Meta Takes Steps to Remove Hamas Disinformation – Meta announced on Friday, its efforts to eliminate content endorsing Hamas and disseminating false information related to the group. This development followed social media company X’s statement a day later, confirming the removal of numerous Hamas-associated accounts and the labeling or deletion of tens of thousands of related posts.
These actions were prompted by the European Union’s criticism of social media companies for their insufficient measures to combat disinformation. In the aftermath of the October 7 attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Israel, false claims and manipulated images swiftly circulated on Facebook and various other social media platforms.
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Within the three days following the attack, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, reported the removal or flagging of 795,000 pieces of content for their disturbing nature. In response to the attack, Hamas took numerous Israeli and foreign hostages into the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
As a temporary measure, Meta expanded its violence and incitement policy, actively removing content that overtly identified hostages. This action was prompted by Meta’s awareness of Hamas’ threats to broadcast hostage footage, with a commitment to swiftly remove any such content and prevent its re-sharing.
The European Commission issued a 24-hour ultimatum to both Meta and another social media company, X, to disclose their efforts in combatting disinformation. Furthermore, the Commission initiated an investigation into the actions of X. The rapid spread of misinformation and the measures taken by social media companies and authorities highlight the complex challenges posed by the digital age in managing information and crises.