Facebook suspends Netanyahu’s chatbot for sharing polling information
Jerusalem, Sep. 17 (PTI): Social media giant, Facebook, on Tuesday suspended Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Facebook chatbot for the second time in less than a week, this time for “violating local laws”.
Facebook suspended Netanyahu’s chatbot for the remainder of election day after it illegally shared polling information, the Times of Israel reported.
We’re working with elections officials around the world to help ensure the integrity of the elections. Our policy explicitly states that developers are required to obey all laws applicable in the country where their application is accessible,” a spokesperson for Facebook was quoted by the news portal as saying.
“Therefore we’ve suspended the (Netanyahu) bot’s activity, in light of the violation of local law, until the close of the polls at 10 PM on Tuesday”, he added.
The social media giant had suspended a chatbot operated by Netanyahu’s official page for violating “hate speech policies” last Thursday after a message spread by his campaign warned that Arab Israeli politicians want to annihilate us all.
The ruling Likud Party had then disavowed the content as a mistake by a campaign worker, and said that “it had not been approved by the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Netanyahu did not see these things, did not approve them, does not agree with them, and opposes them, a Likud statement then said.
When the content was brought to his attention, he asked that it be taken down immediately, it added.
Netanyahu in a radio interview on Thursday had reiterated that it was a mistake by a campaign employee, emphasising, “I have friends in Arab countries and have respect for all people”.
The Israeli Prime Minister is not new to such controversies and has also been accused of resorting to racism in order to win elections and stay in power. On the election day in 2015, Netanyahu famously warned that Arabs were voting in droves in a bid to get out right-wing voters, comments that evoked worldwide condemnation and for which he later apologised.