Fact Check: Janos Kadar Did NOT Appoint Viktor Orban As His Successor


  • szerzõ: Lead Stories
Fact Check: Janos Kadar Did NOT Appoint Viktor Orban As His Successor Deepfake

Did Hungary's former Communist leader János Kádár appoint Viktor Orban as his perfect successor in an interview? No, that's not true: The interview clip with János Kádár is created with deepfake technique.

The video (archived here) appeared on TikTok on October 24, 2023, under the title "very important information." In the video an AI-generated voice purporting to be János Kádár alleges that:

The successors are nominated until 2056 both in Moscow and Budapest. The ones immediately following me will name the changed regime democracy. In theory it will be a democracy but they will try to continue what we did. My perfect successor is already noted in Moscow, but he will have to volunteer for them. It seems that this successor made a "Victorian" speech against us, but with time he will become out perfect successor.

(Translated from Hungarian by Lead Stories staff).

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Képernyőkép 2023-10-25 131314.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Oct 25 11:00:34 2023 UTC)

This is a deepfake video with a narrative likely generated with AI. The source is another TikTok channel, which creates satirical, but critical deep fake videos mostly of Viktor Orban. That account, @politikalipszis (archived) flagged in the description that the video is made with AI.

The original interview was from 1988 by John McLaughlin for his "One on One" weekly program on PBS and available online in Baylor University's digital collection. The current creator used Kadar's answer from 22.00 minutes in the clip where he really talks about his successor, but he denies that he already appointed one and winks when he tells a story about a U.S. ambassador asking him about his successor.

This is the original quote:

There is no agreement with anyone. Once I talked with an ambassador of the United States, not with the current one. He asked me who is the successor? I said there is no appointed successor and I will tell you nothing because if someone can't be moved from his position, his successor will be attacked. He laughed and said he didn't think about this.

When the deepfake version says that the perfect successor made a "Victorian" speech against the regime it is a clear suggestion for the country's current Prime Minister Viktor Orban. First, it uses the word "Victorian" which is very rarely used in Hungarian and doesn't really fit the sentence as it is usually used for a style that originated in 19th-century England. It is a referral to Viktor Orban's first name. Second, Viktor Orban is famous for giving a pro-democracy, anti-communist speech on June 16, 1989, as a young politician during the reburial ceremony of Imre Nagy, one the martyrs of the revolution against the communist regime in 1956, in which he demanded the Russian Soviet troops to leave Hungary.


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