Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, has introduced temporary measures to address “potentially unwelcome or unwanted comments” on posts related to the Israel-Hamas conflict. These measures include changing the default comment settings for new and public Facebook posts created by users in the affected region, limiting comments to friends and followers. However, the company did not specify how it defines the region.
Users have the option to opt out of these settings and adjust them according to their preferences. Additionally, Meta will disable the visibility of the first one or two comments on posts while scrolling through the Facebook feed.
Meta emphasized that its policies aim to ensure user safety while promoting free expression. The company stated that it applies these policies consistently worldwide and denied allegations of deliberately suppressing voices.
Some users had raised concerns about their content being suppressed when expressing support for Palestine or Gaza residents. Meta’s policy designates Hamas as a “dangerous organization,” leading to the removal of content praising the group.
Mondoweiss, a news website covering Palestinian human rights, reported that Instagram had suspended the profile of its video correspondent. Other Instagram users also claimed that their posts and stories related to Palestine were not receiving views.
Meta acknowledged a bug on Instagram that affected the appearance of re-posted content in users’ stories. However, the company stated that this bug was not related to the content’s subject matter and affected accounts globally.
These measures by Meta reflect its efforts to manage discussions and comments on sensitive topics like the Israel-Hamas conflict while maintaining user safety and free expression.