Meta’s Oversight Board will rule on ‘from the river to the sea’

Meta’s Oversight Board is hearing a new series of cases involving commentary on the Israel-Hamas conflict. The board says it will review three cases involving Facebook posts that use the phrase “from river to sea.”

despite using the slogan The conflict, which has existed for several decades, received renewed attention and research after the October 7 attacks. “On the one hand, this phrase was used to defend the dignity and human rights of Palestinians,” the board said in a statement. “On the other hand, it could have anti-Semitic implications, as the users who submitted the case to the Council have argued.”

The Board notes that in all three cases, Meta found that the posts did not violate its policy of promoting violence, hate speech, or terrorist content. The Review Board says it will “consider how Meta should regulate the use of the term after October 7, 2023, given the resurgence of use and controversy over the meaning of the term.”

This is not the first time that the Oversight Council has reviewed cases related to the Israel-Hamas conflict. The group had previously taken on several jobs related to the removal of graffiti related to the October 7 attacks and the subsequent airstrikes in Gaza. In these cases, the group’s first “accelerated reviews” Meta’s automatic moderation tools to mistakenly remove posts that should be left blank.

Notably, the council said all three posts in its recent work were initially shared last November. Unlike previous cases of conflict, the Supervisory Board will not rush its decisions. This means that it may take several weeks before the decision is published. Meta will then have 60 days to respond to any policy recommendations that come out of the job.

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