Palestinian man arrested by Israeli police over mistranslation of 'good morning'

Facebook has acknowledged its translation software "made an error" in interpreting the post

Palestinian man arrested by Israeli police over mistranslation of 'good morning'

Picture by: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

Israeli police arrested a Palestinian man after Facebook translation software mistakenly translated 'good morning' to 'attack them'.

The error happened last week when the man posted a picture of himself next to a bulldozer at a construction site in the West Bank, Haaretz reports

According to the paper, the algorithm misinterpreted the Arabic morning greeting as “attack them” in Hebrew and “hurt them” in English.

The Judea and Samaria District are said to have become concerned that the man was planning an attack with the bulldozer - and such vehicles have previously been used in attacks in Israel.

However, the man was released a few hours later after it became clear that the correct translation of the message was simply 'good morning'.

In a statement to Gizmodo, Facebook - which rolled out its own 'AI-powered' proprietary translation software last year - explained: "Unfortunately, our translation systems made an error last week that misinterpreted what this individual posted.

"Even though our translations are getting better each day, mistakes like these might happen from time to time and we’ve taken steps to address this particular issue."

The social network also apologised to the man and his family for the error.