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Human Rights Watch has released a report accusing Meta of engaging in a “wave of heightened censorship” that disproportionately affects Palestinians on its social media platforms, Instagram and Facebook, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The report documents over 1,000 instances where content supportive of Palestinians was removed or suppressed between October and November, highlighting a pattern of what it terms “systemic and global censorship.”

Meta Threads

The advocacy group criticized Meta for its “inconsistent enforcement” of policies, leading to the “erroneous removal of content about Palestine,” suggesting that this recent wave of suppression is part of a broader trend of overzealous content crackdowns by the tech company. Even with adjustments to its content moderation policies, Meta’s Oversight Board admitted to mistakenly removing valuable content due to heightened automated detection measures during the start of the war.

Human Rights Watch’s Deborah Brown sharply criticized Meta, stating, “Meta’s censorship of content in support of Palestine adds insult to injury at a time of unspeakable atrocities and repression already stifling Palestinians’ expression,” and highlighted the critical role of social media in allowing individuals to speak out against abuses.

In response, Meta defended its policies as aiming to balance voice and safety, acknowledging errors but rejecting the notion of deliberate systemic suppression. The company emphasized its commitment to global policy enforcement during intense conflicts, though it remains under scrutiny for its moderation practices and their impact on free expression and human rights.


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