Since Israeli-Palestinian conflict began on 7 October, the digital landscape has been swamped by a flood of misleading information, further intensifying the chaos and hatred.
READ ALSO: Israel-Gaza conflict: Everything to know about Hamas, the Palestinian militant group
As Hamas’ attacks on Israel shock the world, there are growing calls for social media giants, with the European Union urging Elon Musk, owner of X (formerly Twitter), and Mark Zuckerberg, who owns Meta, to take immediate action against disinformation.
The war on-going in Gaza has now moved to the digital realm, the consequences of which have been immense. Now, social media platforms have seen a spike in images and clips claiming to depict the conflict—a significant portion of which is fabricated—designed with the aim to manipulate public opinion and misdirect the blame on one community.
Twitter employee: We’re getting flooded with fake news about Palestine and its exposing real problems with the site, we should really redouble our-
Elon, not looking up from his phone: my friend ian cheong just explained to me that slavery never actually happened. I knew it!🤯🎯
— ThemBOO 🎃💀🐈⬛️ (@OnlyAWorldAway) October 11, 2023
I thought i had seen the worst of fake news but the disinformation about the Israel- Palestine conflict, amplified by influencers, profiles with more than a million followers has now become the dangerous ‘truth’. Fake news is shaping the narrative about an entire population
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) October 11, 2023
“I’m not picking sides” but then proceeds to pick one, claims everyone pro palestine is siding w terrorists,shares pro israel fake news to 26M followers and reduces a whole war to jewish ppl x muslims…literally fck off https://t.co/uKSgUp5eCX
— julz. (@slytherndarkln) October 11, 2023
False reports of the kidnapping of an Israeli commander, distressing photographs of alleged acts of violence against children, a manipulated White House memo announcing significant aid for Israel, and misleading videos of Russian President Vladimir Putin have overwhelmed the internet.
In the wake of Hamas’ attacks, major social media platforms, including X, have been flooded with great disinformation and falsehood. Although X’s Community Note feature correctly identified individuals in a clip as Israeli law enforcement—and not Hamas—the misleading video continues to reign on the platform. It has accumulated millions of views, and is being shared by verified accounts.
Disinformation has plagued other social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for years. However, changes in X’s policies and significant layoffs in its Trust and Safety teams have made the platform particularly vulnerable to the spread of misinformation.
byu/Wagamaga from discussion
The White House clarifies that President Biden and other officials have not actually seen any pictures of the alleged atrocities. Biden based his comments on a statement from Netanyahu’s spokesperson & media reports from Israel.
byu/s_y_s_t_e_m_i_c_ from discussion
byu/s_y_s_t_e_m_i_c_ from discussion
We are currently witnessing a mass manufacture of war consent in the colonies of the globalists (”the west”) to wage a crusade and save their occupation colony in Palestine.
Massive spreading of fake news about ”Hamas atrocities” that are being now compared to the…
— Middle East Observer (@ME_Observer_) October 10, 2023
— ʜɪʀʏᴜ (@ufc_goku) October 11, 2023
Despite reporting over 50 million posts related to the conflict, X and other tech giants have struggled to prevent the spread of disinformation, underscoring the urgent need for improved regulation. Social media helps to shape people’s perception during a war. For instance, how people sharing misleading content, miscaptioned images, or manipulated documents in the heat of the moment.
However, such posts only lead people facing the war to pay the price, and so, social media companies must be held accountable. While disinformation is expected in the chaos of a war zone, we should not tolerate it in our digital spaces, where most of us now get our information. Misleading viral content—mistaking a video game for real warfare—is perilous.
As the conflict continues, the battle against the deluge of deception on social media is one we must not lose. In times of war, information, trust, and truth are frequently the first casualties.
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