Meta Prioritizes Livestreaming Checks During Israel-Hamas War


Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is taking measures to address the risks associated with the Israel-Hamas war on its social media platforms. In response to the recent warning from European Union regulators regarding content moderation, Meta has outlined its efforts to ensure the safety of its users.

Key Takeaway

Meta is prioritizing livestreaming checks and implementing policies to ensure the safety of hostages during the Israel-Hamas war. The company is closely monitoring content involving hostages and swiftly removing any violating material. Meta’s efforts aim to mitigate the risks associated with the conflict and maintain a safe environment for its users.

New Focus on Hostage Safety

Meta has introduced temporary changes to its Violence and Incitement policy to prioritize the safety of Israelis held hostage by Hamas. The company will remove content that clearly identifies hostages, even if it is intended to condemn or raise awareness of their situation. To ensure compliance with the Geneva Convention, Meta will also prioritize the safety and privacy of kidnapping victims when a clear assessment cannot be made.

Prioritizing Livestreaming Checks

In light of ongoing threats by Hamas to broadcast footage of hostages, Meta is focusing on monitoring and removing any such content, as well as the accounts responsible for sharing it. Livestreaming checks on Facebook and Instagram have been intensified to prevent the misuse of these tools by Hamas. These efforts build upon the restrictions Meta implemented following the Christchurch attacks in 2019, when the platform was used to livestream a killing spree.

Additional Measures to Address Risks

Meta has implemented several other steps to respond to the situation in Israel and Gaza. The company is reducing the visibility of potentially offensive comments and implementing hashtag blocking to prevent the searchability of certain terms related to the conflict. Furthermore, Meta has established a special operations center staffed with experts proficient in Arabic and Hebrew to enhance its ability to quickly address content reports. The company is also actively seeking feedback from local partners, including NGOs, to effectively address emerging risks.

Despite Meta’s proactive approach, the European Union has warned the company, along with Elon Musk’s X and TikTok, about potential illegal content and disinformation related to the Israel-Hamas war. Compliance with the bloc’s Digital Services Act is crucial for Meta as it could face penalties of up to 6% of its global annual turnover. The regulatory requirements oblige platforms to respond diligently to reports of illegal content and mitigate systemic risks, such as disinformation.

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