Any membership of Facebook hate groups was not deliberate - Prime Minister

Official Prime Minister’s page on the social network not member of any groups, Joseph Muscat says

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said he hadn't joined any Facebook 'hate groups' deliberately
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said he hadn't joined any Facebook 'hate groups' deliberately

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has indicated that any membership which his Facebook profile might have of "hate groups" on the social network was not “consensual” or "not done deliberately".

Muscat was replying to a parliamentary question by former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil, who asked the Prime Minister whether he had ended his membership of any such groups “within which hatred is generated towards people, especially the Prime Minister’s political adversaries”.

The active political page of the Prime Minister on Facebook is @josephmuscatdotcom, Muscat said, and this - by the very nature of it being a page, and not a profile - isn’t a member of any groups.

“On the other hand, there are also Facebook profiles,” he said, “I am informed that any Facebook group can make [a user's] Facebook profile a member of the group, without that user having given their approval.”

“In this case, if the profile (sic) is a member of any group, this was not done consensually or on purpose,” Muscat added, stopping short of saying whether his profile was still a member of any hate groups.

Last month, media reports alleged that the Prime Minister, the President, and several other high-ranking government officials, were members of pro-Labour Facebook groups which often engaged in the sharing of strong insults and violent comments towards other users perceived to be non-approving of the government.

At the time, a spokesperson for the government did not say whether the Prime Minister - who, apart from an official page, also has a personal profile - had left any such groups.

A report issued last week by MEPs Ana Gomes, Sven Giegold and David Casa had also noted the reports that government members were members of certain hate groups.

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