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

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