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15 Dez 2023

Kari Paul, The Guardian

USA: Senator demands answers from Meta over censorship of pro-Palestinian content

"Senator demands answers on reports of Meta censoring pro-Palestinian content", 15 December 2023

The US senator Elizabeth Warren issued a letter... to Mark Zuckerberg demanding information relating to allegations of suppression of pro-Palestine content on Meta platforms.

Warren cited a statement co-signed by more than 90 human rights and civil rights organizations and listed various media reports and concerns about Meta’s censorship, removal and mistranslation of Palestine-related content since Hamas attacks on Israel escalated conflict there in October.

The letter also cites a report from the Wall Street Journal that revealed Meta had implemented a “temporary risk response measure” that automatically flagged posts about Palestine at a higher rate. The company’s system typically hides or suppresses content when they are 80% certain it is inflammatory, but in the weeks after the 7 October attacks it reduced that threshold to 25%.

Such alleged removals and suppressions are ongoing, with Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine stating its Instagram account was suspended without explanation on 12 December. On 13 December Instagram introduced a new fact-checking tool that many claimed was disproportionately filtering out information about Palestine.

In addition to expressing concern about the alleged censorship, Warren noted other disturbing incidents, including one in which Instagram mistakenly added “terrorist” to profiles of Palestinian users.

Meta did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Warren posed dozens of questions to Zuckerberg relating to exactly how Meta moderates content and why, while requesting a list of every instance in the past five years in which Meta has changed the content-moderation threshold for a particular nation or territory and the numbers of posts removed from the platform. She also requested details on whether Meta made changes following the inquiry into its 2021 suppression of Palestinian voices.

Warren has requested answers to these questions by 5 January 2024.