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Here’s How Companies have fared during the Israel-Hamas war over the last month

Reports have shown that employees of major social media companies have complained of speech restrictions both online and during internal communication.

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The 2023 Israel-Hamas war has been raging on since October 7 when the armed group Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups conducted a missile attack into Israel. In retaliation to the brutal crimes of mass killings and hostage-taking, Israeli forces have since then launched air bombardments across the whole of the Gaza Strip and on October 8 even imposed a complete siege in the area that cut-off Palestinians in Gaza from access to food, water, fuel, electricity and communication. However, alongside restriction to basic amenities, the war has also resulted in restriction on communication and exchange of information coming from this region. As reports over the last month continued, it appeared that not only telephonic communication but social media posts discussing the state of Palestinians, and related conversations between company employees in regions outside Israel and Gaza were also being restricted.

While MediaNama has reported on some of these developments, here is a longer listicle on how companies have been impacted by the Israel-Palestine war over the past month:

MediaNama stories around the conflict:

Adobe stock images platform sold AI-generated images showing the impact of the war in Israel and Gaza regions that were allegedly used to spread propaganda [Read]

EU Commissioner directed social media platforms Meta and X Corp to take measures against the “surge of illegal content and disinformation” relating to the Israel-Hamas war [Read]

Amnesty International asked social media companies to arrange for human oversight when assigning AI for content moderation on their platforms [Read]

Boycotts:

Pro-Palestine groups are asking for the boycott of brands that have shown support to Israel in some shape or form. This includes, companies like HP and Siemens. Similar there are calls to divest from other companies like Hikvision, Barclays, etc. [Read]

Activists on social media are asking their followers to boycott all products and companies that have invested in Israel, including Amazon and Google [Read]

Product usage:

Elon Musk, CEO of microblogging platform X, offered to provide its Starlink network to support internet in the Gaza Strip [Read]

The Israeli defence authorities asked Google and Apple to remove real-time traffic data in Israel and Gaza to protect the locations of army personnel in the region [Read]

Restrictions on speech:

Meta changed its default comments settings for Facebook posts to limit “unwanted messages” [Read]

Malaysia communications regulator accused Tiktok and Meta of blocking pro-Palestinian content [Read]

Google employees published an open letter to Google leadership stating that the company allows for “freedom of expression for Israeli Googlers versus Arab, Muslim and Palestinian Googlers.” [Read]

Microsoft shut down an internal chat group of employees that discussed the Israel-Hamas war [Read]

Telegram app versions downloaded from Google Play or Apple App Store restricted access to Hamas channel Qassam Brigades and news account Gaza now [Read]

Comments by companies:

Google, Meta, Intel and Siemens withdrew from the Web Summit’s Cosgrave event for criticising Western countries for criticising Israel [Read]

Amazon CEO condemns the Hamas attack on Israel shortly after the October 7 incident [Read]

Microsoft President Brad Smith accused Russia of sharing misinformation regarding the Israel-Gaza war during an international peace forum in Paris [Read]

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai wrote to Palestinian, Arab and Muslim Googlers and talked of providing relief worth $8 million to civilians in Gaza and Israel [Read]

TikTok put up a post regarding its actions to deal with content regarding the Israel-Hamas War [Read]

Commentary:

A marketing expert writes for The Print explaining why the Starbucks and McDonalds [Read]

First Post posts an article about how boycotting brands like McDonalds and Starbucks does raise awareness about an issue but fails to have any significant economic impact [Read]

We will keep updating this post with more resources and developments.


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Written By

I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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