In response to the recent surge in disinformation following the Hamas attack on Israel, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, has taken decisive steps to combat false narratives and ensure digital safety. Following criticism from the European Union regarding the spread of misleading content, Meta announced comprehensive measures to tackle Hamas-related disinformation on its platforms.
Since the attack on October 7th, misleading claims and manipulated images flooded social media, particularly on Facebook. Meta promptly addressed the issue by removing or flagging over 795,000 pieces of content in Hebrew or Arabic within the first three days after the incident.
Meta’s response includes the temporary expansion of its violence and incitement policy. The company is now removing content that clearly identifies hostages taken by Hamas, even if shared with the intention of condemnation or raising awareness. While content with blurred victim images is still permitted, Meta is prioritizing the safety and privacy of kidnapping victims.
Moreover, Meta remains vigilant about Hamas’ threats to broadcast footage of hostages. The company committed to swift removal of such content and prevention of further sharing, ensuring the safety and well-being of those involved.
Crucially, Meta has lowered the threshold for its technology to take action. The company is now proactively avoiding recommending content that potentially violates its rules across Facebook, Instagram, and Threads. Despite Hamas banned from these platforms, Meta continues to allow social and political discourse, encompassing news reporting, human rights issues, and academic discussions, provided they remain neutral and critical.
This proactive response from Meta stands in contrast to the approach of X, formerly known as Twitter, which has faced scrutiny from the European Commission. While Meta takes significant steps to remove harmful content and comply with the Digital Services Act (DSA), X is under investigation for potential violations.
Meta’s commitment to combatting disinformation ensures a safer online environment, marking a significant stride towards digital integrity and responsible social media usage. As digital platforms continue to grapple with disinformation challenges, Meta’s initiatives serve as a benchmark for ensuring accurate and secure online interactions.