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Political Trolling in Hungary

With the 2019 Hungarian municipal elections approaching, disinformation campaigns and trolling activity will play an increasingly prominent role in Hungarian political life. Pro-government trolls, often working in concert with government-controlled media, are already shaping online discussions. These trolls’ profiles frequently discredit anyone perceived to be in opposition to the current cabinet of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The profiles not only target the domestic audience; they support the messages and policies of the ruling Fidesz party both domestically and abroad. The trolling behavior seen in Hungary often resembles Russian trolling activity and follows the logic of active measures. Disinformation and trolls walk hand in hand A few months before Hungary’s parliamentary elections in April 2018, the Facebook profiles of the right-wing opposition party Jobbik gained thousands of fake followers almost overnight. All of them pretended to be from the Middle East, had Muslim names, and hailed Jobbik and shouted out against PM Orbán. All the profiles repeated the same messages. Soon afterwards, a pro-government…
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