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MP's Facebook profile closed after complaints

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MP's Facebook profile closed after complaints
MP Christoph Mörgeli: pondering legal action. Photo: Federal Assembly
10:23 CEST+02:00
The personal Facebook account of right-wing Swiss politician Christoph Mörgeli has been closed following complaints over controversial comments he posted, including one deriding migrants, according to a media report.

A number of Facebook users filed reports about “inappropriate” content published by Mörgeli, a federal MP for Zurich who is a member of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), website watson.ch said on Tuesday.

Facebook responded by closing Mörgeli’s personal profile, saying that he had contravened its community standards.

“Thanks for letting us know about the profile you reported for being full of inappropriate content,” Facebook responded to one of the complainants.

“We removed the profile since it goes against the Facebook Community Standards.”

The Facebook message informed the complainant that Mörgeli had been informed that his profile had been removed but did not identify who had reported the “inappropriate” content.

Mörgeli confirmed to watson.ch that his Facebook account had been closed, and complained of the lack of freedom of expression on the social media site.

One of his posts that aroused indignation was a photo of a boatload of migrants arriving at a quay also covered with migrants to which Mörgeli had added the caption: “the qualified staff is arriving”.

The photo, dating from 1991, actually shows Albanian refugees arriving in the Italian port of Bari, rather than migrants who recently have been crossing the Mediterranean to seek asylum in Europe, Swiss broadcaster SRF reported on Wednesday.

The broadcaster said Mörgeli was considering taking legal action against Facebook.

It quoted the MP as saying the closure of his account was a “devastating sign of the freedom of speech in Switzerland”.

The SVP has campaigned for measures to restrict immigration to Switzerland and it spearheaded an initiative, approved by voters in February 2014, to cap the number of immigrants allowed into the country from the EU.

But the party’s wing in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino this week fired its media spokesman Corrado Galimberti for going too far with “xenophobic” comments about Africa on Facebook.

The comments drew a wave of complaints on the social media platform.
 

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