenagers in a basement. The cancellation of our channel recalls the age of the most severe censorship, of which we Hungarians have had plenty of in the course of history.
We stood up against Google and organised a protest next to their Hungarian HQ. Many of our colleagues and several other freedom fighters raised their voices against Big Tech censorship. One of our allies, Hunor Hoppál pointed it out that we are actually fighting for the same thing as we fought in 1848: the freedom of press.
YouTube is the enemy of free speech
One of our colleagues, Zsolt Jeszenszky stated that YouTube has gone way too far in terms of censorship, which goes against the Hungarian constitution.
Safe Society has a very good point
Safe Society Foundation reassured us of their support and explained that YouTube and Big Tech in general must obey the Hungarian constitution with no exception. Tech giants can’t just censor independent media outlets working in accordance with the Hungarian law just because they don’t like them. Their community guidelines can’t overwrite the Hungarian law, they stated.
László Földi, president of Safe Society Foundation raised the question why we could not come up with something that could make us independent of the enemy’s will. We are protesting here, demanding rights, but the war still goes on. And if the enemy has more weapons in their hands, and we have only ammunition, i.e. words, it will not be enough for us. We have to switch to a new strategy, we need new systems, but the existing ones must not be allowed to be destroyed! The attention of those in charge must be drawn to the fact that in war, we don’t only need ammunition, but also a weapon to shoot it out of. The enemy will not give us weapons, but with their platforms they have one they can defeat us with.
What an era to be alive
During the protest Gergely Huth, the main editor of the PsTV and pestisracok.hu held a speech with a bag in his hands which contained a little gift for Mr. Pál Bíró, the head of YouTube Hungary. When he finished, he reached to his bag and revealed what’s inside. Yes, as you can see, it was a Lenin statue to represent the era Google reminds us of.
Unfortunately, they didn’t accept it. The protest ended well, with some meaningful thoughts. We do hope that we get our channel back. Although we already took legal actions, Google doesn’t seem to be very communicative. Let’s hope the best.