Published: Mon, October 23, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Police arrest and question man over 'good morning' post on Facebook

Police arrest and question man over 'good morning' post on Facebook

However, the Facebook automatic translation replaced the innocent greeting with the Phrase "hurt them" in both Hebrew and English.

The Palestinian construction worker was identified as Halawim Halawi and he is said to have posted a photo showing himself standing next to a bulldozer at the Israeli settlement of Beitar Ilit, where he works, in the occupied West Bank.

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.

The automatic translation service offered by Facebook uses its own proprietary algorithms.

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It was later explained that the English translation used by Facebook isn't even an actual word in Arabic but it does look similar to the phrase "to hurt" but any Arabic speaker would be able to spot the mistake straight away.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement that 51 Palestinians were detained for " disrupting order" recently in al-Issawiya, including throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at security vehicles. Find us on Facebook too!

Israeli police arrested and questioned Halawi on suspicion of incitement, without having an Arabic speaking officer read the post prior to the arrest, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. They suspected he was threatening to carry out such an attack and the police arrested him. The social media activities of Palestinian civilians are also regularly monitored, with Jerusalem claiming the practice can prevent terror events, the details of which are sometimes revealed beforehand online by so-called 'lone wolves.' The Palestinian construction worker's post has since been deleted.

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