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Pulitzer prize winner blocked from Facebook after series of 'corruption facts' posts

Mr Caruana Galizia's posts have been shared over a thousand times

Matthew Caruana Galizia

Matthew Caruana Galizia

Pulitzer prize winner Matthew Caruana Galizia has been temporarily locked out of his Facebook page after complaints were filed about a series of 'corruption facts' posts.

Mr Caruana Galizia discovered to his surprise this morning that he had been temporarily locked out of his Facebook profile.

A number of his 'corruption facts' posts have also been removed.

Over the past few weeks, the ICIJ journalist has been posting original documents from the Panama Papers leak to lay bare the extent to which minister Konrad Mizzi and the prime minister's chief of staff Keith Schembri tried to hide their offshore structures behind complex structures geared towards secrecy.

Similar posts have been put up about former Allied Newspapers managing director Adrian Hillman and building contractor Pierre Sladden, who both had companies in the British Virgin Islands that were hidden from the public eye behind nominees.

Mr Caruana Galizia's posts have been shared over a thousand times.

Four of those posts have now been removed completely from Facebook, after a number of complaints were filed with the social media giant.

If Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri, Brian Tonna and Karl Cini saw it fit to send scans of their passports to a corrupt firm in Panama, they should not have anything against me publishing them on Facebook

The posts were removed for violating Facebook's community standards. Facebook allows users to report content that they do not like or they feel violates these standards.

In comments to Times of Malta, Mr Caruana Galizia said people had been upset by what was revealed by the posts, rather than the posts themselves.

“I don't think people were upset that details were reproduced, like scans of their accounts and passports. These things need to be in the public domain.

“If Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri, Brian Tonna and Karl Cini saw it fit to send scans of their passports to a corrupt firm in Panama, they should not have anything against me publishing them on Facebook,” Mr Caruana Galizia said.

He said it was very rare for Facebook to completely remove content like they had done with his posts after an ordinary user filed a complaint.

“They probably got their lawyers to get in touch with Facebook,” Mr Caruana Galizia said.

His posts have even attracted the attention of prime minister Joseph Muscat, who last week announced he would be filing for libel over one post linking him to the alleged kickbacks received by Mr Schembri from passport sales.

Dr Muscat's legal action attracted the attention of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).

The EFJ called on Dr Muscat to reconsider his legal action, highlighting the “chilling effect” of such action on media freedom.

Mr Caruana Galizia formed part of an international consortium of more than 300 reporters on six continents that exposed the so-called Panama Papers detailing the hidden infrastructure and global scale of offshore tax havens used by the high and mighty.

Correction: The original article erroneously said Ray Sladden instead of Pierre Sladden.

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