Facebook set up a “special operation center” that is active 24 hours a day to moderate hate speech and violent content related to the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict, a senior Facebook executive said Wednesday.
“We’ve done it the past, when there is a safety threat on the ground and we know the landscape will be changed rapidly. What we do is we take people from across the company and clip them together,” the company’s Vice President for Content Policy Monika Bickert told reporters.
The center gathers native speakers of Arabic and Hebrew to “stay ahead of the trends,” remove content that violates the company’s policies or reinstate material that was wrongfully deleted, Bickert said. “We’ll keep it going as long as necessary,” she added.
There is “no specific date” on when the center was set, she also said.
Bickert said that the company had already set up similar schemes during the wildfires in Australia and California and the elections in Brazil, among others.
Online platforms have been caught in the middle of the raging conflict with Israel and militant group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. This week, Google’s YouTube removed an ad sponsored by the Israeli government for not complying with its policies on depicting violence, Motherboard reported.
The New York Times reported that Israeli extremists fueled violence against Palestinians on more than a 100 new groups on the messaging service WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook.
Over the weekend, top Facebook lobbyists Nick Clegg and Joel Kaplan met virtually with high-ranking Israeli officials and were expected to speak with the Palestinian authorities this week.