Police Arrest Arab Worker over Mistranslated Facebook Post

Shared concerns over Iran bring Israel and Arab countries closer

Police Arrest Arab Worker over Mistranslated Facebook Post

"A few days ago, a Palestinian was arrested to be interrogated, because he is suspected of incitement (to violence), through its page Facebook", said a spokesman for the police, Luba Samri. Facebook's translation software interpreted the post to mean "attack them" in Hebrew and "hurt them" in English, Haaretz reported.

The Facebook post was not read by an Arabic-speaking officer, but was instead spotted by an officer who relied on the social media platform's #Automatic Translation tool.

There is only one letter's difference between the colloquial Arabic phrase for "good morning to you all" and "hurt them".

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Such vehicles have been used in terror attacks and officers thought he may be threatening to carry out such an atrocity, the website reported.

A spokeswoman for the Israel Police's West Bank district confirmed to The Times of Israel on Sunday that the man, a construction worker, was arrested "on suspicion of incitement" and released shortly thereafter when the assumption turned out to have been false.

The post showed a photo of the worker next to a bulldozer in the West Bank.

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There were red faces at Google previous year, when its online translation tool rendered the Russian Federation as "Mordor".

Google said at the time that Translate worked by looking for patterns in hundreds of millions of documents - but translation remained hard as the meaning of words was tied to the context in which they were used.

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