Al Jazeera Network building in Doha, Qatar
Al Jazeera Network building in Doha, QatariStock


Ms. Adi Soffer Teeni, VP & GM Israel – Meta via:

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Re: Lack of Transparency in Facebook regarding Al Jazeera Pages


In 2020, Facebook commendably increased transparency by adding a “State-Controlled media” label to pages and posts published by media outlets controlled by governments, including media outlets controlled by the governments of Russia, China and Iran.

However, inexplicably, pages and posts belonging to Al-Jazeera media network, which is controlled by the government of Qatar, are NOT marked by Facebook.

Facebook defines "state-controlled media" as media which “may be partially or wholly under the editorial control of their government”. Al-Jazeera is clearly partially or wholly under the editorial control of the Qatari government and should therefore be labelled by Facebook.

Freedom House has expressed concerns about freedom of press in Qatar and reported that “All journalists in Qatar practice a degree of self-censorship” while confirming the Qatari’s government funding of Al-Jazeera.

There is ample evidence that contradicts Al-Jazeera's claims below, and proves that the Qatari government does influence its content, for instance in a report submitted by a group of US Senators.

Al-Jazeera's claim, that while the Qatari government funds the Al Jazeera channel, it is journalistically independent, similar to the BBC which is funded by the British government, is false.

-Unlike the BBC which regularly covers and criticizes its government and every UK Prime Minister, Al Jazeera cannot critically report on the Emir of Qatar or other Qatari leaders and their decisions.

-The chairman of the board of Al Jazeera is a member of the ruling family in Qatar, which allows the ruling family to influence editorial decisions at Al Jazeera, as detailed in an additional report from law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

-Al Jazeera does not provide transparency or accountability regarding its journalistic decisions.

-All journalists in Qatar practice a degree of self-censorship and face possible prison terms for defamation and other journalistic offenses

-Leaked memos from Qatar contradict Al Jazeera's claim that it is independent and prove that the Qatari government used the channel as a bargaining chip in negotiations with other countries.

-Cases of interference in the editing of reports by Al Jazeera in order to highlight the rulers of Qatar have been reported in the British press.

A full list of independent reports detailing Qatar’s government control of Al Jazeera is provided in Appendix A.

Facebook announced that the “State-controlled media” labelling was added to “help people better understand who’s behind the news they see on Facebook” and to add “protection against various types of foreign influence in the public debate”. However Facebook failing to label Al-Jazeera Facebook pages, which are following by approximately 75,000,000 people has the opposite effect on a large group of Facebook users.

In light of the above, Facebook’s current practice of NOT labelling Al Jazeera pages and posts as “State-Controlled media” is discriminatory and misleads Facebook viewers to believe that Al Jazeera is an editorially independent media organization, which is untrue.

I urge you to add the “State-Controlled media” label immediately to all pages linked to Al-Jazeera, as listed in Appendix B.

Best Regards,

Shai Glick, CEO, B’Tsalmo – Human Rights in the Jewish Spirit

Appendix A – Independent reports confirming Qatar’s government control of Al Jazeera






Appendix B – Al Jazeera linked Facebook Pages

Al Jazeera English


Al Jazeera PR

قناة الجزيرة مباشر - Aljazeera Mubasher Channel

Al Jazeera Channel - قناة الجزيرة

هنا الجزيرة

الجزيرة – تأملات

Al Jazeera Balkans


Israeli Minister of Communications, Israeli Minister of Justice

Shai Glick heads B'Tsalmo, an organization protecting Jewish Human Rights.