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    Facebook Temporarily Blocks Likud Campaign's Chat Bot Over Violation of Hate Speech Policy

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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Facebook has announced it blocked a Facebook Messenger chatbot of the Israeli centre-right Likud party, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for 24 hours over breaching the social media's hate speech policy.

    "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 period allowed to contact people. As a result, we temporarily suspended the bot for 24 hours. Should there be any additional violations, we will continue to take appropriate action", a spokesperson for Facebook said, as quoted by The Jerusalem Post newspaper.

    The suspension came after subscribers to Netanyahu's official Facebook account received a message that contained calls to support the Likud party at the upcoming snap election to the Knesset, the unicameral national legislature of Israel. The message also urged recipients to avoid the creation of a left-wing government of "Arabs, who want to destroy us all — women, children and men — and allow nuclear Iran that will kill us".

    Netanyahu told reporters following the incident that he was unaware of this message and assumed that it was a consequence of a headquarters employee's mistake.

    The snap election to the 120-seat Knesset is scheduled to take place on 17 September. The election was called as the result of Netanyahu failing to form a government following a previous election in April.

    On 10 September, Netanyahu made a post-election promise to establish Israel's sovereignty over the northern part of the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley, a region located on the border between the West Bank and Jordan.

    Tags:
    Likud party, chatbots, Facebook, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
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