A government spokesman would not say whether the Prime Minister left pro-Labour Facebook groups posting violent comments, insisting instead that one should look into “vitriolic attacks on exponents from all sides of the political spectrum”.

The Shift News reported this week that the President, the Prime Minister and several top government officials – including the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, and Economy Minister Chris Cardona – were members of pro-Labour groups that often used to share violent comments and calls for activists to be physically attacked, stalked and even sexually assaulted.

President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said she was not aware she was a member of groups set up by Labour Party supporters. Condemning the cyberbullying taking place within the different groups, the President said she took immediate steps to ensure she was no longer listed as a member of the groups.

When contacted, a spokesman for the Office of the Prime Minister skirted questions on whether Dr Muscat had emulated the President and ensure he was no longer a member.

Hate speech is condemnable, wherever it is coming from and the Prime Minister condemns such hate speech in the most absolute manner

“Hate speech is condemnable, wherever it is coming from and the Prime Minister condemns such hate speech in the most absolute manner.

“For every Facebook group or Twitter account that purportedly supports one party, you will find another one supporting another party. One should ask why the ‘investigation’ hasn't actually extended to vitriolic attacks on exponents from all side of the political spectrum,” the spokesman said.

Noting that Facebook profiles could be added to groups without the user being made aware that the profile was included, the spokesman would not say whether the Prime Minister left the groups.

He also did not reply to questions on whether Mr Schembri, who is also listed as a member of a number of the groups, terminated his membership.

Questions on whether Dr Muscat would be calling on the police to investigate the groups and any possible illegal activity taking also remained unanswered at the time of writing.

“The message, however, should be clear that online hate speech, past, present and future should not be tolerated,” the spokesman insisted.

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