Malaysia outraged at Meta takedown of media’s Facebook posts on PM Anwar’s Hamas meeting


Malaysia’s Communications Minister expressed outrage at Meta Platforms on May 14, demanding that it explain why it had taken down Facebook posts by local media covering Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s meeting this week with a Hamas leader.

Anwar met senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar on May 14. He later said he had good relations with the political leaders of Hamas, but no involvement in its military apparatus.

Muslim-majority Malaysia, a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, has sent a letter asking Meta to explain the takedown of posts by two media organisations about Mr Anwar’s meeting, as well as the closure of the Facebook account of a third outlet covering Palestinian issues.

“I condemn Meta’s actions of removing posts, especially since they were about the Prime Minister’s official visit to Qatar,” Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil, who is also a government spokesperson, told a regular briefing.

“What I regret is that these actions were taken by an organisation based in the United States, and it’s clear that they do not respect the freedom of media outlets in using their platform.”

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Malaysia’s request.

Last October, Mr Fahmi warned that firm action could be taken against Meta and other social media firms if they were blocking pro-Palestinian content on their platforms.

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


Meta at the time said it was not deliberately suppressing voices on its Facebook platform, adding that 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.