Facebook announced on Thursday, September 12, that it was suspending a chatbot operated by far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official page for violating hate speech policies, after a message spread by his campaign warned that Arabs citizens of Israel “want to annihilate us all.” The head of the Joint List, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), who had complained to Facebook about the bot, welcomed the move.
“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 in the time allowed to contact people. As a result, we suspended the bot for 24 hours. Should there be any additional violations, we will continue to take appropriate action,” a company spokesperson said.
Odeh said, “Yesterday we went directly to Facebook and demanded that they stop giving a platform to Netanyahu’s dangerous incitement and today we are seeing the results. We won against the [deploying of] cameras [in polling stations] and we beat the incitement too. There is an effect.”
In response to the Facebook chatbot, Odeh on Wednesday called the prime minister a “psychopath” and complained to Facebook. “Netanyahu is a psychopath with no red lines,” Odeh added. “He wants blood. This disgraceful criminal will continue his bloodletting of us as long as he believes it will help him avoid prison.”