Tue, 21 May 2024

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Fahmi meeting Meta after posts on PM-Haniyeh meet taken down
Published on: Wednesday, May 15, 2024
By: FMT, Shahrul Shahabudin
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Fahmi meeting Meta after posts on PM-Haniyeh meet taken down
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh yesterday during his visit to Qatar. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: Communications minister Fahmi Fadzil says he will be meeting Meta next month to discuss the taking down of posts related to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

Speaking at a press conference at his ministry in Putrajaya today, Fahmi claimed that at least three media portals had informed his office that their posts on social media had been taken down.

“Malaysiakini, Sinar (Harian)…the excuse given was that the posts shared symbols of associations defined as dangerous,” he said.

Fahmi said however that checks on the postings did not tally with Meta’s excuse.

Yesterday, Anwar said in a post on Facebook that he had taken the opportunity to meet Haniyeh on the sidelines of his official visit to Qatar.

According to Meta’s Transparency Center, the company does not allow “leaders or prominent members” of “entities designated by the US government as foreign terrorist organisations” to have a presence on the platform. 

Hamas is officially considered a foreign terrorist organisation by the US.

Fahmi said that besides Malaysiakini and Sinar Harian, MalaysiaGazette had its Facebook account shut down as well after publishing reports related to Palestine last month, forcing the news portal to create a new account.

He said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission had sent Meta a letter requesting an explanation, and that he would follow up with a letter of his own to the social media provider.

He also claimed that Meta had similarly taken down posts on Anwar’s Instagram account related to the Palestine solidarity event at the Axiata Arena in October last year.

“As a minister, I condemn Meta’s takedown of posts by the media, all the more because these are reports of the prime minister’s official visit to Qatar. He had met (Hamas’s) political wing, not its military wing.

“I will be meeting all social media providers in June so that official events by the prime minister will not be treated this way (in the future),” he said.

Meanwhile, Fahmi said he had a virtual meeting with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to discuss their placement of Malaysia on the World Press Freedom Index.

He said RSF had explained that its index was based on survey responses. 

“RSF said it accepts (our efforts at) engagement and is prepared to continue working with the Malaysian government to see what can be done for press freedom,” he said.

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