Meta Oversight Board to Investigate Handling of Israel-Hamas Conflict Content

Meta's approach to Israel-Hamas content. Understand how social media manages conflict. Stay informed on straightforward content decisions.

Dec 7, 2023 - 09:15
Dec 7, 2023 - 09:15
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Meta Oversight Board to Investigate Handling of Israel-Hamas Conflict Content
Meta Oversight Board to Investigate Handling of Israel-Hamas Conflict Content

Meta's Oversight Board is set to investigate how Meta handles violent content on its social platforms amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. This development comes at a crucial juncture as social media grapples with an influx of misleading content during the ongoing conflict.

In a departure from its usual practice, the Oversight Board will expedite the review process for two cases, focusing on decisions within 30 days. This shift responds to the urgency presented by the two-month-old conflict, where violent, hateful, and misleading content has surged.

The decision to take on these cases coincides with Meta's temporary adjustment of content removal criteria following an October attack by Hamas on Israeli towns. Meta faced accusations of suppressing support expressions for Palestinians amidst Israel's military response in Gaza.

One of the cases involves the removal and subsequent restoration of a video on Instagram depicting the aftermath of an explosion at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The video, initially taken down, claimed the hospital was targeted by the "usurping occupation" and was later restored with a warning screen after being selected for review.

The second case revolves around a video on Facebook showing a woman kidnapped on October 7, pleading with her captors not to harm her. Initially removed by Meta, the decision was later reversed, and the video was restored with a warning screen, citing trends in the sharing of hostage kidnapping videos.

In response to the Oversight Board's review, Meta has welcomed the scrutiny and committed to implementing the board's decisions. This development sheds light on the ongoing challenges faced by social media platforms in navigating content moderation amidst sensitive geopolitical situations.

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