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Israel arrests Palestinian worker after botched translation on Facebook

Facebook has faced increased scrutiny in Germany, where authorities have proposed heavy fines if online social networks fail to wipe illegal hate speech from their sites
NICHOLAS KAMM (AFP/File)
Police used automatic translation which misinterpreted the Arabic phrase 'good morning' as 'attack them'

The Israeli police arrested a Palestinian construction worker last week after mistaking the individual's "good morning" Facebook post for containing the words "attack them," Haaretz reported Sunday.

The man posted on his Facebook page a picture of the construction site where he works with a caption that read "good morning" but Israeli police misinterpreted the post by using the social media site's automatic translation service which read in Hebrew "attack them" and in English "hurt them."

No Arabic-speaking police officer reviewed the post before the arrest was made, Haaretz reported.

Israeli police in the West Bank district grew suspicious as the caption was accompanied by a picture of a bulldozer, a vehicle which, in the past, has been used to commit terror attacks.

The man was detained "on suspicion of incitement" and released shortly after when, during an interrogation, police realized that they had made an error.

The individual declined to comment on the incident and has since deleted the post.

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