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KINJA IN HUNGARY

Friday, July 15, 2016

Table of Contents
Executive Summary

Personnel

Potentially Problematic Coverage of Hungary


Cink.hu

Gawker.com

HUNGARIAN MEDIA REGULATION:


Perspectives from the United States and Non-Euroskeptics

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Gawker Media is a leading entertainment and news outlet serving an almost exclusively
U.S. audience. The technical developers who support the site, and their commenting- and adsupporting software, Kinja, which supports the site, have had a headquarters based in Hungary.
That company, under the same Hungarian registration number, has gone by various names since
it opened in 2002. For tax purposes, Gawker Media also has an outpost in the Cayman Islands. In
its years of operation, Gawker Media has perpetually crossed both ethical and U.S. legal grounds
in its blogging, attracting particular heat for its publishing of revenge pornography and enabling
extortion.
In 2012, Gawker Media started operating a news blog, Cink.hu (translating, in English, to
Zinc.hu), specifically targeting a Hungarian audience. Like its American-audience counterparts,
Cink reporters repeatedly presented a distorted, left-wing perspective of political events. Cinks
editorial line was generally against Hungarian President Viktor Orban, as well as his party
Fidesz. Editors critiques of far-right Hungarian party Jobbik may have skated into legal territory
that the Hungarian judiciary had previously ruled as defamatory. Though a 2013 defamation
court ruling against a historian who had described Jobbik as neo-Nazi has since been
overturned. For its part, to American readers, Gawker.com has variously described the Orban
government as autocratic and xenophobic. Potentially litigable instances of Cinks
descriptions of both Jobbik and the Fidesz government are described in the section of this report
titled Potentially Problematic Coverage of Hungary.
Gawker Media Group Inc is connected to this Cayman Island address: "US 1034GT
GRAND CAYMAN HARBOUR PLACE 103, more details about which became available
through the Panama Papers database. In 2014, Gawkers overseas staffing attracted a semicomplimentary Gawker.com comment from former staffer Jamel Del.
Starting in late 2015, Cink began laying off its authors. Gawker CEO Nick Denton
liked this tweet around the same time congratulating Cink on finishing up. A 24.hu article, in
May, detailed Gawker Medias foreign operations, its legal woes, and seemed to mildly call into
question the legality of Gawker Medias financial manuevering. Though, a June Cink.hu article,
which Google Translate messily interprets, from author Lszl Szily, seems to suggest a return
of the website.

PERSONNEL
Pter Szsz
Director, Budapest Office, Gawker Media
Date of Birth: July 23, 1976
Pter Szsz, as apparent through his Github, is also a developer contributing to anti-Orbn
site, Fuck NER. This is the URL for Fuck NER: http://fuckner.hu/. Fuck NER Facebook page
has a URL in English meaning Orban dirt: https://www.facebook.com/koszorban/
Fuck NER little content but links out to other websites bashing the Orban government.
Szasz has made some contributions to Gawker's Hungarian blog here: http://cink.hu/
A collaborator with Szasz, whose last contribution to Gawker visible on Github was in 2014, is
one Bodnr Istvn. The later gentleman has recent Kinja contributions on this
page: https://libraries.io/github/bodnaristvan
This "Szsz Pter" is Facebook friends with Kinja administrator Attila Talos, who is friends with
Nick Denton.
Szasz, Peter shows up, among current and former directors, on Page 50 of a June 20, 2016 New
York state bankruptcy filing for Gawker et al [PDF]. On that full list are Albertson, Josh;
Darbyshire, Gabrielle; Denton, Nicholas; Dietrick, Heather; Epstein, Jason; Fette, Ian; Holden,
William; Kidder, Scott; Plunkett, Thomas; Szasz, Peter; Tillman, Scott; and Weinbrecht, Adrian.

Lszl Szily
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laszlo.szily
Facebook post commenting on the Hogan trial:
https://www.facebook.com/laszlo.szily/posts/10154072112304529
Hungarian article on the death of the poor-performing Cink.hu.
http://index.hu/kultur/media/2015/09/03/megszunik_a_cink.hu/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_mediu
m=twitter
Links to this page, a Lszl Szily obituary for Gawker Hungarian property, in English,
"Zinc."
http://cink.hu/hoppa-vege-a-cinknek-1728454974
Szily worked with these staff, which he names (haphazard Google translation;
source at page):

Csekey "Jihad Jihad" Ildi, Russia 'Dendi' Peter Klag "Klage" David
Zubrecki "Urbanist" David Szucs "Captain America" Donatus, Farmers'
Stinking of the Earth, "Albert, Inkei" People's Daddy "Bence and Wine"
Magician " Andrew were both completely strong, interesting and
entertaining personalities pity that one so we could not jam ever.
The Cink author describes it as having been not a "normal," but an "occasional"
project: "Zinc is terminated only way to hip hop because it was already not
normal media product, but an occasional project."
Articles: http://444.hu/author/szily
(1) Article on Orban's views on the migrant/refugee crisis, alleged "homophobia:"
http://444.hu/2016/03/15/a-legstreberebb-fideszesekkel-aztam-vegig-orban-tanar-urbeszedet-a-debil-utcai-altalanos-marcius-15-i-unnepsegen

Jlia Huszr
Former managing director of Blogwire Inc., (At least) 2009-2012: Jlia Huszr
Blogwire Inc. based at: 1029 Orange Street, Wilmington, Delaware, USA.

Francis Scott Key Kidder


Former managing director of Kinja Ltd., 2012: Francis Scott Key Kidder
Kidder address: 30 Monroe Place, Apartment, 2A, Brooklyn, New York, United STates
Francis Kidder website: http://notes.scottkidder.com/
2011 Gawker/Blogwire Budapest staff group photo, via Kidder's Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/skidder/6059284168/in/set-72157627469467852
Kidder's Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/skidder] says he departed Gawker in Dec. 2015:
https://www.facebook.com/skidder/timeline/story?ut=32&wstart=2051193600&wend=2147483647&hash=10101260413637769&pagefilter=3&ustart=1

Attila Talos
Owner, administrator and registrant of Kinja assets.
Talos is apparently the owner of a winery.
http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/undiscovered-hungarian-wine
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Talos Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/attila.talos.71


In March 2012, Talos recommended a Business Insider post ridiculing Nick Denton for
publishing Brian Williams email address. Talos is Facebook friends with Nick Denton.
Out of approximately 900 visible friends, Talos is friends with 11 Horvaths.
As of 2003, Nick Denton was organizing a party at Attila Talos wine bar. In another late 2003
post, blog author Rick E. Bruner chose to delete allegations from a site
called leavesrustle.com(possibly related to a posting on this website). Archive.org says its
earliest copy of that article is from late 2011.

Herczeg Zoltn
As of 2014, was an auditor of Kinja.
A Hungarian clothing designer and photographer, as evident through his personal website.
The particular Zoltan is evident due to this Cink.hu posting.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/herczeg.zoltan.585

POTENTIALLY PROBLEMATIC
COVERAGE OF HUNGARY
CINK.HU
Cink.hu Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cinkhungary/
On the Hulk Hogan lawsuit
http://cink.hu/szabadsag-vagy-halal-hulk-hogan-megsemmisitheti-a-gawk-1711372617
Accusing of Nazism
2014 article seeming to comment on Jobbik in relationship to Nazism
Although the eruption tours of the most important rituals of the Hungarian neo-Nazi /
hungarista movement - the siege of Budapest enclosed German and Hungarian soldiers
attempted breakout remember this time - that, no, not officially a Nazi Jobbik has
organized itself in such buda. In Novak attended predecessor and - what does God - on
the heel slipped out what the participants of the previous day in 1500 declared the
outbreak a real Nazi kneaded up ankle boots.
2015 article headline seeming to accuse the head of a soccer club of being affiliated with
Nazism.
[HEADLINE]: Deutsch club president standing next to a letter MTK, many Nazi drapery
2013 article accusing Jobbik of anti-Semitism
2014 article comment by Gawker Media Hungarian Director Pter Szsz accusing Jobbik of Nazi
sympathies because of an official party phone number containing the number 88.
This effort, a struggle between desire and pussy cowardice of ncisg from the inside,
this deds szamrflezs pace, this beautifully displayed at the central telephone
number 365-14-88, which is pretty clear indication implemented all year round and white
supremacist program , but it can deny and cynically attributed to chance in case you ever
ask someone.
2014 article accusing Orban engaging in revisionist history about the Nazi occupation with
monument.
Related 2014 article also accusing Orbans party engaging in revisionist history of the
Nazi occupation.
Arguably promoting drug use
2013 article headline possibly promoting LSD use.

Potential public morality violations


2013 article with hosted video of protesting, semi-nude university students.
Miscellaneous
2015 article headline seeming to accuse of illegal behavior

GAWKER.COM
2014 article describes Hungarian government as an autocracy for its press regulation measures.
2015 article describes Hungarian government as xenophobic.

HUNGARIAN MEDIA REGULATION:


Perspectives from the United States and Non-Euroskeptics
Freedom House, in 2011, on 2010 Hungarian media legislation:
The law bans content that insults human dignity or that discriminates against any
majority or any church or religious group. The legislation extends registration
requirements to print and online media, a step that sharply contrasts with internationally
accepted norms, and greatly expands the circumstances under which journalists can be
forced to reveal their sources. Finally, the new regulatory regime has developed a model
of co-regulation that amounts to outsourcing censorship to media owners in exchange for
immunity from fines, which can otherwise be levied up to 2 million forints
(approximately $950,000) for radio and television outlets.
Human Rights Watch, in 2011, on Hungarian media law:
The new law creates a media control body, with members appointed by the ruling party in
parliament. All media outlets will be required to register with the body to operate
lawfully.
The panel will be able to impose fines of up to 700,000 (approximately $900,000) on
media outlets for "imbalanced news coverage," material it considers "insulting" to a
particular group or "the majority" or it deems to violate "public morality." "Gross"
violations can result in denial of registration. The law also removes legal protection
against the disclosure of journalists' sources, with wide grounds for the media authority to
order disclosure.
Daily Mail, in 2011, on Hungarian media law:
The new law, which came into force on New Year's Day, sets in place a new media
authority dominated by appointees of the ruling Fidesz party which will oversee all
public news production.
The body, which has five members, can also levy big fines on media it deems
'unbalanced' or 'offensive to human dignity'.
Journalists can be forced to identify their sources and the right to secrecy will only be
upheld if it is in the public interest. There will be also be limits on 'crime-related news'
Jurist.org, in 2011, on Hungarian media law:
The new law, which entered into force this week, creates the National Media and
Communications Authority (NMHH) [official website, in Hungarian], which controls
private television and radio broadcasters, newspapers and online news sites. Under the
new law, the government can fine broadcasters more than 700,000 euros and newspapers
and news websites roughly 90,000 euros if their coverage is deemed unbalanced or

immoral by the media authority, whose members are all loyal to the ruling Fidesz
party [party website, in Hungarian].
Library of Congress, in 2011, on Hungarian media law:
Act 185 of 2010 on Media Services and Mass Media creates the National Media and
Infocommunications Authority (Nemzeti Mdia- s Hrkzlsi Hatsg, NMHH), to
oversee all public news production; that is, private television and radio broadcasters,
newspapers and online news sites. (Belczyk, supra.) The functions of the NMHH, and of
its three component entities (the president, the Media Council, and the Bureau of the
NMHH) are covered under chapter 1 of Part Four of the Act, on supervision of media
services and press products(arts. 109-202). (Act CLXXXV of 2010 on Media Services
and Mass Media [in English], NMHH website,
http://www.nmhh.hu/dokumentum.php?cid=25694 (last visited Jan. 7, 2011).)
The five-member Media Council is an independent body of the Authority reporting to
Parliament and possessing the status of a legal person. The Media Council is the legal
successor of the National Radio and Television Commission (id. art. 123(1)). The
President and four members of the Media Council are elected by Parliament, with a twothirds majority of the votes of the members in attendance, for a term of nine years (id. art.
124(1)).
Article 182 of the Act sets forth the scope of responsibilities and competence of the
Media Council. It would appear to have the power to determine, for example, whether
certain media coverage is unbalanced or what constitutes an event of considerable
importance to Hungarian society for purposes of media coverage and to rein in selfregulatory bodies if necessary:
Acting in its capacity as an Authority, the Media Council in accordance with
Article 132 [on the responsibilities of the Media Council]:

(u) shall proceed in relation to complaints on imbalanced communication that


may arise in media services provided by media service providers with significant
powers of influence and by public service broadcasters (under article 13 (2) of the
Press and Media Act and Article 12 of this Act);
(v) shall define events with high importance for the society under its official
decision;
(y) shall perform its tasks in its capacity as an authority related to the actions and
decisions of self-regulatory bodies; . (Id. art. 182.)
The Act also proscribes certain types of commercials; for example, those that infringe
upon human dignity; contain or support discrimination on grounds of gender, racial or
ethnic origin, nationality, among other grounds; or directly invite minors to purchase a
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certain product (id. art. 24(1)). Restrictions on advertisements for alcohol are separately
enumerated (id. art. 24(2)).
In cases of infringement of regulations on media administration, the Media Council has
the right to impose fines and other punitive measures (e.g., suspension of service,
termination of contract) on the infringer (arts. 185-187). The limits on fines for
infringement are set as follows:
for media service providers that fall under the regulations on limitation of media
market concentration, up to HUF200 million (roughly US$950,000);
for a media service provider beyond the scope of the above item, up to HUF50
million;
for a newspaper of nationwide distribution or for an online media product, up to
HUF25 million;
for a weekly periodical of nationwide distribution, up to HUF10 million;
for other newspaper or weekly newspaper or periodical or for a broadcaster, up to
HUF5 million; and
for an intermediary service provider, up to HUF3 million. (Id. art. 187.)
The New Federalist, in 2011, on Hungarian media law:
The new media constitution creates a media authority which can impose fines of up to
750.000 upon broadcasters and newspapers for violating public interest, public morals
or order, without explicitly defining these concepts.
Freedom House, in 2014, on Hungarian media law:
The Hungarian penal code places a number of restrictions on freedom of speech through
provisions that prohibit incitement to hatred, incitement to violence, incitement against a
community, and denial of genocides committed by national socialist or communist
systems. Defamation remains a criminal offense in Hungary, and both defamation and
related chargesfor example, breach of good repute and hooliganismare regularly
brought against journalists and other writers. In March 2013, a historian was found guilty
of breach of good repute for calling the far-right party Jobbik neo-Nazi and ordered to
pay a small fine and issue an apology. Such punishments are not the norm, howeverat a
conference in November, a representative of the Organization for Cooperation and
Security in Europe noted that even with the option to pursue a civil suit, Hungarian
political figures more often press criminal charges in defamation cases. Under a
November 2013 amendment to the penal code, anyone who knowingly creates or
distributes false or defamatory video or audio recordings may now face a prison sentence
of one to three years. The impetus for the amendment was a fabricated video published
by the news website HVG.hu in October. The video shows locals apparently being bribed
to vote for the ruling Fidesz party ahead of interim elections in the southern city of Baja.
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The communications director for the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP) resigned after
admitting that he had submitted the tape to HVG, though he insisted he had not known
the events depicted in the tape had been staged.
[]
The restructuring of Hungarys media regulation system began in 2010, when Prime
Minister Viktor Orbns Fidesz party used its parliamentary supermajority to pass
numerous mutually reinforcing legislative changes, tightening government control of the
broadcast sector and extending regulation to print and online media. In July of that year,
it amended the constitution, removing a passage on the governments obligation to
prevent media monopolies. It then consolidated media regulation under the supervision of
a single entity, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH), whose
members are elected by a two-thirds majority in the parliament and whose leader also
chairs a five-person Media Council tasked with content regulation. The law gives the
head of the NMHH the right to nominate the executive directors of all public media. The
structure and broadly defined competencies of the NMHH and Media Council were
outlined in subsequent legislation, including the Press and Media Act of November 2010
and the so-called Hungarian Media Law, which was adopted in December 2010 and came
into effect on January 1, 2011. Though they share a leader and consist entirely of Fidesz
nominees, the NMHH and Media Council are theoretically autonomous, both from the
government and from each other.
[]
Following a December 2011 ruling by the Constitutional Court, Hungarys parliament
approved revisions to media legislation in 2012 that addressed 11 of the 66
recommendations made by the Council of Europe. The changes excluded print and online
media from the scope of the sanctioning powers of the NMHH; revoked the media
authoritys right to demand data from media service providers, publishers, and program
distributors; deleted a provision limiting the confidentiality of journalists sources to
stories serving the public interest; and eliminated the position of media commissioner, an
appointee of the NMHH president with the authority to initiate proceedings that do not
involve violations of the law and whose decisions can be enforced by NMHH-issued
fines and sanctions. The unamended provisions of the law still allow the Media Council
to fine a media outlet for inciting hatred against nations, communities, minorities, or
even majorities. If found to be in violation of the law, radio and television stations may
receive fines proportional to their market powera number that may reach up to 200
million forints ($914,000). These fines, which are collected as taxes by the Hungarian
Tax Authority (NAV), can be demanded even before an appeals process is initiated.
Since coming into force, the law had reportedly been used against 49 media outlets as of
September 1, 2013. Under the Media Law, the Media Council can initiate a regulatory
procedure in the case of unbalanced reporting and, ultimately, it can also suspend the
right to broadcast.

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[]
In July 2011, the NMHH concluded public administration agreements on media coregulation with four Hungarian media self-regulatory bodies: the Association of
Hungarian Content Providers (MTE), the Advertising Self-Regulatory Body (RT), the
Association of Hungarian Publishers (MLE), and the Association of Hungarian
Electronic Broadcasters (MEME). These formerly independent bodies are now
responsible for ensuring compliance with NMHH content rules and risk becoming
instruments of censorship.
[]
In line with an EU directive on combating child pornography, the government made some
specific attempts to regulate online media in 2013. In July, revisions to the criminal code
came into effect requiring internet service providers to block content deemed illegal by a
court order. Websites hosting illegal content are placed on a non-public blacklist,
operated by the NMHH. The vaguely worded amendment, which was condemned by
domestic and international actors for threatening freedom of expression, allows the
government to take action if ISPs fail to heed the blocking orders.
Background on speech laws in Hungary, via Freedom
House: https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2015/hungary

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