The Israel-Hamas war started on October 7.
Facebook parent Meta on Wednesday rolled out a temporary feature to limit "harmful and potentially harmful" content on the Israel-Hamas war. The change is part of the company's efforts to protect people "in the region" from such "unwanted" comments, Meta said in an updated statement on Wednesday (October 18). For now, friends and verified followers of people who create posts in the specified region will be able to comment on the new and public Facebook posts. The war started after the Hamas attack on October 7.
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Meta also said that any content "containing praise" for Hamas will not be allowed on Facebook or Instagram, as the group falls under its Dangerous Organization designation.
"Our policies are designed to keep people safe on our apps while giving everyone a voice," Meta said in the update.
"We apply these policies equally around the world and there is no truth to the suggestion that we are deliberately suppressing voice," it added.
Other temporary changes implemented by Meta for content related to Israel-Hamas war:
- Default setting for who can comment on newly created public Facebook posts of people in the region changed to Friends and/or established followers only. Meta said users globally can choose to use this setting and opt in or out at any time.
- Bulk deletion of comments made easier and display of first one or two comments under posts in Feed disabled
- Facebook has also rolled out the 'Lock Your Profile' tool in the region. These users can lock their profile in one step, enhancing profile privacy by restricting access to non-friends.
Meta has also been monitoring content from across the globe on the situation in the region. It has formed a group of experts, including fluent Hebrew and Arabic speakers, to oversee this effort.
The company said since October 7, when the conflict broke out, more than 795,000 pieces of content have been removed or flagged for violating Meta policies. Meta has also made changes to content pertaining to potential hostages.
Israel has launched a massive offensive in retaliation to a devastating Hamas incursion into Israel on October 7 during which 1,400 people were killed and hostages were taken.
Israel and Egypt have upheld a blockade of Gaza since Hamas took control of the territory in 2007, tightly controlling the movement goods and people.