Reuters Fact Check Suggests Israelis Unharmed at Music Festival. They're Meta's Major Fact-Checking Partner.

(Via Washington Free Beacon)
October 14, 2023

A Reuters fact check of an online video suggests Israeli concertgoers were unharmed by Hamas's terrorist attack—and is prompting Hamas sympathizers to argue that the attack didn't happen at all.

Reuters fact checks an online video taken from an Israeli concert—but not the music festival Hamas infiltrated last weekend—and goes on to debunk the claim that Israelis were "running for their lives."  They weren’t—at the Oct. 4 concert depicted in the video—but Reuters makes no mention of the fact that hundreds of Israelis were actually slaughtered at a concert three days later. 

The social media giant Meta employs Reuters as a fact-checking partner in six countries, including the United States and Israel. Inside Meta, Israeli employees have voiced alarm that one of the company’s major partners is whitewashing terror and itself spreading confusion about the facts on the ground.

"We saw today a massive campaign on our platform denying what has happened in Israel this week and saying Israel faked it," one Israeli employee wrote in an internal email reviewed by the Free Beacon, arguing that the tendentious fact checks are "putting not only our reputation globally and in Israel at major risk but it also puts our employees at risk as they are being blamed for this and harassed by people online and on the street." 

The Reuters fact check examines an Oct. 7 tweet that purports to show Israelis "running for their lives" after Hamas terrorists infiltrated a music festival in southern Israel, but actually shows concertgoers running through the entrance of an Oct. 4 concert in Tel Aviv. But the Reuters video does not include footage from the actual Supernova Music Festival in southern Israel, where hundreds of Israelis were slaughtered by Hamas terrorists, who kidnapped some festival attendees and raped others, according to eyewitnesses. In fact, it only vaguely mentions the "desert attack."

Facebook reached an agreement with Reuters in 2020 to "fact-check content posted on the social media platform and its photo-sharing app Instagram." The company went on to rebrand as Meta, the social media conglomerate that also owns and operates WhatsApp. 

In response to Hamas's terrorist attack on Israel, which killed at least 1,300 people, Meta expanded its violence and incitement policy to remove "disturbing" content showing Israeli hostages taken by Hamas, "even if it is being done to condemn or raise awareness of their situation," Reuters reported

Reuters itself has downplayed photos of Hamas atrocities, portraying them not as evidence of the terror group's barbarism but as examples of an "apparent effort" by Israel's government to "stoke global anger against the Gaza militants." In that story—headlined, "Israel releases images of slain children to rally support after Hamas attack"—Reuters includes a quote from deputy Hamas chief Saleh Al-Arouri claiming the terror group did not plan to target Israeli civilians. 

The Reuters fact check provides a window into how some media efforts to combat "misinformation" stemming from Hamas's slaughtering of Israelis has instead inspired false claims.

One commenter used the Reuters video to argue that "no attack actually happened, Palestine will be free." Another thanked Reuters for "being the voice of the voiceless," adding the hashtag, "free Palestine." Others cited the video as proof that Israel "don't speak the truth" and is "always playing the victim card."

"Gaza IS underattack [sic] with no food no electricity no water!!!!!" one comment reads. "Please go through all the other debunked fake atrocity propaganda, the burning woman, the fake rapes and assault reports and the so called beheadings," another says. "It's so important everyone understands it's fake news!"

Neither Reuters nor Meta returned requests for comment.

Had Reuters decided to include footage of the actual Hamas massacre on the Israeli music festival, it would have had plenty of harrowing clips to choose from. In one video, Hamas terrorists are seen kidnapping a distraught Israeli woman. In another, Hamas terrorists filmed themselves shooting into portable toilets festival attendees used to hide. Videos from the festival also showed attendees running from Hamas terrorists. Later, dead Israelis gunned down by the terrorists were filmed laying on the ground.

Published under: Hamas , Israel , Media