Thursday, October 19, 2023
Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook, has announced temporary measures to limit comments that may be considered "unwelcome or unwanted" on posts related to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
According to an updated blog post by Meta, it will change the default setting for users' news and public Facebook posts created in the region to allow only their friends and followers to comment.
This move is aimed at controlling potentially contentious discussions on sensitive topics, Reuters reported. However, a Meta spokesperson declined to specify how the company defined the region.
Users can opt-out and change the setting at any time, Meta said.
The social media giant also said that it will disable the visibility of the first one or two comments on posts that users are typically able to view as they browse through the Facebook feed.
"Our policies are designed to keep people safe on our apps while giving everyone a voice," Meta said. "We apply these policies equally around the world and there is no truth to the suggestion that we are deliberately suppressing voice."
Earlier this week, some users who posted in support of Palestine or Gaza citizens accused Meta of suppressing their content. Meta designates Hamas as a "dangerous organisation" and bans content praising the group.
Mondoweiss, a news website that covers Palestinian human rights, said on social media platform X on October 10 that Instagram had twice suspended the profile of its video correspondent.
Other Instagram users reported their posts and stories about Palestine were not receiving views.
Meta said it fixed a bug on Instagram that caused re-posted content to not appear correctly in a user's story, which disappears after 24 hours.
"This bug affected accounts equally around the globe – not only people trying to post about what’s happening in Israel and Gaza – and it had nothing to do with the subject matter of the content," Meta said.