Hungary 🇭🇺 is a Central European country which practices Christianity. Censorship was pervasive during the communist regime between 1956 and 1989.

General censorship[]

The Hungarian communist regime, after the Soviets regained the power in 1956, was much less eager to ban than other communist regimes in the area. They realized that by looking the other way regarding mildly subversive material they can provide a safe release valve to both the artists and the populace. (Anything directly calling for the end of the regime was still banned.) Hungary had a significant hard rock scene during the communist era with even heavy metal and punk starting up in the late '70s and the '80s.

Book censorship[]

  • The Red Lion - this book by Maria Szepes was banned for 40 years after the Hungarian communist regime considered it "nonconformist" at the time.

Film censorship[]

  • Frankenstein (1931) - This film was submitted for release and banned for four times during the 1930s for horroristic content, alongside other American horror films. However, between the late 30s and the early 40s, regional film thaters were allowed to screen said films as limited showings and most of the classic Universal horror films were finally released nationwide on DVD in 2004.
  • Jud Süss - this Nazi propaganda film was banned in 1945 due to its anti-Jewish and pro-Nazi content.
  • Song of the Cornfields - this drama film was banned between 1947 and 1979 for being too "clerical" and its depiction of prisoners held by the Soviets and religious values.
  • Keserű igazság (Bitter Truth) - this film was banned between 1956 and 1986 for its criticism of the forced industralisation of Hungary.
  • Eltüsszentett birodalom (An Empire Sneezed Away) - this film was banned between 1956 and 1989 due to its depiction of a monarch who shared similarities with the dictatorship of Hungarian communist leader Mátyás Rákosi.
  • A Remarkable Case - this film was banned between 1957 and 1984 due to its depiction of the dictatorship of communist leader Mátyás Rákosi.
  • A tanú (The Witness) - this film was banned between 1969 and 1981 under the communist regime for almost a decade, due to its satire of the regime. After its ban, the film gained a cult following, which endures after over 50 years. The film was banned again in 1998 for featuring an explicit depiction of animal abuse. The scene was later cut, resulting in the film's ban being overturned in 2010, with a release with a 12 rating.
  • Bástyasétány '74 (Bastion promenade '74) - this film was banned between 1974 and 1984 for unclear reasons.
  • Dream Brigade - this film was banned between 1983 and 1989 for being too radical.
  • ÁVOs - this Magyar Televízió film about the ÁVO (State Protection Authority) was banned due to a complaint from Mazshisz (Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary) due to its exaggeration of the perpetrators' origins.
  • Törvénytelen szocializmus ("Illegal Socialism") - this 1994 Magyar Televízió film was also banned due to a complaint from Mazshisz (Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary) due to its exaggeration of the perpetrators' origins.
  • Harry Potter - this film series was banned during the Orbán administration due to the series featuring a gay character, Albus Dumbledore. However, the film series was unbanned after 12 days, but re-rated and rated 18.

Internet censorship[]

There is no OpenNet Initiative (ONI) country profile, but Hungary is shown as no evidence of filtering in all areas (political, social, conflict/security, and internet tools) on the ONI global internet filtering maps.

There are no reports that the government monitors e-mail or internet chat rooms. Individuals and groups engage in the peaceful expression of views via the internet, including by e-mail.

On 15 July 2014, at the request of Hungary's National Tax and Customs Authority, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority temporarily blocked access to seven gambling-related sites for three months. An up-to-date list of blocked gambling related sites is published by the Tax and Customs Authority.

The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and of the press, and the government generally respects these rights in practice. The constitution and law prohibit arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government generally respects these prohibitions in practice.

European Commissioner Kroes, NGOs, and the foreign press raised concerns that provisions of the new media laws requiring balanced reporting and registration of media outlets lacked clear limits and could be interpreted to include blogs. The government and the National Media and Infocommunication Authority (NMHH) argued that, in practice, blogs would be exempt from these requirements on the basis that they are not considered "business endeavors."

In October 2014, thousands of Hungarians protested in Budapest against a planned new tax on internet data transfers, which they said would not only increase the tax burden but would also curb fundamental democratic rights and freedoms. The draft tax bill contains a provision for internet providers to pay a tax of 150 forints (60 U.S. cents) per gigabyte of data traffic, though it would also let companies offset corporate income tax against the new levy On 29 October, 2014 an estimated 100,000 Hungarians marched in protest of the tax on internet data Internet developer Zsolt Varady addressed the marchers, saying "The internet tax is a symbol of the government's despotism...We not only need to defeat the tax, we need to believe that we are capable of criticising and influencing the state." One-time socialist party member and critic of the tax, Balazs Gulyas who inspired the week of growing protests from Facebook said, "This is limiting free access to the internet and information...It is an attempt to create a digital iron curtain around Hungary." Government representative Zoltan Kovacs denied the tax was meant to curtail debate not controlled by the ruling Fidesz party

Television censorship[]

  • The Owl House - this animated series in 2021 was banned from the Hungarian TV due to its "assassination of children's mental health", meaning that its LGBT content, the depiction of which in media aimed at youth is illegal in the country, due to a law enacted in 2021. While the television ban has not yet been lifted, the dub premiered on January 2022 via the language options offered by Disney +, then on June, the first season was made available for streaming.

Instances of television censorship[]

  • Unikitty! - The scenes from the episodes revolving around Unikitty going on rage mode is cut.

External links[]