Home Meta’s Oversight Board says Israel-Hamas videos should not have been removed

Meta’s Oversight Board says Israel-Hamas videos should not have been removed

Meta’s Oversight Board has said that it should not have removed two videos depicting hostages and injured people in the Israel-Hamas conflict, stating that such content is important to portray the extent of human suffering in the war.

The social media giant, owner of Facebook and Instagram, is coming under close scrutiny as are other platforms at this time due to concerns over misinformation and accusations of biased coverage. Content moderation is a very contentious issue, especially given this subject, with the reach of social media and the number of people who use the apps daily.

As reported by Reuters, This case is thought to be the first time the Oversight Board has examined cases with priority after the independent body pledged earlier this year to commit to a faster review process of disputed content on Facebook and Instagram.

One of the videos was removed from the latter platform, which showed the aftermath of an airstrike near Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza with children who appeared to be dead or injured. The other concerned Hamas’ attack on Israel on 7 October, with the video showing an Israeli woman begging for her life as she was taken hostage.

The Oversight Board cited both content takedowns for review and subsequently, Meta reversed its decision to censor the content and restored the videos with a warning screen before they can be viewed.

Meta’s decision to restrict the content and not recommend it to other users was not approved or enforced by the Board. Conversely, it issued a statement urging the social media giant to “respond more quickly to changing circumstances on the ground, which affect the balance between the values of voice and safety.”

In this example, we can see how the real-life situation of the horrific conflict in the Middle East conflates with online moderation and the responsibility that the social media platforms have to carry.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

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