GazaAtia Mohammed/Flash90

From the first day of the war between Israel and Hamas, social media accounts supporting the terrorist organization began publishing posts meant to mislead the public and spread disinformation.

One photograph that made its rounds on the first night of the war was that of a man stumbling through the streets of Gaza wearing only undergarments, with the claim that the man in the photo is Nimrod Aloni, a high-ranking Israeli general. Within a few hours, those claims were debunked after the IDF published photos of that same commander at a briefing with other leading officers.

Another bit of disinformation that was published within hours of the Hamas invasion, which sparked the war, was a video of several little children locked in chicken coops. The X user who used posted the video claimed that the video showed several Israeli children kept in chicken coops by Hamas terrorists. The Israeli fact-checking site Fake Reporter found that the video was posted four days prior to the start of the war.

Other false videos attempted to prop up the success of Hamas' murderous invasion. One video, supposedly showing a terrorist shooting down an Israeli helicopter, was found to be taken from a video game. Another video, which shows uniformed men unloading what is claimed to be Israeli officers from a vehicle, was found actually to be showing Azerbaijani police apprehending rebel forces.

The fake news did not halt once Israel began retaliating by striking Hamas targets. Within the first hours of the Israeli strikes, X users began circulating rumors that Israel destroyed the Saint Porphyros Church in Gaza, but the church itself took to X to debunk those rumors. Another video shows a child crying, reportedly after his sisters were killed in an Israeli airstrike. That video was found to have been filmed in Syria and was uploaded to YouTube in 2014.

The problem of disinformation regarding war is not a new one, but as technology progresses, the ability to spread such information increases. According to NBC News, researchers uncovered a propaganda network of 67 accounts on the X social platform that are coordinating a campaign of posting false, inflammatory content related to the Israel-Hamas war.

Since Elon Musk acquired the social media site formerly known as Twitter, he has loosened restrictions on publishing disinformation. Instead of removing posts that disseminate false information as it did in the past, the site now uses "Community Notes," which are based on reports by other X users and are posted under deceitful posts.

After NBC News emailed X, formerly known as Twitter, for comment Tuesday, the company began suspending some of the accounts, though others are still visible. The company responded with an automated message: “Busy now, please check back later.”

The European Union has also gotten involved, in a letter addressed to X owner Elon Musk, Thierry Breton, a top European commissioner, said X faces “very precise obligations regarding content moderation” and that the company’s handling of the unfolding conflict so far has raised doubts about its compliance.

As a platform subject to Europe’s Digital Services Act (DSA), X could face billions in fines if regulators conclude that violations have occurred. X didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In response to the complaints, X did say it is removing accounts affiliated with the Hamas terror group in an effort to curb the spread of "terrorist content" online.

The platform has a policy against "Violent and Hateful Entities Policy," according to which the company is taking steps to remove accounts that support Hamas or are sharing graphic media related to the invasion. The company also said it is monitoring the platform for antisemitic speech and is working with other platforms to prevent it from spreading through different networks.

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