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Malaysia warns TikTok and Meta over alleged blocking of pro-Palestinian content

Photo: Tiktok
Photo: Tiktok

On Thursday, Malaysia’s minister of communications issued a warning, threatening to take drastic measures if pro-Palestinian information on TikTok and Meta (META.O) social media sites is blocked.

Following the announcement by Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil that social media companies were being accused of censoring information that supported the Palestinian cause, Meta clarified that it was not purposefully silencing opinions on its Facebook page.

“I will not hesitate to take a very firm approach and stance if this issue is ignored,” Fahmi said in a post on the social networking site X, which was once known as Twitter.

Fahmi stated that several parties have pushed the government to take decisive action against social media companies that censor pro-Palestinian information without providing further details.

“There is no truth” to the accusation, according to a Meta representative. In an email to Reuters on Thursday, the representative wrote, “Our policies are designed to give everyone a voice while keeping people safe on our apps.”

TikTok did not promptly answer comment inquiries. The Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, is in charge of Gaza; both Meta and TikTok label it as a “dangerous organization” and prohibit anything that praises it. Additionally, they eliminate or classify graphic graphics using a combination of human assessment and algorithmic detection.

Meta, the company that also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, has responded to the dispute by lowering the bar at which its system detects potentially offensive postings to prevent unintentionally displaying them as suggested material in feeds.

According to the business, some takedowns that were thought to penalize support for Palestinians resulted from an unrelated technical problem that “had nothing to do with the subject matter of the content.”

In mid-October, Meta announced that in the three days following Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, it had removed or classified about 800,000 pieces of information in Hebrew and Arabic.

In a similar statement on Wednesday, TikTok reported that since the assault, it has taken down over 775,000 videos and 14,000 livestreams.

According to Fahmi, Malaysians are entitled to express themselves freely about the Palestinian cause. He promised to meet with TikTok representatives the next week to discuss the issue.

Fahmi said two weeks ago that TikTok had not done enough to stop false or defamatory information and had not completely complied with Malaysian legislation. In response, TikTok stated that it would take aggressive steps to resolve the concerns brought up.

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