Graffiti left by ISIS militants during the looting of Palmyra reads "We remain," Syria, April 2016
Omar Sanadiki / Reuters

On June 23, Facebook announced that it had updated its community standards to include a ban on “content that attempts to buy, sell, trade, donate, gift or solicit historical artifacts.” The policy change, which signals a major shift in Facebook’s position on the trade in cultural property, comes in response to calls of alarm from archaeologists and terrorism experts over the illegal trade in looted Middle Eastern antiquities that has flourished on the platform in recent years.

Antiquities trafficking has taken place on Facebook since around the time of the Arab Spring in 2011. But the platform emerged as a major

Finish reading this article for free.

Enter your email and we'll send a paywall-free link directly to your inbox.

In addition to your unlocked article, you will receive our flagship weekly newsletter Foreign Affairs This Week, as well as occasional updates and offers from Foreign Affairs. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, visit our user agreement and privacy policy.

Get unlimited access to all Foreign Affairs. Subscribe now.

Are you already a subscriber? Sign in.