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Facebook Suspends Netanyahu’s Chatbot Again

Facebook Suspends Netanyahu’s Chatbot Again

Wednesday, 18 September, 2019 - 07:30
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party blamed the post on an error by a staffer (AFP)

Facebook has announced suspending the “chatbot” from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Facebook account again this week. because it illegally shared polling data in contravention of Facebook's regulations.

The move is also conditioned on Netanyahu stopping illegally giving radio or television interviews.

The chatbot is a type of automated software that simulates a conversation with a user.

“We’re working with elections officials around the world to help ensure the integrity of the elections,” a Facebook spokesperson said in its initial statement about the suspension.

“Our policy explicitly states that developers are required to obey all laws applicable in the country where their application is available.”

“We have restricted this bot for violating local law until the polling stations are closed tonight (Tuesday),” the statement noted.

Late last week, Facebook blocked the Likud Party’s chatbot after sending messages from Netanyahu's page calling on voters to oppose a government composed of “Arabs who want to destroy us all – women, children and men.”

Judge Hanan Melcer, chairman of the Israeli Central Elections Committee, accused Netanyahu of violating Israeli law and the committee’s instructions by conducting a series of interviews on right-wing radio stations.

According to Section 129 of the Israel Election Law, candidates are forbidden from giving radio and television interviews on election day.

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