Jan. 7, 2024

Today is the three month anniversary of the vicious Hamas attack and abduction of hostages that ignited the current war in Gaza. Just before the New Year, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) published a report titled “Distortion by Design: How Social Media Platforms Shaped Our Initial Understanding of the Israel-Hamas Conflict.” This week, Justin Hendrix spoke to the report’s authors— Emerson T. Brooking, Layla Mashkoor, and Jacqueline Malaret— about their observations of the role that platforms operated by X, Meta, Telegram, and TikTok have played in shaping perceptions of the initial attack and the brutal ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza, which now continues into its fourth month. 

“Evident across all platforms,” they write, “is the intertwined nature of content moderation and political expression—and the critical role that social media will play in preserving the historical record.”

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