Facebook Censors Netanyahu Days Before Election

For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:14 (The Israel Bible™)

Facebook suspended an automates chatbot on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official page reports The Guardian. The social media site claimed that it violated the site’s hate speech policy after automatically sending page visitors a message warning of Arabs who “want to annihilate us all”.

In the midst of a tight election race in Israel, the Israeli PM Netanyahu is looking to attract far-right religious as well as nationalist voters who don’t trust the political influence of Israeli Arabs.

Facebook said on Thursday that it suspended the automated chat feature on his page, which is operated by Netanyahu’s Likud party, for a span of 24 hours.

“After careful review of the Likud campaign’s bot activities, we found a violation of our hate speech policy,” Facebook said in a statement. “Should there be any additional violations, we will continue to take appropriate action.”

The message has since been deleted and instead wrote that Netanyahu would promise to pursue “a right-wing policy of a Jewish state, security, and a strong Israel”.

It also said that any coalition that included Arab parties will be “a secular left weak government that depends on Arabs who want to annihilate us all – women, children and men”.

Although the chatbot features Netanyahu’s name and image, the text shows a volunteer as having been the one to have sent the message.

In an interview with Kan Reshet Bet radio, Netanyahu denied writing the post, saying it was an employee error.