Kuruc.info
Type of site
Holocaust denial, Antisemitism, Antiziganism, Far-right politics
URLwww.kuruc.info
LaunchedFebruary 2006; 15 years ago (2006-02)
Current statusOnline

Kuruc.info is a far-right Hungarian language online portal registered in California, United States,[1] affiliated with politician Előd Novák.[2][3] The website often harbours extreme anti-semitic sentiments,[2][1][4] including frequent Holocaust denial,[5] and frequently publishes anti-Romani and homophobic content.[2][6]

History

The first iteration of the website, kettosallampolgarsag.hu, was created to support the 2004 Hungarian dual citizenship referendum.[7] The website then illegally published personal information about publicist Imre Para-Kovács.[8] As the website's focus broadened, and its traffic kept growing even after the referendum had ended, its editors decided to start Kuruc.info on 01 February 2006,[7] named after the "Kuruc", the rebels against the Habsburg Monarchy who fought for Hungarian independence between 1671 and 1711.[9] Until 2019, Kuruc.info's staff was anonymous,[3] and the website was registered in the name of a private individual, first in Scottsdale, Arizona,[10] then Healdsburg, California.[1] The website first gained notoriety for its "more SZDSZ, more paedophiles" campaign before the 2006 Hungarian parliamentary election,[11] which was also closely affiliated with the newly formed Jobbik party.[12] In 2006, Kuruc.info also posted photographs, addresses, and phone numbers of judges and prosecutors who had participated in legal proceedings against anti-government protestors.[13] Several of the officials whose details were posted received threatening phone calls and letters.[14] After this, the website still routinely published the personal data of individuals they opposed.[15]

In 2008, the web servers of Kuruc.info were shut down[16] after requests from the Hungarian government.[17] However, the website quickly came back online.[10] In 2012, the Hungarian government requested the American government to shut the website down again without success.[18] Around the same time, it was revealed that the website was registered under the name of Bela Varga, a winemaker from Healdsburg, California[19] who denied his involvement with the website, claiming that he registered it for a friend.[20]

Although Kuruc.info was heavily associated with the Jobbik political party in its early days,[11] it became increasingly critical of the party around 2016, mainly due to Jobbik's drift toward a more centre-right ideology, which was strongly opposed by the website's owner[3] and previous Jobbik vice president Előd Novák[21] This split, as well as the emergence of other right-wing websites such as 888.hu and Pesti Srácok saw the website's popularity decline, dropping from the 34th most popular Hungarian website to 96th in the span of 4 years.[22][23] After years of denying his involvement with Kuruc.info,[21] Előd Novák revealed his ownership of the website in 2019, as well as the involvement of ex-journalist József Hering, ex-MIÉP politician Tamás Esze, and publicist János Lantos.[3]

Political ideology

Kuruc.info considers itself to be more right-wing than the far-right Hungarian political party known as the Jobbik, distinguishing itself from Barikád, which is regarded as Jobbik's "semi-official online news organ".[9] Kuruc.info nevertheless maintains a relationship with Jobbik through advertisements and payment to personnel.[2]

Categories on the site include "anti-Hungarianism", "Gypsy-crime", "Jewish crime", "migrant crime", "economic news",[2] where there is more discussion of the economic crimes of Jews and communists, and a "humor" section where one can find derogatory jokes about Jews, Romani, and communists. Users engage in commentary about the website's publications and maintain an active site forum.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b c Pine, Daniel (14 September 2012). "Anti-Semitic Hungarian website has ties to Healdsburg man". J. The Jewish News of Northern California. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Applebaum, Anne (4 November 2013). "Anti-Semite And Jew". The New Yorker. Retrieved 1 October 2020. Anti-Semitic jokes were heard more frequently at rallies, and a Web site, called kuruc.info (after the Kuruc, anti-Habsburg rebels of the seventeenth century), began to play a significant role in Jobbik’s internal politics. Kuruc.info rails against “outsiders” of all kinds. Its best-known column, “Gypsycrime,” collects anti-Roma “facts.” There is a “Jewcrime” feature as well; one recent article, accompanied by a caricature of a hook-nosed man, his face spread onto a lampshade, jeered at the “myth” of Auschwitz. Contributors, who are anonymous, regularly post the names, photographs, and telephone numbers of “liberal”—i.e., Jewish—journalists, intellectuals, and public figures, and call on readers to harass them by mail or by phone... Kuruc.info is run out of a server in Healdsburg, California, by a Hungarian-American with extreme-right views. This makes it impossible for the Hungarian government to shut it down. Officially, Jobbik has no relationship with the explicitly racist Web site, because, officially, Jobbik is not anti-Semitic. But Barikád advertises on kuruc.info, and Jobbik offers the site support in other ways.
  3. ^ a b c d Ács, Dániel (2019-04-25). "13 év bujkálás után kiléptek a fényre, de a Fidesz-média mellett már nehezen rúgnak labdába". 444.hu (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  4. ^ Haines, John. "A new political movement emerges on Hungary's far right". Foreign Policy Research Institute. Foreign Policy Research Institute. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  5. ^ "Nem tudják törölni a Kurucinfó holokauszttagadó rovatát" (in Hungarian). 168 óra. 2017-11-02. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  6. ^ Gergely, Nyilas (2018-06-13). "Elérhető lett az Országházból is a Kuruc.info". Index (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  7. ^ a b "Törvénysértő a Kuruc.info? Hol van a szervere? Kik szerkesztik? - Amit hírportálunkról tudni kell". kuruc.info. 2010-02-23. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  8. ^ "Uborkaszezoni szervercsaták". index.hu (in Hungarian). 2005-07-01. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  9. ^ a b c Molnár, V. (2016) Civil society, radicalism and the rediscovery of mythic nationalism. Nations and Nationalism, 22: 165–185. doi: 10.1111/nana.12126.
  10. ^ a b "Szilvásyék ezentúl is fellépnek a kuruc.info ellen" (in Hungarian). HVG. 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  11. ^ a b "Törvénysértő a kuruc.info plakátja". index.hu (in Hungarian). 2006-04-09. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  12. ^ "Több SZDSZ, több pedofil" (in Hungarian). Háttér Társaság. 2006-04-06. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  13. ^ Bohus, Péter (2006-10-10). "Nemzetbiztonsági vizsgálat néhány név miatt". index.hu (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  14. ^ "Editor of extremist Web site indicted in Hungary". Jerusalem Post. 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  15. ^ "A Bibó kollégium kiáll egyik hallgatója mellett" (in Hungarian). Népszabadság. 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  16. ^ "Lekapcsolták a Kuruc.info főszerverét" (in Hungarian). HVG. 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  17. ^ "Kormányzati kérésre állították le a kuruc.infót" (in Hungarian). HVG. 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  18. ^ "Szorosra zárt ajtón dörömböl Washingtonban a kormány". origo.hu (in Hungarian). 2012-07-04. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  19. ^ "Bemutatjuk a kuruc.info tulajdonosát". atlatszo.hu (in Hungarian). 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  20. ^ "Nem Varga bankszámlájára mennek a kuruc.info bevételei". index.hu (in Hungarian). 2012-09-09. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  21. ^ a b Tóth, Richi (2016-06-07). "Bilit is boríthat, pártot is szakíthat Novák Előd, akit soha senki nem tudott kontrollálni". 24.hu (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  22. ^ "A 100 legnézettebb hazai weboldal". prim.hu (in Hungarian). 2014-02-18. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  23. ^ Szuhi, Attila (2018-10-17). "A legnézettebb hazai weboldalak rangsora 2018". ite.hu (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2019-08-22.
Far-right and radical nationalist politics in post-WWII Hungary