Violent images and graphic videos flooded social media on Saturday, claiming to show the dead and wounded bodies of Israeli and Palestinian civilians.
On X, formerly known as Twitter, a violent video claiming to show the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers had been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Saturday morning. The New York Times found hundreds of X accounts sharing images of dead bodies, claiming to be Israeli civilians killed in the past 24 hours of fighting. Some of the images viewed by The Times appeared to be manipulated and edited.
Underneath some of the videos and images posted on X, people warned that they could be spread as part of a campaign to stoke fear among Israelis. Some of the accounts claimed to be working on behalf of Hamas.
On WhatsApp, Israelis warned one another not to look at X, which often auto-plays videos without warning.
“Don’t look, you might see someone you know,” wrote one person on a WhatsApp group dedicated to a neighborhood of South Tel Aviv.
There is a long history of misinformation being shared among Israeli and Palestinian groups, with false claims and conspiracy theories rising during moments of heightened violence in the region.
Since Elon Musk took ownership of the platform a year ago, he has eliminated many of the content moderation teams that once removed violent imagery from the platform.
X did not respond to a request for comment on whether it was working to remove the images.