Meta said on Friday it was taking steps including removing praise and substantial support for Hamas from its platforms after the European Union criticized social media companies for not doing enough to tackle disinformation.
Ever since the Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, misleading claims and images have been circulating on Facebook and other social media.
In the three days since the attack, Meta said it removed or flagged more than 795,000 pieces of content in Hebrew or Arabic as offensive.
Meta is temporarily expanding its violence and incitement policy and removing content that clearly identifies people held hostage by Hamas, whether to condemn their plight or raise awareness. What are you doing?
It said 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.
After this attack, Hamas has taken a number of Israelis and foreigners hostage in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
Meta said it was aware of threats by Hamas to broadcast footage of the hostages and would quickly remove any such material and prevent copies from being shared again.
It is also reducing the extent to which its technology processes to avoid recommending content that potentially violates rules across its Facebook, Instagram and Threads platforms.
While Hamas’ platforms are banned, Meta allows social and political discourse – such as news reporting, human rights issues, or scholarly, neutral and critical debate.
The European Commission has pressured social media platforms to remove illegal and harmful content to comply with its Digital Services Act (DSA), which can result in large fines.
Meta’s response contrasts with X, formerly known as Twitter, which has asked the commission to provide more information on violations on its site. The Commission has started an investigation into X.