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Facebook blocks fascist party's official profile, including Slovak politician's personal page

24.4.2017 6:47
Marian Kotleba wearing the logo of his
Marian Kotleba wearing the logo of his "People's Party Our Slovakia", which is very similar to the emblem of the WWII-era Hlinka Guard, the militia maintained by the Slovak People's Party in the period from 1938 to 1945, when Slovakia was a client state of Nazi Germany. (PHOTO: Wikipedia.org).

At the start of April the Facebook social network began blocking the official profile of the fascist party called "Kotleba-People's Party Our Slovakia" (Kotleba –Ľudová strana Naše Slovensko) and several other pages administered by its supporters, including the profile of party chair Marián Kotleba. Other blocked Facebook pages include, for example, the profile of Slovak MP Milan Mazurek, who is the vice-chair of the ĽSNS, and Milan Uhrík, the probable candidate for the party in Nitra, where he plans to run for Regional Governor.

Several other Facebook pages related to the party were also blocked, such as ones called "Marťan z Kuchajdy" (The Martian from Kuchajda), "Volím Kotlebu, volím správne" (I Vote Kotleba, I Vote Right) and the personal profile of blogger Mário Vidák, a Kotleba supporter, but have already been made accessible again. According to the Slovak newspaper Deník N, which reported the blocking, it could be due to the activity of Kotleba's opponents, who are said to have mobilized and reported Kotleba-related Facebook pages en masse to the company as violating its standards.

At the same time, however, Deník N reported that a higher number of such reports does not necessarily have any influence over the decision-making at Facebook, saying that what is important is whether some of the reports are assessed as substantiated. Slovak news server Trend.sk reported that the increased number of Facebook user reports about Kotleba-related pages has happened in the context of Facebook blocking the page of a prank satire group called "Zomri" (Die), whose members have attributed their being blocked to Kotleba supporters reporting them to Facebook.

The complaints about Kotleba-related pages could have been made to Facebook as an act of revenge. According to information acquired by news server Romea.cz from Facebook representatives, the number of reports made about a specific page plays no role in the decision to block it or not.

In addition to being the chair of the ĽSNS, Kotleba is the Banská Bystrica Regional Governor and is infamous for his sympathies toward the Fascist, historical Slovak State (1939-1945). In the past he has been prosecuted for promoting and supporting groups aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms after he publicly used the greeting "Na stráž!" ("On duty!"), which was used during the existence of the Slovak State.

Die, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Facebook, Ľudová strana Naše Slovensko, Marian Kotleba, Nacionalismus



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