Facebook, Instagram claims to ‘protect’ users by limiting posts on Middle East conflict

Nov 1, 2023 | Political News

Meta has announced that it is limiting certain features on Facebook and Instagram in order to protect users amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iranian-backed Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.

The changes, which are temporary, include limiting comments on new posts from users in the affected region to friends and close followers, and making it easier to delete comments en masse.

“After the terrorist attack by Hamas against Israel last week, and Israel’s response in Gaza, our teams introduced a series of measures to address the spike in harmful and potentially harmful content spreading on our platforms,” Meta said in an Oct. 18 news release. “Our policies are designed to keep people safe on our apps while giving everyone a voice.”

The social media giant explained that while the policies are applied equally all over the world, content “containing praise for Hamas,” or “violent and graphic content,” will not be tolerated.

The news release went on to highlight the new policies, which it claims were adopted “as a temporary measure to protect people in the region from potentially unwelcome or unwanted comments.”

Under the new rules, the default setting for who can comment on new posts has been changed for accounts in the conflict region to “Friends and/or established followers only,” and the feature that displays one or two comments below a post in the news feed has been disabled. Additionally, users can now more easily “bulk delete comments.”

A “Lock Your Profile” tool has been rolled out that will allow users to prevent others from viewing their photos and information with the click of a button.

In an Oct. 13 news release, Meta said it was taking “stronger steps to avoid recommending potentially violating and borderline violating content,” including blocking certain hashtags.

Since Hamas launched its latest wave of terrorist attacks on October 7, a large amount of updates from Israel and the Palestinian territories have spread across the world via social media.