'Good morning' Facebook post leads to arrest of Palestinian

October 22, 2017
A Palestinian worker walks on a rooftop in the settlement of Beitar Ilit in the West Bank in December 2009. A Palestinian who wo
A Palestinian worker walks on a rooftop in the settlement of Beitar Ilit in the West Bank in December 2009. A Palestinian who works at the settlement was mistakenly arrested this month after a Facebook post was mistranslated

Israeli police have mistakenly arrested then released a Palestinian who posted "good morning" in Arabic on Facebook after software mistranslated it as "attack them," police and a media report said Sunday.

Police only confirmed that a Palestinian had been mistakenly arrested then released following suspicions of incitement, but a report in Haaretz newspaper provided further details.

According to the report, which would neither confirm nor deny, the Palestinian man posted a picture of himself leaning against a bulldozer at the Israeli settlement of Beitar Ilit, where he works, in the occupied West Bank.

Along with the picture, an Arabic phrase meaning "good morning" was also posted. Facebook's translation software interpreted the post to mean "attack them" in Hebrew and "hurt them" in English, Haaretz reported.

It was unclear how such a translation error could have been made as there are no apparent similarities between the Arabic expression used for "good morning" and the phrases in Hebrew or English.

Police were notified and the man was arrested last week, the report said. He was released after a few hours when police realised the mistake, it said.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP "a few days ago, a Palestinian was detained for questioning on suspicion of incitement through his Facebook page."

She said he was "immediately released" after the suspicions turned out to be false.

Haaretz reported that the Facebook post has since been deleted.

Explore further: Hong Kong Facebook user arrested over hacking threat

Related Stories

Israel takes on Facebook in battle against incitement

July 21, 2016

Nine months ago, Dareen Tatour posted a poem to Facebook about her frustration over spiking violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Days later, Israeli police banged on her door in the middle of the night and arrested ...

Recommended for you

Technology near for real-time TV political fact checks

January 18, 2019

A Duke University team expects to have a product available for election year that will allow television networks to offer real-time fact checks onscreen when a politician makes a questionable claim during a speech or debate.

Privacy becomes a selling point at tech show

January 7, 2019

Apple is not among the exhibitors at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, but that didn't prevent the iPhone maker from sending a message to attendees on a large billboard.

China's Huawei unveils chip for global big data market

January 7, 2019

Huawei Technologies Ltd. showed off a new processor chip for data centers and cloud computing Monday, expanding into new and growing markets despite Western warnings the company might be a security risk.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.