Media execs oppose censoring hate speech

Laws designed to control hate speech in the press can constrain freedom of the press, according to news directors and managers of major media who gathered to discuss the issue in a meeting of the Media Research Institute, the research arm of the Media Authority.

The discussion was intended to let media representatives air their views on hate speech regulations. Its moderator, Media Council member András Koltay, said the discussion will help the Council to apply hate speech regulations.

Hate speech in Hungary is regulated by the courts under the country’s criminal code, although this provision has been rarely applied. The new media laws prohibits content that offends “human dignity,” a common provision in European media regulation. Hungary’s media law also prohibits content that offends or excludes “nations, communities, national, ethnic, linguistic and other minorities or any majority as well as any church or religious groups nations,” a provision that media experts, the Council of Europe, and human rights groups have criticized for being overly broad and restrictive of freedom of expression.