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Facebook Forms Unit To Fight Pro-Hamas Support Groups



Facebook Inc set up a 24-7 “special operations center”  to respond to content posted on its platform about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict amid violence in the region, the company informed on Wednesday.

Amid the recent flare-up of violence between Hamas and Israel, social media users have shared an image that they claim shows a Palestinian child cleaning up the blood of his mother in Gaza.

The image, however, was taken nine years prior to the current unrest and does not show human blood - nor is it related to conflict.

This happened in Gaza based on this photo. A 5 year old child cleansed the blood of his mother, his family in his own home, the picture has been captioned. He mopped up.

Pro-Hamas activists utilised a photo of an Arab child in Judea and Samaria mopping up cow blood in his parents’ slaughterhouse.

Facebook did not react to such messages for days.

Misinformation, hate speech and calls for violence about the conflict have circulated on social media platforms amid the deadly fighting.

Hamas supporters engineered hysteria on Facebook and other social channel misled public opinion on the existing situation in the Palestinian Autonomy's Gaza Strip, the firms' officials admitted on Wednesday.

This operations center allows us to closely monitor the situation so we can remove content that violates our community standards faster, while also addressing possible errors in enforcement, Ms. Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of content policy, told reporters on a conference call.

Facebook has previously set up similar operations centers to focus on situations like global elections.

Facebook executives met with Israeli Defense Minister Mr. Benny Gantz via Zoom, Politico reported last week.

Facebook spokesman Mr. Andy Stone stated that Facebook’s head of global affairs, Mr. Nick Clegg, and other executives had on Tuesday spoken to Palestinian Authonomy Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.

Facebook banned Hamas

On Wednesday Facebook informed it has banned Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas from its platform and removes content praising the group regarded by Israel, the United States and the European Union as a terrorist group.

Facebook’s Ms. Bickert said the new operations center was staffed by experts, including native Arabic and Hebrew speakers.

California-based Facebook has been criticized in the past for lacking local language expertise and resources amid violent situations in other countries.


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