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Disinformation Runs Rampant on X Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict

Ryan Lenett



  • A video, viewed approximately 2 million times on X, suggested a fabricated portrayal of casualties by Israel.
  • In reality, the video was a segment from a Palestinian short film named “Empty Place,” concentrating on the void left by Palestinians due to Israeli occupation.
  • The video was initially posted on TikTok, later migrating to X where it gained significant attention.

Disinformation vs Misinformation

While some false content on X is intentionally spread (disinformation), others may be mistakenly shared or believed (misinformation). Notable examples include:

  • A manipulated document insinuating that Joe Biden allocated $8bn for Israel’s assistance. The authentic memo discussed a $400m aid to Ukraine.
  • Russia, long suspected of distributing false information on X, seems to leverage the Israel-Palestine conflict for its agenda. A contentious video, associating Hamas with Ukraine for weapon sales against Israel, was propagated by an X account linked to Russian mercenaries, garnering over 300,000 views.

Elon Musk & X’s Role

Elon Musk’s ownership of X, formerly Twitter, has been marked with growing concerns about:

  • His stance on free speech which some argue has exacerbated the spread of misleading content.
  • The dissolution of X’s Trust and Safety Council, initially responsible for global content moderation.
  • The introduction of “Community Notes” primarily shifts the moderation burden to its users.

Criticism mounted as antisemitic content surged post Musk’s acquisition. Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the Anti-Defamation League, accused Musk of echoing neo-Nazi messages, leading to legal threats from Musk.

Monetizing Misinformation

Under Musk’s leadership, X’s structure potentially encourages misinformation:

  • Accounts with X’s blue-check subscription service may be favored, regardless of content accuracy.
  • Viral posts from these blue-checked accounts can earn them financial rewards from X.

Ian Bremmer, a foreign policy expert, pointed out the disconcerting rise of algorithmically promoted false information concerning the Israel-Hamas war on X. The European Union has addressed its concerns over the spread of potentially illicit content on the platform.

Other Platforms in the Fray

While X has been in the spotlight, other social media platforms are similarly grappling with misinformation:

  • Rivals TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook are also overwhelmed with unsubstantiated rumors.
  • New platforms, still defining their place, might lack the influence of well-established platforms but are not immune to the spread of falsehoods. 
  • AP, Reuters, and other renowned news agencies are recommended sources for verified information during significant news events.

European Response to Misinformation

In light of the widespread misleading content surrounding the Israel-Hamas war:

  • The European Union’s digital enforcer expressed concerns to Musk and Mark Zuckerberg of Meta.
  • Britain’s Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan, summoned leaders from X, TikTok, Snapchat, Google, and Meta to deliberate on the spread of extremist content and antisemitism.

Stricter Regulations on the Horizon

European countries have been progressively tightening regulations on online content. These measures, although primarily aimed at curbing hate speech and extremist content, have implications for the spread of misinformation as well. The recent spate of false information circulating during the Israel-Hamas conflict may well expedite the establishment of even stricter guidelines and increased scrutiny for online platforms operating within the European Union and the UK.

The Commercial Incentive

It’s essential to understand the commercial drivers behind these platforms. Many social media networks are built on algorithms designed to maximize user engagement. Content that provokes strong reactions, whether accurate or not, often gets prioritized, leading to more shares, likes, and comments. This mechanism can inadvertently promote sensationalist or misleading content simply because it generates reactions.


As the conflict between Israel and Hamas intensifies, the spread of disinformation online becomes an alarming collateral issue. With platforms like X at the forefront of this challenge, the responsibility of discerning accurate from misleading content falls heavily on users. The current situation underscores the importance of relying on reputable news sources and the dire need for efficient content moderation tools across social media platforms.

With the rise of social media as a primary source of news for many, the dissemination of inaccurate information can have significant real-world consequences, affecting perceptions, emotions, and even policy-making.

Ryan is a car enthusiast and an accomplished team builder passionate about crafting captivating narratives. Known for his ability to transport readers to other worlds, his writing has garnered attention and a dedicated following. With a keen eye for detail and a gift for storytelling, Ryan continues to weave literary magic in every word he writes.