Jordanian businessman Talal Abu-Ghazaleh has once again stirred controversy for his remarks during and interview with the Russian channel RT, calling for "social media licenses" for users; in order to identify those who make different comments online.
الأستاذ طلال ابو غزالة يطالب يمنح تراخيص لاستخدام السوشال ميديا ومراقبة من يتم منحهم تراخيص.— Ahmad KHATIB الخطيب (@ahmad_khatib) April 15, 2020
اذا تم ذلك، أشك أن احصل على ترخيص. pic.twitter.com/ITzdnWUQr8
Translation: "Mr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh demands to issue social media licenses to make surveillance easier. If this happens, I doubt I'm eligible for one."
In a recent interview with RT, Abu-Ghazaleh, who is a member of the Jordanian Senate, suggested that governments start imposing new regulations to easily identify online commentators "when they make irresponsible or unverified claims".
Abu-Ghazaleh's remarks were attacked by Twitter users who considered it "yet another attempt to silence people and stop them from speaking up to those in power."
طلال أبو غزالة هو شخص رأس مالي بحت، كل اشي بيحكيه بصب في جيبته، كل اشي.. واللي بحكيه بالفيديو هو تقييد للحريات وخصوصا حرية التعبير عن الرأي ومطالبته فيه بأكد أنه هو مش عارف يرد عالاشخاص اللي بتعارضو معاه وبده يتم تقييدهم. وبس. 🤷🏻♀️— مَرام🍉 (@marriculous) April 15, 2020
Translation: "Talal Abu-Ghazaleh is a very capitalist person. Every single thing he says is in favor of growing his wealth. In this video, he wants to restrict freedoms, especially freedom of speech. The fact that he's calling for such measures, is proof that he's unable to confront those who oppose him with logic, wanting to silence them, that's all."
The "godfather of Arab accounting" has often been criticized on social media for what has been perceived by many as "capitalist" remarks. A few years ago, he opposed public holidays during religious occasions ranging between 3 to 6 days a year and called on the government to have fewer days off during the year so "the economy isn't constrained," causing a lot of criticism from people.
In January 2019, he also triggered backlash when he opposed the government's decision of a one-day break, due to a snowstorm that was expected to affect road safety across the country, threatening in a public statement to lay off employees who take that day off.
I would specifically mention Talal Abu Ghazaleh the Jodanian multi-milionere who always nagging about the number of holidays we are given by the law, excused by his "fear" on the national economy not his personal wealth— Ra'd Shatnawi ⚡ (@radshatnawi) March 19, 2020
الأستاذ طلال ابو غزالة يطالب بتطبيق #التجربة_الصينية على كل الكرة الأرضية. واضح انه من معجبين الرئيس الصيني حيث سبق واستشهد بمقولته "قبل كورونا ليس كما بعدها"— Kajin Hassam (@kajinhassam) April 15, 2020
Translation: "Mr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh wants to implement the Chinese model across the world. He's clearly a fan of the Chinese president as he's quoted him saying that the wold post the coronavirus isn't the same as before."
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