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Facebook 'stifling press freedom' by censoring Morning Star post

FACEBOOK has been accused of “stifling press freedom” after it censored a Morning Star journalist’s post on Kurdish politics.

International editor Steve Sweeney was informed by Facebook on Friday that it had removed his post from May 6 announcing that Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan had met his lawyers for the first time since 2011.

Although Mr Sweeney’s post was a neutral news report, Facebook decided four months later that it went “against our community standards on dangerous individuals.”

Mr Sweeney said the company was “stifling press freedom” and noted that journalists often have to write about “dangerous individuals.”

The move comes just days after the Morning Star contacted Facebook for comment on a story about the tech platform’s censorship of pro-Kurdish content.

On Monday users noticed that images from the Trades Union Congress summit in Brighton, where delegates displayed portraits of Mr Ocalan, had been removed by Facebook.

A Facebook spokesman told the Morning Star: “The PKK is designated as a terrorist organisation by the United Kingdom and the United States. 

“As a US company we adhere to the US designations list when deciding which organisations should be designated as ‘dangerous’ on our platforms.”


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