Austrias Freedom Party routinely claims that it is supervising the Facebook Page of Heinz-Christian Strache, where a lot of the postings are filled with hatred and some are a matter for the prosecutor. But are they really doing anything?

A refugee in Vienna jumps in front of a car, then in front of a tram. People are filming the scene. He tries to kill himself. His family in Syria has been killed - he’s suffering a mental breakdown.

Hours later Heinz-Christian Strache writes about the incident on his Facebook Page. Seconds later a bunch of his 430.000 fans starts to comment: “Where’s the problem with that?”, “Why didn’t the driver speed up” or “It think we need more electricity in the overhead cables.” Other user tried to calm down the discussion, asking for empathy. While posts that the Syrian refugee should kill himself are tolerated, appeasing comments are deleted. That’s what representatives of NGOs and other Facebook users claim.

To investigate wheter there’s a pattern for censorship of political opponents, DER STANDARD collected every comment that has been published on the Facebook page of HC Strache and analyzed which types of comments are deleted.

Source: Facebook Monitor

Source: Facebook Monitor

In the first data collection process from 9 am to 2 pm we’ve found that 392 comments have been posted in total. In the same time, 160 posts have been unpublished. All in all, 8500 comments have been watched, going back four days.

Source: Facebook Monitor

Source: Facebook Monitor

Straches Facebook page is Austria’s most active politically relevant page in terms of comments. He is the only Austria politician who can gather such a larger audience on Facebook: Facebook claims that 89.000 people have talked about the site recently. It is a part of a freedom party-created media sphere, which allows it to communicate to its audience in an unfiltered fashion. Experts believed that their Social-media-strategy includes the desire to create a bubble, where objections are not allowed.

We categorized the comments which dissappeared: