Meta restores Facebook posts by Malaysian media on PM Anwar’s meeting with Hamas

KUALA LUMPUR — Meta Platforms has restored Facebook posts by Malaysian media covering Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s meeting this week with a Hamas leader, saying they were removed in error.

The removal had drawn complaints from Malaysia’s government, a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause and which has warned that firm action could be taken against Meta and other social media companies if they were blocking pro-Palestinian content on their platforms.

Anwar met Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas in Qatar on May 13. He later stressed that though he had good relations with the group’s political leaders, he had no involvement in its military apparatus.

Muslim-majority Malaysia had sent a letter asking Meta to explain the taking down of posts by two media organisations about the meeting, as well as the closure of a Facebook account last month belonging to a third outlet, the Malaysia Gazette, which covers Palestinian issues.

“Two posts were removed in error and have now been restored,” a Meta spokesperson said in an e-mail to Reuters.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil, who is also the government’s spokesperson, condemned the removal of the posts on May 15, accusing US organisations of not respecting the freedom of media outlets.

The Malaysia Gazette said on May 15 that its appeal to Facebook to reactivate the account had been accepted and is now operational again.

Malaysia has long advocated a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Meta has said it does not deliberately suppress voices on its Facebook platform, adding there was “no truth” to the claim it was restricting content supporting the Palestinians.

Meta designates Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that governs Gaza, as a “dangerous organisation” and bans content praising the group. It also uses a mix of automated detection and human review to remove or label graphic visuals.

ALSO READ: Malaysia to ask Meta to explain removal of Facebook posts on PM’s Hamas meeting


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