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Dhaka Tribune

Facebook to remove posts, comments supporting Hamas

  • Steps being taken to control misinformation 
  • Over 795,000 pieces of content removed in three days
Update : 14 Oct 2023, 05:28 PM

As part of ongoing efforts regarding the Israel-Hamas War, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, has announced that any posts or comments supporting Hamas will be removed.

In the recent announcement, it stated that steps are being taken to control misinformation related to the war on their platforms.

These steps will include removing any posts or comments supporting Hamas, as well as deleting content that "clearly identifies hostages" of the ongoing war, the tech giant says.

“We quickly established a special operations centre staffed with experts, including fluent Hebrew and Arabic speakers, to closely monitor and respond to this rapidly evolving situation in real time. This allows us to remove content that violates our Community Standards or Community Guidelines faster, and serves as another line of defense against misinformation,” it said.

Meta said that it will enforce its policies around dangerous organizations and individuals, violent and graphic content, hate speech, violence and incitement, bullying and harassment, and coordinating harm.

“In the three days following October 7, we removed or marked as disturbing more than 795,000 pieces of content for violating these policies in Hebrew and Arabic. As compared to the two months prior, in the three days following October 7, we have removed seven times as many pieces of content on a daily basis for violating our Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy in Hebrew and Arabic alone.”

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 added.

“In line with our rules, we have restricted a number of Instagram hashtags after our team assessed that content associated with those hashtags was consistently found to be violating our Community Guidelines. This means that the hashtags are not searchable – but the content itself won’t be removed unless it violates our policies,” said the tech giant.

Meta is working with third-party fact-checkers in the region to debunk false claims. Meta has the largest third-party fact checking network of any platform, with coverage in both Arabic and Hebrew, through AFP, Reuters and Fatabyyano. When they rate something as false, this content will be moved lower in Feed so fewer people see it.

Hamas is designated under Meta’s dangerous organizations and Individuals policy. This means Hamas is banned from Meta’s platforms, it said.

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