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    Social Media Apps Battle Against the Spread of Hamas Videos

    Disturbing Rise of Hamas Violence Videos on Social Media Sparks Global Concern and Calls for Stricter Regulation

    I‘ve encountered disturbing news about Hamas videos on social media apps. It seems that videos showing Hamas terrorists involved in violent acts during the recent conflict with Israel are spreading on a platform called X and the messaging app Telegram. These videos have been online for hours and sometimes even days.

    On X, some of these videos were shared by verified accounts and garnered millions of views. It’s quite concerning. On Telegram, known for having fewer content rules, videos from the official Qassam Brigades account are labeled as first-person footage from terrorists involved in the attack.

    Violent content removal
    Via aljazeera

    I tried contacting X for a comment but received an automated response saying they were too busy. Telegram didn’t respond at all. The CEO of Telegram, Pavel Durov, mentioned that they remove harmful content but also believe in allowing war-related range for research and journalism purposes. He argued that, unlike other apps, Telegram users only see content they subscribed to, reducing the spread of propaganda.

    Interestingly, NBC News couldn’t find such violent videos on other major tech platforms, even though footage from the conflict is widespread. This is particularly problematic, especially in the case of content officially endorsed by groups identified as terrorist organizations.

    Online radicalization
    Via responsiblestatecraft

    Tech companies have had rules regarding terrorist content for years, dating back to the days of ISIS propaganda videos. However, it seems that X, under the leadership of Elon Musk, has scaled back its moderation efforts. They’ve also changed their definition of a “verified” user, prioritizing those who pay for a premium subscription, which can potentially promote harmful content.

    A non-profit group called Tech Transparency Project brought attention to Hamas content on X, highlighting the use of verified accounts to promote these videos. The European Commission has even warned X about allowing terrorism videos to spread on major websites, potentially leading to fines.

    Telegram has been a hub for terrorist and extremist content for a long time. It’s often the first place where footage from such incidents is shared before it reaches other platforms like X. The Qassam Brigades have a large Telegram channel with over 600,000 subscribers, and disturbing videos from the recent conflict are still available there.

    Yasmin Green, the CEO of Jigsaw, a Google-owned organization, expressed her concern. She worries that these Hamas videos could inspire more violence, similar to how ISIS used violent videos for recruitment years ago on platforms like Telegram and Twitter. She fears that we might see a rise in radicalization due to such content.

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