Meta updates content controls in response to Israel-Hamas conflict

  • Meta has outlined updates it’s made to its content moderation plan is respect to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.
  • The update comes as EU regulators sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, instructing him to take measures to address misinformation.
  • Meta says it has removed or marked more than 795 000 distinct pieces of content related to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

This week much of the debate online has been dominated by the Israel-Hamas conflict, which only looks to be intensifying in the coming days and months. Misinformation is a particular issue when it comes to discourse surrounding the conflict, and now social media platform owners are being held to account for the handling of misinformation.

This week we have already seen Elon Musk taken to task for how X (formerly Twitter) is handling things, but Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg too was in the crosshairs of EU regulators, who penned a letter instructing him to put together an action plan within 24 hours.

At the risk of facing any punitive action, Meta has indeed updated its content moderation controls, with the process said to be ever-evolving given the nature of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

“We quickly established a special operations center 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,” Meta outlined in a blog post.

“Our teams are monitoring the situation and in some cases temporarily introducing limited, proportionate, and time-bound measures to address specific, emerging risks,” it added.

The company says that it is also working with third-party organisations in order to vet or debunk content that is placed on its platform, utilising experts in both Arabic and Hebrew to do so. Added to this will be labels on content, whether that be, “warning labels on content rated false by third-party fact-checkers and applying labels to state-controlled media publishers.”

“We also have limits on message forwarding and label messages that haven’t originated with the sender so people are aware that something is information from a third party,” Meta continued.

With plenty of online rhetoric regarding this situation right now, Meta has a mammoth task ahead of it when it comes to moderating through all the noise being shared on its platforms.

Either way, it is best to take a cautious approach to anything seen online regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict at the moment.

[Image – Photo by Dima Solomin on Unsplash]


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