Facebook suspended a feature on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s account Thursday after someone managing the profile posted comments suggesting Arabs plan to destroy all Jewish people.
The move, which Facebook says will last for 24 hours, comes after chatbot messages were sent from Netanyahu’s page stating that “Arabs want to annihilate us all,” Israeli publication Haaretz reported. The now-deleted message appeared to users who accessed Netanyahu’s Facebook page Wednesday.
It urged users to convince voters to cast their ballot for Netanyahu’s Likud Party in an upcoming election. A chatbot in Facebook is an artificial intelligence program capable of conversing with people and providing suggestions to users.
The message said: “We cannot have … a secular left-wing weak government that relies on Arabs who want to annihilate us all – women, children and men.” Facebook confirmed the move to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“After careful review of the Likud campaign’s bot activities, we found a violation of our hate speech policy. We also found that the bot was misusing the platform by contacting people outside the time period allowed,” Facebook spokesman Thomas Richards told the DCNF.
He added: “As a result, we temporarily suspended the bot for 24 hours. Should there be any additional violations, we will continue to take appropriate action.” Facebook’s move comes as American conservatives say the social media company is too quick to nix content.
Netanyahu told Israel Radio a campaign employee posted it “mistakenly,” Bloomberg reported Thursday.
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- U.S. President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to Jerusalem, Israel, in May 2017.: Screen grab