AFTER the European Union criticized social media companies for not doing more to combat disinformation online amid the ongoing Israel – Hamas conflict, Meta has announced that it was taking steps, including deleting praise and meaningful support for Hamas from its platforms.
Since the attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas against Israel on Saturday, October 7, 2023, false information and altered photographs have gained popularity on Facebook and other social media platforms.
According to Meta on Friday, it removed or flagged more than 795,000 pieces of content in Hebrew or Arabic that is considered as upsetting in the three days following the incident.
Additionally, Meta is temporarily broadening its prohibition on violence and incitement and eliminating material that expressly names hostages abducted by Hamas, even when done to denounce or draw attention to their plight.
The tech platform claimed that while content with blurred photographs of victims is still permitted, if uncertain or unable to make a confident determination, it will prioritize the protection and privacy of abducted victims.
Numerous Israelis and foreigners have been taken hostage by Hamas in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza as a result of the conflict.
In response to Hamas’ threats to broadcast hostages’ footage, Meta announced it would immediately take down any such materials and prevent copies from being redistributed.
In order to prevent recommending content that would contravene policies across its Facebook, Instagram, and Threads platforms, it is also decreasing the threshold at which its technology takes action.
“Meta enables social and political dialogue, such as news reporting, human rights-related problems, or intellectual, neutral, and critical discussion, however Hamas is prohibited from the platforms,” it stated.
In order to comply with its Digital Services Act (DSA), a violation of which might result in significant fines, the European Commission has put pressure on social media platforms to remove dangerous and unlawful information from their platforms.
The response from Meta contrasts with that of X, (formerly Twitter), who requested further information from the Commission about infractions on its platform. The Commission says it has started looking into X.