Meta, in response to reprimands from the European Union regarding the inadequacy of social media companies in addressing disinformation, has announced measures to combat misleading information associated with Hamas.
Since the attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7, false claims and manipulated images have proliferated on Facebook and other social media platforms.
During the three days following the attack, Meta disclosed that it took action by removing or flagging over 795,000 pieces of content in Hebrew or Arabic.
Meta is temporarily broadening its policy on violence and incitement while removing content that explicitly identifies hostages taken by Hamas, even if the intention is to condemn or raise awareness of their situation.
However, content featuring blurred images of victims will still be permitted, with a focus on safeguarding the privacy and security of hostages when an unequivocal assessment is challenging.
In the wake of the attack, where Hamas has taken numerous Israeli and foreign hostages to Gaza, Meta is vigilant about the group’s threats to broadcast hostage footage. The company pledges to promptly remove such content and prevent its re-circulation.
Additionally, Meta is reducing the threshold at which its technology intervenes to prevent the recommendation of content that potentially violates rules across its Facebook, Instagram, and Threads platforms.
While Hamas is prohibited on these platforms, Meta allows for legitimate social and political discourse, encompassing news reporting, discussions related to human rights, and academic or neutral critical discussions.
The European Commission has been pressuring social media platforms to remove illegal and harmful content in line with its Digital Services Act (DSA), which carries substantial fines for breaches. Notably, Meta’s response differs from that of Twitter, now known as X, which has requested more information from the Commission regarding violations on its platform. Consequently, the Commission has initiated an investigation into X.