EU Asks YouTube, X To Remove Misinformation As Ad Industry Unites Within Israel

Google CEO Sundar Pichai and X CEO Linda Yaccarino have received letters from the European Commissioner for Internal Market to remove misinformation appearing on YouTube and X, respectively, following the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel.

And this week, students across this country at universities and colleges rejected the horrors that Hamas militants inflicted on Israeli citizens that was streamed live on social services like TikTok -- media they use daily.

Misinformation has spread rapidly on social media and in search queries. In a letter posted yesterday on X, the company's CEO, Linda Yaccarino, wrote that the company has “taken action to remove or label tens of thousands of pieces of content” that could include false information about the attacks in Israel.



“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 wrote.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai received a similar letter on Friday from Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, asking the company to remove disinformation and illegal content from YouTube amid the war between Israel and Hamas.

"Following the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel, we are seeing a surge of illegal content and disinformation being disseminated in the EU via certain platforms," Breton wrote in his letter.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) requires online platforms to remove illegal content from their platforms.

Meta introduced a content-monitoring plan in response to the Israeli and Hamas war on Friday, including the removal of more than 795,000 pieces of content that violated several policies.

Next month, Meta takes the chair position of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT)’s Operating Board. GIFCT is an NGO that brings together technology companies to tackle terrorist content online through research, technical collaboration and knowledge sharing. 

Terrorist content might spread rapidly across social media, but the real terror continues in Israel.

“It is difficult to comprehend what is happening, the cruelty and atrocities on the first day are unimaginable,” Shirley Grill-Rachman, COO at Skai, wrote in an email to Search & Performance Insider. “Our U.S., European and LATAM teams are supportive and have been amazing, being human, supporting their peers on the personal level and truly acting by our core values.”

Grill-Rachman said that amid the chaos, the company’s main efforts are to support its employees both physically and emotionally to ensure they are safe, and to help support individuals who need to move to a different location, as well as provide them with mental and emotional support. 

“We are working directly with the managers and the employees, reaching out daily and providing additional levels of support on a case-by-case basis and as needed such as housing, games, access to mental health specialists, and more,” Grill-Rachman told Search & Performance Insider in an email. “We offer access to support lines, sessions with experts on how to deal with stress, and access to activities for kids while they are at home."

She said many are taking part in volunteering and as a company, Skai is joining efforts that are already taking place -- sharing resources and access to some of these volunteering initiatives with our employees.

Philanthropic efforts are not limited to their team in Israel, she said -- some Skai employees in other countries have raised their hands to contribute to philanthropic efforts.

“Our employees are safe for now, but as Israel is a small country, everyone has been impacted within one to two degrees of separation,” she said. “This is why emotional and mental support is crucial.”

Omri Argaman, CMO and chief growth officer at Zoomd, said the company is supporting clients, adding: “Some of our team members and spouses being called up for reserve duty. Since Saturday, we’ve expected this and created contingency plans to ensure that there is no disruption of our service for any of our clients.”

With so many casualties, everyone in Israel either knows someone who is directly impacted, or has a close friend who has been impacted. 

“I’m not going to kid anyone: these are difficult times,” Keren Shlush, head of Marketing at Zoomd, wrote. “Earlier this week, I attended the funeral of the daughter of a close friend who was called in the attack on Saturday.”

Shlush pointed to videos of houses being burned with people inside and even one where a woman’s death was posted on her Facebook page, according to CNN. Hamas used the victim’s phones to post the murders from their Facebook page.

Despite all the documented carnage, some college and university student organizations signed a statement solely blaming Israel and staging rallies to support the Palestinians. They tried to do this anonymously, but a group discovered the names of the protesters and  earlier this week used a truck with an electronic billboard to drive around Harvard’s campus displaying the names and photos of students that through school organizations solely blame Israel.

Since the public shaming, some students have withdrawn their names, but the group’s president told CNN that despite the withdrawal of some, there are new people signing up hourly.

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