A man in the West Bank was arrested by Israeli police after he wrote “good morning” in Arabic on Facebook […]
A man in the West Bank was arrested by Israeli police after he wrote “good morning” in Arabic on Facebook and then software mistranslated his words as “attack them”.
Palestinian builder Halawim Halawi had posted the words with a photo of himself in the Israeli settlement of Beitar Ilit where he works.
Alongside the photo, which shows the worker leaning against a bulldozer, he wrote: “Good morning.”
Yet the automatic translation service offered by Facebook, which uses its own proprietary algorithms, translated the words to mean “attack them” in Hebrew and “hurt them” in English.
The police were notified and arrested the man on suspicion of incitement, but he was released after a few hours once the mistake was realised.
The Judea and Samaria District police confirmed the details and said a mistake in translation was made, which led to the mistaken arrest. The police agreed the correct translation was “good morning.”
The Palestinian man declined to speak with Haaretz. He removed the post from his Facebook page after the arrest.