Facebook Tells Moderators to Allow Graphic Images of Russian Airstrikes But Censors Israeli Attacks

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Internal memos show Meta [the parent company of Facebook and Instagram] deemed attacks on Ukrainian civilians “newsworthy.” No such carveouts were ever made for Palestinian victims of Israeli state violence. During the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza, between August 5 and August 15, [civil society group] 7amleh tallied nearly 90 deletions of content or account suspensions relating to bombings. In an expanded, internal version of the Community Standards guide obtained by The Intercept, the section dealing with graphic content includes a series of policy memos directing moderators to deviate from the standard rules or bring added scrutiny to bear on specific breaking news events. Meta directed moderators to make sure that graphic imagery of Ukrainian civilians killed in Russian attacks was not deleted on seven different occasions. At the outset of the invasion, the company took the rare step of lifting speech restrictions around the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi unit of the Ukrainian military previously banned under the company’s Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy. Reuters reported that Meta temporarily permitted users to explicitly call for the death of Russian soldiers. Critics charge that the company’s censorship policies … tidily align with U.S. foreign policy interests. [Omar] Shakir of Human Rights Watch [states that] “by silencing many people arbitrarily and without explanation, Meta is replicating online some of the same power imbalances and rights abuses we see in the real world.”

Note: Read about the increasing issue of censorship that undermines democracy in our Mass Media Information Center. Furthermore, watch a 14-minute interview with a Facebook whistleblower that exposes Facebook censorship techniques.

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Author: {Want To Know}

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