Hostages Kidnapped from Israel


DEC 19, 2023


Today, December 7, 2023, the Oversight Board selected a case to be considered under expedited review, a process by which the board issues accelerated content decisions within 30 days in exceptional circumstances.

The case was appealed by a Facebook user concerning a video that appears to show several individuals being abducted by Hamas. The video is accompanied by a caption that decries the October 7th, 2023 attack on Israel and asks people to watch the video to “gain a deeper understanding of the horror that Israel woke up to” and share the video “with the world so that everyone can witness the tragedy.”

Upon initial review, Meta took down this content for violating our policy on Dangerous Organizations and Individuals, as laid out in the Facebook Community Standards. However, when taking into account updated policy guidance since the original decision, we determined that the content should now be allowed because it was shared in a condemnatory and awareness raising context.

We will implement the board’s decision once it has finished deliberating, and we will update this post accordingly. Please see the board’s website for the decision when they issue it.

Case decision

We welcome the Oversight Board’s decision today on this case. Both expression and safety are important to us and the people who use our services. The board overturned Meta’s original decision to take this content down but approved of the subsequent decision to restore the content with a warning screen. Meta previously reinstated this content so no further action will be taken on it.

As explained in our Help Center, some categories of content are not eligible for recommendations and the board disagrees with Meta barring the content in this case from recommendation surfaces. There will be no further updates to this case, as the board did not make any recommendations as part of their decision.

For more information on Meta’s ongoing efforts regarding the Israel-Hamas War, please see our Newsroom post.