Meta announced on Friday (October 13) that it is implementing measures, which include removing expressions of praise and significant support for Hamas from its platforms.
This action comes in response to criticism from the European Union, which has reprimanded social media companies for their inadequate efforts in combatting disinformation.
Following the attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Israel that occurred on October 7, false claims and manipulated images have proliferated on Facebook and various other social media platforms.
Within the three days following the attack, Meta reported that it took down or flagged as disturbing more than 795,000 pieces of content posted in Hebrew or Arabic.
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Meta is also temporarily expanding its violence and incitement policy and removing content that clearly identifies hostages taken by Hamas, even if it is being done to condemn or raise awareness of their situation.
Content with blurred images of victims is still allowed but the company will prioritize the safety and privacy of kidnapping victims if unsure or unable to make a clear assessment, it said.
Following the attack, Hamas has taken scores of Israeli and foreign hostages to the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
Meta said it was aware of Hamas’ threats to broadcast footage of the hostages and it would swiftly remove any such content and prevent copies from being re-shared.
It is also lowering the threshold at which its technology takes action to avoid recommending content that potentially violates rules across its Facebook, Instagram, and Threads platforms.
While Hamas is banned from the platforms, Meta allows social and political discourse — such as news reporting, human rights-related issues, or academic, neutral, and critical discussion.
The European Commission has pressured social media platforms to remove illegal and harmful content to comply with its Digital Services Act (DSA), a breach of which can result in big fines.
Meta’s response contrasts with that of X, formerly known as Twitter, which has asked the Commission to provide more information on violations on its site. The Commission has opened an investigation into X.