From the River to the Sea Bundle


MAY 7, 2024

2024-004-FB-UA, 2024-005-FB-UA, 2024-006-UA

Today, May 7, 2024, the Oversight Board selected a case bundle appealed by Facebook users regarding three pieces of content that employ the phrase “From the River to the Sea” in reference to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Meta determined that each of the three pieces of content did not violate our policies on Violence and Incitement, Hate Speech, or Dangerous Organizations and Individuals, as laid out in the Facebook Community Standards, and left the content up.

Our Violence and Incitement policy prohibits “violent speech targeting a person or group of people on the basis of their protected characteristic(s).” Similarly, under our Hate Speech policy, we prohibit direct attacks against people based on their protected characteristics, which includes “statements of inferiority, expressions of contempt or disgust; cursing; and calls for exclusion or segregation” based on a person’s protected characteristics. In reviewing the phrase “From the River to the Sea” in the aftermath of the attacks of October 7, 2023 and Israel’s response, some stakeholders have shared that they view the phrase as anti-semitic or as a threat to the State of Israel. Others have shared that they use the phrase in support of the Palestinian people and believe that calling it anti-semitic is either inaccurate or rooted in Islamophobia. Based on these differing views of the phrase, Meta cannot conclude, without additional context, that the users in the content in question are using the phrase as a call to violence against a group based on their protected characteristics or to advocate for the exclusion of a particular group.

Our Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy prohibits “glorification…of various dangerous organizations and individuals,” which we define as “legitimizing or defending the violent or hateful acts of a designated entity by claiming that those acts have a moral, political, logical or other justification that makes them acceptable or reasonable.” Meta is aware that the phrase is not linked exclusively to Hamas and, furthermore, none of the three pieces of content in this case bundle suggest support for Hamas or glorifies the organization.

As we’ve said previously, given the discourse surrounding events in the Middle East we believe it’s important to assess our guidance for reviewing content. That work is ongoing and we are committed to better understanding the potential impacts on different communities. We will implement the board’s decision once it has finished deliberating, and will update this post accordingly. Please see the Board's website for the decision when it is issued.