Oct 24, 2023

Hany Farid: Social Media Companies Get ‘Big Fat F’ in Moderating Israel-Hamas War Content


Social Media Companies Get ‘Big Fat F’ in Moderating Israel-Hamas War Content, Say Hate-Speech Watchers

By Rachel Myrow

A growing group of academics and civil discourse advocates are sounding the alarm over a surge in hate speech and disinformation on all major social media platforms as the Israel-Hamas war escalates.

Consider the most recent dramatic example, in the hours following the Oct. 17 air strike of a hospital in Gaza that killed scores of civilians. As journalists and respected investigative groups tried to make sense of the incident, social media exploded with unfounded accusations from Hamas and its supporters that the missile had been fired by Israel and had killed close to 500 people. They then cast doubt on subsequent evidence suggesting that the hospital was most likely hit by an errant rocket fired by Palestinian militants and that the death toll — while still strikingly high — was significantly lower than initially reported...

“It’s not just that there are fraudulent pieces of information out there. When the authentic pieces of information come out, we don’t know if we should trust it,” said Hany Farid, a UC Berkeley School of Information professor specializing in detecting manipulated media and deep fakes. “And that makes reasoning about what is happening really difficult. Nobody fundamentally knows what’s going on anymore, and that’s insane...”

Read the full article here.

Hany Farid is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences and the School of Information at UC Berkeley. He specializes in digital forensics.

Last updated:

October 26, 2023