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X has removed hundreds of Hamas-linked accounts following shock attack

What is Hamas, group behind Israel attack?
What is Hamas, the group behind the deadly attack in Israel? 04:31

Social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) said it has removed "hundreds" of accounts affiliated with Palestinian terror group Hamas in an effort to curb the spread of "terrorist content" online. 

X CEO Linda Yaccarino said early Thursday that the platform has taken down accounts that violate its "Violent and Hateful Entities Policy" aimed at stemming the proliferation of terrorist content on the platform. The platform has also addressed and removed certain posts that include graphic media as well as violent and hate speech. 

The statement came in response to an order from European Union Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton's for Elon Musk, X's owner, to outline X's approach to stemming the spread of misinformation on X.

"There is no place on X for terrorist organizations or violent extremist groups and we continue to remove such accounts in real time, including proactive efforts," Yaccarino said a letter to Breton.

X's safety account had said late Monday that posts from daily active users in Israel increased after Hamas launched a surprise attack on the country over the weekend. Users have also shared more than 50 million posts related to the attack, X said. Some of the posts mischaracterized video or showed graphic footage and have driven the spread of misinformation on X and elsewhere across the internet. 

X also said it is monitoring the platform for antisemitic speech. It added that it is coordinating with other social media platforms to stem the spread of terrorist content across the internet through the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT).

"In this rapidly evolving situation, we continue to work with our members to identify and follow trends in content and activity online related to terrorist and violent extremist actors involved in the offline violence," GIFCT said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch. "This includes the possibility that a range of terrorist and violent extremist networks and groups may seek to exploit the conflict for their own purposes, as we have seen in past events."

A spokesperson for X did not immediately respond to CBS MoneyWatch's request for comment. 

Israel ramps up airstrikes on Gaza, Israelis still stunned by scale of Hamas attack 06:50

Some of the posts under scrutiny that violate X policies include old video footage falsely alleging to show images from Hamas' current attack. X flagged such posts as containing media being "presented out of context." 

Hate speech jumped on the service after X owner Elon Musk laid off content moderators, studies have shown

Dina Sadek, a Middle East research fellow at Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, told CBS MoneyWatch that "there is a ton of misinformation about how this operation came to be and what parties were involved," referring to the Hamas attack.

Sadek also expressed concern that violent, hateful and inaccurate posts could "potentially fuel hate speech and incite further violence."

Israel said the surprise attack killed more than 1,200 Israelis people and wounded some 3,000 more. Israeli airstrikes on Hamas-run Gaza following the assault have killed more than 1,200 people, including hundreds of children, according to health officials in the region.

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