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Regulator launches investigation into Cardiff charity’s social media use

The Charity Commission has opened an inquiry into a Cardiff-based charity over its social media use and protocols.

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The Charity regulator for England and Wales has opened an inquiry into the Al-Manar Centre Trust following serious concerns about a video post on the charity’s Facebook page.

The Al-Manar Centre Trust was established in 2009 to advance and support Islamic education, strengthen community relationships and religious harmony in Cardiff, and to educate the public about the Islamic faith.

The video was posted on the charity’s Facebook account in November 2023 and has raised concerns around the charity’s social media controls. The video, which was not created by the charity but posted on one of its social media channels, could suggest support for Hamas, a proscribed terrorist organisation.

As regulator, the Commission expects trustees to do all in their power to protect their charities from risk of misuse, which includes implementing procedures to prevent the promotion of views which could be considered harmful or unlawful.

Following the Commission’s intervention, the charity’s trustees have removed the video and taken steps to improve their social media protocols.

The inquiry will examine the trustees’ administration, management, and governance of the charity. As part of inquiry’s scope, the regulator will fully investigate the events leading to the posting of the video.

The regulator will also be seeking assurances that improvements made to the charity’s social media protocols are being implemented and that these are sufficiently robust to prevent this from happening again. This includes a review to confirm that there is no other inappropriate material on any platform used by the charity.

The regulator may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.

It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing the issues examined, any action taken, and the inquiry’s outcomes.